Yes you can, as long as you follow the state’s rules. Dungeness crab season starts on November 15th in California for all waters south of Pt. Arena, just down the coast from Ft. Bragg. On December 1st crabbing becomes legal throughout the entire state. Other basic rules apply to crabbing, including the release of all female crabs and the minimum size restriction. If these rules are not followed, serious fines can occur.
You can catch crabs and eat them as long as you use a hoop net to catch them; catching them with a hook and line is illegal. It is also a good idea to get the appropriate fishing license, depending on where you live in the state. The two main types of crabs that can be caught in California are rock crabs and Dungeness crabs. The Dungeness crab season is open from November to June, and you can only catch 10 of these types of crabs per day. You cannot catch soft-shelled crabs, female crabs, or crabs that are below the size limit of 5.75 inches in width. You can catch 35 rock crabs per day, these crabs must be at least 4.25 inches wide, and these crabs don’t appear to have any particular season.
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