Emergency white sturgeon harvest regulations issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are now in effect.

Emergency white sturgeon harvest regulations issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are now in effect.

November 19, 2023 – The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced that emergency regulations enacted White sturgeon2310The California Fish and Game Commission’s (Commission) move last month to limit the harvest of white sturgeon in state waters is now in effect, having been approved by the Office of Administrative Law.

The new regulations reduce the number of fish that can be kept to one fish per year, reduce the maximum slot to 42-48 inches, limit the number of white sturgeon that can be held on board to two fish per day and add seasonal sturgeon closures. Hunting in the main breeding areas.

The new regulations were enacted by the commission after a joint recommendation from CDFW and hunting groups. The emergency action was taken in response to the long-term decline in adult white sturgeon populations, as well as the impacts of harmful algal blooms (HAB) in the summer of 2022.

There are two species of sturgeon in California: the green sturgeon and the white sturgeon. The green sturgeon is listed as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. The California white sturgeon is listed as a species of special concern.

The sturgeon is one of the oldest fish in existence with fossil records dating back more than 200 million years. White sturgeon can live about 100 years and do not begin laying eggs until they are approximately 14 to 19 years old. Scientists estimate that Central Valley white sturgeon spawn successfully only every six to seven years. White sturgeon abundance has declined significantly from about 200,000 harvestable fish in 1997 to about 33,000 (recent five-year average). California’s sturgeon fishery has been closed several times in the past due to overharvesting.

During the summer of 2022, HAB in San Francisco and San Pablo Bay caused tens of thousands of fish kills, including at least 864 sturgeon. Most sturgeon experts believe there were likely thousands more sturgeon killed during the HAB, which sank to the bottom of the Gulf’s waters and were not counted.

Harvest has been reduced to white sturgeon for 2023 and 2024. Catch and release of white sturgeon will continue to be permitted with a valid sturgeon report card after keeping one sturgeon except for the closures described in California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Sections 5.80.(Opens in a new tab) And 27.95(Opens in a new tab). The slot limit has been reduced to 42-48 inches, and a limit of two fish per vessel per day has been added. The white sturgeon fishery will also be closed seasonally upstream of the Interstate 50 Bridge on the Sacramento River and the Interstate 5 Bridge on the San Joaquin River from January 1 to May 31, 2024. This upstream area will reopen to catch and release fishing on June 1, 2024, as soon as Breeding season ends.

Sturgeon report cards purchased in calendar year 2023 remain valid for the remainder of 2023. All reporting requirements, grades, and report cards remain in effect. Only one sturgeon harvest tag will be valid. Any remaining sturgeon harvest tags beyond the mark still in possession for the 2023 calendar year will be valid for the remainder of 2023. Anglers who have already harvested one or more fish in 2023 will still be permitted to catch and release sturgeon for the remainder of 2023 with a fish report card. Valid sturgeon. Changes in sturgeon harvest regulations may delay the availability of 2024 sturgeon report cards and individual harvest tags.

The 2024 report cards will be on sale soon. Sturgeon’s report card requirements will remain in effect for 2024.

CDFW is currently working on a regulatory package for white sturgeon to allow limited harvest. The package of regulations is scheduled to undergo the Commission’s rulemaking process with a target effective date of January 2025.

For more information visit CDFW’s sturgeon webpage. Questions can be sent to sturgeon@wildlife.ca.gov.
Source: CDFW

(Tags to translate) California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Emergency White Sturgeon Harvest Regulations Now in Effect – Sturgeon are one of the oldest fish in existence

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *