California’s 2017 red abalone sport fishing season is set to open on May 1st. The 2017 season opener is delayed from the traditional opening date of April 1st, and will close one month earlier as well, on October 31st. Additionally, the annual bag limit is reduced from 18 abalone to 12. Other abalone sport fishing regulations remain unchanged.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife made these changes to reduce the impact on California’s red abalone population. Recent studies found red abalone populations in deeper water are declining. The declines are thought to be due to unfavorable environmental changes which have reduced kelp growth (a main food source for abalone) and increased competition from growing populations of purple sea urchins.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently conducting a 2017 sport abalone fishing survey to allow abalone divers to express their opinions and thoughts on these changes to the abalone season and other management possibilities. The survey can be taken on-line and is found here(link is external).
For more information about abalone sport fishing regulations, please visit the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website