The California Department of Fish and Game, Marine Division, has just compiled, completed and released the results of its 2007 California Recreational Fishing Survey, targeting saltwater anglers and their harvests.
Catches of more than 98,000 anglers were sampled and more than 195,000 fish identified. DFG samplers also measured more than 107,000 fish, weighing about 64,000 of them. For the year 2007, each public launch ramp and hoist was sampled 10 to 25 percent of the days, each man-made structure (piers, jetties, breakwalls) was sampled 10 percent of the days, each beach or bank site, 3 percent, and about 3 percent of partyboat trips were sampled.
Statewide, an estimated 3,736,034 angler trips were made, with the majority - 2,585,286 trips - made by Southern California anglers from Santa Barbara south to San Diego.
According to the DFG, the greatest number of fish taken by Southern California anglers consisted of 1,337,219 "tunas and mackerels" - presumably including greenback (or blue) mackerel, Spanish mackerel, albacore, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna and skipjack. Not surprisingly, the greatest number of fish taken by anglers off Central and Northern California totaled 1,013,197 assorted rockfish.
Other notable state catches, although not listed here in most-caught rankings, were:
Southern California, rockfish and sculpin, 601,032; sand and kelp (calico) bass, 290,506; barracuda, 111,626; and flatfish (halibut, sole, sanddab and turbot), 110,389.
Northern California, surfperches, 369,775; tuna and mackerel, 98,531; flatfishes, 69,665; and salmon, 48,381.
The most common type of trip off Southern California was bottomfishing, with 447,000 trips estimated; highly migratory trips totaled only 74,000. For Northern California, inshore trips topped all others with 132,000 estimated.