California Fish and Game Commission Votes Unanimously to Close Recreational Abalone Season Next Year

This is a press release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Fish and Game Commission [Thursday] voted to close the 2018 northern California recreational abalone fishery due to ongoing environmental conditions that have significantly impacted the abalone resource. The closure affects next year’s recreational abalone season, which was scheduled to open on April 1, 2018.

The Commission’s 4-0 decision (Commissioner Jacque Hostler-Carmesin was absent) upholds the policies of the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan, which was adopted by the Commission in December 2005. Over the past several years, the Commission has taken several actions to reduce take and shorten the season to protect abalone from the unprecedented environmental conditions.

The Commission directed the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to work with stakeholders to deliver a new fishery management plan that includes guidance on navigating these unprecedented conditions. The Commission also directed CDFW to consider how the new fishery management plan can inform the potential reopening of some fishing opportunity for the 2019 season.

More information about California’s recreational abalone fisheriescan be found on the CDFW website.



  • finally! don’t look for it to open in the rest of your life time. just another marine sanctuary policy.

  • Stop those foreign boats from coming inside the 15 mile marker and maybe the abalone will have a chance.The Japanese come inside our protected waters and dive for abalone,scallops, and anything else they can find.
    They have been doing it for years by sea, they also should have put their foot down on the asians that have illegally rock picked for 30 years in and out of season with no care for size or quantity limit.Blame the ocean all you want but Mother Nature and sport divers with licenses didn’t do this to the population.Fish and game knows but to say it would point to a lacking of doing their duty.And why aren’t the foreign boats boarded and searched inside our sea borders in stead of just told to leave by a helicopter!!Try taking your boat to Japan’s shores and see how it works out inside their border,you’ll be sunk or imprisoned and boat if not sunk would be taken.Why are we so lenient on things that get you killed in other countries.By the way, they are all aware the U.S. doesn’t do shit about it.I could go on but I personally watched a massive Japanese fishing ship inside of Punta Gorda cruise up near our fishing boat while it was dragging nets,coast guard showed up and told it to pull its nets and leave, they escorted it to the 15 mile mark,2 hours later it returned dragging its nets again,that’s a protected sanctuary that they are hitting with no recourse.Stop them from doing this and many species will come back fast,if you don’t believe me check out the price of west coast abs in the Japanese market,big motivation for when they aren’t hunting whales.

    • thanks for the insight..

        This video is a year old, but it covers a lot of info.
        The rumor of closure was going around in june. I filled my tags this year knowing it will probably be the last time to do so in my lifetime. Everyone should read “Playing God In Yellowstone”. It details how man’s attempts to “manage” wildlife results in animal death and lots of taxes spent. All my abs were emaciated and small. I watched my GoPro footage of dives over the last 3 years. You can see year to year that the kelp isn’t coming back. This year where I dove, the kelp is almost gone completely. As a person who grew up in nature, my soul roils in agony as I watch it all slowly die while most people walk around oblivious to it all.

    • The asian-american poachers have really hammered our abalone population.

  • Well said. Anyone who follows rules and regulations is not a problem in any outdoor recreation. It like always, is the assholes that don’t pay any mind to the right way of enjoying such a prized resource. It’s harder for a non criminal to get a gun than it is for a felon. Felons get cheap ones in just a phone call. Law abiding citizens get dragged through the mud. Classic bullshit.

    • What if you are a convicted felon of a non violent crime and haven’t had charges in years and need and want a gun for protection in the hills from animals and robbers and also want to own an item to get food for family? A lot of good people have had to deal with the long arm of the law

  • If it never opens again I at least have a few 10’s on my wall to remember the great times!

  • Used to be so plentiful. I remember as a child that the cafe’s served “abalone burgers”.

  • Biological science already has the answer to this management dilemma, unfortunately DFW is an organization that compromises between scientific knowledge and the public desires. The two are normally in conflict.

    I have examined the data for multiple abalone species with a biologist working for DFW. Abalones fecundity is directly tied to their size. Logic, as well as, statistical models tell us that the largest abalone should not be harvested. The smallest abalone are important prey for other animals. Regulations should be designed to allow only for medium sized abalone be harvested. This would leaves the smaller abalone for the animals that prey on them and the latest abalone (the most capable of reproduction) to breed.

    I think people would be shocked hoe often scientific knowledge is cast by the way side in favor of public sentiment, by DFW.

  • 20 years ago, the (then) Dept. of Fish and GAME discussed at a meeting, the future of having a non-consumptive hunting/fishing program in California. That is, photographing the game instead of killing them, and catch and release the fish. The discussion evolved into the funding of the dept. minus the licenses sold to hunters and fishermen. Now, they have designed a program to issue permits (licenses) for hiking or photography on state controlled land, another step towards their alternate funding scheme. They have shut down or restricted fish hatcheries, restricted salmon and rockfish , crab and halibut fishing, imposed such complicated hunting and fishing regulations, you need a guide, lawyer, or both, to participate. With the increase in license fees, you are money ahead to go to Costco or Winco to buy your meat and fish. Whether by design, mismanagement, the Fukushima disaster or a fluke of nature , the Dept. of Fish and WILDLIFE has taken another step towards achieving their vision.

  • People that live in cities think dfw are doing God’s work, everyone else knows that they’re narcissists who’s only real interest is revenue. As far as “management of wildlife” they should be jailed for incompetence and squandering funds.

  • You’re all missing the key culprit-poisoning of the Pacific Ocean by Fukashima’s perpetual(unstoppable) flow of radioactive material. All of the die off along the West Coast has been attributed to Japan’s pollution. We are watching the collapse of the ocean’s ecosystem and the eventual final death of all life forms-including us.

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