Abalone Harvesting Only in Your Dreams ~ For Now!
Remember when you dreamed of the annual spring opening of the abalone harvest season? April 1 was the day all divers along the northern coast of California longed for. It might be said it was a day of anticipation greater than Christmas! And just like Christmas, game wardens warned, “Be nice and not naughty!” Meaning, make sure you had your California tags and took no more than the year’s allowed limits of 18 total. But only a total of nine were allowed from Sonoma and Marin counties.
And just like Christmas in our house… you could not dive for your prize underwater packages before 8 AM.
The Recreational Red Abalone Fishery to Remain Closed Until 2026
Sadly, that joyous occasion has once again been postponed. The harvesting of Red Abalone remains closed for at least another 5 more years until 2026 due to the Red abalone stocks’ continued large-scale die-offs. For that reason, at its December meeting, the Fish and Game Commission extended the fishery closure for an additional five years to 2026. At that point, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will once again review the health of our intertidal zone, to determine if the red abalone population and their primary food source, the bull kelp have recovered sufficiently from the invasion of the purple urchin and ocean warming.
Red Abalone – Incentive for a Spring Vacation at Sea Ranch
Abalone diving was a particular incentive for a spring vacation at Sea Ranch. However, as you may recall, the Commission first closed the fishery in 2017 because of the mortality of red abalone populations due to environmental stressors. Now, all we can do is recall all our fish tales and relive our adventures of “popping off the big one- a 10”.
Now we only dream of a time where we may once again sit down in front of a plate of freshly harvested red abalone prepared that very day served on a platter while staying at Sea Ranch Abalone Bay Vacation Rental.
Picture Walk Down Memory Lane
There still remains plenty to do besides dive for abalone, but in this post, we take a moment to indulge in a little picture walk down abalone memory lane to offer up encouragement for Abalone Season 2026…should it actually happen.
Hope you enjoy our photo essay.
Abalone diving secrets
Many of our abs were taken out beyond Smugglers Cove in The Sea Ranch. Others are from Ft Ross. Abalone dreams used to come true in our favorite location for diving at Smugglers Cove.
Prepare for the game warden!
There was nothing like the panic of not finding your Abalone Tags! The last thing you wanted was to be busted for poaching. They were our diving passport to fun and great eating later. For that reason, we always kept them safely in their pouch around our necks.
Read about abalone before you go
Preparation secrets for your abalone harvest
Our namesake and the challenges for finding the yummy mollusk
Dinner prepared and served
Christening Abalone Bay
Abalone dreams of beating the record