There are lobster laws pertaining to the taking of lobster from California waters which make violations criminal and usually enforced by Fish and Game Officers. These laws are designed to maintain a healthy marine environment and protect local lobster resources. They are enumerated in the Ocean Fishing Regulations published by Fish and Game and available everywhere you can get a fishing license and on line. These laws make many lobster regulation violations misdemeanors or offenses that can be punished by local jail up to 6 months or more and significant fines.
The sport lobster diver or fisherman should be aware of all the “lobster laws” and equipment requirements as outlined in the regulations. In addition to a salt water fishing license, a lobster card or permit is also required. This card is required to be filled out with information like where you are fishing for lobster, eqiuipment used before you actually catch anything, then the number of lobsters caught is logged in later. The most common violations include lobstering out of season, taking shorts, having over 7 limit per person, tailing the lobster while transporting, not filling out lobster cards, not having a measurement device, taking from a Marine Protective Area, and spearing them. All lobsters must be taken by hand or approved net, hoop net, and must be 3 1/4 ” minimum carapice measurement with an approved devise.
Lobster season for sport fisherman is published in the regulations and starts the first Saturday before the first Wednesday in October….and goes into March. Opening day, it is not unusual to have Fish and Game patrolling in boats, waiting at boat launches and even putting divers in the water near sport divers. Contact Christoph Law Offices at 760-670-3885 for a free consultation by criminal defense attorneys and sport lobster fisherman/divers.