Tag Archives: Trout Fishing

Why Don’t Some Deer Shed Their Antlers?

Stag1

Deer that don’t shed their antlers are commonly called “stags”. This is usually the result of some kind of injury (or maybe deformity) of the testicles. Weird looking antlers can also result from injury to the antlers while in velvet. (Photo by Carrie Wilson)

Question: I recently heard about a few Southern California bucks that seem to carry their antlers year round. One person I heard from insisted they were mountain biking and repeatedly saw the same deer in January and in May with a 4×3 rack. While I disagreed with the person telling me this, I admitted I am no biologist and didn’t know what they were seeing. Do some deer out here not shed their antlers? I was under the impression that even though nutrition, water and climate might affect when they shed, that deer always shed their antlers. Can you share some info or point us in the right direction to learn more about the antler shedding process here in SoCal? (Al Q.)

Answer: Deer that don’t shed their antlers are commonly called “stags”. This is usually the result of some kind of injury (or maybe deformity) of the testicles. Testosterone plays a role in both antler development and shedding, so injuries can really affect the types of antlers they have. Weird looking antlers can also result from injury to the antlers while in velvet … but those kind usually fall off normally and are replaced the next year with “normal” antlers.

So, this proves there are indeed exceptions to every rule — even biological ones!


Incidental take while spear fishing?
Question: What happens if a spearfishing diver spots a large fish and shoots and spears it without realizing until too late that it’s a giant (black) sea bass or another prohibited species? Then after the fish is speared and brought to the surface, the spearfisher identifies they have a fish they can’t take or possess and promptly returns it to the ocean. Has the spearfisher violated any laws?

A fisherman (angler) who catches a prohibited species while fishing for other species can argue that the take was unintentional/incidental. Could the spearfisher successfully make a similar argument? (Steve H.)

Answer: Spear fishermen are responsible for identifying their targets before they pull the trigger and can be held accountable for shooting a prohibited species. They are also responsible for ensuring that any fish they shoot meets the minimum size limit requirements for that species, again, before they pull the trigger.

A short lingcod or illegal giant sea bass, for example, is unlikely to survive after being shot by a spear fisherman who has the ability to select his target carefully; a short or illegal fish is much more likely to survive being hooked and released by an angler fishing from a boat, who cannot selectively target which individual fish he wishes to catch.

If a diver is unsure about the size or identity of the fish he/she’s aiming at, he/she should choose a different target. Shooting a fish that you’re unsure of could be illegal, and we believe that many spear fishermen would consider it unethical, as well.

All of these same principles also apply to hunters. No one with a rifle, shotgun, spear gun or even bow should pull the trigger unless absolutely 100 percent sure that their intended target is of legal size, species, gender, etc. An accurate (or even lucky) shot made, but with an error in judgment, isn’t worth the repercussions of breaking the very laws enacted to protect the state’s fish and game.


Why the health warnings for brown trout?
Question: In the fishing regulations there are safe eating guidelines for Donner Lake. I am trying to figure out why there are different recommendations for brown trout compared to rainbow trout. The guidelines suggest people eat only one serving of browns vs. seven servings of rainbows. Why? (Tim Worley)

Answer: The recommendations in our regulation booklet are from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). The recommendations are probably from actual studies done by OEHHA of mercury levels in edible flesh from these two species from Donner Lake.

According to Dr. William Cox, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Program Manager of Fish Production and Distribution, we do not plant brown trout in Donner and so those fish are essentially wild and older in the system. Therefore, they have been on natural diets and accumulating mercury from the naturally occurring insects and aquatic life that comprises their food chain.

CDFW does plant rainbow trout in Donner as part of what we call a “put-and- take” fishery. For most of their lives those fish are not eating natural feeds, and are generally not piscivorous like the brown trout, so they accumulate much less mercury. Humans, especially children and women of child bearing ages, need to limit their intake of mercury because it can have serious health effects, including death.

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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 CalOutdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

Salmon Trolling vs Mooching

Don Mah with daughter Tiffany on her first fishing trip (Photo by Tom Mattusch)

Don Mah with daughter Tiffany on her first fishing trip (Photo by Tom Mattusch)

Question: When trolling for salmon between Point Conception and Horse Mountain, are treble hooks allowed on spoons or lures if they are barbless? Or does the two single point, single shank hook regulation apply as if I were bait fishing? The rules are clear regarding when you are not trolling, but they do not seem to elaborate on allowable gear when you ARE trolling. (Rick S.)

Answer: No, you may not use treble hooks for salmon in the area you describe. Only single barbless hooks may be used, and whether trolling or drifting with bait (mooching), you may only use two single barbless hooks per line. The law says, “No more than two (2) single point, single shank barbless hooks shall be used in the ocean north of Point Conception when salmon fishing or fishing from any boat or floating device with salmon on board.” (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 27.80(a)(2)).

This section does not specifically address trolling or mooching, so it applies to all salmon fishing, including trolling or drifting with bait.


Trout limits while on multiday vacation
Question: My wife and I will be taking a two week vacation and plan to do a lot of trout fishing. Is our 10 fish bag limit the same as 10 fish possession limit? We will be out 10 days, and due to lack of ice in the remote area where we are going, we plan to can our daily limits of fish. Is there anything wrong with this?

I know people who fish and catch their limits daily, and then when they get home they process (can or smoke) the fish each evening in their homes. I know they possess more than a 10 fish limit, but is this legal? If so, why could my wife and I not do the same because when we are out camping in our RV, wouldn’t that be considered our second home? (Eric S.)

Answer: If the people you describe retain more than their allowed possession limits in any form, they are in violation. The law requires that each person may have no more than one legal possession limit in any form, whether it’s fresh, frozen, canned or smoked (CCR Title 14, section 1.17). Possession limits even apply in your home.

In most trout waters, the possession limit is the equivalent of two daily bag limits. There are also special brook trout regulations in many areas so you really need to know the body of water(s) where you will be fishing. Check out sections 7.00 and 7.50(a) in the 2014-2015 Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations to be sure of the limits you are allowed.


Lost Commercial Fishing Gear
Question: I have a question regarding what appears to be abandoned commercial fishing gear. My three dive buddies and I are all instructors and regularly find lost fishing gear snaring marine life. Generally, they are old lobster traps without any line or buoys still attached. Sometimes the traps still contain live lobsters in them. We have been afraid to touch them.

Can we release lobsters from what looks to be lost gear? Any help you can provide to help us understand what we can and can’t do, and under what rules, would be appreciated. We are tired of just swimming by them. (Randall Krueger, Visalia)

Answer: Thank you for contacting us. Lost fishing gear – both commercial and recreational – sits on the seafloor, gets caught on rocks, and can remain in the marine environment for years, harming habitats and continuing to catch fish and invertebrates.

You cannot keep the lobster caught in the lost traps, but you can let them go and leave the trap doors open so that they no longer trap marine life, then report the location of the lost gear to one of the following organizations.

If you are able, please report sightings of lost recreational and commercial fishing gear (even anonymous reports are accepted) by calling (888) 491-GEAR or visiting www.seadocsociety.org/california-lost-fishing-gear-removal-project/. You may also contact the Ocean Defenders Alliance at (714) 875-5881 or www.oceandefenders.org/.


150 yard safety zone around my own buildings?
Question: I live in a rural area. Can I legally hunt within 150 yards of my own residence? Can I hunt within 150 yards of anyone else’s if I have their written permission? (Jess K.)

Answer: Yes. These are safety zone restrictions but as long as there are no other local laws or ordinances that prohibit hunting or the discharge of a firearm, then you can hunt within 150 yards of your own residence or any other residence where you have obtained express permission of the owner or person in possession of the premises (Fish and Game Code, section 3004(a)).

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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 CalOutdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

Feeding Wildlife May Actually Hurt Them

Young raccoons (Ohio DNR photo by Jerry Wilder)

Young raccoons (Ohio DNR photo by Jerry Wilder)

Question: I have a question about feeding raccoons. My good-intentioned neighbor puts large pans of dog food out every night for the raccoons. We live in a very close community and the raccoons keep me awake at night with sounds of their fighting over food. They also venture onto my patio to cause more commotion and damage. I’ve tried everything to discourage their visits – ammonia-soaked rags, cayenne pepper, lights, etc. Nothing works.

I’ve tried to talk to my neighbor, telling her it’s not good for wildlife to be fed by an unnatural food source, but she turns a deaf ear. Are there laws against feeding wildlife? Is there any other advice you can give me? (Anonymous)

Answer: While feeding wildlife makes those people doing so feel good, in the long run it is often to the detriment of the animal recipients. Although many animals will eat offered food, temporarily satisfying their hunger, in reality, many human foods lack the protein and nutritional components animals need for good health.

So, although your neighbor may be well-intentioned, she’s actually hurting the wildlife and her neighbors by encouraging wild animals to get too comfortable around humans. When animals concentrate around food, they are more likely to spread diseases to each other and to domestic pets. When wild animals lose their natural fear of humans, they can become very aggressive. Coyotes, in particular, are well-known for eating small pets because they do not differentiate between the food you leave for them and other prey items, like dogs and cats.

People often think they are just feeding cute, furry critters. But if they were to put a surveillance camera out, they would likely be surprised to find out what’s actually eating the food at night. They would probably be appalled to discover animals fighting over the food, and that they’re actually keeping the neighborhood rats fat and happy.

By feeding wildlife, your neighbor may be disrupting the animals’ normal behavior patterns in violation of California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, section 251.1. There may also be a local ordinance that bans feeding of some wild animals. Los Angeles County, for example, has an ordinance that prohibits feeding of “non-domesticated mammalian predators, including but not limited to, coyotes, raccoons, foxes and opossums.”

Feeding raccoons also presents a real human health risk. Raccoons are frequent carriers of a potentially fatal human pathogen, raccoon roundworm, Baylisascaris procyonis. This roundworm is transmitted through contact with the feces of raccoons and has caused fatalities in humans, including toddlers who will put raccoon feces in their mouths.

For more information, please go to: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discond/Documents/RaccoonRoundworms.pdf.


Using trout for bait?
Question: Can you please clarify whether trout can be used in California inland waters as bait? (Andrew G.)

Answer: Trout may not be used for bait. Statewide bait-fish regulations for all inland fishing districts begin with, “Except as provided below, live or dead fin fish shall not be used or possessed for use as bait . . .” (CCR Title 14, sections 4.00-4.30.) Therefore, if the species is not specifically authorized in that section, it may not be used for bait. Even though trout are not specifically prohibited from being use as bait in the law, neither are they specifically authorized, and are therefore included in the general prohibition against using (any) live or dead finfish.

In addition, there are only two districts (Valley and South Central) where any species of finfish that is lawfully taken may be used for bait. However, trout and salmon are specifically excluded (CCR Title 14, section 4.20(d)). This is the provision that authorizes the use of bluegill for taking striped bass in the Delta.


How often to check hoop nets?
Question: When fishing my hoop nets in the river or ocean, how often do I need to check them?

Answer:  Hoop nets are required to be checked at intervals not to exceed two hours (CCR Title 14, section 29.80). The owner of the hoop net or the person who placed the hoop net into the water must raise the hoop net to the surface and inspect the contents of the hoop net at intervals not to exceed two hours (CCR Title14, section 29.80(b)). Any hoop net abandoned or left unchecked for more than two hours may be considered abandoned and may be seized by any person authorized to enforce these regulations.


Picking up antler sheds?
Question: Is it illegal in California to pick up antlers found in the wild? I see it is legal in every other state pretty much as long as you are not harassing the wildlife or trespassing. I have no intention of selling them or using them in a harmful way. I just want a little decoration around the house. (Kristian D.)

Answer: Yes, it is legal to collect antlers that have been naturally shed or dropped by deer or elk in California. However, be sure to check local regulations because some areas (e.g. most parks) do not allow collecting of sheds in areas under their jurisdiction.

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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.

Please do not reply to this e-mail. DFGNews@wildlife.ca.gov is for outgoing messages only and is not checked for incoming mail. For questions about this News Release, contact the individual(s) listed above. Thank you.

Culling Diseased Trout in Zero-Kill Streams?

Rainbow trout from Hot Creek. Does it have whirling disease or not? (Photo by Ray Found)

Question: We were fishing Hot Creek in Mono County last weekend, and my friend caught a rainbow trout that looked unhealthy. We thought it might have Whirling Disease (See photo above).

Based on the picture, is this a likely case of whirling disease? Have fish with this disease been found in Hot Creek before? Assuming this was a case of whirling disease, what should we have done? We never keep fish and Hot Creek has zero-kill regulations, but it would seem wise to remove a whirling-diseased fish from the stream to give to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) for examination. Since we were unsure, we released it. In the future, what would be the best practice for maintaining the health of the fisheries in the watershed if we knew this was a diseased fish? Could we have collected this fish to turn over to the DFG for evaluation? (Ray F.)

Answer: This may be a case of whirling disease (WD), but it’s impossible to make that determination based on the photo alone. Whirling disease afflicts juvenile fish causing neurological damage and skeletal deformation. Afflicted fish may not be able to swim in a normal manner. When startled, they “whirl” rather than darting away as a normal fish would. Survival rates for infected fingerlings are low (~10 percent), and those that do survive have difficulty feeding and become easy prey for predators. Humans cannot be afflicted with the disease.

According to DFG Senior Fish Health Coordinator Dr. Mark A. Adkison, whirling disease has a tropism for the cranial cartilage (e.g., the cranium appears turned or twisted). The disease is carried by the aquatic oligochaete Tubifex tubifex (a segmented worm) wherein spores (actinospores) develop and are released into the environment. These spores infect fish through the skin. The parasite develops in the skin for a few days and then travels through the nerves and spinal cord, eventually emerging from the nerves into the cranial cartilage where it grows and develops into its final spore stage (myxospores).

As part of the development process in young fish, the parasite consumes and deforms the cartilage. This causes the cranial deformities such as a sloped head, crooked jaw and shortened operculum so commonly seen in WD-infected fish. Since the fish in the photo does not have the characteristic cranial deformities that typically accompany such severe spinal deformities, the deformities may be due to some other cause.

Other possibilities include nutritional deficiencies or coldwater disease (CWD) which can also cause spinal deformities like the ones seen in the fish in the photo. Flavobacterium psychrophilum is a bacteria present in most, if not all trout waters of the state and is the causative agent of CWD. This disease is not a problem in the wild. It is a disease of concern in our hatcheries and it’s fairly easy to control by reducing fish densities and antibiotic treatment. Mortalities are typically acute.

Whirling disease is probably present in Hot Creek since it flows into the upper Owens River, and the upper Owens River is positive for WD. Therefore, it is likely that Hot Creek is positive for WD. The only way to tell for sure if a fish has WD is to test the fish for the presence of the WD parasite (myxospores) itself. The test is a terminal one though and not something you could do visually or perform stream side.

DFG Associate Fish Pathologist Dr. Garry O. Kelley adds that once Myxobolus cerebralis (which causes WD) is established in a natural system, it’s there for good. There’s strong evidence that suggest WD prevalence in the wild may be reduced by eliminating susceptible or infected salmonids and by reducing habitats for the other host, the aquatic oligochaete.

Reducing WD prevalence will help recruitment efforts since the parasite prefers the young of the year. If the regulations allow bag limits, then removing any deformed fish would be welcomed. Just keep in mind that a fish that grossly appears WD-positive may actually be negative, even in WD-positive waters. Specifically, the deformities could be genetic, an injury or some other pathogen (e.g., cold water disease).

As far as what to do with a diseased fish, from a biological point of view, if the fish was infected with WD to the point where it had severe deformities, it would probably be good to remove it from the creek to decrease the WD spore load in the environment. However, from the enforcement side, if it’s a no kill zone then it’s up to enforcement as to whether they would cite the fisherman for not returning the fish to the stream.

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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.

Is a Duck Still a Duck Once it Becomes Sausage?

Pintail drake (USFWS photo)

Question:My question is about possession of waterfowl when processed. A friend shot more than 250 ducks in the just-completed waterfowl season, so I asked him if he was breaking the law by having more then 14 ducks in possession. He said no because he had them regularly processed into duck sausage, and once processed they’re considered out of your possession. Is this correct? Another friend saves all his ducks throughout the 100-day duck season and then gives them all to a butcher to process into sausage. He contends if you process the meat through a meat grinder, then it’s not considered part of the possession limit anymore because it’s now processed.

If you smoke your ducks or process them through a meat grinder and put them in your freezer, are they then out of your possession? A clarification of the “in possession” rule would be greatly appreciated. (Mike)

Answer: Your friends are mistaken and could be cited for possessions of overlimits. Generally, the daily bag limit is seven ducks, and the possession limit is two daily bag limits. Possession is defined as “fresh, frozen or otherwise preserved …” (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 1.17). Making sausage only preserves the birds; they are still in possession until eaten or given away.

By the way, not only are your friends in violation for possessing overlimits, but so is the butcher if he accepts more than a possession limit from either of them for processing. No matter what condition the ducks are in (whole, quartered, ground-up, smoked, processed, etc.), a duck is a duck and all ducks count toward the limit. Ducks, like all other fish and game, are in someone’s possession until consumed, regardless of the condition in which they are stored.

If the hunter has other family members living in the same home, the hunter can gift their daily limits to other members of the household during the season and hold them for processing. However, none of the family members can ever have more than the possession limit.


Removing mussels from rocks with an abalone iron?
Question: For years I have used an abalone iron for removing mussels from the rocks but was just told that I can’t use any tools. Is this true? How can mussels be removed from the rocks without an ab iron or something similar? Please clarify what tools, if any, can be used to take mussels from ocean rocks. (Bill T.), Lafayette)

Answer: You may take mussels only by hand without the aid of any tools (CCR, Title 14, section 29.10). Taking mussels by hand one at a time is far less harmful to a mussel bed than prying them off with ab irons, crowbars, screwdrivers, hoes or hammers. When people use tools they have a tendency to pry off large chunks of the mussel clusters and then pick out the desirable ones to eat, wasting the rest. Many people use a tough pair of garden gloves to pry them off. Give those a try.


Trout fishing with “dough balls”?
Question: While living back east, we used to use “dough balls” for trout. We made them out of corn meal, flour and water or fish meal, flour and water. Is this a legal bait for trout in California? (Mike)

Answer: Processed foods may be used in California’s inland waters where bait is legal. Where bait is legal, dough balls would be legal.


More on bloodsucking leeches
Regarding last week’s question about leeches in northern California lakes, we got some additional interesting feedback. DFG environmental scientist Mary Meyer, who has extensively studied the Eagle Lake area in particular, confirms that Eagle Lake supports a variety of unique invertebrates, including freshwater hydra, freshwater sponges … and abundant leech populations. “If you wade or stand around in the water, they may attach. If you swim around and don’t stay still long, they tend to leave you alone,” she says. Eagle Lake also has the parasite that causes swimmers itch and can infest humans, particularly if you are standing or wading in the water.

Meyer also guesses that the wormlike creatures in Clear Creek were likely black fly larvae of the Family Simuliidae. Some folks call these black flies “no-see-ums.” The adult females are rather slow-moving and smaller than a house fly. They may bite humans and other mammals and those bites can be itchy for a day or two. The aquatic larvae are black and attach in masses to the surface of rocks in swift water, anchored by a silk thread. They are benign at this stage and often confused with leeches simply because they are small, black and wiggly.

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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.

Freezing Tails and Tossing Bodies?

California spiny lobster (DFG photo by Derek Stein)

Question: Once I arrive home with sport-caught lobster in a measurable condition, am I permitted to freeze the tails and discard the bodies? (Ben W.)

Answer: If you tailed the lobster at home and then froze it, you would be in possession of a lobster in an unmeasurable condition. The law requires you to keep the head attached to the tail until prepared for immediate consumption. By the letter of the law, this applies to lobsters in your freezer at home, too. The likelihood of someone’s freezer at home being checked by a game warden without a search warrant is almost non-existent. On the other hand, if you store tailed lobster in a freezer on a boat, the likelihood is much higher.

Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Lt. Eric Kord has this suggestion for freezing lobster for future consumption:

“You could de-vein the lobsters, bleed them and then freeze them in a whole condition (carapace still attached to the tail). That way you just need to remove the head when you get ready to eat them at home.”


Flapping duck decoys
Question:I have a question regarding flapping wind duck decoys. I know that spinning wing duck decoys are not allowed until after Dec. 1, but what if they flap up and down rather than spin? Is this type of flapping wing decoy legal for the whole duck season? (Yoshio O.)

Answer: Decoy devices that are electronically powered or activated by anything other than natural wind to directly or indirectly cause rotation of decoy wings or blades that simulate wings are prohibited when attempting to take waterfowl between the start of the waterfowl season and Nov. 30 (Fish and Game Code Title 14, section 507). Wind-powered decoys and wings or wing-simulated devices that do not rotate or spin around a fixed point are legal to use to attract waterfowl prior to Dec. 1 and throughout the entire season. Flapping wing decoys are therefore permitted all season.


Fishing perceptions
Question:I am a fisherman and have three friends who are avid surfers and have been begging me to take them out on my boat to a surf break called “Ralph’s” just off Point Loma. After ferrying them to the spot, I’d like to do some fishing. If I do catch fish and return to the Shelter Island launch ramp with fish on board, will this pose any problems if I have the only fishing license? Would having multiple rods on the boat be a problem? I know I should already know the answer, but I don’t. (Dave, Lemon Grove)

Answer: As long as you have your fishing license and only you do the fishing, you should not have any problems. The number of rods won’t matter because in ocean waters you are allowed to fish with multiple rods, unless you’re fishing for and/or have rockfish, lingcod or salmon aboard. Just make sure that your friends don’t assist in the fishing portion of your trip at all and everything should be fine. Happy fishing!Can I use dead trout and Kokanee for bait? Is it legal to use dead trout and/or Kokanee for bait in ocean waters? (Howard A.)


Can I use dead trout and Kokanee for bait?
Question:Is it legal to use dead trout and/or Kokanee for bait in ocean waters? (Howard A.)

Answer: If it is store-bought, you can use it as bait in the ocean. If it is sport-caught, it needs to be legal for you to possess and it must meet any size requirements that may apply to that species.


Buyer’s remorse
Question:I bought an A Zone deer tag and want to trade it in for a D Zone tag. What is the deadline to do so?

Answer: The tag could have been exchanged back in July, prior to the opening of the A Zone archery season, but once the season opens the tag can no longer be exchanged. It doesn’t matter if the tag holder intended to hunt only during the zone’s rifle season (which opens after the archery season). Once archery season opens, it is too late to exchange the tag. This is the rule for all deer tags to prevent someone from purchasing a tag, going hunting, then exchanging the tag for a different deer zone tag because he or she was unsuccessful.

Because California hunters are allowed to purchase two deer tags, the holder of the A Zone tag can still purchase a D Zone tag afterwards if there are any left. To check on which tags are still available, go to DFG’s website at www.dfg.ca.gov/about/hunting/ and click on the “Daily account of tags available” link.

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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.

Are liquid/spray scents considered “baiting”?

California black bear ( U.S.F.W.S. photo)

 

Question: I know you can’t bait bears but can I use any scents (liquids or sprays)? (Kendon A.)

Answer: Yes, you can use scent attractants when taking bears, but use extreme caution in your selection and use of a scent product. Under some circumstances and depending on the nature of the product you use, it could be classified as bait.  Aerosols sprayed into the air and not onto any solid surface are probably the safest types to consider.

“Baited area” is defined as “Any area where shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grains, salt, or other feed whatsoever capable of luring, attracting or enticing such birds or mammals is directly or indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed or scattered, and such area shall remain a baited area for ten days following complete removal of all such corn, wheat or other grains, salt or other feed (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 257.5).

According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) retired Capt. Phil Nelms, using any substance that can be seen or felt and not just smelled (e.g. liquids that do not immediately evaporate, scented pastes or gels, even aerosols sprayed onto trees or leaves) may be sufficient reason to classify them as “feed” because they can be eaten or can entice the animal to consume the surface on which the scent is deposited.


Can licensed anglers fish more rods from a public pier?
Question:
I know people without fishing licenses are allowed to fish from public piers with a limit of no more than two rods. But what if I have a valid fishing license and ocean enhancement stamp and still fish on public piers? Since Department of Fish and Game (DFG) regs allow licensed anglers to fish in ocean waters with an unlimited number of rods, am I allowed to fish with more than two poles while fishing in ocean waters from a pier? (Frank R.)

Answer: If a licensed angler is not fishing from a public pier or jetty and not fishing for a species with rod limits (e.g. rockfish, lingcod or salmon), then more than two rods may be used. On public piers though, no person may use more than two rods and lines, two hand lines, or two nets, traps or other appliances used to take crabs (CCR Title 14, section 28.65(b)), regardless of whether they have a fishing license.


Shooting limits of doves in both CA and AZ?
Question:
If I shoot 20 doves over two days in California (not Eurasian collared doves) and then go to Arizona and shoot 20 doves over two days there, and then come back to California with all 40, can I legally possess all 40 as long as I have a valid Arizona and California license? (Jon K.)

Answer: No. Doves are a federally managed species and regulations are set nationwide. One daily bag limit consists of 10 mourning or white-winged doves in aggregate. After opening day, each person may legally possess two daily bag limits at one time, regardless of which state they were taken in.


Average size of hatchery-released trout?
Question:
What is the average size of newly released trout from your hatcheries? (Sigrid T.)

Answer: Catchable size trout from DFG hatcheries are about eight to 12 inches long and weigh 1/4 to one pound each. Occasionally, surplus broodstock that weigh several pounds each may be stocked. Non-state commercial trout hatcheries may stock larger fish at private and semi-public waters. These are purchased by the water manager or local concessionaire. Some of the released trout may not be caught immediately and others will live in the lake or reservoir for a second season.


Can I own a pet hedgehog?
Question:
I saw pet hedgehogs on a local TV station and they said you can buy them in pet stores for about $200. Can I own one in California? (Tad K.)

Answer: No. All prohibited species in California are listed in CCR Title 14, section 671 and hedgehogs are specifically listed under section 671 c(2)(D).

Hedgehogs are members of the Order Insectivora and may not be imported, transported or possessed alive in California.

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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.