Is it legal to catch crabs for food in Southern California?



  1. 0 Votes

    A crab trap of stainless steel wire woven about a welded iron frame.

    Crab hoop net. (A) the trap extended as it is while being hauled to the surface. (B) the trap as it is when on the bottom of the ocean.

    Crab Fishing Gear

    Some commercial crab anglers prefer to build their own crab traps (pots), although several Pacific coast companies manufacture these traps. A circular pot (Figure 7) 42 inches in diameter, 14 inches deep, and weighing 90 pounds could be purchased in 1971 for about $32. Completely equipped with line, buoys, and bait container, each unit represented an investment, at that time, of about $42. The 1986 respective prices for a trap and one rigged for fishing are $60 and $80.

    The crab ring or hoop net (Figure 8) is used by California anglers and a few commercials. This unit consists of coarse mesh webbing attached to two iron hoops. When the trap is on the bottom, crabs are attracted to the center of the net by bait held in a small receptacle. Periodically, the net is hauled to the surface quickly thereby capturing any crabs in the net.

    “Unless they’ve changed the rules recently, California fish and game rules prevent the taking of crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, etc) by hook and line. Only methods of legal capture that immediately come to mind are trapping/netting and by hand.

    California law also dictates a maximum trap size, so I’d check the regulations before you go out. As for locations, rocky structure in harbors are probably your best first spot to try.”

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