Sportsmens Report
April 9, 2020
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Sportsman’s Report: Crab regulations update and bay area fishing

By: Bill Hanson
November 22, 2019

The most recent changes to crab season are aimed at the commercial fishing trade. There are no recent changes in the local recreational fishing regulations. The local (Mendocino south to Monterey Counties) commercial crab fishing season was delayed until Nov. 22 baring high levels of domoic acid, a serious natural toxin that eventually dissipates to safe levels. For more information go to:

Right now, there are some glowing reports of high levels of success for those who go on party boats and for those seasoned fishers who know where to go. Unfortunately, the salient web sites and FB groups on fishing the Bay Area are rife with those who come home skunked. The onboard selfies on the party boats show limits of crab and piles of rock fish. That spells fresh crab and fish and chips, now add garlic bread, malt vinegar, maybe a root beer. You may put on a pound or two just reading this.

The department of fish and wildlife posted some good news. “A career dedicated to mollusks isn’t always easy. Sometimes progress can occur at a snail’s pace.

But a team of scientists are close to reaching a significant milestone in their efforts to bring white abalone - a species of sea snail - back from the brink of extinction.

During the week of Nov. 18, thousands of white abalone hatched in a marine lab will be planted in the ocean near Los Angeles and San Diego. It will be the first time that scientists attempt to introduce captive-bred white abalone into the wild.” It is important to understand local abalone stocks are primarily ‘red’ abalone (Haliotis Rubescent) and are not a threatened species. Currently our beloved local mollusks have been hammered and await more positive signals in their near-shore environment.

We await more significant rains to kick the local mushroom season into gear.

Hunting news is limited to upland game and wild boar. The piggies are loving the weather and breeding like bunnies. Do your part and bag a pig, hiking around in the fragrant wilds of our outback makes any hunt a success. Turkeys are part of the ‘upland game’ matrix, the fall season includes yearlings ‘jakes’ they make the best eating.

Duck season is open, but they tend to fly a mile high on blue sky mornings, nimrods also await the storms.

Rock hounding is in full swing, locally and in the high desert environment. Some rockhounds are reporting masses of petrified wood found in western deserts. Check some them out on Google Images and enter petrified wood. The local rock club is hosting a field trip to Lake County on the Nov. 30. If you would like to go contact the field trip chair, here is the Santa Rosa Gem and Mineral Society club message; 

All who are interested in attending please RSVP to Tim at: or (707) 349-0445. Everyone is to meet up at the nursery end of the Walmart in Clearlake at 10 a.m. on the Nov. 30.


Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.