Effective January 1, 2019, Assembly Bill 1573 (Chapter 477, Statutes of 2018) added new California Fish and Game Code Section 1022, which provides for the development of a state Experimental Fishing Permit (EFP) Program to facilitate fishery-related exploration and experimentation to inform fisheries management. The new law requires the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) to establish by regulation an “expeditious process” for California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) review, public review and comment, Commission approval, and prompt Department issuance of EFPs. The legislation also repealed experimental gear permit provisions in Fish and Game Code Section 8606.
Under the new law, the Commission has the authority to approve commercial or recreational marine fishing activities for the purposes of research, education, limited testing, data collection, compensation fishing, conservation engineering, exploratory fishing, or any combination of these purposes that would otherwise be prohibited by Fish and Game Code or applicable regulations. The new law requires EFPs to be issued by the Department, subject to certain conditions and requirements deemed necessary by the Commission to ensure that activities authorized under an EFP are consistent with overarching state management goals and policies set forth in Fish and Game Code Section 7050 and any applicable fishery management plan.
The process for reviewing, approving, issuing, and administering EFPs for marine fishing activities are outlined in sections 91 and 704, Title 14, California Code of Regulations.
For more information about the EFP Program including instructions for how to apply, visit the Department's EFP website(opens in new tab)
Sub Sea Sonics Pop-up Gear Fishing
- Notice of EFP Application (PDF) - November 14, 2022
- Application - TBD
- Notice of Receipt of Recommendation and Consideration - TBD
- Proposed Terms and Conditions - TBD
- Discussion and Consideration Hearing - TBD
- Commission Decision - TBD
Exploratory Fishing for Deepwater Crabs
Deep-Set and Night-Set Buoy Gear Fishing