California spiny lobster season begins September 28, 2013 and runs through March 19, 2014. New regulations set forth by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) change the duration of the spiny lobster report card to match that of lobster season and enact a non-return fee for report cards that are not returned by the deadline. The new seasonal cards are available now and will be valid from September 28, 2013 through March 19, 2014. The deadline for returning 2013-2014 spiny lobster cards is April 30, 2014.
Failure to return a 2013/2014 spiny lobster report card by the April 30, 2014 deadline means the cardholder will be assessed a $20 non-return fee upon the purchase of a 2014/2015 spiny lobster report card.
Lobster hunters must renew their annual sport fishing license on or before January 1, 2014 in order to be properly licensed for lobster fishing. Individuals less than 16 years of age are not required to obtain a sport fishing license.
Report cards may be filed through the CDFW’s online license service at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/. Online reporting is available at the end of lobster season and is only available until the reporting deadline of April 30, 2014. Those who report online are not required to mail report cards to the CDFW. In addition to online reporting and returning report cards by mail, lobster fishers may also return report cards in person at the address specified on the report card. Report cards returned by mail and not received by the CDFW are considered not returned; the report cardholder will be required to report their card as lost and the $20 non-return fee will be assessed. To obtain information on replacing a lost report card, or for more information pertaining to the new California spiny lobster reporting process, visit www.dfg.ca.gov.