Commercial Harvest for CA Sheephead Will Close Nov. 19th

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November 16, 2001

Commercial Harvest for California Sheephead Will Close Nov. 19

Contact: Robson Collins, Marine Region (831) 649-2883
Carrie Wilson, Marine Region (831) 649-7191

MONTEREY — The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced today that effective 12:01 a.m. Nov. 19 through midnight Dec. 31, the commercial fishery for California sheephead will be closed because the commercial harvest allocation has already been reached for this year. No closure of the recreational segment of the fishery is contemplated.

On Nov. 2, the California Fish and Game Commission met in Redding and took action to close the commercial California sheephead fishery through the remainder of the year. The Commission approved a request by the DFG for an emergency closure of commercial sheephead fishing after receiving reports indicating that the commercial allocation of 81,425 pounds for California sheephead had been reached as of Oct. 5.

The emergency regulation has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Administrative Law and filed with the Secretary of State. Enforcement of the closure will begin with the new fishing week starting at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 19, 2001.
Interim management measures for the nearshore fishery, adopted by the Commission in December 2000, include an annual optimum yield for California sheephead of 220,144 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 closures recommended by the DFG as likely to restrict annual stake to the allocated amount. However, commercial fishermen were able to increase their catch rates to compensate for the imposed restrictions, necessitating the need for the Commission to impose an early closure of the fishery.
 

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