Recreational Fishing

Photo from the Haggerty Family Collection, at the RCDSMM

Photo from the Haggerty Family Collection, at the RCDSMM

Visit the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles or the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum or any other museum with a Native American collection in California and you will find fishhooks that date as far back as the 1580s. Recreational fishing is a sport that ties us to a time when food was caught rather than purchased or grown. Ocean fishing, shoreline fishing, and fishing in freshwater all require different techniques and approaches.

Because the number of people in our urban areas now greatly exceeds the number of fish in our waters, you must get a permit from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In the Santa Monica Mountains, fishing in creeks and rivers is illegal. Southern Steelhead Trout are on the endangered species list. Endangered species are always illegal to catch or take. Malibou Lake is upstream of Southern Steelhead Trout habitat and fishing is permitted only with permission of landowners.


Ethical Fishing by Lia Protopapadakis, M.E.M., the Bay Foundation

Know the Rules, Follow the Rules.  From gear restrictions, to seasons, to Marine Protected Areas – fishing regulations are in place to ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to fish for certain species. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife oversees fisheries and licenses locally.


Keep What You Can Eat, Release the Rest. Some fish like rockfish need to be helped back down to the appropriate depth when released. Learn how to effectively release rockfish before your next fishing trip.


Stash It, Don’t Trash It…especially fishing line, hooks, weights, and lures.


Be a Clean Boater. The California Department of Parks and Recreation provides information to keep you shipshape.


Go the Extra Mile and learn about your favorite fish and find out how healthy or troubled the population of the fish species is, how they are caught, where your fish was obtained.


It’s Not Always Bad News: because squid are moving southward in unprecedented numbers and predating other species, catching and eating squid is good for the ecosystem. Sea urchin are also predating more than is good for the whole ecosystem. So yes to calamari and uni.