Is Scuba Spearfishing Legal in California?

Scuba spearfishing is a popular activity in California due to the state’s abundant marine life. But before you decide to take the plunge and become a scuba spearer, there are some regulations you should be aware of.

Spearfishing is legal in California, but there are some restrictions. Only certain species of fish can be harvested and all fishing must comply with the rules of the specific area.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) requires that recreational divers use only pole spears, Hawaiian slings, or hand-held nets when fishing in state waters. In addition, divers may not use explosives or poisons for any purpose while spearfishing in California.

The CDFW also requires that divers obtain all necessary licenses and permits prior to participating in any spearfishing activity. This includes a valid saltwater fishing license as well as additional permits for any specific areas where spearing is allowed.

All spearfishers must also adhere to other relevant laws such as size limits, bag limits, closed seasons, and closed areas. Violations of these regulations may result in citations or fines from law enforcement officers.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that some areas have specific rules regarding the use of scuba gear when spearfishing. Scuba diving with fins is prohibited in many areas and divers must surface after every dive—even if they don’t catch anything—in order to be compliant with these regulations. Additionally, anyone under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult while participating in scuba spearfishing activities in California waters.

When done properly, scuba spearfishing can be a fun and rewarding activity for all skill levels—and it’s legal in California! By following the relevant regulations and obtaining the proper licenses and permits prior to diving, you can help ensure that your experience will be both enjoyable and safe for everyone involved.

Conclusion: Is Scuba Spearfishing Legal in California?

Yes! Scuba Spearfishing is legal in California as long as divers adhere to all relevant regulations set forth by the CDFW including obtaining necessary licenses/permits prior to diving, adhering to size limits/bag limits/closed seasons/closed areas, and following any other rules regarding the use of scuba gear when spearfishing.

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins