Too many trout in your possession? The warden might ask questions
In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts will list, on Thursday afternoon or Friday, a portion of its weekly Q&A column and provide a link so viewers can read its entire contents. Here's this week's lead topic:
Question: My husband and some friends and I were ice fishing in the Eastern Sierra the second day of the trout opener and we all caught some nice fish. As we were leaving the ice to return to our car, one of our friends who had a long drive ahead didn't want to keep his fish and offered them to us. We already had our limits but he said, "You can have two limits in your possession so just say you caught mine yesterday." We took the fish but didn't feel right about it. Was this actually okay? (Mark S., Torrance)
Answer: No, not the way you did it. While you both were allowed to catch a limit of trout on the opening day and another limit on the second day and then have two limits in possession, by accepting his fish like you did, you could have been cited. Here's why …
Your friend was within his rights to gift you his fish, and you were within your rights to accept them. However, without proof that these fish were actually taken legally by another licensed angler, any game warden you might meet in the parking lot or along the way that you showed your fish to would determine that you and your husband were in possession of an overlimit.
To avoid a misunderstanding like this, the best way to have handled it would have been to ask the angler giving you his additional fish to write you a note clearly stating this. The note should contain the date, his name, address, telephone number and fishing license number so that the note and your story could be verified, if necessary. Otherwise, you would likely be cited for being in possession of too many fish.
To view the rest, click here.
-- Pete Thomas
Photo: Marlon Meade (right) pulls a trout from the ice at South Lake in the Eastern Sierra, while his young friend watches. Credit: Carrie Wilson