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NEW GROUNDFISH REGULATIONS.

Byline: Daily News

The California Department of Fish and Game has released the 2005 ocean sportfishing regulations for groundfish on the Internet at www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd.

Five recreational fishing management areas for groundfish have been established along the California coast. Each is governed by a different set of regulations tailored to meet regional needs. The new areas and regulations go into effect Saturday. The southern area is from Point Conception to the U.S./Mexico border and is open from March to September.

As in 2004, divers and shore-based anglers will be exempt from most restrictions affecting groundfish in 2005. Important exceptions exist for lingcod and California scorpionfish. For a summary of regulations for each area, go to the DFG Marine Region Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/bfregs2005.html or contact your local DFG office.

To help California's saltwater anglers keep up with the latest sportfishing regulations, DFG also is expanding its automated telephone information system in January. The expanded system, available at (831) 649-2801, will provide saltwater regulation information by area, including fishing seasons, fishing depth limits, bag limits and gear restrictions.

The recreational fisheries affected by groundfish regulation changes in 2005 include those for rockfish, cabezon, kelp greenling, California scorpionfish, lingcod, some flatfish, some sharks and other federally managed groundfish species.

As in the past, the state will manage ocean whitefish, California sheepshead and rock greenling to be consistent with the federal regulations. For the full list of species managed as groundfish, check the Marine Region Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/groundfish-fedlist.html. For more information, send an e-mail to AskMarine(at)dfg.ca.gov or check the PFMC Web site at www.pcouncil.org.

Up-to-date fishing regulations may also be found online at DFG's California Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations Map at www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/fishing-map.html.

Complete groundfish regulations, and all updated regulations for 2005, will be published in next year's Ocean Sport Fishing Regulation booklet. The new regulation booklet will be posted to the DFG Marine Region Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd in early January. Paper copies of the 2005 booklet are scheduled to be distributed to license vendors by late January.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 30, 2004
Words:369
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