Sport anglers fishing from boats can no longer retain cabezon effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 16. This restriction does not impact shore-based fishing. The boat-based recreational harvest of cabezon is approaching the quota, so prohibiting retention of this species is necessary to keep total year-end impacts within the 16.1 mt quota.
Anglers have been encountering more cabezon this summer and the average weight is up again this year. Those fishing from shore may still retain a 1-fish sub-bag limit of legal sized cabezon (16 inches or greater). Sport anglers fishing from boats who catch a cabezon after Aug. 15 need to release it. Cabezon have an excellent survival rate (93 percent) when released.
Unlike rockfish, cabezon do not have a swim bladder, and therefore do not suffer from barotrauma (expansion or rupture of the swim bladder when fish are brought up from deep waters) that can cause stress, injury, and sometimes death. Most released cabezon survive and even reproduce again.