Purple Urchin Limit Upped in Sonoma and Mendocino; May go up in Humboldt and Del Norte

Purple Sea Urchin

Purple Sea Urchin [Photo taken by: Marine Bio Student via Wikimedia Commons]

Press release from the California Fish and Game Commission:

At its October 2018 meeting in Fresno yesterday, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from the meeting.

The Commission voted unanimously to adopt the vision statement for co-management among the Commission, California tribes and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The vision statement was a recommendation forwarded to the Commission from the Tribal Committee, which met Tuesday.

In partnership with the California Waterfowl Association, the Commission also recognized six newly inducted members of the California Waterfowler’s Hall of Fame: Dr. Mickey E. Heitmeyer, Jeff Kerry, Peter Ottesen, Thomas Quinn, Mark Gregory Steidlmayer and Peter Stent. Former executive director of the Commission, John Carlson, Jr. who is currently the president of the California Waterfowl Association, made the presentation.

The Commission approved a 90-day extension of the emergency regulations for recreational take of purple sea urchin that increased the bag limit from 35 individuals to 20 gallons in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

The Commission also authorized publication of a notice of intent to amend regulations for recreational take of purple sea urchin under a regular rulemaking, to increase bag limits to 40 gallons in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, and also to potentially apply these regulations in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. The Commission will take action on this proposal at its February meeting in Sacramento.

The Commission took action to adopt regulations to limit incidental take of crabs other than the genus cancer. The action will subject box and king crabs to a 25 lb. possession and landing limit, and sheep crab to a 95,000 lb. annual total allowable catch.

In support of a collaboration among CDFW, the California Ocean Protection Council, and academic partners, the Commission adopted a marine protected area monitoring action plan that, for the first time, provides a statewide approach to monitoring California’s marine protected area network. The action plan incorporates novel scientific approaches and offers important prioritization of long-term monitoring and evaluation metrics.

Commission President Eric Sklar, Commission Vice President Anthony Williams and Commissioners Jacque Hostler-Carmesin and Peter Silva were present. Commissioner Russell Burns was absent.

The full Commission video and audio minutes, supporting information and a schedule of upcoming meetings are available at www.fgc.ca.gov. An archived video will also be available in coming days.

The California Fish and Game Commission was the first wildlife conservation agency in the United States, predating even the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. There is often confusion about the distinction between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Commission. In the most basic terms, CDFW implements and enforces the regulations set by the Commission, as well as provides biological data and expertise to inform the Commission’s decision-making process.

  • Laytonville Rock


  • To bad Uni is disgusting.

  • Urchin eats kelp? Kelp eats stuff in water? Reindeer eats 100 year old lichens that just eat the dust in the wind and moisture,sunlight,making its meat most antioxidant of meats.and desireable.sea urchin beneficial?

    • If you want antioxidants, you should get them straight from the plants. Also, Uni is fucking disgusting.

      • To each his own, when fresh it tastes quite divine. In Southern Italy they call it ricci — you order a plate of still squirming urchins with the bottoms cracked off and guts removed, then proceed to scoop the roe out with a crusty piece of bread. Usually wash it down with a liter of the local dry rosato .. mmmmmm good stuff.

        Why we have bag limits on urchins is beyond me. DFW also makes you buy a permit for shooting pigs, also absurd. If this state could regulate oxalis as a source of revenue they would.

        • I’ve been saying that for ages. Why does the state require tags for wild pigs? One of the most destructive invasive species in the state and they charge you to kill them. Stupid. Next, it will be CDFW asking $10 per Nutria rats in the central valley or $5 per ground squirrel. I know it is only $40 for 5 pigs but come on. The state should PAY YOU $40 for killing 5 pigs. That’s how invasive or destructive species were handled in the past, the bounty system, and it worked! Albeit some bounties were placed on the wrong species due to poor science. Having people pay to kill an invasive species like wild pigs is insane and has failed horribly given that there are more wild pigs tearing up the state than ever. It’s already very expensive to shoot pigs (time, truck, ATVs, gas, rifles, ammo, etc.). Not to mention now that you have to kill all game with incredibly expensive non-lead ammo starting in 2019… Horrible management in my opinion. Same goes to urchin. They aren’t invasive but they are outcompeting all the abalone for food resulting in a huge decline in abalone. CDFW was being warned about the explosion in urchin numbers and the decline in abalone for years before they did anything. I remember in ~2010? divers in Fort Bragg asking CDFW to raise the limit of urchins to help reduce their numbers because they, the divers, knew what it meant for abalone. CDFW did nothing for years until only recently have they upped the limit.. to a measly 25 gallons and now to 40. It should be open season for urchins! They have already destroyed what was left of the kelp forests and now they are just keeping them down and from coming back.

        • Every once in a blue moon someone comments in a cultured, positive and informative way. Bravo!

  • I called fish and wildlife and asked what I would need to get a commercial license to harvest these with teams of divers to make a local fertilizer product. The woman I spoke with didn’t have any answers or seem too interested, and I never got a call back about it. Are there any ab divers looking for a new sport/job?

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