CA Cabezon Fishery Closure Effective July 29, 2002

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July 24, 2002

Ca DFG

Cabezon Fishery Closure Effective July 29

Contact: Carrie Wilson, Marine Region, (831) 649-7191

The recreational fishery for cabezon (Scorpaenichthys marmoratus) will close effective midnight on Monday, July 29 for the remainder of 2002, or until further notice. This closure is necessary because monitoring data indicate that the 2002 quota allocation has been met for this year.

Based on projections from recent recreational catch estimates derived from the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS), the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has determined that the recreational allocation of 84,300 pounds of cabezon for the year 2002 will be taken by the end of the month.

Calculations of the recreational fishery catch, based on MRFSS data, estimate that approximately 68,000 pounds of cabezon were landed by sport anglers in California between January and June 2002. This is a significant increase from the 39,000 pounds landed in those months during 2001. This is also a significant increase from estimates of catch in those months from previous years.

Historically, catch rates have increased throughout the summer and fall. Consequently, the DFG is estimating that the allocations will be reached in full by the specified closure date. The prohibition on the recreational landings of these species will be in effect throughout the state. The commercial cabezon fishery already closed effective July 1 when estimates show they had reached the allocated harvest limit of 94,398 pounds.

Should catches fall substantially below the defined allowable harvest levels, the DFG may evaluate the potential of reopening the cabezon fishery for a specified time later in the year.

Interim management measures for the nearshore fishery, adopted by the Fish and Game Commission in December 2000, include an annual optimum yield for cabezon of 178,728 pounds. The Commission allocated harvest limits between the recreational and commercial fishery segments based upon historical total take data from the periods of 1980 through 1989, and 1993 through 1999. The Commission adopted management measures such as minimum size limits and monthly and weekly landing closures recommended by the DFG as likely to restrict annual landings to the allocated amount.
 


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