Is Spearfishing Illegal in California?

Spearfishing is a popular recreational activity in California, but the legality of this activity varies from area to area. In some cases, spearfishing is prohibited or restricted in certain areas due to environmental concerns or other regulations. In other cases, it may be allowed with certain restrictions in place.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is responsible for regulating spearfishing throughout the state. Generally, spearfishing is allowed in California waters as long as the activity is done within the limits of local and state laws. It is important to check with the local fish and game office before engaging in any kind of fishing activity, including spearfishing.

When it comes to specific regulations regarding spearfishing, there are a few key points to consider. First, some areas may have size limits on the fish that can be caught with a speargun or other type of device.

Second, certain areas may have restrictions on when spearfishing can take place, such as during spawning periods when fish are vulnerable to being overharvested. Third, some places require a special permit for spearfishing.

The best way to know what rules apply in your area is to contact your local CDFW office or consult an online resource such as This website has detailed information on the regulations pertaining to spearfishing throughout California.


In conclusion, while spearfishing is generally allowed in California waters, it is important to familiarize yourself with local and state laws regarding this activity before attempting it. It is also important to obtain any necessary permits or licenses if required by law. By following these guidelines and doing research beforehand, you can ensure that your fishing activities are legal and safe.

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Michael Allen