Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Abalone Season Opens April 1st.

Abalone Season Opens April 1
New Report Cards Available through Automated License Data System

California’s popular red abalone season will open April 1 in waters
north of San Francisco Bay. The Department of Fish and Game (DFG)
reminds divers and rock pickers that anyone taking abalone must record
their catch on an abalone report card, and tag the animal with
corresponding tags from the cards. 

This year, all licenses and cards will be available through the new
Automated License Data System (ALDS), which automatically records
purchases in an active database.  
“Abalone report cards are a vital source of information needed to
manage this resource, and the ALDS will allow us to track whether
individuals have returned their report cards as required by law,” said
DFG Associate Marine Biologist Jerry Kashiwada. “In the past, we could
not easily determine who had not returned their cards.”

Abalone report cards should be returned to the DFG Fort Bragg office at
32330 North Harbor Drive, Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554. This season’s
return deadline is January 31, 2012, although cards may be submitted
early. Abalone report cards must be returned even if no abalone is

Because of the nature of the paper used for the ALDS abalone report
card and tags, scissors are needed to separate the tags from the card
just prior to attaching them to an abalone. In the past, scissors were
not needed to separate the pre-perforated tags.
Tags that are separated from the cards ahead of time are invalid. Holes
may be punched in the tags immediately after purchase, however. Other
slight modifications to the tagging procedure, such as using scissors to
cut off tags, may be needed with the ALDS report cards.

The Fish and Game Commission is currently considering proposals for
marine protected areas (MPAs) along the north coast, from Point Arena in
Mendocino County to the Oregon border. The north coast MPA process will
not affect the 2011 abalone season. To find out more about the MPAs
currently under consideration, please visit

Currently, the only open abalone fishery in California is in the
northern region of the state. This fishery is biologically sustainable
and has remained productive for nearly 60 years. In 2009, the most
recent year for which figures are available, the recreational catch in
northern California was an estimated 295,000 abalone.

Everyone engaging in the take of abalone is responsible for knowing and
abiding by all California abalone sport fishing regulations. A complete
list of abalone fishing regulations is also available in the 2011 Ocean
Sport Fishing regulations booklet, available wherever fishing licenses
are sold, at DFG offices and online at

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