California spiny lobster season opens on Oct. 1
Published - 09/29/16 - 01:15 PM | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
California spiny lobster
California spiny lobster
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The 2016 lobster season opens early Saturday morning, Oct. 1, and hundreds of divers will be in pursuit of the California spiny lobster. San Diego beaches are popular for lobster fishing but can be hazardous for divers and boaters. Lifeguards will be increasing staffing to help state Fish and Wildlife wardens, and to respond to emergencies.

San Diego lifeguards remind divers the majority of diving-related injuries and deaths are preventable. Divers should know their limitations and feel completely comfortable making the dive. Lobster diving can be strenuous; divers should have a competent buddy with them and should review emergency procedures. 

“If you find yourself in distress, do not hesitate to ditch your weights, inflate your buoyancy compensator and signal for help,” lifeguard Lieutenant Andy Lerum advised.

Boaters need to be aware of the increased diver population when moving through or near fishing areas. There should always be a lookout on the boat helping the operator avoid divers and other boats at night, and navigation lights always need to be on. People using hoop nets should not set them in areas that might obstruct vessel navigation, like the Mission Bay Channel. Boaters should also be aware of the surf conditions and avoid getting too close to breaking waves.

Lobster season runs through March 22, 2017. Lobsters may be taken only by hand or hoop nets. Divers fishing for lobsters must have a valid California fishing license, a spiny lobster report card and must carry a measuring gauge to ensure their lobsters are of legal size. Daily limits are seven lobsters per person, and each lobster must be a minimum of 3.25 inches measured in a straight line on the mid-line of the back.

For more information, refer to the 2016-2017 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Regulations/Sport-Fishing or wherever licenses are sold.

 Current weather and surf conditions are updated by lifeguards on a 24 hour recording at 619-221-8824.

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