North coast abalone hunters will need to put their pry bars down for the month of July as abalone season take its scheduled summer break.
The open season for the abalone runs from April 1 through June 30 with a one-month closure during July to give the resource a “breather” at a time of year when abalone take has traditionally been high. The season resumes on Aug. 1 and runs through Nov. 30.
Anyone caught taking abs in July is subject to expensive fines and penalties, which may include forfeiture of their dive gear, boat, and vehicle. Department of Fish and Wildlife officers will be patrolling the coastline to enforce the mid-season closure.
Abalone diving is a very challenging activity and proper training and safety guidelines should be followed by every diver. In the first 3 months of the 2015 season, a total of 6 abalone divers and shore collectors have lost their lives while trying to gather abs on the north coast. Some north coast dive shops offer specialized abalone diving classes, and all divers should dive with an experienced diver in very calm conditions.