California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Northern California Marine Protected Areas

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California's MPA Network

California's MPA network uses different marine managed area (MMA) classifications. These classifications are defined in the Marine Managed Areas Improvement Act (MMAIA), which is used to designate marine areas intended to protect, conserve, or otherwise manage a variety of resources and their uses including living marine resources and their habitats, scenic views, water quality, recreational values, and cultural or geological resources. MPAs are primarily intended to protect or conserve marine life and habitat, and are a subset of MMAs.

California's MPA network includes three MPA designations (State Marine Reserve, State Marine Conservation Area, and State Marine Park) and one additional MMA designation (State Marine Recreational Management Area); special closure areas, established by the Fish and Game Commission, are also managed within the California MPA network.

 

Updated October 1, 2014

Marine protected areas (MPAs) along the northern California coast (California/Oregon border to Alder Creek near Point Arena) have been in effect in state waters since December 19, 2012. State waters in this area cover approximately 1,027 square miles of ocean, estuary, and offshore rock/island waters.

The north coast network includes 20 new or modified areas (19 MPAs and one marine recreational management area), covering approximately 137 square miles or about 13 percent of the north coast. Seven special closures are also part of the network. The following summarizes the designations managed within the north coast MPA network:

NumberTypeDescription
6
State Marine Reserve (SMR)An MPA designation that prohibits damage or take of all marine resources (living, geologic, or cultural) including recreational and commercial take
13
State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA)An MPA designation that may allow some recreational and/or commercial take of marine resources (restrictions vary)
1
State Marine Recreational Management Area (SMRMA)A MMA designation that limits recreational and commercial take of marine resources while allowing for legal waterfowl hunting to occur; provides subtidal protection equivalent to an MPA (restrictions vary)
7
Special ClosureAn area designated by the Fish and Game Commission that prohibits access or restricts boating activities in waters adjacent to sea bird rookeries or marine mammal haul-out sites (restrictions vary)

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Cover: Brochure: California Marine Protected Areas - Northern California  Cover: Guide to the Northern California Marine Protected Areas

Individual MPA Regulations and Maps

Note: MPAs are listed from north to south. Position format is in Degrees Minutes Decimal Minutes (DDD MM.MMM). Shown map boundaries are superceded by regulations published in Title 14, Section 632, California Code of Regulations.

Maps and overviews are presented for each MPA.

  • JPG Maps are low-resolution files that can be quickly viewed on most computers.
  • PDF Maps are higher-resolution files, providing greater detail and clarity.
  • PDF Overviews are factsheets that provide detailed information for the individual MPA.

Pyramid Point State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map | PDF Overview

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

42° 00.000' N. lat. 124° 12.735' W. long.;
42° 00.000' N. lat. 124° 19.814' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
41° 57.500' N. lat. 124° 17.101' W. long.; and
41° 57.500' N. lat. 124° 12.423' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  1. The recreational take of surf smelt by dip net or Hawaiian type throw net is allowed.
  2. The following federally recognized tribe is exempt from the area and take regulations for Pyramid Point State Marine Conservation Area (subsection 632(b)(1)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: Smith River Rancheria

Point St. George Reef Offshore State Marine Conservation Area

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Boundary: This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

41° 52.000' N. lat. 124° 23.189' W. long.;
41° 52.000' N. lat. 124° 25.805' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
41° 49.000' N. lat. 124° 26.252' W. long.;
41° 49.000' N. lat. 124° 23.189' W. long.; and
41° 52.000' N. lat. 124° 23.189' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  1. The recreational take of salmon by trolling; and Dungeness crab by trap is allowed.
  2. The commercial take of salmon with troll fishing gear; and Dungeness crab by trap is allowed.
  3. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Point St. George Reef Offshore State Marine Conservation Area (subsection 632(b)(2)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: Elk Valley Rancheria and Smith River Rancheria

Southwest Seal Rock Special Closure

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Boundary; Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Southwest Seal Rock as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Southwest Seal Rock, located in the vicinity of 41° 48.810' N. lat. 124° 21.099' W. long.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by subsection 632(b)(3)(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored at any time from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Southwest Seal Rock.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in subsection 632(b)(3)(B).

Castle Rock Special Closure

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Boundary; Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Castle Rock as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Castle Rock, located in the vicinity of 41° 45.706' N. lat. 124° 14.949' W. long.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by subsection 632(b)(4)(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored at any time from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Castle Rock.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in subsection 632(b)(4)(B).

False Klamath Rock Special Closure

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Boundary; Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Special restrictions on boating and access apply to False Klamath Rock as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of False Klamath Rock, located in the vicinity of 41° 35.633' N. lat. 124° 06.699' W. long. during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by subsection 632(b)(5)(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of False Klamath Rock during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in subsection 632(b)(5)(B) during the period of March 1 to August 31.

Reading Rock State Marine Conservation Area

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Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

41° 20.100' N. lat. 124° 04.911' W. long.;
41° 20.100' N. lat. 124° 10.000' W. long.;
41° 17.600' N. lat. 124° 10.000' W. long.; and
41° 17.600' N. lat. 124° 05.497' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  1. The recreational take of salmon by trolling; surf smelt by dip net or Hawaiian type throw net; and Dungeness crab by trap, hoop net or hand is allowed.
  2. The commercial take of salmon with troll fishing gear; surf smelt by dip net; and Dungeness crab by trap is allowed.
  3. The following federally recognized tribe is exempt from the area and take regulations for Reading Rock State Marine Conservation Area (subsection 632(b)(6)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: Yurok Tribe of the Yurok Reservation

Reading Rock State Marine Reserve

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Boundary: This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

41° 20.100' N. lat. 124° 10.000' W. long.;
41° 20.100' N. lat. 124° 14.655' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
41° 17.600' N. lat. 124° 11.963' W. long.;
41° 17.600' N. lat. 124° 10.000' W. long.; and
41° 20.100' N. lat. 124° 10.000' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Samoa State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map | PDF Overview

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

40° 55.000' N. lat. 124° 08.432' W. long.;
40° 55.000' N. lat. 124° 12.677' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
40° 52.000' N. lat. 124° 14.225' W. long.; and
40° 52.000' N. lat. 124° 09.803' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  1. The recreational take of salmon by trolling; surf smelt by dip net or Hawaiian type throw net; and Dungeness crab by trap, hoop net or hand is allowed.
  2. The commercial take of salmon with troll fishing gear; surf smelt by dip net; and Dungeness crab by trap is allowed.
  3. The following federally recognized tribe is exempt from the area and take regulations for Samoa State Marine Conservation Area (subsection 632(b)(8)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: Wiyot Tribe.

South Humboldt Bay State Marine Recreational Management Area

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Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

40° 43.000' N. lat. 124° 15.527' W. long.;
40° 43.000' N. lat. 124° 15.000' W. long.;
40° 42.000' N. lat. 124° 15.000' W. long.; and
40° 42.000' N. lat. 124° 16.141' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  1. The following federally recognized tribe is exempt from the area and take regulations for South Humboldt Bay State Marine Recreational Management Area (subsection 632(b)(9)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes: Wiyot Tribe.

Additional Regulations:

Waterfowl may be taken in accordance with the general waterfowl regulations (Sections 502, 550, 551, and 552).

Habitat restoration, maintenance dredging, and operation and maintenance of artificial structures inside the state marine recreational management area is allowed pursuant to any required federal, state and local permits, or as otherwise authorized by the department.

Sugarloaf Island Special Closure

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Boundary; Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Sugarloaf Island as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Sugarloaf Island, located in the vicinity of 40° 26.326' N. lat. 124° 24.827' W. long.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by subsection 632(b)(10)(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored at any time from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Sugarloaf Island.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in subsection 632(b)(10)(B).

South Cape Mendocino State Marine Reserve

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Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

40° 26.100' N. lat. 124° 24.353' W. long.;
40° 26.100' N. lat. 124° 31.958' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
40° 24.900' N. lat. 124° 31.084' W. long.; and
40° 24.900' N. lat. 124° 23.813' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Steamboat Rock Special Closure

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Boundary; Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Steamboat Rock as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Steamboat Rock, located in the vicinity of 40° 24.919' N. lat. 124° 24.241' W. long. during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by subsection 632(b)(12)(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Steamboat Rock during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in subsection 632(b)(12)(B) during the period of March 1 to August 31.

Mattole Canyon State Marine Reserve

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Boundary: This area is bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

40° 20.000' N. lat. 124° 22.500' W. long.;
40° 20.000' N. lat. 124° 25.902' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
40° 17.000' N. lat. 124° 25.869' W. long.;
40° 17.000' N. lat. 124° 22.500' W. long.; and
40° 20.000' N. lat. 124° 22.500' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Sea Lion Gulch State Marine Reserve

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Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

40° 14.400' N. lat. 124° 19.983' W. long.;
40° 14.400' N. lat. 124° 25.943' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
40° 12.800' N. lat. 124° 24.809' W. long.; and
40° 12.800' N. lat. 124° 18.155' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Big Flat State Marine Conservation Area

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Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

40° 09.400' N. lat. 124° 12.671' W. long.;
40° 09.400' N. lat. 124° 19.366' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
40° 07.500' N. lat. 124° 16.203' W. long.; and
40° 07.500' N. lat. 124° 10.313' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  1. The recreational take of salmon by trolling; and Dungeness crab by trap, hoop net or hand is allowed.
  2. The commercial take of salmon with troll fishing gear; and Dungeness crab by trap is allowed.
  3. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Big Flat State Marine Conservation Area (subsection 632(b)(15)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes:
    • Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria
    • Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria
    • Cahto Indian Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria
    • Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians of the Sulphur Bank Rancheria
    • Guidiville Rancheria
    • Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
    • Hopland Band of Pomo Indians of the Hopland Rancheria
    • Lower Lake Rancheria
    • Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria
    • Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Pinoleville Pomo Nation
    • Potter Valley Tribe
    • Redwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation
    • Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians

Double Cone Rock State Marine Conservation Area

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Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

39° 48.500' N. lat. 123° 50.713' W. long.;
39° 48.500' N. lat. 123° 55.875' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
39° 44.300' N. lat. 123° 54.178' W. long.; and
39° 44.300' N. lat. 123° 50.055' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  1. The recreational take of salmon by trolling; and Dungeness crab by trap, hoop net or hand is allowed.
  2. The commercial take of salmon with troll fishing gear; and Dungeness crab by trap is allowed.
  3. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Double Cone Rock State Marine Conservation Area (subsection 632(b)(16)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes:
    • Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria
    • Cahto Indian Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria
    • Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians of the Sulphur Bank Rancheria
    • Guidiville Rancheria
    • Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
    • Hopland Band of Pomo Indians of the Hopland Rancheria
    • Lower Lake Rancheria
    • Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria
    • Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Pinoleville Pomo Nation
    • Potter Valley Tribe
    • Redwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation
    • Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians

Rockport Rocks Special Closure

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Boundary; Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Rockport Rocks as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Rockport Rocks, located in the vicinity of 39° 44.184' N. lat. 123° 50.020' W. long. during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by subsection 632(b)(17)(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Rockport Rocks during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in subsection 632(b)(17)(B) during the period of March 1 to August 31.

Vizcaino Rock Special Closure

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Boundary; Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Special restrictions on boating and access apply to Vizcaino Rock located in the vicinity of 39° 43.618' N. lat. 123° 49.950' W. long. as follows.

(A) A special closure is designated from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide of any shoreline of Vizcaino Rock west of 123°49.887' W. longitude, during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(B) Except as permitted by federal law or emergency caused by hazardous weather, or as authorized by subsection 632(b)(18)(C), no vessel shall be operated or anchored from the mean high tide line to a distance of 300 feet seaward of the mean lower low tide line of any shoreline of Vizcaino Rock west of 123° 49.887' W. longitude during the period of March 1 to August 31.

(C) No person except department employees or employees of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States Coast Guard, in performing their official duties, or unless permission is granted by the department, shall enter the area defined in subsection 632(b)(18)(B) during the period of March 1 to August 31.

Ten Mile State Marine Reserve

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Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

39° 35.900' N. lat. 123° 47.243' W. long.;
39° 35.900' N. lat. 123° 51.479' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
39° 33.300' N. lat. 123° 50.559' W. long.; and
39° 33.300' N. lat. 123° 46.015' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Ten Mile Beach State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map | PDF Overview

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed except where noted:

39° 33.300' N. lat. 123° 46.015' W. long.;
39° 33.300' N. lat. 123° 50.559' W. long.; thence southward along the three nautical mile offshore boundary to
39° 32.500' N. lat. 123° 50.418' W. long.;
39° 32.500' N. lat. 123° 46.227' W. long.; thence northward along the mean high tide line onshore boundary to
39° 33.098' N. lat. 123° 46.003' W. long.;
39° 33.199' N. lat. 123° 45.966' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  1. The recreational take of Dungeness crab by trap, hoop net or hand is allowed.
  2. The commercial take of Dungeness crab by trap is allowed.
  3. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Ten Mile Beach State Marine Conservation Area (subsection 632(b)(20)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes:
    • Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria
    • Cahto Indian Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria
    • Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians of the Sulphur Bank Rancheria
    • Guidiville Rancheria
    • Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
    • Hopland Band of Pomo Indians of the Hopland Rancheria
    • Lower Lake Rancheria
    • Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria
    • Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Pinoleville Pomo Nation
    • Potter Valley Tribe
    • Redwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation
    • Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians

Ten Mile Estuary State Marine Conservation Area

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Boundary: This area consists of waters below the mean high tide line within the Ten Mile Estuary, eastward of a line connecting the following two points:

39° 33.199' N. lat. 123° 45.966' W. long.; and
39° 33.098' N. lat. 123° 46.003' W. long.

And westward of a line connecting the following two points:

39° 32.400' N. lat. 123° 44.785' W. long.; and
39° 32.382' N. lat. 123° 44.769' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  1. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Ten Mile Beach State Marine Conservation Area (subsection 632(b)(20)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes:
    • Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria
    • Cahto Indian Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria
    • Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians of the Sulphur Bank Rancheria
    • Guidiville Rancheria
    • Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
    • Hopland Band of Pomo Indians of the Hopland Rancheria
    • Lower Lake Rancheria
    • Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria
    • Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Pinoleville Pomo Nation
    • Potter Valley Tribe
    • Redwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation
    • Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians
  2. Take pursuant to activities authorized in subsection 632(b)(21)(D) is allowed.

Additional Regulations:

Waterfowl may be taken in accordance with the general waterfowl regulations (Sections 502, 550, 551, and 552).

Operation and maintenance of artificial structures inside the conservation area is allowed pursuant to any required federal, state and local permits, or as otherwise authorized by the department.

MacKerricher State Marine Conservation Area

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Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

39° 30.100' N. lat. 123° 47.390' W. long.;
39° 30.100' N. lat. 123° 49.000' W. long.;
39° 27.120' N. lat. 123° 49.000' W. long.; and
39° 27.120' N. lat. 123° 48.830' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Commercial take of bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) and giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) is prohibited. All other commercial and recreational take is allowed in accordance with current regulations.

Point Cabrillo State Marine Reserve

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Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

39° 21.400' N. lat. 123° 49.418' W. long.;
39° 21.400' N. lat. 123° 50.000' W. long.;
39° 20.600' N. lat. 123° 50.000' W. long.; and
39° 20.600' N. lat. 123° 49.266' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited.

Russian Gulch State Marine Conservation Area

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Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

39° 19.860' N. lat. 123° 48.840' W. long.;
39° 19.860' N. lat. 123° 49.000' W. long.;
39° 19.470' N. lat. 123° 49.000' W. long.; and
39° 19.470' N. lat. 123° 48.500' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Commercial take of bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) and giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) is prohibited. All other commercial and recreational take is allowed in accordance with current regulations.

Big River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area

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Boundary: This area consists of waters below the mean high tide line within the Big River Estuary, eastward of a line connecting the following two points:

39° 18.134' N. lat. 123° 47.517' W. long.; and
39° 18.079' N. lat. 123° 47.540' W. long.

And westward of a line connecting the following two points:

39° 18.222' N. lat. 123° 46.242' W. long.; and
39° 18.150' N. lat. 123° 46.240' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  1. The recreational take of surfperch (family Embiotocidae) by hook and line from shore only; and Dungeness crab by hoop net or hand is allowed.
  2. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Big River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area (subsection 632(b)(25)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes:
    • Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria
    • Cahto Indian Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria
    • Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians of the Sulphur Bank Rancheria
    • Guidiville Rancheria
    • Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
    • Hopland Band of Pomo Indians of the Hopland Rancheria
    • Lower Lake Rancheria
    • Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria
    • Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Pinoleville Pomo Nation
    • Potter Valley Tribe
    • Redwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation
    • Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians
  3. Take pursuant to activities authorized in subsection 632(b)(25)(D) is allowed.

Additional Regulations:

Waterfowl may be taken in accordance with the general waterfowl regulations (Sections 502, 550, 551, and 552).

Operation and maintenance of artificial structures inside the conservation area is allowed pursuant to any required federal, state and local permits, or as otherwise authorized by the department.

Van Damme State Marine Conservation Area

JPG Map | PDF Map | PDF Overview

Boundary: This area is bounded by the mean high tide line and a straight line connecting the following points:

39° 16.335' N. lat. 123° 47.712' W. long.; and
39° 16.147' N. lat. 123° 47.429' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Commercial take of bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) and giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) is prohibited. All other commercial and recreational take is allowed in accordance with current regulations.

Navarro River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area

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Boundary: This area consists of waters below the mean high tide line within the Navarro River Estuary, eastward of a line connecting the following two points:

39° 11.575' N. lat. 123° 45.653' W. long.; and
39° 11.415' N. lat. 123° 45.487' W. long.

And westward of a line connecting the following two points

39° 11.849' N. lat. 123° 44.808' W. long.; and
39° 11.807' N. lat. 123° 44.842' W. long.

Permitted/Prohibited Uses: Take of all living marine resources is prohibited except:

  1. The recreational take of salmonids by hook and line is allowed consistent with salmonid regulations in Section 7.50.
  2. The following federally recognized tribes (listed alphabetically) are exempt from the area and take regulations for Navarro River State Marine Conservation Area (subsection 632(b)(27)) and shall comply with all other existing regulations and statutes:
    • Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria
    • Cahto Indian Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria
    • Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Elem Indian Colony of Pomo Indians of the Sulphur Bank Rancheria
    • Guidiville Rancheria
    • Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake
    • Hopland Band of Pomo Indians of the Hopland Rancheria
    • Lower Lake Rancheria
    • Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria
    • Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Pinoleville Pomo Nation
    • Potter Valley Tribe
    • Redwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians
    • Round Valley Indian Tribes of the Round Valley Reservation
    • Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians
    • Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians

Additional Regulations: Waterfowl may be taken in accordance with the general waterfowl regulations (Sections 502, 550, 551, and 552).

Definitions: Take, Finfish, Pelagic Finfish, and Coastal Pelagic Species

Take (Section 86, Fish and Game Code and Title 14 Section 650) means pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to pursue, catch, capture, or kill.

Finfish (Title 14 Section 632(a)(2)), as defined for purposes of MPA regulations, are any species of bony fish or cartilaginous fish (sharks, skates and rays). Finfish do not include amphibians, invertebrates, plants or algae.

Pelagic finfish (Title 14 Section 632(a)(3)), as defined for purposes of MPA regulations, are a subset of finfish defined as: northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax), barracudas (Sphyraena spp.), billfishes* (family Istiophoridae), dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi), jack mackerel (Trachurus symmetricus), Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus), salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax), blue shark (Prionace glauca), salmon shark (Lamna ditropis), shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), thresher sharks (Alopias spp.), swordfish (Xiphias gladius), tunas (family Scombridae), including Pacific bonito (Sarda chiliensis), and yellowtail (Seriola lalandi). *Marlin is not allowed for commercial take.

Coastal pelagic species (Title 14 Section 1.39), as defined for purposes of MPA regulations, include the following: northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax), Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax), Pacific mackerel (Scomber japonicus), jack mackerel (Trachurus symmetricus) and market squid (Loligo opalescens).

Surf Smelt (CCR Title 14, Section 28.45)
(Night Smelt, Day Fish, Whitebait Smelt)
Limit: Twenty-five pounds in combination

Definitions: MPA, Marine Managed Area, and Special Closure

State Marine Reserve (Title 14 Section 632(a)(1)(A)): In a State Marine Reserve, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource, except under a scientific colleting permit issued pursuant to Section 650 or specific authorization from the commission for research, restoration, or monitoring purposes.

State Marine Park (Title 14 Section 632(a)(1)(B)): In a State Marine Park, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living or nonliving marine resource for commercial purposes. Any human use that would compromise protection of the species of interest, natural community or habitat, or geological, cultural, or recreational features, may be restricted by the commission as specified in subsection 632(b), areas and special regulations for use. The commission may issue scientific collecting permits pursuant to Section 650 or specifically authorize research, monitoring, and educational activities and certain recreational harvest in a manner consistent with protecting resource values.

State Marine Conservation Area (Title 14 Section 632(a)(1)(C)): In a State Marine Conservation Area, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for commercial or recreational purposes, or a combination of commercial and recreational purposes except as specified in subsection 632(b), areas and special regulations for use. The commission may issue scientific collecting permits pursuant to Section 650 or specifically authorize research, education, and recreational activities, and certain commercial and recreational harvest of marine resources, provided that these uses do not compromise protection of the species of interest, natural community, habitat, or geological features.

State Marine Recreational Management Area (Title 14 Section 632(a)(1)(D)): In a State Marine Recreational Management Area, it is unlawful to perform any activity that would compromise the recreational values for which the area may be designated. Recreational opportunities may be protected, enhanced, or restricted, while preserving basic resource values of the area. No other use is restricted unless specified in subsection 632(b), areas and special regulations for use.

Special Closure: An area designated by the Fish and Game Commission that prohibits access or restricts boating activities in waters adjacent to sea bird rookeries or marine mammal haul-out sites (restrictions vary).

General Rules that Apply to All MPAs

Access (Title 14 Section 632(a)(4))

Access into marine protected areas or marine managed areas for non-consumptive uses including but not limited to swimming, surfing, diving, boating, hiking and walking is allowed unless otherwise specified in individual MPA regulations.

Introduction of Species (Title 14 Section 632(a)(5))

Unless authorized by the commission or as a result of authorized fishing activities, the release of any fish or wildlife species, including domestic or domesticated species, or the introduction of any plant species, is prohibited. The department may reintroduce endemic species to marine protected areas or marine managed areas for management purposes.

Feeding of Fish and Wildlife (Title 14 Section 632(a)(6))

The feeding of fish and wildlife is prohibited except permitted scientific collection pursuant to Section 650 or as a result of authorized fishing within state marine conservation areas, state marine parks, and state marine recreational management areas, or unless feeding of fish is specifically authorized in subsection 632(b) for purposes of marine life viewing.

Anchoring (Title 14 Section 632(a)(7))

Vessels shall be allowed to anchor in any marine protected area or marine managed area with catch onboard unless otherwise specified in individual MPA regulations, areas and special regulations for use. Fishing gear shall not be deployed in the water while anchored in a state marine reserve. Fishing gear, except legal fishing gear used to take species identified as allowed for take in subsection 632(b), shall not be deployed in the water while anchored in a state marine recreational management area, state marine park or state marine conservation area. Anchoring regulations shall be consistent with federal law and allowances made for anchoring required by emergency or severe weather.

Transit or Drifting (Title 14 Section 632(a)(8))

Vessels shall be allowed to transit through MPAs and MMAs with catch onboard. Fishing gear shall not be deployed in the water while transiting through a state marine reserve. Fishing gear, except legal fishing gear used to take species identified as allowed for take in subsection 632(b), shall not be deployed in the water while transiting through a state marine recreational management area, state marine park or state marine conservation area.

Spearfishermen with or without catch shall be allowed to transit through marine protected areas and marine managed areas. While transiting areas that prohibit spearfishing or while in possession of species not identified as allowed for take in the area being transited, spearfishing gear shall be in an unloaded condition, not carried in hand, and the diver shall remain at the surface.

Water Quality Monitoring (Title 14 Section 632(a)(9))

Sampling of water, sediment and marine life, for water quality monitoring or pollution research, or as required in a Monitoring and Reporting Program of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit and Waste Discharge Requirements issued by the State or Regional Water Boards pursuant to the United States Clean Water Act and the California Water Code, is allowed within state marine reserves, state marine conservation areas, state marine parks, and state marine recreational management areas pursuant to a valid scientific collecting permit issued by the department.

Public Safety (Title 14 Section 632(a)(10))

Public safety activities, including installation, maintenance and/or seasonal placement and removal of safety-related artificial structures, including but not limited to lifeguard towers, are allowed within any MPA classification pursuant to any required federal, state and local permits, or as otherwise authorized by the department.

Tribal Take (Title 14 Section 632(a)(11))

"Federally recognized tribe" means any tribe on the List of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, published annually in the Federal Register. Any member of a federally recognized tribe authorized to take living marine resources from an area with area-specific take restrictions in subsection 632(b), when engaging in take within an authorized area shall possess on his person, in his immediate possession, or where otherwise specifically required by law to be kept, any valid license, report card, tag, stamp, validation, permit, or any other entitlement that is required in the Fish and Game Code, or required by other state, federal, or local entities, in order to take living marine resources. Members shall possess a valid photo identification card issued by a federally recognized tribe that contains expiration date, tribal name, tribal member number, name, signature, date of birth, height, color of eyes, color of hair, weight, and sex; and display any of the items listed above upon demand to any peace officer. Members taking living marine resources under this provision are subject to current seasonal, bag, possession, gear and size limits in existing Fish and Game Code statutes and regulations of the Commission, except as otherwise provided for in subsection 632(b). No member, while taking living marine resources pursuant to this section, may be assisted by any person who does not possess a valid tribal identification card and is not properly licensed to take living marine resources. Nothing in the regulation is intended to conflict with, or supersede, any state or federal law regarding the take of protected, threatened or endangered species.

Shore Fishing (Title 14 Section(a)(12))

Take from shore, or shore fishing, means take of living marine resources from shore, including beaches, banks, piers, jetties, breakwaters, docks, and other man-made structures connected to the shore. Unless specifically authorized in subsection 632(b), no vessel, watercraft (motorized or non-motorized), or floating device may be used to assist in the take, transport or possession of species taken while shore fishing, except that a float tube or similar flotation device may be used when taking abalone only.