Frequently Asked Questions

  1. While I am in offline mode or without cellular signal, many locations don't have maps at all. Aren't all the maps pre-loaded?

    We only pre-load all areas that have an Marine Protected Areas (MPA). This is done to reduce our app size. The entire California map is huge! Be assured that if you don't see the base map in offline mode, there is no MPA there to worry about. The base map will load from our server once you have cellular data back on, even if that area does not have an MPA.
  2. I just downloaded FishLegal. How do I get the GPS marker to show up so I know where I am at this moment?

    MPA tab and/or Regulation tab, on the top left, there is a hollow arrow, tap on that arrow to turn on/off the GPS marker.
  3. How do I find out the exact fishing regulations for where I am at right now?

    First go to Regulations tab, tap on the GPS marker arrow on the top left, this will show which general fishing zone you are in and the general regulations for that zone. Then go to MPA tab, if you are in any specific marine protected area, it will show the specific regulations for that MPA.
  4. When regulations change, how do you get the updates to me?

    When you launch FishLegal app, it will check for updates on our server. If any new update is found, it will automatically update the content. Alternatively, if the app is active in the background and you have wifi connection, it will check our server every night following the update protocol provided by Apple. Please note that we do NOT collect your personal information during the update process. The update process only refreshes the FishLegal content on your device to ensure you have the latest regulations.
  5. I have a fish photo that shows the fish better than what you have in your app, will you include it in the app to better help our fellow fisherman?

    Absolutely! Make sure you own the copyright of this picture. You will grant us a royalty-free, irrevocable and non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, display, and redistribute the picture. Please email to Thank you for your support!
  6. I am leaving to fish a place that has no cell phone signal. How do I prepare this app to get the most recent law changes?

    Just open the FishLegal app once when you still have data connection, WiFi or cellular data doesn’t matter, the app will automatically fetch all the latest changes from our server and store it on your phone. When you are outside cellular range, the app will give you the latest info based on the most recent update.
  7. Can FishLegal app work on iPad and how can I find it?

    FishLegal can work on iPad. You can find FishLegal in App Store on your iPad by entering "FishLegal" in search box and select "iPhone only" (see this screen shot ).

    Please note that only a portion of iPad models have GPS (the ones that support SIM cards have built-in GPS). Therefore GPS positioning won't work in the field for iPads that do not have GPS, but everything else will work.
  8. I am not seeing all the news updates that I saw on California Fish & Wildlife website. For example, I just received a fisheries update via email from DFW regarding Dungeness Crab, why do I not see this update, on FishLegal?

    This particular Dungeness Crab update is in regards to commercial fishing. Commercial fishing is of different rules and seasons while this app deals with recreational sports fishing regulations.

    Not all the news from DFW will be included but anything affecting salt-water recreational fishing will be. Also, we anticipate regulation changes before DFW even posts them on their website. We will correct their occasional website mistakes too (for example, 2017 regulation interpretation for shore fishermen and divers in regards to California scorpionfish closure.)

    Whenever there is an update, it will occur in the background for the app. You won't see anything but the content is updated.
  9. I was in an area with poor cell phone signal, 1 bar. The map loads very slowly, is there a way to speed up the map?

    Absolutely! When the cell signal is poor, it's recommended that you simply turn on your phone's Airplane Mode. This way, the app will only load from the map sets that are already preloaded on your phone.
  10. What is Rockfish Conservation Area and why using a depth finder while rockfishing is not enough?

    RCAs (Rockfish Conservation Areas) are used to minimize contact with deeper-dwelling species of rockfish needing protection from fishing. The RCA boundaries are defined by straight lines connecting federal waypoints which cut across water in various depths. Recreational take of those groundfish species subject to RCA restrictions is prohibited seaward of these lines regardless of depth.

    A CDFW wildlife officer reported that "Recently we are seeing an uptick in people fishing for rockfish outside of the federally defined 100-fathom contour. Anglers have expressed their frustration that there is no way for them to know where the 100-fathom line is because it does not follow 100 fathoms exactly. We have found numerous spots outside the line that are much higher than 100 fathoms, and places inside the line that are much deeper than 100 fathoms."

    These boundary lines are now built into the app and will automatically update to reflect the latest regulation change. The lines can be shown even when you are out on the ocean, with no cellular signal. Just make sure you always stay inside the RCA boundary while rockfishing to avoid unpleasant surprises!