Mendonoma Coast is famous for its abalone, a succulent
mollusk which populates the intertidal zone between sea and
abalone is relatively plentiful along the coast, new limits
have been imposed, to allow the abalone to reproduce and
sustain the fishery.
bag and possession limit is three red abalone, and no one
will be able to take more than 30 red abalone during a
calendar year. Regulations include a 7-inch minimum
size limit, measured along the longest shell diameter, and
possession of a fixed measuring device.
year, abalone poachers learned to their chagrin that Fish
and Game wardens are pretty savvy and sharp-eyed when it
comes to protecting this important resource.
may be taken only for recreational purposes, north of a line
drown west magnetic from the center of the mouth of San
Francisco Bay during April, May, June, August, September,
October and November. The month of July is closed, and
the take of abalone is not allowed commercially anywhere in
punch card is required for each licensed abalone fisherman.
the punch card is waterproof paper to make the cards more
durable in wet conditions. Persons must, immediately
upon taking &/or bringing ashore an abalone, punch a hole
in the report card in one of the designated locations and
record with indelible ink, the date, time, and location in
the spaces provided adjacent to the punch. The holes
do not need to be large; some people use safety pins to
fishermen are required to return the punch card to the
Department of Fish and Game (DFG) by the end of January each
year. Data from previous year's cards are entered into
a database and will be analyzed for fishery information such
as total take, average take, and take per county. The
accuracy of the analysis depends upon the number of cards
returned. The previous season's data is available on
the DFG website at the end of summer.
important that all cards are returned whether any abalone
are taken or not.
divers are prohibited from using scuba or other surface
supplied air equipment to catch abalone and cannot possess
abalone aboard any boat, vessel, or floating device in the
water containing scuba or surface supplied air.
Abalone and scuba gear may be transported together on land.
Divers working from boats, kayaks, float tubes or other
floating devices who wish to use scuba equipment to spear
fish or harvest sea urchins, rock scallops or cabs need to
make a separate trip.
Stalking the Wily Abalone...
Abaloneing can be fun, in
a wet and cold sort of way, but it is very important to be
informed and follow all the rules set by the Department of
Fish and Game. Here are a few pointers on abaloneing.
>>>Have a valid fishing
license bearing an abalone stamp in plain view on
your person at all times when fishing for abalone.
(Waterproof holders for licenses are available where
licenses are sold.) Abalone fishermen must also have a
DFG punch card and record their take as soon as they bring
>>>Use a 7" measuring
bar to insure the abalone is of legal size.
>>>Use the proper tool,
such as an abalone iron to remove abalone from the rocks.
Improper tools are illegal, can result in killing the
abalone immediately and may affect the taste of the meat.
>>>If you are diving
for abalone, always dive with a companion and wait for a
calm day. Don't risk your life for a mollusk.
>>>If you are picking
abalone, watch for a good minus tide (-1.0 or better) and
always beware of sleeper waves (unusually large waves) that
can appear anytime.
trespass...there are plenty of legal accesses.
everywhere--watch for rocky kelp beds.
>>>Take only the legal
daily limit! Every year, wardens arrest people who try
to exceed the limit by passing abalone to other people in
their party who didn't actually take them.
Here is a tasty abalone recipe we got from a coast
old-timer, the late Ernie Titus,
that makes the work of getting the abalone well worth it!
PATIO BAKED ABALONE
1 whole abalone.
4 T. flour.
1/2 t. salt.
1/2 t. pepper.
1 clove garlic.
1/2 C. cream.
1 strip bacon.
Pound whole abalone until tender, work in flour, salt and
Place in heavy foil, allowing enough to be able to fold
over, sealing out the air.
Pour cream over fish, add garlic and sliced bacon on top.
Place on barbecue grill, medium heat, cook for 45 minutes.
Also can be cooked in casserole (without foil).
*Independent Coast Observer
(ICO) 2003 Edition, Destination Mendonoma,
Compliments of the Independent Coast Observer, Gualala,