Where To Catch Sea Urchins in Southern California?

If you lived in Southern California and learned about the sea urchin delicacy, making you crave to taste one, you should catch them directly.

Or, if you are a seafood enthusiast looking for abundant opportunities to catch sea urchins in Southern California but need help finding where to go, this is the article for you.

In this article, I will not only help you learn where to catch sea urchin in Southern California but also about California fishing regulations and popular sea urchin spots. First, Let’s learn about sea urchin habitats in South California or where to catch sea urchins in South California.

Where To Catch Sea Urchin in Southern California?

Where To Catch Sea Urchins in Southern California?

Kelp Forests

You should know that kelp forests are one of the primary areas where sea urchins thrive. Kelp forests are nothing else than vibrant underwater ecosystems that you can find along the Southern California coast very easily.

These underwater forests may look a bit assy because of large brown kelp species like giant cal, but you have more chances of finding sea urchins there because they thrive in these habitats.

Sea urchins often graze on the kelp and create a perfect balance in the ecosystem. Within the kelp forest, you can find a few areas particularly abundant with sea urchins.

For example, you can find abundant sea urchins in the water surrounding Santa Catalina Island. Santa Catalina Island is located in the Southwest of Los Angeles, particularly popular for its dense sea urchin population.

In addition to this, Anacapa Island, part of Channel Island National Park, offers many excellent fishing sports within its kelp forest-covered coastline, where you can hunt and catch sea urchins.

Rocky Reefs

Another great place to look out for sea urchins on Southern California beaches is the Rocky Reefs. Generally, the Rocky Reef provides an ideal habitat for sea urchins to live and thrive in.

These environments consist of many Rocky outcrops, boulders, and cliffs submerged in the coastal waters. For example, the Rocky shoreline of the Palos Verdes offers a prime spot for fishing. It Will also provide many opportunities to get sea urchins while enjoying the beautiful coastal scenery.

You can also travel to Palos Verdes Peninsula, situated along the Southern California coastline and renowned for its Rocky Reef and abundant sea urchin population. If you’re wondering “Are Sea Urchins Reef Safe“, read this: Do Sea Urchins Harm Coral?.

Compared to the sea bed, you are more likely to find sea urchins clinging to the rock, where they feed on algae and other Marine vegetation.

Subtidal Areas

You can also check out the underwater region that tends to be continuously submerged even during the low tides. Subtidal areas are also habitats for many marine life.

However, ensure you reach those spots carefully because these areas may vary significantly in depth. Even though sea urchins can be found in subtidal zones, they are particularly abundant on Rocky substrates or sea floors covered with algae.

If you are considering accessing subtidal areas to catch sea urchins, prioritize your safety first. You can also consider visiting popular subtidal locations to catch sea urchins, like Laguna Beach and La Jolla Cove.

However, ensure you know about the tide’s currents and potential hazards while entering those areas. Try to get a local companion from that area to help you find the best quality sea urchins and avoid any potential danger or hazard.

Now let’s look at these popular locations to increase the chances of finding and catching sea urchins.

3 Popular Sea Urchin Fishing Spots in Southern California

Even though I have mentioned 3notable spots only, you can also find several popular locations for sea urchins fishing in Southern California. The chances of finding sea urchins at an abundant rate are high in this location mentioned below.

Channel Islands National Park

Have you ever visited Channel Island National Park? If not, then you should visit whenever you get a chance. It is primarily located off the Southern California coast and is considered a prime destination for fishing, including sea urchin catch.

It is a Marine sanctuary that is boasted diverse marine life, including an abundant sea urchin population. Within the park, you will find excellent sports like Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island, providing many opportunities to catch sea urchins.

However, ensure you are only planning a fishing trip or catching sea urchins during the spring or summer months when sea conditions are generally favorable and considered safe.

Catalina Island

Catalina Island is another great Island where you can find many sea urchin varieties for your dining experience. Even though Catalina Island is located in the Southwest of Los Angeles, you should visit it once for its renowned natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

It will also give you an excellent prospect and opportunity for sea urchin fishing. Many areas at Catalina Island, like Emerald Bay Or Lover’s Cove, are particularly known for their sea urchin population.

However, there are a few local regulations as well as guidance that you must follow. It is important to ensure compliance and sustainable fishing practices.

Palos Verdes Peninsula

One of my favorite sports for fishing, when I visit the coast of Los Angeles County is the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Palos Verdes Peninsula is situated along Los Angeles County’s coastline and provides diverse fishing options.

It also boasts an abundant sea urchin population to catch for seafood enthusiasts. It has many Rocky reefs along its Peninsula, which harbor ample sea urchin population.

There are also a few specific areas where you are more likely to find expensive varieties of sea urchins, like Abalone Cove & Portuguese Bend. Therefore, if you plan to make a fishing trip to this kind of region, visit it with your family to yield a memorable experience.

Here, you will get fresh sea urchins and other varieties of marine life and seafood that you can enjoy or pair with sea urchin dishes.

Regulations and Licensing for Sea Urchin Fishing

Thanks to Southern California, they have ensured the sustainability of the sea urchin population to maintain a healthy Marine environment.

Proper regulations and licenses are in place for both commercial and recreational fishing. Before you try to catch sea urchins on the coastline of Southern California, let’s take a quick look at these things.

California Fishing Regulations

Thanks to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), who have successfully established proper fishing regulations and seasons to manage marine resources effectively.

You must pay attention to these regulations because they outline the allowed fishing period, size limit, and bag limits for the sea urchins. As of 2023, the recreational daily bag limit for purple sea urchins in Southern California is considered to be 35 per person only.

If you are a fisherman, you must adhere to the equipment and gear requirements, like using only hand or certain diving tools to catch searches.

It is also important that you consult the CDFW website or directly with the local fishing authority to stay updated on the current regulations and requirements before trying to catch sea urchins there.

Commercial Fishing Licences

If you are looking to catch sea urchins for commercial interest, you will have to obtain a proper license which is necessary.

Commercial fishermen must meet specific requirements, which include demonstrating their fishing experience and knowledge of Marine conservation practices.

You will also have to consider the application process and the cost of a commercial fishing license, which can vary. This is why I advise contacting the CDFW directly or relevant authorities for more detailed information.

As a responsible commercial fisherman, you must also have reporting and compliance obligations to track your catch.

Regular monitoring, as well as reporting, helps the authority to monitor the sea urchins’ population as well as implement necessary conservation measures.

Recreational Fishing Permits

If you are a recreational fisherman who wishes to harvest sea urchins, you will still need a permit. Even though this permit has a few restrictions and limitations like daily bag limit or certain areas where fishing is permitted, you must do it.

You need to familiarize yourself with this regulation to attempt to catch sea urchins.

Also, ensure that you are following the responsible fishing practices to protect our ecosystem, like limiting the number of sea urchins you are harvesting and aiming to maintain a balanced ecosystem. Being responsible, we should also allow the sea urchin population to thrive.


Even though Southern California offers lots of opportunities to catch sea urchins, it is important that you understand the habitat regulations and the techniques involved & allowed to catch them.

If you want to enhance your sea urchin catching and fishing experience while preserving the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem, contact the local authorities to obtain the right license or to gain the current rules & regulations information you need to know.

No matter whether you are catching sea urchins for recreational or commercial purposes, you should always follow responsible fishing practices. If we respect our nature, the sustainability of the sea urchin population will be much better and continuously decline for generations to come, which is not right.

I hope I have given you all the information you need on the question: Where To Catch Sea Urchins in Southern California?

If you find this article helpful and informative, I suggest you share it. Your share will not only help people get aware of the popular spots to catch sea urchins in southern California but also know about the rules & regulations that are important before attempting to fish.

If you have any other concerns regarding where to catch sea urchins in southern California, drop a comment below. Do check our other helpful guide on sea urchins shared on this website. See you in the next post, till then, take care and goodbye.

Similar Posts