Tag Archives: hoop netting

Importing Rattlesnakes to Sell as Exotic Meats?

Western Rattlesnakes cannot be imported or sold in California (photo courtesy of Pete Walker, Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Western Rattlesnakes are native to California and so cannot be sold or imported into the state (photo courtesy of Pete Walker, Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Question: I have a business where I sell different types of exotic meats for human consumption. If legal to do, I would like to offer the meat of the following species of rattlesnakes: eastern, western and prairie rattlesnakes. I know I cannot bring western diamondbacks into the state, but are there any restrictions to selling eastern diamondbacks and prairie rattlesnakes from Montana in California? What about selling rattlesnake sausages and rattlesnake cakes made in Colorado? Can I sell processed food in California or is there a restriction? (Anshu P.)

Answer: There are no restrictions in California Fish and Game laws against importing and selling the meat of any species of reptile or amphibian that is not found in the wild in California, as long as they are not otherwise prohibited by federal law. For a list of species found in the wild in California, please go to www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/list.html.


Lobster hooping?
Question: I understand from the regulations that if hoop netting from a kayak, you need to keep your license and card with you. However, if you are scuba diving, you can keep it in your car 500 yards away. I want to hoop from land, but most likely I will have to swim or get wet at certain areas. Can I also keep my license in my car or do I have to bring it with me? (Ping Lee)

Answer: When a person is diving from a boat, the license may be kept in the boat, or in the case of a person diving from the shore, the license may be kept within 500 yards on the shore (Fish and Game Code, section 7145(a)). Therefore, the Fish and Game law that allows the license to remain in the vehicle is specific to a person who is diving from the shore and within 500 yards of the vehicle. Under all other circumstances, the law requires you to have your license in your immediate possession.


Bluegill for bait?
Question: I have had some discussions with other fisherman over the use of bluegill for bait in the body of water it was caught in. I can’t seem to find anything on the website this year pertaining to using them for bait. Am I looking in the wrong area? Have the regulations changed? Please lend us a hand with some info because we don’t want to fish out of our limits. Thanks a million and tight lines to you. (Randall S.)

Answer: California sportfishing regulations for freshwater generally prohibit using live or dead finfish for bait. Although certain species of finfish may be used in the waters where taken, bluegill may only be used in the Colorado River District (see California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 4.15(a)) and portions of the Valley and South Central Districts (see CCR Title 14, section 4.20(d)). See sections 4.00 – 4.30 in the Freshwater Sportfishing Regulations for a complete listing of fish that may be used for bait, and keep in mind that bluegill are sunfish pursuant to CCR Title 14, section 1.77. The regulations are available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/.


New big game fund-raising random drawing tags?
Question: What’s the latest on the special big game tags this year? Will any new tags be available via the random drawing system? (George S., Modesto)

Answer: Yes! Hunters can apply for four different fund-raising random drawing tags. These tags raise funds needed for vital wildlife conservation programs.

According to California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Big Game Program Analyst Lai Saechao, the 2013 fund-raising random drawing tag for bighorn sheep will be valid in two hunt zones. The hunter will have a choice between the Marble/Clipper Mountains or the South Bristol Mountain hunt zones. In addition, Dry Creek Outfitters has offered free guide services to the winner of the Fund-Raising Random Drawing Bighorn Sheep Tag.

Also available, one open zone deer tag which allows the hunter to hunt during the authorized season dates of any deer hunt, using the specific method and meeting any special conditions of the tag for that hunt. There’s also an Owens Valley elk tag which allows the hunter to hunt in any of the Owens Valley zones (Bishop, Independence, Lone Pine, Tinemaha, Tinemaha Mountain and Whitney) with any legal method. Last but not least, a Northeastern California antelope tag will be valid in the Mount Dome, Clear Lake, Likely Tables, Lassen, Big Valley and Surprise Valley zones with any legal method.

Opportunities to apply for these four fund-raising random drawing tags are available to all interested hunters. Hunters can now apply at any CDFW license sales office, through license agents or online at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/. Hunters may also apply for these fund-raising random drawing tags at the CDFW booth at the Fred Hall Shows in Long Beach and Del Mar next month.

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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.

Do Crippled Birds Add to My Bag Limit?

Ethical hunters will make every attempt to find a downed bird and count it to their bag whether they find it or not. (USFWS photo)

Ethical hunters will make every attempt to find a downed bird and count it to their bag whether they find it or not. (USFWS photo)

Question: I was informed that a downed crippled bird that was not recovered, even though a true effort was made to find the downed bird, still counts toward your bag limit. Where is this stated in the regulations? (Aaron W.)

Answer: It is not in regulation. It is an ethical hunter issue. Ethical hunters will make every attempt to find a downed bird. Even if that bird is never located but the hunter knows it was hit, the ethical hunter will still count it towards their bag limit. Ethical hunters do what is right even when they think no one’s looking.


Fishing and retrieving lobster hoop nets
Question: I understand that each person that drops a hoop net must be the same person that retrieves it. How is this going to be monitored? If we have four people in the boat and 10 nets, are we supposed to somehow mark each net to distinguish whose is whose? (Bill J.)

Answer: The law states that the owner of the hoop net or the person who placed the hoop net into the water shall raise the hoop net to the surface and inspect the contents of the hoop net at intervals not to exceed two hours.

According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Lt. Eric Kord, the intent of this law is to require a minimum checking interval of every two hours at least by whoever placed the net in the water and not to cite somebody for pulling up their buddy’s net. Wardens understand if you are working together as a team, but any net placed into the water is your responsibility to raise and inspect every two hours. Depending on someone else to do that for you may result in you receiving a citation if they fail to comply with this requirement.


Filleting salmon on board
Question:Can a private fisherman filet a fresh-caught salmon on the Sacramento River while retaining the carcass? I ask because I am of the opinion the salmon is not a size or weight limit fish. Does this change the answer? (Leslie G.)

Answer: You are correct that there is no minimum size or weight for salmon caught in the Sacramento River as there is in the Klamath River and ocean. This means Fish and Game Code, section 5508, does not prohibit anglers from filleting salmon caught from the Sacramento River. However, Fish and Game Code, section 5509 provides it is unlawful to possess on any boat or to bring ashore any fish in such a condition that the species cannot be determined. Since there are multiple species and runs of salmonids in the Sacramento River, and it is difficult to determine which is which based only on fillets, anglers shouldn’t filet salmon until they are ashore.

Anglers taking salmon from the shore are not affected by this prohibition and not restricted from filleting their catch. Retention of the carcass is not required.


What to do with old abalone shells?
Question: I know that abalone shells may not be sold, but what about shells found on private residential property? In this case, abalone shells had been used for landscape decoration and were removed in a clean up of that property. Can they be sold or given away? What about buying abalone shells from retail shops such as those located on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco or other retail tourist destinations where they display these shells for sale? If someone does buy a shell from one these tourist shops, would the purchaser be violating any DFG regulation for that purchase and possession? Does the Lacey Act of 1900 apply?

What do private citizens do if in fact they encounter abalone shells that have been used for landscape decoration and are in the ground and have been for some years? What about unsuspecting people who obtain shells at a retail tourist shop? How do they ensure they do not inadvertently run afoul of any DFG regulation? (Dr. Thomas G.P. Luparello, D.C. (Ret.))

Answer: California fish and game laws that protect abalone apply to all parts of the fish, including the shell. Under these laws, shells of sport-caught abalone may not be sold.

However, there are many abalone fisheries throughout the world, there was a commercial abalone fishery in California until 1993 and abalone are lawfully produced and sold by aquaculture facilities. The prohibition on selling sport-caught abalone shells does not apply to the shells of these abalone.

Additional information regarding this valuable and vulnerable resource is available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/invertebrate/abalone.asp.

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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.

How does managed hunting benefit deer herds?

 

California Mule Deer

Question: I am quite concerned about the health of our deer herds and would like to know how proper management of deer hunting will contribute to long-term protection of the herds. I know many people still believe hunting will decimate the herds, but I’ve been told that regulated hunting could also help control the population. What is your take on this?  (Bill B., Susanville)

Answer: Managed hunting of deer is designed to smooth out the highly dynamic population cycles of deer. They are a classic “boom or bust” species in that when habitat conditions are good, deer populations can rise very quickly, but when they are bad (or over-utilized by too many deer), they can crash just as quickly. These crashes usually occur through starvation and/or disease issues.  Managing the population through regulated sport hunting can minimize these types of events.

Another way that managed hunting contributes to herd protection is through the payment of fees for tags and licenses. According to Deer Program Manager Craig Stowers, these funds are used for collection of population, habitat use and movement data, information to monitor and research disease issues, and enforcement of the laws and regulations that are the basis of managed sport hunting. Tag monies are used for habitat projects to benefit deer herds in the state as well.

Although deer are a resource “owned” by all citizens of California, deer management in this state is not supported by general taxes – the license and tag fees are basically “user fees” that are paid for by deer hunters and in turn used to manage the deer resource. Hunters’ dollars fund deer research and habitat work, and hunter harvest helps benefit California’s deer herds by regulating their population cycles.


Hoop netting for lobsters with panty hose?
Question: While hoop netting lobsters in the past, I have used a piece of old panty hose to keep the bait together. It’s worked well but recently I have been told this is illegal to do because a lobster may get entangled on the hose. This has never happened in the times that I have hoop netted. I’m trying to be legal at all times. Am I breaking the law by using this method? (Doug F.)

Answer: Hoop nets are legal to use to take lobster but traps are not. If hoop nets are modified in any manner that causes the lobster to become entangled or trapped, then the device ceases to be a hoop-net and becomes a trap. The fabric used to make panty hose is known to be an effective trap for lobsters and is not recommended for use on any part of a hoop net when it is used to take lobster.

Hoop nets may contain a bait container but may in no way act to entangle or impede the movement of lobster while it tries to leave the net. If it does, then the device would be illegal, no matter what material is used to construct the bait container.


Are target shooters limited to the 3-round max shell capacity?
Question: My friends and I were arguing over whether or not recreational shotgun shooters (skeet/trap) are bound in the same way as game hunters by the 3-round maximum shell capacity restriction. I also cannot find any Fish and Game regulations as to whether this holds true for nongame species (such as coyotes). Only game mammals and birds are listed specifically. (Ken)

Answer: Regulations regarding magazine capacity only apply when “taking” game birds and/or mammals (California Code of Regulations Title 14, sections 311, 353 and 507). The 3-round shell restriction does not apply when using a shotgun to take furbearing or nongame species, or when shooting targets, skeet/trap, sporting clays, etc. (CCR Title 14, sections 465 and 475).

Fish and Game Code section 2010 does limit shotguns to no more than six shells when taking “any bird or mammal” and there are Penal Code sections restricting large capacity firearms. Additional information regarding large capacity firearms is available from the Bureau of Firearms Web site at http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/.


Are duck decoys with flashing LED lights legal?
Question: I have a question about a new duck decoy I’ve found that is not mechanical or a spinning wing type but is one that operates with a string of flashing LED lights on the wings. Nothing on the decoy moves but the flashing lights seem to be an attractant in the early morning. Are these legal to use before Dec. 1? (Mark L.)

Answer: Unfortunately, these decoys may not be used at any time during the waterfowl season because it is unlawful to use any artificial light to assist in the taking of game birds, game mammals or game fish, except in ocean waters or other waters where night fishing is permitted. (FGC, section 2005).

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Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. She cannot personally answer everyone’s questions but will select a few to answer in this column each week. Contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.