Some facts and rules governing abalone diving

Tuesday April 02, 2002

•Abalone season runs from April 1 to June 30 and Aug. 1 to Nov. 30 off the California coast north of San Francisco. Diving is restricted to 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset. 

• Free divers are allowed to take three red abalone a day and 24 a year. That’s down from the previous four a day and 100 a year. 

• Abalone must be at least 7 inches across the widest part of the shell. All animals must be brought on shore still inside the shell. 

• Scuba gear is prohibited when diving for abalone. 

• All divers must buy an annual state sport fishing license for $30.45 and an abalone report card for $12. The card must be carried by the diver and a hole must be punched to record the date, time and location for the abalone taken. The report card must be returned to the California Department of Fish and Game within 30 days after the season closes. 

Abalone is for personal consumption only and may not be sold. Violators face fines up to $40,000 and a year in jail for misdemeanor charges and fines up to $10,000 and three years in state prison for felony conspiracy charges. 


Source: The California Department of Fish and Game