California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Kellet's Whelk Fishing Regulations

Effective March 14, 2012, the California Fish and Game Commission established new commercial and recreational fishing regulations for Kellet's whelk. The new regulations are posted below:

Recreational Kellet's Whelk Regulations

Title 14, California Code of Regulations
Section 29.17. Kellet's Whelk

(a) Open Season: From July 1 through the first Wednesday after the 15th of March.

Commercial Kellet's Whelk Regulations

Title 14, California Code of Regulations
Section 127. Commercial Take of Kellet's Whelk

(a) Method of Take.

(1) Kellet's whelk may be taken incidentally in lobster traps, as defined in Fish and Game Code Section 9010, being fished under the authority of a valid lobster permit and in rock crab traps, as defined in Fish and Game Code Section 9011(b)(2), being used to take rock crab under a valid southern rock crab trap permit in Districts 19 and 118.5.

(2) Kellet's whelk may be taken by hand by a licensed commercial fisherman.

(b) Season for Taking. Kellet's whelk may be taken for commercial purposes from July 1 through the first Wednesday after the 15th of March.

(1) All Kellet's whelk taken during the seasonal closure shall be immediately returned to the water. No Kellet's whelk shall be possessed aboard, or landed from, any commercial fishing vessel during the closed season.

(c) Total Allowable Catch. For the period from April 1 through March 31 of the following year, a total of not more than 100,000 pounds of Kellet's whelk may be landed in California.

(1) Mechanism for Fishery Closure. The department will estimate from the current trends in catch and using available scientific information the time at which the catch limit will be reached. The department will close the fishery at the time that catch limit is reached or is projected to be reached prior to the end of the fishing year.

(2) The department shall give no less than 10 days notice to any individual who has landed Kellet's whelk within the previous five years and all individuals who hold a current and valid lobster operator permit or southern rock crab trap permit via a notification letter sent to the permittee's address on file with the department. The department shall give the public and the commission no less than 10 days notice of the closure via a department news release.