Category Archives: Archery

Golden Sturgeon?

(CDFW photo)

Ryan Mayfield holding a white sturgeon (CDFW photo by Harry Morse)

Question: I caught a couple of sturgeon recently that were golden around the edges of the fins. I called them “golden sturgeon” but have never heard of sturgeon being this color. They were 40-45 inches in length. Could they just be young white sturgeon, or are they something else? (Dan)

Answer: According to California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Sturgeon Monitoring Program Manager Marty Gingras, California has only green and white sturgeon, and those species have never been hybridized. We’ve never seen or received reports of a white sturgeon that looked golden. A “golden sturgeon” is most likely a green sturgeon that appears a bit golden. Please remember that green sturgeon may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 5.81(b)).

To differentiate between green and white sturgeon, here are a few quick and easy tips:

  • Dorsal scutes (bony plates) – Greens have 1-2 dorsal scutes trailing the dorsal fin, but on white sturgeon they are absent
  • Vent – Greens have the vent between the pelvic fins, but on white sturgeon it’s found toward the tail
  • Belly stripe – Present on greens but absent on white sturgeon.
  • Scutes along the side – Greens have 23-30 scutes while whites have 38-48

The first three characteristics above are most readily apparent and should help correctly identify the species. Sometimes the bluntness of the snout and location of barbels is mentioned, but these are variable and somewhat subjective.

You mentioned the fish you caught were 40-45 inches in length and you wondered if they were young. Unfortunately, not much is known about green sturgeon, but white sturgeon of that size are usually 10-15 years old, and quite likely have not yet  spawned for the first time.

For more information on sturgeon, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Resources/Sturgeon/.


Are lighted arrow nocks legal for bowhunting?
Question: I would like to use luminocks or nocturnal lighted nocks on my hunting arrows to help better recover arrows after the shot. I’ve heard current laws were being amended to allow the use of lighted nocks on arrows for bowhunting. I plan to hunt for bear and deer but want to be sure they are legal in California? (Carl)

Answer: Yes. As of July 1, 2013, the following regulation was amended to specifically allow lighted nocks. Please see the last sentence below.

CCR Title 14, section 354(c): For the taking of big game, hunting arrows and crossbow bolts with a broad head type blade which will not pass through a hole seven-eighths inch in diameter shall be used. Mechanical/retractable broad heads shall be measured in the open position. For the taking of migratory game birds, resident small game, furbearers and nongame mammals and birds any arrow or crossbow bolt may be used except as prohibited by subsection (d) below. Notwithstanding the general prohibition of the use of lights in Fish and Game Code section 2005, arrows or crossbow bolts with lighted nocks that do not emit a directional beam of light may be used.


Video while fishing
Question: I am an avid videographer and I like to take a lot of video while fishing. I recently purchased a camera mount that will allow me to take underwater fishing videos while trolling. My plan is to set this up on a separate pole with heavy line to drag behind the boat as we fish. The only thing on the end of the line will be the weight and camera. There will be no lures or hooks on the line. The video will not be used in an attempt to take fish. Instead, I will use it later when I edit videos of my trip to provide hook up and action scenes. Is any of this against fish and game regulations? Can having the camera mounted at the end of the line on a pole not being used for fishing be considered as another rod in the water? Just want to make sure I am not doing anything wrong in case we get checked by a warden. (Gerry M.)

Answer: As long as the rod is used only for video equipment and is not as an additional rod to take salmon, this is all legal.


Replacing lost deer tags
Question: After a long search I am certain I have lost my deer tags. How do I get replacements before my hunt next Saturday? (Jim C., Yuba City)

Answer: Replacing a lost or destroyed big game tag (deer, bear and pig tags) can be done only through a CDFW license sales office and requires signing an affidavit and paying a fee of $9.79.  The duplicate tag can be obtained in person or through the mail.

#  #  #

Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Please contact her at Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

GPS Collars on Dogs While Hunting?

gr-sh-pointer_wilson1

GPS collars may be used on dogs only when bird hunting but are prohibited when hunting mammals (Photo by Carrie Wilson)

Question: My dog is often hard to follow when we’re hiking through heavy cover. Is it legal to use GPS tracking devices on dogs while hunting? (Mark M.)

Answer: GPS collars may be used on dogs only when bird hunting but are prohibited when hunting mammals. Electronic dog retrieval collars employing the use of global positioning system equipment (devices that utilize satellite transmissions) are prohibited on dogs used for the pursuit/take of mammals (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 265(d)(2)).


Lighted fishing lures
Question: I have begun to see fishing lures for sale on eBay that are LED-lighted. Are these legal in California? I fish the Sacramento and Feather rivers. (Donna B.)

Answer: Yes. There are no prohibitions against using LED-lighted lures in either fresh or salt water.


Can I carry a gun for protection during archery-only season?
Question: I am an avid bow hunter and spend most of the archery season stalking deer and bear in the deep canyons, and walking from ridgeline to ridgeline carrying nothing but my bow and my two knives.

However, I have not been able to continue my tradition of solo crosscountry hunting trips recently due to the high numbers of marijuana gardens being found and raided in my hunting zone. I am not sure of the ethnicity of the marijuana farmers, but I have family in south Texas and they have told me stories of the Mexican drug cartels kidnapping people and forcing them to go into the wilderness and farm these big marijuana gardens. These people have strict orders to shoot anyone that may cause a threat to the crop.

After hearing this, I stay a whole lot closer to main roads and out of canyons but am still fearful of being confronted by these guys with guns when I just have my bow and the bear deterrent I carry in bear country. My question is why can’t I, being an American citizen, have a firearm in my possession while bow hunting? Doesn’t the Second Amendment give me the right to bear arms? This was just a question that crossed my mind today as I was deer hunting and I hope you can answer it for me. (Vincent W.)

Answer: I appreciate your concern and understand you wanting to be safe while in the woods. But, under current California Fish and Game laws, if you choose to hunt during an archery-only (AO) season or during the general season under the authority of an AO harvest tag, it is not legal for you to be in possession of a firearm while in the field.

However, AO tags/seasons are only one option, you can instead choose to hunt during the general season under a general tag with a bow, and if so you may carry a firearm. Hunting under the AO authority grants special opportunity in exchange for leaving the firearm in camp.

With respect to archery-only hunts for deer, in order to allow the possession of firearms by anyone other than peace officers, Fish and Game Code, section 4370 would have to be amended. For other archery-only hunts, the Fish and Game Commission would need to amend the applicable regulations for those hunts. It is not up to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).


Ivory piano keys
Question: My mother has an old piano that has been in her family for about 70 years and she needs to sell it. She says it has ivory keys. We were wondering if it would violate any Fish and Game laws to sell it? If so, any suggestions? (Cathi D.)

Answer: African and Asian elephants are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principle federal agency responsible for implementing and enforcing the ESA and CITES, and federal regulations do allow for some elephant ivory to be owned, bought, and sold. You should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (800) 344-9453 or their website at www.fws.gov for further information regarding federal restrictions.

As far as state regulations, the California Penal Code section 653o (a) says, “It is unlawful to import into this state for commercial purposes, to possess with intent to sell, or to sell within the state, the dead body, or any part or product thereof, of any … elephant.”


Ocean stamp needed for pier fishing?
Question: Do we need an ocean enforcement stamp to fish on a pier? (Sher K.)

Answer: No sport fishing license or Ocean Enhancement Validation is required when fishing from a public pier.

#  #  #

Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Please contact her at Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

Archery Practice Down a Dirt Road?

(Photo by Michigan DNR)

The most important factor to always keep in mind while archery shooting is public safety (Photo by Michigan DNR)

Question: My neighbor who lives a few houses down from me has a 15-year-old son who shoots his BB gun in his backyard. I used to shoot my bow in my backyard until my dad found out it’s illegal. I am 13 and live in the mountains of Southern California (close to San Bernardino) and am hoping it might be legal to practice my archery by shooting down a dirt road? Can you please let me know ASAP? Thanks. (Ashmanger)

Answer: Generally, Fish and Game Code laws only regulate the use of archery equipment or firearms while hunting. However, the same rules for firearms apply to archery equipment in this situation – you may not shoot over or across a road or within 150 yards of a neighbor’s home, barns or outbuildings, even if just archery target shooting (Fish and Game Code, section 3004). If you are on a private road on private property (off the public roadway), no Fish and Game Code law prohibits target practice with your bow and arrow. Beyond this, different counties and communities may have more restrictive ordinances that they enforce so you should check with your local law enforcement office for this information.

The most important factor to always keep in mind is public safety. Well-traveled roads and highways, or even those occasionally traveled, are not appropriate places to shoot. If you were to injure another person or livestock, or damage property, you could be subject to civil and possibly criminal prosecution. While shooting even just off a road may be legal, it may not be safe.


Hooks for salmon in San Francisco Bay?
Question: When fishing for salmon from the bank in the San Francisco Bay with spinning lures, is a single barbless hook ok or does it have to be a barbless circle hook attached to the spinning lure? (Terry D.)

Answer: Barbless circle hooks are only required when fishing with bait and angling by any means other than trolling. Since you’re not using bait, no circle hooks are required, even though you are not trolling. You must be doing both things – using bait, and fishing in a manner that is not trolling – to be required to use barbless circle hooks. In addition, you should be using no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks with your spinning lure (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 27.80.)


Fishing attractant or pollutant?
Question: I have heard that spraying WD-40 on a fishing lure as a fish attractant works well. Is it legal to use? There seems to be much confusion as to what is actually in WD-40. I would also like to know if the sunscreen I put on before entering the water is hazardous to marine life. (Ray I.)

Answer: It is not legal to spray WD-40 on your fishing lures as an attractant. The same goes for any substance that may be harmful to fish (e.g. sunscreen).WD-40 contains petroleum and is specifically prohibited by law to be deposited or introduced into the waters of the state (Fish and Game Code, section 5650). When it comes to sunscreen, I would just try to use discretion as any foreign substance, even sunscreen, may carry chemicals that may be harmful to fish and other aquatic life if introduced in large enough quantities. General rule of thumb is when applying sunscreen, wait 20 minutes before swimming for it to completely soak into skin so that it is less likely to wash off in the water.


How to determine private vs public property?
Question: How do I find if a body of water is legal to fish out of? I am wondering about a local lake with a public road that leads up to it. There are no private property signs posted anywhere. However, from a boat you can see signs are posted in some of the yards. (Anonymous)

Answer: Even though private property perimeters are required to be either fenced, under cultivation, or posted with no trespassing signs at 1/3 of a mile intervals (Penal Code Section 602.8) so the public knows or can determine correctly if the property is private, it’s best to stay on the safe side. If you can’t find signs specifically prohibiting access, trespassing and fishing, you may want to contact your local sheriff’s office, which should be able to define which waters and properties are public, which are private and where the boundaries are.

# # #

Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Please contact her at CalOutdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

The most important factor to always keep in mind while archery shooting is public safety

Are Hatcheries Producing Triploid Trout?

Triploid rainbow trout produced at the San Joaquin Hatchery (photo by David Hunter)

A triploid rainbow trout produced at the San Joaquin Hatchery (photo by David Hunter)

Question: A friend told me  state Fish and Wildlife fish hatcheries are now producing and stocking triploid fish. Is this true? (Anonymous)

Answer: Yes! These vivacious, catchable, sterilized rainbow trout are produced by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) fish hatcheries. Triploid fish have an extra set of chromosomes (3N) as a result of pressure treatment, combined with carefully monitored temperature and time precision during egg fertilization. The resulting fish are sterile, making them a more ecologically sound option for recreational fishing in many waters across the state. The fish perform for anglers like a diploid (fertile) fish, many grow larger than the fertile diploids, and they are increasingly being produced in other states for recreational stocking throughout the country.

In fact, new legislation that went into effect January 1, 2013 requires the CDFW to sterilize nearly all fish planted for recreational purposes. This sterilization practice has been in place for decades and requires no manipulation of the cell genomes – no genes are modified or transferred in this process. The carefully applied pressure during fertilization simply encourages the retention of an extra set of chromosomes normally in the egg but later discarded. Polyploidy (more than two sets of chromosomes) is common in the animal kingdom.


Do new sturgeon regs change two rod privileges?
Question: The new sturgeon regulations mandate that only barbless hooks may be used when fishing for sturgeon. Does this mean it is now illegal to use two rods in waters where only barbless hooks are allowed? This doesn’t seem right. (Anonymous)

Answer: No. Establishment of the barbless regulation for sturgeon does not alter use of the second-rod validation (e.g. the 2-rod stamp). The second-rod validation pertains only to specific bodies of water.


Crab snares?
Question: I’ve read about crab fishing using a fishing pole and “crab snares” but don’t know what regulations apply. Can you please clarify? (Tim T.)

Answer: These are referred to as “loop traps” In the Ocean Sport Fishing regulation booklet (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 29.80). Basically, they are composed of a bait box and up to six monofilament loops used to ‘snare’ the crab, and they are fished at the end of a line. Crab traps, including crab loop traps, may be used north of Point Arguello to take all species of crabs. For the take of Dungeness crabs from commercial passenger fishing vessels, please refer to the Ocean Sport Fishing regulations booklet (CCR Title 14, section 29.85.)

Note: Loop traps may have only a maximum of six loops total. You may find many loop traps with more loops for sale, but to stay legal when fishing in California waters, you’ll need to cut off any extra loops.


Why the need for sturgeon fishing report cards and tags?
Question: Why am I required to buy a sturgeon fishing report card and tags in order to go sturgeon fishing? What will the collected money be used for? Will the money be directed to a dedicated fund account? (Anonymous)

Answer: The sturgeon fishing report cards with tags were created to help with enforcement of the sturgeon bag limit, a key conservation measure. In addition, data from the report cards is a valuable complement to on-going sturgeon research. The monies received from the sturgeon report card will be used to fund increased data analysis of the sturgeon populations (white and green) and enforcement of the regulations related to the sturgeon fishery. Card fees are not going to a dedicated fund because a dedicated fund can only be created by the Legislature.

#  #  #

Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Please contact her at Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

Beginning Bowfishing

        Bowfishing requires no special reels or gear – just a sport fishing license!         (Photo provided courtesy of Indianhead Ranch)

Question: I have been trying to get into the sport of bowfishing but two issues have my parents and I a little puzzled. My dad heard that if you are going to bowfish, you need some kind of special reel on the bow (don’t know whether it was an open face reel or a crank reel). We are also unsure what license I should use. Do we need a hunting or a fishing license to bowfish? (Nicholas M.)

Answer: You will need sport fishing licenses since you will be taking fish and not game. No special reels or gear are required for bowfishing but you must have the arrow shaft or the point, or both, attached by a line to the bow or to a fishing reel (includes crossbow) (California Code of Regulations, section 1.23).

Be sure to check with the governing law enforcement agency for the area where you intend to fish because not all areas of the state (including various federal, state and local parks) are open to bowfishing. Some areas prohibit using this type of fishing gear because they consider it possibly a “deadly weapon.” This has been the case primarily in incorporated city areas. If fishing in freshwater, please read section 2.25 in the Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations for the list of permitted species and any special water restrictions (CCR Title 14, section 2.25).


Depredation hunting for squirrels?
Question: My uncle has a ranch up in northeastern California and his property has become overrun with ground squirrels. He’s worried about his calves stepping in the holes and breaking their legs. Do we need hunting licenses to help him get rid of these varmints? How can we legally help my uncle control his ground squirrel invasion problem and not get in trouble with a game warden? (Anonymous)

Answer: When taking nongame mammals (like these ground squirrels) for depredation purposes, the landowner must be able to prove damage by the nongame mammal prior to the take. Damage must be proven in order to fall under the parameters of “take” without a license. In addition, the no license requirement only applies to the landowner and their agent. The person “taking” under depredation must show proof in writing they are acting as an agent for the landowner for depredation purposes and they must carry this proof while doing so.

Shooting certain nongame mammals not causing damage may still be allowed by licensed hunters, but all hunters must have written permission of the landowner to hunt on private property.

As always, remember that safe gun handling practices must always be practiced when using a firearm and other laws may apply.


Range finding scopes on compound and crossbows?
Question: There are scopes with range-finding capabilities for compound and crossbows available on the market. Is it legal to have one of these scopes mounted on a bow or crossbow in areas where I am legally allowed to hunt in California? (Tim)

Answer: Scopes with laser rangefinders are not prohibited. Just be sure the device does not project any visible light or electronically intensify light for the purpose of either visibly enhancing an animal or providing a visible point of aim on an animal (CCR Title 14, section 353(i)). These devices may be used only for the take of nongame and furbearing mammals as provided in the Mammal Hunting Regulations (CCR Title 14, section 264.5).


How many rounds of ammo are allowed for an AR-type gun?
Question: When reading DFG regulations, I find a shotgun is limited to three rounds of ammo, but I cannot find anywhere how many rounds of ammo a rifle or AR is limited to. I’d like to know as I want no trouble when I go squirrel hunting with my AR-type gun. (Robert K.)

Answer:  There are no restrictions on the number of rounds a rifle can hold while hunting. According to DFG Lt. Todd Tognazzini, rifles sold in California for the past several years are restricted to a 10-round capacity. This is due to other firearms laws created under the assault weapon ban. However, rifles owned prior to the capacity ban can still be used for hunting as long as ammunition is legal for the area being hunted.

#  #  #

Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week. Please contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.


Why Shot Shell Limits in Refuges and Wildlife Areas?

Northern California Patrol Chief Mike Carion enjoying a beautiful day of hunting on a Sacramento Valley refuge (DFG photo)

Question: During the four duck limit era, the 25 shot shell limit in refuges and wildlife areas made sense. However, now that the limit is seven ducks, and in some cases the goose count can be six, why aren’t we allowed to carry more shells into the field? Inevitably, that limitation leads to one of us doing the “walk of shame” back to the truck to retrieve another 25 shells for a full day of hunting in a blind. That is not the most fun task given some of the walks at refuges like Little Dry Creek can be more than a mile in one direction. (Russ L.)

Answer: This is a rule that applies to many National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) and Wildlife Areas (WA) in the state. It was put into place to increase effective shooting by waterfowl hunters on public hunting areas, thus ensuring a more enjoyable hunting experience for all hunters on the area. By limiting the amount of ammo a hunter can carry into the field, the goal is to reduce possible unsportsmanlike behavior (e.g. excessive and/or less discriminating shooting) which will improve the hunting experience.

According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Waterfowl Biologist Shaun Oldenburger, Los Banos WA established the first shotgun waterfowl shell restrictions in 1977 with a limit of 50 shells per day. In 1978, this regulation was expanded to Kern NWR (25 shells) and in 1979 expanded to nearly all San Joaquin Valley NWRs and WAs (25 shells). Grizzly Island was included in 1980. By 1985, shell restrictions expanded to all Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley NWRs and WAs, and in 1986 San Jacinto was included.

In 1979, when the 25 shotgun shell restrictions were first established in the San Joaquin Valley, the waterfowl season length was 93 days with a seven bird bag. By 1988, waterfowl populations had declined and so the season was reduced to 59 days and four duck bag limits. Still, the primary purpose of the 25 shotgun shell restrictions is to increase both the hunting experience and improve overall shot selection by waterfowl hunters. Daily bag limits will not dictate these restrictions, since removing them may increase the unsportsmanlike behaviors that caused their introduction to begin with.

Fortunately, waterfowl populations in California are currently healthy and so a more liberal bag limit is now in place. Hopefully, with this combination of healthy waterfowl populations and the 25 shotgun shell restrictions in place within the NWRs and WAs throughout the state, hunters are enjoying their hunting experiences now and will continue to do so well into the future!


Scuba to catch Dungeness crabs?
Question: Is it legal to use SCUBA equipment to catch Dungeness crabs? (David B.)

Answer: SCUBA divers may take Dungeness crab using only their hands. No hooked device may be possessed while taking Dungeness crab while diving (California Code of Regulations, section 29.80(g)).


Archery hunting within the city limits?
Question: I hunt using archery and am wondering if it is legal to hunt within city limits, with permission, on a golf course for excess turkey and deer. If so, could you please send me a permission to hunt form that I could use to ask private property owners to sign? (Rev. Mark H.)

Answer: As long as the season is open and you have permission from the property owner, Fish and Game law does not prohibit you from hunting within city limits or on golf courses. According to DFG retired captain Phil Nelms though, many local jurisdictions have enacted ordinances in the interest of public safety that may restrict your ability to hunt in these public areas. Please check with the City Police or County Sheriff to see what, if any, such ordinances may exist in your area. Keep in mind too that any type of firearm or other deadly weapon (archery) may not be discharged within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling (Fish and Game Code, section 3004).

Permission to hunt on private property must consist of a one-on-one agreement between the property owner and the hunter. A sample signatory form can be found on DFG’s website at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/pdffiles/FG994.pdf.


Where to find fishing regulations?
Question: I don’t live near any DFG offices and would like to know how I can obtain a copy of the Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet. (Rob B.)

Answer: Regulations are available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/sportfishing_regs2011.asp and from DFG license offices and businesses that sell fishing licenses. To find a distributor in your area, go to www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/OutletSearch/FindOutlet and enter just your city and zip code. You will then be provided with a list of locations in your area that distribute regulation booklets.

#  #  #

 Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week. Please contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.


Fishing the “Alabama Rig” in California?

To legally use the Alabama Rig in California inland waters, the rig must be attached to one rod with one line and no more than three of the attached lures containing hooks.

Question: A recent innovation on the pro bass-fishing trail is something called the “Alabama Rig”, which is similar to what is called an “Umbrella Rig” by saltwater anglers. The Alabama Rig consists of five or six lures [usually plastic grubs or small swimbaits] radiating from a central attachment point by wires, imitating a school of baitfish. It looks very similar to a “mobile” that you might suspend above a baby’s crib. Since all the lures have hooks in them, would this rig be legal for inland/freshwater fishing in California for bass or other species?” (Steve C., Chico)

Answer:With the amount of money available through tournament fishing these days, anglers are constantly looking for the next big thing to help them catch more and bigger bass. We have received a lot of questions recently regarding the “Alabama Rig” and whether they are legal to use in California. Unfortunately, regulations in California differ from those in Alabama and this type of fishing tackle is not legal

According to competitive bass angler and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Game Warden Tim Little, the traditional “Alabama Rig” is not legal to use because it contains five separate lures each with a hook. California law allows for a maximum of three lures to be used on an individual line (whether the lure has a single hook as shown in your photograph or uses three hooks as allowed by law.)

In California, “all fish may be taken only by angling with one closely attended rod and line or one hand line with not more than three hooks nor more than three artificial lures (each lure may have three hooks attached) thereto” (California Code of Regulations, section 2.00).

To legally use the Alabama Rig in California inland waters, the rig must be attached to one rod with one line and no more than three of the attached lures containing hooks. Those lures containing hooks may have no more than three hooks attached to each lure. The other two could have hookless teasers. Some people locally have even developed a modified three wire rig (now called a Cali-rig), which is legal.


What to do with prohibited aquarium sharks?
Question: I live in Southern California and maintain private fish tanks for my clients. I have a client that has a 5,000 gallon shark tank with a black tip reef shark. After hearing about other Requiem Sharks being seized (CCR Title 14, section 671 (c)(6)(A)), my client would like to know what he can do to have permits or if this shark has been grandfathered in as he bought the shark in 2008 with verifying receipts. Please let me know what we can do regarding this matter. (Ryan C.)

Answer: Unfortunately, permits are not available to possess species listed in CCR Title 14, section 671 (Importation, Transportation and Possession of Live Restricted Animals) for hobby (pet) purposes. To stay within the law, the only options are: (1) transfer the animal to another appropriately permitted facility, (2) transfer the animal out of the state, or (3) humanely destroy it (CCR Title 14, section 671.5).


Handgun with a flashlight/laser-lite combo?
Question: If I am hunting for big game with a rifle, is it legal to also carry a handgun equipped with a flashlight/laser-lite combo? The handgun would only be a sidearm for safety. (Yia L.)

Answer: Yes, it is legal as long as the handgun is not used to assist in the taking of big game.


Can a rifle hunter and an archery-only hunter hunt together?
Question: If I’m out hunting during general deer rifle season with a partner, and I have a regular deer tag and he has an archery-only (AO) tag, does that mean we cannot hunt together because I would be hunting with a rifle? It seems like technically we wouldn’t be breaking the law but I’m not sure how a warden in the field would interpret this. (Roger A.)

Answer: The restriction only applies to archers who are taking deer during the archery season and in areas where the AO tag can legally be used. As long as your individual method of take (firearm or archery) matches the tag you carry, you can legally hunt together. However, if you choose to hunt in close proximity to your friend and are contacted by a game warden, you can expect that you will be asked several questions to ensure that the special privileges granted to AO tag holders is not being compromised.

#  #  #

Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week. Please contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.