Tag Archives: importation

Ethics of Shooting Birds on the Water or on the Ground

Wood duck (USFWS photo)

Wood duck (USFWS photo)

Question: Is it lawful to shoot a bird that is on the water, or if I’m field hunting, to shoot a bird that is standing on the ground? I do not consider it sporting, but I was party to a group of hunters that took part in the above actions. Just curious what the official word is on this. (Nick V.)

Answer: It’s not illegal, but it’s certainly not sporting as it violates the Fair Chase Principle. “Fair chase” is the ethical, sportsman-like, lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an unfair advantage over such animals. In addition, it can also be unsafe to shoot birds on the ground or on the water because nearby hunters might be in your line of fire.


Is it legal to keep legal-sized fish caught in hoopnets?
Question: If I catch fish in a hoop net while lobster fishing, are they legal to keep provided they meet any size requirements? I have been throwing them back because I’m not sure it is legal to catch them that way. Someone told me they must be caught on fishing line only. What about sea snails and octopus that are caught in my hoops? Can other line-caught sportfish, such as tuna, be used as bait in lobster hoops? Please advise. (Steve G.)

Answer: You were correct to return fish caught in your hoop nets because hoop nets are not a legal method of take. Finfish may only be caught by hook-and-line except in very specific circumstances listed under “Finfish – Gear Restrictions” in the Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 28.65).

Taking sea snails and octopus caught incidentally in your lobster hoop net is not allowed (CCR Title 14, section 29.10(a)). Any finfish that is legal to take or possess in California may be used as bait in your lobster hoop net.


If license is forgotten, will a photo copy of license do?
Question: My son and I fish from our private boat almost exclusively and keep our sport fishing licenses aboard so they are always present. On rare occasions we will attempt to fish without the boat, and a few times have forgotten to bring our licenses. To prevent us from mistakenly being without our fishing licenses, can we show a photo copy of our licenses or can the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issue more than one copy to a sport fisherman? (Murray C.)

Answer: Good questions, but the answers to both are no. You must have a valid fishing license in your possession when fishing or attempting to take fish, and you must present it to a game warden upon request. Additionally, only one license may be issued to a person per year.


Importing buffalo hides and products?
Question: Are there any restrictions on importing buffalo hides or buffalo art productions into California?

Answer: American buffalo (Bison bison) are considered a domestic breed of bovine (like cattle, goats and sheep) and thus no Fish and Wildlife laws regulate them. American buffalo hides are not restricted by CDFW and so they may be imported or possessed as long as they were obtained legally. However, the live importation of other species of true buffalo (e.g. African Cape Buffalo, etc.) or their hides is restricted by law (CCR Title 14, section 671).


Is it legal to catch carp and trout by hand?
Question: I recently read a post from people saying they had caught carp by hand in a lake. Is this legal in California? I have caught trout by hand in streams when I was younger, but wasn’t sure if that was legal either. Can you please clarify? (Nick)

Answer: There are no freshwater finfish species that can be legally taken by hand from any California lake waters within the state (only exception: a few fish species are allowed to be caught by hand during specific times in a few non-lake areas, as per CCR Title 14, sections 1.76 and 2.30.)


Electronics and hunting
Question: Is there any law against mounting a camera to the scope of a rifle to record my hunting experience? (Barry N.)

Answer: No, there is no law against this as long as there is no light emitted from the camera.

#  #  #

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.

Computer-Assisted Fishing

To fish using remote-controlled boats, the fishing rod must remain attached to the hooks and line. must be  for fishing must

Computer-assisted fishing is not legal, but battery powered remote-controlled boats are as long as a fishing rod remains attached to the line to maintain control when a fish is hooked.

Question: In the regs it states, “It is unlawful to take or assist in the taking of any fish in or from this state, by computer-assisted remote fishing.” However, I have heard that you can use a remote-controlled boat to tow a line and or bait out as long as the bait and hook are connected to a rod and reel and not to the boat. Is there any truth to this? (Toby M.)

Answer: Most of these remote-controlled boats that people talk about are not powered by computers. They are battery powered. Only remote computer-assisted fishing is prohibited. Even though the remote-controls may employ some computer technology, this law does not prohibit their use as long as the person in control is present at the site. Thus, these types of boats are legal to use so long as the angler maintains control of the hook and line via a fishing rod. Remote-controlled boats are most often used to take hook and line out farther or into tight places that the angler cannot reach by regular casting.

Remember that a legal number of hooks must be used, and in inland waters you are limited to either three hooks or three artificial lures with a maximum of three hooks on each lure (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 2.00).


Squirrel hunting during archery season
Question: My dad and I often hunt together. During archery season and squirrel season, I deer hunt with a bow and he always comes along with me. We were wondering if it’s okay for him to hunt squirrels with a .22 rifle while I deer hunt. (William H.)

Answer: During an archery only deer season, you would be prohibited from carrying, or having under your control, any firearm (Fish and Game Code, section 4370). The exception would be if you are a peace officer. However, if your dad is not hunting deer, this provision would not apply to him.


Importing birds from Mexico
Question: I have family in Mexico who have given me a parrot and some love birds which I would like to bring to California. I have been searching the web and have been directed here. Any information on this subject would be greatly appreciated. (Bob S.)

Answer: Some species of “love birds” such as Quaker or Monk parakeets are prohibited under restricted species law (found in CCR Title 14, section 671(c)(1)). If the species you are inquiring about are not restricted species, provisions to import them would be found by consulting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For a complete list of restricted species, please check the following: www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/specialpermits/.


Special regulations for kayak fishing
Question: I recently purchased a kayak and I’m trying to find information on regulations. Do I have to have a net? How many rods can I use? I have searched the web site but haven’t found anything kayak-specific. (Christopher P.)

Answer: A kayak is generally considered a boat/vessel, so regulations that apply to boats also apply to kayaks when angling. Unless you are fishing for a few species such as rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, greenling or salmon north of Pt. Conception (Santa Barbara County), there are no boat-specific limits on rods for boats fishing in the ocean. A landing net with an opening of not less than 18 inches is required for boats (and kayaks). The reason is for assistance in landing undersize fish of species having minimum size limits (CCR Title 14, section 28.65(d)).


Where can I get a copy of the Fish and Game Code?
Question: I would like to know where the California Fish and Game Code is officially published so that I may appropriately cite regulations therein. (Elizabeth J.)

Answer: Both the California Fish and Game Code (FGC) and the California Code of Regulations Title 14 can be easily accessed from links on our enforcement page at www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/. Otherwise, CD copies of the FGC may be purchased from LawTech Publishing, 1060 Calle Cordillera, Suite 105, San Clemente, CA 92673, (800) 498-0911 or www.lawtechpublishing.com. To view the Fish and Game Code online, go to www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html.

#  #  #

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.