Crab Hawk Traps

Crab traps must contain escape ports to allow undersized crabs to freely escape (Dungeness crab photo by Carrie Wilson)

Question: Is the Crab Hawk legal for use in California during open crabbing season? The ads say it is not a trap, and because it opens, crabs would not be damaged should they need to be released. Please clarify this for me and cite the appropriate section in the event you determine it is illegal. (Dennis J.)

Answer: The Crab Hawk traps are indeed traps and are not legal as sold because California state law requires traps to possess escape rings.

According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Lt. Dennis McKiver, crab traps are required to have at least two rigid circular openings of not less than four and one-quarter inches inside diameter so constructed that the lowest portion of each opening is no lower than five inches from the top of the trap (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 29.80(c)).

Traps that are not specifically provided for in this section may not be used for crabs or other invertebrates. The Crab Hawk trap is not specifically provided for, nor does it meet standards for crab traps in California, so it is not legal to use in the state.


Fishing Lake Havasu with a California Colorado River stamp?
Question: I am a California resident and get a yearly California license with the Colorado River stamp. I also buy a yearly nonresident Arizona fishing license in that state with no Colorado River stamp. Now the question is can I fish from the Arizona side in the river or launch my boat in Lake Havasu and be legal with what I have, or do I need an Arizona Colorado River stamp in addition to the California one? (John C., Banning)

Answer: Based on your question, it appears you buy the nonresident Arizona license so you can fish from shore in Arizona along boundary waters with California. If that is the case, what you have should be fine. A Colorado River Special Use Stamp is required for anyone fishing from a boat or other floating device on the Colorado River or adjacent waters forming the California-Arizona border. In addition, the holder of a California license must have an Arizona Use Stamp, and the holder of an Arizona license must have a California Use Stamp.


Steel shot required for doves and quail?
Question: In a very heated discussion in a duck blind recently, I was challenged to a bet over whether there is public land that requires the usage of steel shot for doves and quail. We eliminated the obvious like refuges, military bases like Camp Roberts and Hunter Liggett, and areas like the San Luis Wildlife Area.

Can you please clarify this situation or point me in the right direction? My friend feels very strongly that the condor zones have not only changed where we can use lead shot but also those requirements have flown down to other areas. (Don S.)

Answer: There have been no recent changes in the use of lead shot for small game including birds within the condor range.

According to DFG Lt. Todd Tognazzini, steel shot is only required for taking all game/nongame on some military bases, National Wildlife Refuges and Wildlife Areas. Lead shot may be used for taking all game birds (excluding waterfowl, of course) and small game (rabbits and tree squirrels) within the condor range.


Fundraising tags
Question: How do the fundraising tags affect the other big game draw tags? I know we are only allowed two deer tags per season. If someone applies for both deer zone tags and the fundraising open zone deer tag and then by chance is drawn for the open zone deer tag, would the open zone deer tag then be the first deer tag? I want to apply for the fundraising tag but don’t know how it will affect my regular deer tags? (Madrigal A.)

Answer: Hunters are limited to no more that two deer tags each season. According to DFG License Program Analyst Glenn Underwood, if you were fortunate enough to draw the fund raising deer tag, you would have to surrender either your first or second deer tag (your choice) prior to issuance of the open zone deer fund-raising tag.

DFG has a list of frequently asked questions that are similar to the one you asked available at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/hunting/huntingfaqs.html.

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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.

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