Hawaii Division Aquatic Resources

Regulated Fishing Areas on Hawai`i

Hawaii Island

Marine Life Conservation Districts
Keakakekua Bay
Lapakahi
Old Kona Airport
Waialea Bay
Waiopae Tidepools

Hilo Harbor, Wailoa River, and Wailuku River
HAR 13-47, HRS 188-29, HRS 188-34
Hilo Harbor, Wailoa River, and Wailuku River

Location: "Hilo Harbor" refers to that portion of the bay in Hilo bounded seaward by the breakwater, and a line from the tip of the breakwater southwestward to Alealea Point. "Wailoa River" is that part of Wailoa River bounded by a line drawn across the mouth of the river and the footbridge at the mouth of Waiakea Pond, and includes Waiolama Canal upstream to the highest wash of the tidal water. "Wailuku River" is that part of Wailuku River between the Mamalahoa Highway bridge and Wainaku Avenue bridge.

Permitted
Use of thrownets, opae nets not exceeding three feet in any dimension, and nehu nets not longer than fifty feet to take nehu for family consumption or bait purposes.
Taking of crabs with baited lines, provided that a dip net may be used to land crabs lured to the bait, or with not more than five crab nets not exceeding two feet in longest straight line dimension and stretched mesh of not less than two inches, provided such nets are attended to at all times.
Commercial Marine licensees with a bait license may take baitfishes.
Licensed pond owners or operators may take young mullet (pua) or other small fish for stocking their fishpond, except in Wailoa River.

Prohibited
Use of nets, except as indicated in permitted activities above.
To catch or possess more than 20 fish of all species of mullet, moi and ulua (including papio and omilu), provided such bag limit shall not include more than 15 moi. Mullet and moi may not be taken during their closed seasons.
To fish with more than two poles with one line each, or two handlines, or with more than two hooks or lures per line.
To use traps.
To take or possess more than three Samoan crabs per day, or any Samoan crab less than six inches in width, and kuahonu (white) crabs measuring less than four inches in width across the back, or any crab with external eggs or with missing or mutilated abdomen or tail, or with a puncture wound; also, to spear crabs.
To snag any fish.
To use or possess a thrownet or spear in Wailoa River.

Waiakea Public Fishing Area
HAR 13-63
Waiakea Public Fishing Area

Location: The Waiakea Public Fishing Area includes that portion of the Waiakea fish pond in the Wailoa River State Park in Hilo, south of the footbridge over Wailoa River, including the flood control channel and Mahohuli fish pond. A boat launching ramp is located within the park. Rules of the state parks system also apply to the use of the facility.

Permitted
To fish with not more than one line and one lure, or two single hooks in tandem no more than two inches apart.
To use a dip net not exceeding 18 inches in diameter to land crabs lured to baited lines or to catch shrimp for bait purposes.
To fish for, take or possess an overall total of 20 fishes that include aholehole, ulua (including papio) and mullet, provided mullet shall not comprise more than ten fishes.
With a valid Freshwater Game Fishing License, to fish for, take or possess any introduced freshwater game fishes.

Prohibited
To operate boats for purposes other than fishing; to use boats constructed of material other than wood unless provided with flotation to render the boat unsinkable; for any juvenile under 13 years old to operate any boat unless accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older; to propel any boat with a fossil fuel motor; to operate any boat between 7:30 pm and 6:30 am; or to operate a boat at any time without a life preserver for each occupant.
To permanently moor any boat.
To swim, water ski or engage in any other activity requiring immersion.
To snag any fish.
To enter into or fish in any area posted as fishing reserves or prohibited fishing zones.
To fish for mullet during the closed season.
To take or possess more than 3 Samoan crabs per day, or any Samoan crab less than 6 inches in width.
To possess or use a spear.

Kawaihae Harbor
HAR 13-55
Kawaihae Harbor

Location: Kawaihae Harbor is located at Kawaihae, South Kohala, on the northwest coast of the island of Hawaii. Restrictions apply to the south small boat basin as indicated in the map at right.

Permitted
To take any legal size fish in season with not more than two lines, or two poles or rods and lines.
To use hand nets not exceeding three feet in any dimension to take shrimp or nehu for bait purposes, or to land fish already hooked.

Prohibited
To snag or attempt to snag any fish.
To use any type of net, except handnets as indicated in permitted activities above.

Puako Bay and Puako Reef
HAR 13-54
Puako Bay and Puako Reef

Location: The Puako Bay and Puako Reef Fisheries Management Area includes that portion of the reef from the shoreline at the westernmost edge of the boat ramp, along a line drawn parallel with the ramp seaward to the edge of the fringing reef north of Puako Point, then southwesterly following the fringing reef a minimum seaward distance of 250 yards or to the edge of the fringing reef if one occurs beyond 250 yards, to a line due west of the small cove at the southern end of Puako Beach Road.

Permitted
To possess aboard any boat or watercraft transiting through the area any legal fishing gear and any fish or other aquatic organism taken outside of the area.
With a permit to engage in activities otherwise prohibited by law for scientific, propagation or other purposes.

Prohibited
To possess or use any type of net except thrownet.
To engage or attempt to engage in fish feeding.

Kailua Bay
HAR 13-54
Kailua Bay

Location: The Kailua Bay Fisheries Management Area includes that portion of Kailua Bay enclosed by a straight line drawn from Kukaili-moku Point to the seawall of the Royal Kona Resort. A line from the northern edge of the channel at "Thurston Point" to the corner ("Wiha Point") south of Hulihee Palace and north of the former Kona Inn Hotel separates "Zone A" in the northwestern portion of the FMA from the seaward "Zone B", as shown.

Permitted
To take any legal size fish in season with not more than two lines, or two rods and lines, and with not more than two hooks each.
To take crabs with not more than 10 nets, provided the nets are not more than two feet in diameter.
To take shrimp for bait with a hand net, provided that the net is not more than three feet in any dimension.
To possess any spear or thrownet while transiting Zone A.
Within Zone B only, to use nets of mesh size not less than 3 inches to take fish, or akule net to take akule only, provided that nets shall not be in the water between sunset and sunrise, or remain in the water except during active retrieval or unloading of fish from that net.
Within Zone B only, to use spears or thrownets.
Commercial Marine licensees with a Bait License may take nehu and iao for bait purposes.
Licensed pond owners or operators may take young mullet (pua) or other small fish for stocking their fishpond.

Prohibited
To snag or attempt to snag any fish.
To herd, chase or paipai fish out of Zone A by swimming, diving or from a boat, which results in fish being taken by net.
To otherwise fish for or take aquatic life, except as indicated in permitted activities above.
To engage or attempt to engage in fish feeding.

Keauhou Bay
HAR 13-57
Keauhou Bay

Location: The Keauhou Bay Fisheries Management Area is that portion of the bay bounded by a straight line drawn from Haiku'ua Point to Kaukala'ela'e Point.

Permitted
To take any legal size fish in season with not more than two lines at the same time.
To use hand nets not exceeding three feet in any dimension to take shrimp for bait purposes only, or to land fish already hooked.
To use thrownets in the zone bounded by a straight line from "Doc Hill" to the north end stairs in the wall fronting the volleyball court, as shown in the map above.

Prohibited
To snag or attempt to snag any fish.
To use or possess nets, except as indicated in permitted activities above.
To herd or chase any fish out of the area by swimming, diving or using a boat.
To engage or attempt to engage in fish feeding.

Kiholo Bay
HAR 13-60
Kiholo Bay

Location: The Kiholo Bay Fisheries Management Area includes that part of Kiholo Bay enclosed by a straight line drawn from Nawaikulua Point to Hou Point as shown, including the lagoon known as Waina-nali`i Pond, but not Luahinewai Pond.

Permitted
Aquarium fish permittees may use small-meshed nets other than thrownets, provided the person is within visual range of the net at all times.

Prohibited
To possess gill nets within the Fisheries Management Area.
To engage or attempt to engage in fish feeding.

Kona Coast
HAR 13-58
Kona Coast

Location: "Kona Coast" refers to the following four Fisheries Management Area Zones on the southwestern portion of Hawaii, each bounded by two lines extending seaward at right angles from shore and marked by signs on shore: (a) the "Wawaloli Zone", from south of Wawaloli Beach to south of Wawahi-waa Point; (b) the "Papawai Bay Zone", from Keahuolu Point to the northwestern end of the runway of the Old Kona Airport; (c) the "Kailua Bay Zone", from Kukailimoku Point near the Kailua lighthouse, to the former swimming pool at the Kona Inn Shopping Village; and (d) the "Red Hill Zone", from Puu Ohau ("Red Hill") to Onouli. The seaward boundary is at a depth of 100 fathoms (600 ft).

Permitted
To catch fish in the Zones with legal fishing gear for personal consumption.

Prohibited
To collect any aquarium fish within the Zones.
To engage in fish feeding within the Zones, except for `opelu
fishing.

South Kona (Miloli`i)
HAR 13-95-18
South Kona (Miloli`i)

Location: The waters off the coast of South Kona between the Ki`ilae-Keokea boundary and the Kapua-Kaulanamauna boundary.

Prohibited
To fish for or take opelu with fish or animal bait, except with hook and line.

West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area
HAR 13-60.4
West Hawaii Regional Fisheries Management Area.

Click on map to enlarge.

Location: The West Hawaii Regional Fishery Management Area (FRA) extends along the west coast of the Island of Hawaii from Ka Lae, Ka'u (South Point) to 'Upolu Point, North Kohala, and from the highwater mark on shore seaward to the limit of the State's management authority. It includes the Fish Replenishment Areas and Netting Restricted Areas depicted in the accompanying maps and described fully in the administrative rule, as well as all other Marine Life Conservation Districts and Fisheries Management Areas along the West Hawaii shoreline.

Permitted
All types of fishing, except as indicated in prohibited activities below.

Prohibited within the West Hawaii Regional FMA
To take, kill, possess, sell, or offer for sale, any specimen of the following: Hawaiian stingray, broad stingray, pelagic stingray, spotted eagle ray, blacktip reef shark, gray reef shark, whitetip reef shark, tiger shark, whale shark, horned helmet, and Triton's trumpet. See administrative rule for species list.
To possess more than five yellow tang larger than 4.5 inches total length, or more than five yellow tang smaller than 2 inches total length.
To engage in SCUBA spearfishing, possess both SCUBA gear and a spear at the same time, or possess SCUBA gear and any specimen of speared aquatic life at the same time.
To possess aquarium collecting gear, or take or possess any specimen of aquatic life for aquarium purposes between sunset and sunrise, without a valid aquarium permit or in violation of its conditions, or while on a vessel that does not conform to registration requirements.
To possess or use any net or container underwater to capture or hold aquatic life alive for aquarium purposes, which is not labeled with the commercial marine license number(s) of the person(s) owning, possessing, or using the equipment.

Prohibited in selected areas
Fish feeding within any of the Fish Replenishment Areas (FRA), Netting Restricted Areas (NRA) or any other West Hawaii Regional managed area.
While within any Fish Replenishment Area, Marine Life Conservation District, or Fisheries Management Area (other than Kiholo Bay FMA):
To collect aquatic life for aquarium purposes.
To possess aquarium collecting gear, or take or possess any aquatic life for aquarium purposes, except aboard a vessel in active transit through those areas, provided no collecting gear is in the water during transit. Boats adrift, anchored, or moored are not considered to be in transit.
Lay net fishing within the following Fish Replenishment Areas (FRA) and Netting Restricted Areas (NRA): Puako-Anaeho'omalu FRA, Ka'upulehu FRA, Kikaua Point-Makole'a NRA (Kekaha Kai State Park); Nenue Point (Red Hill FRA)-Kealakekua Bay NRA, Hanamalo Point-Kanewa'a Point NRA, Kanonohe-Kalipoa NRA, Kaloko-Honokohau FRA. Exception: lay net fishing is allowed in Kaloko-Honokohau FRA using a locally constructed, handmade lay net of natural fibers, which is registered and used in accordance with other lay net restrictions (below)

Lay nets
Possession or use of the following is prohibited:
A lay net not registered with DLNR.
More than one lay net per person.
Lay nets exceeding 125 feet in length or seven feet in stretched height; with stretched mesh less than 2-3/4 inches (three inches in Kailua Bay FMA); two or more nets joined for combined total length exceeding 250 feet.
Multi-panel nets.
A lay net without at least four identification tags as specified by DLNR; tags must be attached at each end of float and lead lines.

Lay net fishing
The following is prohibited:
Use of a lay net not marked by buoys as specified.
Use of a lay net within 1,200 feet of another lay net (except two joined nets).
Use of a lay net in water more than 80 feet deep.
Use of a lay net for more than four hours during one set, or within 24 hours after the end of a set, or to set another lay net within 24 hours.
To leave a lay net unattended for more than 1/2 hour
Retrieval in a manner that causes coral breakage from its attachment or into smaller pieces.
Failure to inspect entire net within two hours after beginning of set.
To discard or leave any lay net or portion thereof in the water longer than four hours.
To falsely identify a lay net.

Persons using a vessel or float may use a total maximum of 250 feet of lay net, provided that at least two people are present and associated with the same vessel or float.

If a registered lay net is no longer in the possession of the registered owner, the owner is responsible for the lay net until a report is filed and confirmed by DLNR.

Further details regarding lay net fishing can be obtained from DAR at time of registration.

Aquarium collecting permits and vessel registration
A West Hawaii aquarium permit is required to engage in aquarium collecting activities.
Holders of an aquarium permit may only take certain species, and there are daily bag limits for Achilles Tang and certain sized Kole. A copy of the "white list" and other restrictions may be obtained at the Kona DAR office or by downloading the administrative rule.
All aquarium-fishing vessels shall:
Be registered yearly with DLNR to take marine life for that purpose.
Permanently display the letters "AQ" on both sides as specified by rule.
Fly a stiffened flag or pennant with the letter "A" as specified.
Display a dive flag when divers are in the water.
In the event an aquarium collecting vessel becomes inoperable, the operator shall immediately notify DOCARE or the United States Coast Guard by VHF radio and/or cellular phone.

Further details regarding aquarium collecting can be obtained from DAR at time of registration.

Site descriptions and boundaries can be obtained from the administrative rule.