Code Section Group

Fish and Game Code - FGC

DIVISION 6. FISH [5500 - 9101]

  ( Division 6 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )


  ( Part 3 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )

CHAPTER 3. Nets [8601 - 8890]

  ( Chapter 3 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )

ARTICLE 1. Generally [8601 - 8609]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )


Any net or line used to take fish that is anchored to the bottom on each end and is not free to drift with the tide or current is a set net or set line. Any net so placed that it will catch or impound fish within a bight, bay, or estuary, or against the shore upon the receding of the tide is a set net. Fyke nets, shrimp nets, or crab nets are not set nets.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 655, Sec. 1.)


(a) Set nets and set lines shall be marked at both ends with buoys displaying above their waterlines, in numerals at least 2 inches high, the fisherman’s identification number.

(b) Each piece or panel of a set net shall be marked along the corkline of the net, in a manner determined by the department to adequately identify the net, with the fisherman’s identification number. The distance between the markings shall not exceed 45 fathoms. If the lost or abandoned net is recovered by the department or persons designated by the department, the commission may require the owner of the lost or abandoned net to pay for all recovery costs. The commission may revoke the owner’s set net permit issued pursuant to Section 8681 for failure to comply with this subdivision.

(c) If a person is unable to recover a set net or portion of a set net, the person shall contact one of the department offices located in the City of Belmont, Monterey, Los Alamitos, or San Diego, not later than 72 hours after returning to port following the loss and shall report all of the following information:

(1) The date and time when the set net was lost.

(2) The location, including depth, where the net was lost.

(3) A description of the lost net, including the mesh size, length, height, and target species, and whether anchors remain attached to the net.

(4) The name and fisherman’s identification number of the person owning the net.

(5) The name and fisherman’s identification number of the person fishing with the net, if different from paragraph (4).

(6) The name and California Fish and Game number of the vessel from which the lost net was being fished.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 753, Sec. 21. Effective January 1, 2002.)


(a)  The footrope (leadline) of any set net shall have a breaking strength of at least 50 pounds less than the combined breaking strength of the headrope and corkline.

(b) This section shall become operative on August 15, 1990.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 655, Sec. 3. Section operative August 15, 1990, by its own provisions.)


The length of the meshes of any net shall be determined by taking at least four meshes and measuring them inside the knots or, in the case of knotless nets, inside the points at which the meshes are joined while they are simultaneously drawn closely together.

(Amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 136.)


It is unlawful to use or operate or assist in using or operating any net, trap, line, spear, or appliance, other than in connection with angling, in taking fish, except as provided in this chapter or Chapter 4 of this part.

(Enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456.)


It is unlawful willfully to disturb or injure any net, trap, or other apparatus to take fish which is being legally used in the waters of this state.

This section does not apply to employees of the department while they are engaged in the performance of their official duties.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 220, Sec. 1.)


The department or any person authorized by it may use any net or other appliance in any district for the purpose of recovering fish from overflowed areas or landlocked sloughs or ponds where they have been left isolated by receding streams or floodwaters.

(Enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456.)


(a) The Legislature finds and declares that the use of nearshore trawl nets was authorized through the experimental gear permit process and the alternative gear development program as a potential alternative to the use of gill and trammel nets in areas where the use of that gear type has been prohibited.

(b) The Legislature, in considering the needs of user groups, requires the use of nearshore trawl nets to be phased out effective January 1, 1993.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1370, Sec. 29. Effective October 27, 1992.)


It is unlawful for any person possessing or operating any type of net, trap, or line that is subject to federal groundfish regulations adopted pursuant to the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C., Sec. 1801 et seq.) to possess or land any load of fish in violation of those federal groundfish regulations.

(Added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1048, Sec. 7. Effective September 26, 1983.)


Notwithstanding Sections 8660, 8665, 8724, and 8780, the commission may, after a public hearing, when it determines that it is in the best interests of the state’s marine resources and fisheries, adopt regulations, authorizing the use of nets not less than 75 feet from any private pier, wharf, jetty, breakwater, or dock, and restricting the use of the nets within 750 feet of any public pier. However, nothing in this section authorizes the commission to adopt regulations which would extend beyond the maximum of 750 feet the area in which the use of nets is prohibited, as specified in Sections 8660, 8665, 8724, and 8780, or which would prohibit the use of any nets within 75 feet of any private pier, wharf, jetty, breakwater, or dock if that use of the net is permitted by law.

(Added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 431, Sec. 1.)


The Legislature finds and declares that:

(a) The central California nearshore gill and trammel net fisheries for California halibut (Paralichthys californicus) and white croaker (Genyonemus lineatus) and the use of gill nets in these fisheries are expanding at a rapid rate.

(b) The incidental take of certain species of seabirds and marine mammals in set gill and trammel nets could be increasing to a level which may be adversely impacting the viability of the populations of nontarget species.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 564, Sec. 6.)

FGCFish and Game Code - FGC1.