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Category: Abalone

Fish and Game Q&A: Can I use a camera on my bow to film my hunts?

Archery pro Keli Van Cleave. In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly Q&A column:

Question: I have heard it is illegal in California to use a camera (such as the Roscoby Riser camera) that mounts onto your bow to film your hunts. Is this true? If so, why? (Shane S.)

Answer: Mounting a camera (with no spotlight) onto your bow is legal. It would only be a problem if it was an electronic device with lights to assist in the taking of game (California Fish and Game Code, section 2005).

Q: We want to go abalone diving and scuba diving on the same day. I know we have to free dive for abalone, but we also want to scuba dive on the same trip. We live away from the coast but can only do a one-day trip, so which one should we do first? How can we do this without getting in trouble with a game warden who might think that we used the scuba for the abalone? (Matthew P.)

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Serial abalone poacher gets prison sentence, $20,000 fine and lifetime fishing ban

Live red abalone. A San Francisco man who was caught taking abalone out of season three times over a three-week span has been sentenced to one year in prison, fined $20,000 and had his fishing privileges revoked for life.

Qiong Wang, 32, pleaded guilty in Mendocino County Superior Court to felony conspiracy and taking abalone for commercial purposes. Wang was also forced to forfeit his previously seized vehicle and dive equipment.

Wang illegally took 96 abalone over the course of 17 days in February. The last of the three arrests occurred on Feb. 19, just five days after he was released from jail for a previous poaching incident. Abalone season closed Dec. 1 and did not reopen until April 1.

The legal harvesting of abalone is carefully regulated, with report cards and strict tagging requirements mandatory. Divers are allowed to take up to three abalone in a single day but cannot possess more than three at a time, with an annual limit of 24 abalone.

Despite aggressive enforcement and prosecution, wardens have noticed an increase in abalone poaching over the last few years, on the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts in particular. "For many abalone poachers, the profit from the illegal sale of abalone clearly outweighs the risks of getting caught," said California Department of Fish and Game assistant chief Tony Warrington.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: Live red abalone. Credit: Derek Stein / DFG

 

Fish and Game Q&A: Can I have a 'spare air' device with me when abalone diving?

Abalone may be taken only by freediving without the assistance of scuba or surface-supplied air.

In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly Q&A column:

Question: While abalone diving, I would like to keep a very small, emergency supply of air on my person as a safety precaution. The device would be shrink-wrapped to indicate evidence of use. The idea being that if the seal is intact, there would be no evidence of "use" and I would be in compliance with the law. The product I’m asking about can be seen at www.spareairxtreme.com/.

Would I be in violation of any of the regulations if I were to wear such a device while taking abalone, assuming I did not use the device and had sufficient evidence to prove such a claim? (Aaron L.)

Answer: The law prohibits the "use of scuba gear or surface-supplied air to take abalone" (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 29.15(e)). According to DFG Lt. Dennis McKiver, this includes having it in your possession, even if you are not actually breathing off of it. The law also states that abalone may not be taken or possessed aboard any boat, vessel, or floating device in the water containing scuba or surface-supplied air. Since you are not allowed to have scuba gear in your possession on a boat while taking abalone (even if the scuba gear is not being used), to be consistent with the law, this "spare air" product would also not be allowed as the same principles apply.

Q: Spring turkey season is one of my favorite times of the year and I’m heading out for a gobbler next weekend. I do a lot of my hunting in prime hog country and like to combine my options when I’m there. I usually hunt with a bow but am considering carrying my .44 revolver for hogs, and a shotgun for turkeys. Could this cause a conflict if I’m stopped because the .44 is not legal for turkey hunting? If all lead restrictions are observed, would it be legal to carry the handgun while turkey hunting with a shotgun? What about carrying the handgun and the bow at the same time? (Phillip L.)

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An angler's take on buying a 2011 California fishing license online

Carson_tunaVeteran angler and frequent Outposts contributor Steve Carson recently purchased his 2011 California fishing license, and did so using the new online system. Here's his take on the process:

The 2011 California state fishing licenses are now available, but buying one is not quite the same as it has been in the past. Along with the traditional spots like local sporting goods stores, the Department of Fish and Game now sells licenses online.

California’s previous attempt at online license sales a decade ago ended in a technological nightmare. One benefit of waiting so long to start again is that much of the license-buying public is now very comfortable with online purchases.

Accordingly, this writer tackled the new online system this week, with apparent success. I was able print out a "temporary" license, with the permanent version hopefully to arrive by U.S. mail. It should be noted that I am only a moderately active online shopper, but was an actual license dealer for more than 30 years, and so was extremely familiar with the "old way" of issuing licenses.

The entire process took about 20 minutes; and the DFG’s online purchase form is slightly less intuitive than say, Southwest Airlines'. California has more different fishing license options than any other state. It helps to be familiar with the kind of license options you will need, or the process may take considerably longer.

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Fish and Game Q&A: Why are tags and licenses needed for hunting feral pigs?

Wild pig. In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly Q&A column:

Question: Please explain why the Department of Fish and Game requires a hunting license and tags to hunt and kill feral pigs. Feral pigs, as the name implies, are domestic pigs that have gone wild. They are an invasive species that destroy the environment and spread disease. Proper and responsible environmental management would mandate the eradication of this invasive species; yet DFG has a policy that discourages killing feral pigs by charging fees. Why is this? (Curtis A.)

Answer: DFG requires a valid license and tag to legally take a wild pig. According to DFG Wild Pig Program Coordinator Marc Kenyon, Fish and Game Code, section 4650 says that any free-ranging, non-domesticated pig is classified as a wild pig, and therefore is considered big game. DFG instituted the tagging requirement as a means to continuously monitor California’s wild-pig population. This information is used by DFG biologists, in concert with private and public landowners, to develop pig-management plans that are intended to protect cultural and natural resources from the damage wild pigs are known to cause. Without the wild-pig harvest report information, private and public land managers would lack the information necessary to develop these plans of action. Furthermore, the revenues generated by the sale of wild-pig tags are used by DFG to monitor disease transmission, evaluate environmental impacts of wild pigs and provide the public with additional hunting opportunities. Your participation in this process is greatly appreciated.

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California Fish and Game wardens in the spotlight on 'Wild Justice,' premiering Sunday on National Geographic Channel

California Department of Fish and Game wardens will be the focus of the upcoming series Wild Justice, premiering Sunday on the National Geographic Channel.

California Department of Fish and Game wardens certainly have an interesting work schedule. Dealing with illegal hunters, methamphetamine users, illegal pot growers and probation violators, it seems no two days are alike. 

These 240 law enforcement men and women patrol wide swaths of the state's 159,000 square miles of land, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams and more than 1,100 miles of coastline, often alone and in rural areas where backup can be hours away. And often, many of the people they come in contact with are armed.

The real-life bravery of California game wardens is brought to light in the new National Geographic Channel series "Wild Justice," premiering Sunday at 9 p.m. with two hourlong episodes before moving to its regular night and time, Wednesdays at 10 beginning Dec. 1.

The 11-episode series follows the lives of California’s Fish and Game wardens, on call 24/7, as they defend against human threats to the environment, endangered wildlife and the cultivation of illegal drugs.  On foot or horseback, by car or off-road vehicle, by plane or by boat, this small group of law enforcement officers covers a large territory in pursuit of poachers, polluters and illegal marijuana growers, while still making sure hunters and anglers follow the rules.

Though the show appears to focus on the "dirty" side of the job, it's not all trouble -- wardens also promote and coordinate hunter education programs and represent the DFG at schools and meetings of hunting and fishing clubs and other special interest groups.

"One thing about this job is that everything changes," DFG Warden Brian Boyd comments in one episode. "It's one reason why I like it and the reason some people don't like it, cause you can't set your clock to it."

"Wild Justice" episode descriptions through mid-December are after the jump (the rest of the descriptions are still pending):

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Fish and Game Q&A: What's the right thing to do if an abalone comes out of its shell when harvesting it?

Abalone divers and shore pickers must use ab irons with proper removal techniques to pop the tasty mollusks whole from their rocky substrate. In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly Q&A column:

Question: One of my dive buddies asked me what to do when plucking an abalone and the abalone shell comes off the ab and the meat remains on the rock. Should the person then pry the meat off the rock, lay it in the shell and take it all like this? It would be a legal (seven inches or bigger) abalone. Is this illegal? I know it is the sporting thing to do and the right thing to do, but the regulations say that if you have an abalone removed from the shell, you are in violation! What is the right thing to do in this scenario? (Matt M.)

Answer: Although the spirit of the law may make you want to pry the meat off and place it in the shell, the law prohibits possession of an abalone removed from the shell, and your friend should not possess this abalone. According to Department of Fish and Game Lt. Dennis McKiver, in his experience he’s only known this to happen on rare occasions and only when the abalone iron is not being used properly. McKiver advises that if this happens to you, or if your abalone are being otherwise injured when removed, then you should have someone show you how to properly remove an abalone without injury. This would be the right and sporting thing to do.

Q: I have a bow-hunting question. If a father and son want to hunt together and the son has an archery-only tag but he doesn’t get his deer during archery season, can he then hunt with his dad who only hunts with a gun during the gun season? How could they make this work so they could both hunt together? (Doug W.)

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Fish and Game Q&A: How can I get rid of turkey vultures that have been roosting on my roof?

About a dozen turkey vultures roost on posts and on the ground off Highway 178 in the foothill area east of Bakersfield.

In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly Q&A column:

Question: I have 15 to 20 turkey vultures that have been roosting on my roof. They are congregating and making a mess on my roof and in my yard with their droppings and molted feathers. My house is two stories and the roof is tile so access is difficult. How can I get rid of them? (Lawrence)

Answer: You have different persuasion options available for moving these birds from your roof to a more appropriate roost site. According to Department of Fish and Game raptor biologist Carie Battistone, these may include repetitive loud noises, motion sensor sprinklers and the use of an effigy (usually a taxidermic preparation or an artificial likeness of a deceased vulture). Since your roof is steep and hard to access, you will have to use caution when placing anything on the roof. If all else fails, you may want to call Wildlife Services (federal wildlife trappers) to ask for advice or possibly for someone to come out to help you.

Below are several links to articles on deterring vultures from roost sites:

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Fish and Game Q&A: Can I dive for an extra limit of abalone as a gift to my wife back home?

Divers fill out their abalone report cards after catching their daily limit.

In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly Q&A column:

Question: If I go diving with a friend in Sea Ranch (Sonoma County) and my wife stays home in San Francisco, can I dive one day and gift those abalone to my wife even though she is not with me at the moment? Then the following day, can I dive again, take an additional limit for myself, and then drive home alone with six abalone in my car? I would make sure the abalone remained in their shells and I would carry a letter stating three of the abalone are gifts for my wife. Does she have to be with me in order for me to gift the abalone to her? (Chuck V.)

Answer: This scenario would not be legal. Regardless of your intent, if you have six abalone in your possession, you will be in violation of an overlimit and could be cited and have all your abalone confiscated. Only three abalone may be possessed at any time by an individual, period (California Code of Regulations, Section 29.15[c]).

In order for you to legally gift abalone to someone else, that person must be with you to receive and personally take possession of the abalone. Just carrying a note stating that you intend to gift three of the six abalone in your possession to your wife will not suffice because you are still in possession of an overlimit, and are thus in violation of the law.

 

 

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Fish and Game Q&A: Can I hunt on my own land without drawing tags?

Hunters in the field.

In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly Q&A column:

Question: I was looking into buying some land in California to use for hunting, but someone told me that even if you owned the land, you would still have to be drawn to hunt it. Were they correct or full of it? In Texas and in most other states, you can hunt on your own land. (Mitch, Southern California)

Answer: Yes, it’s true. The wildlife belongs to the state of California and not to the landowner who owns the land they may be residing on or passing through.  Under the provisions of a Private Lands Management program, however, landowners can improve their property to benefit wildlife, and in return receive additional tags that they may sell or use themselves. These tags may also allow them additional hunting rights that begin before or run after the regular hunting seasons and that allow additional cows, spikes or bucks to be taken.

Q: While fishing yesterday, we boated very few "keeper" king salmon but caught and threw back several good-sized silvers. The skipper said they are not endangered, just protected. The explanation I got was that the state does not want to pay hatcheries to raise them, so that’s why we can’t keep them. The problem is, by the time you bring them up from 75 to 100 feet, de-net and unhook them, they are tired and almost dead … but we still have to throw them back. What a waste of resources. Do you have any information on that? DFG requires the same thing for certain species of rock cod -- we have to throw them back even if they are dead. (Bob C.)

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Fish and Game Q&A: How common is trichinosis in wild game and how do we guard against it?

Wild pig and piglets.

In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly Q&A column:

Question: I have a question about trichinosis in wild game. I understand it’s caused by a nematode-like worm that burrows into its host, and is most commonly associated with pork (although it can be found in any game that eats meat, such as bear). But, how common is it? For pig hunters in California, is it something that we should look out for, and if so, how do we guard against it? Thanks for your help. (Ren C.)

Answer: You can be at risk for contracting trichinosis if you eat raw or undercooked meats, particularly bear, pork, wild feline (such as a cougar), fox, dog, wolf, horse, seal or walrus. The disease cannot be transferred to others as infection occurs only by eating raw or undercooked meat containing Trichinella worms.

According to Department of Fish and Game Senior Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Ben Gonzales of the Wildlife Investigations Laboratory, limited data related to pig hunting indicates that trichinellosis (trichinosis) is relatively uncommon in wild pigs in California. Gonzales says he personally still cooks all his pork -- domestic and wild -- to well done. The greater risk to human health from wild pig relates to food hygiene and care of the carcass after it is taken.

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Fish and Game Q&A: Can I use an air tank while photographing abalone divers?

Abalone1 In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly Q&A column:

Question: I would like to photograph abalone divers diving, but I need to use an air tank to obtain the imagery I want. How can I go about this without getting in trouble with Department of Fish and Game? (Andrew B., Salt Lake City)

Answer: It is legal for you to photograph abalone free-divers while you are using a tank, as long as you observe a couple of regulations.

According to DFG Associate Marine Biologist Ed Roberts, the California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 29.15(e) prohibits the use of scuba gear or surface-supplied air while taking abalone. If you are using a tank while photographing abalone free-divers, you cannot assist them with taking abalone. You cannot help them pop abalone off the rocks, or spot abalone for them, or do anything else that could be construed as giving assistance in taking abalone. In addition, under this section the possession of abalone is prohibited aboard a vessel that also contains scuba gear or surface-supplied air. This means you will have to use a separate boat -- you cannot board the same boat that the abalone free-divers are using while you are using scuba gear.

Q: Is it legal to use mice as bait for stripers and bass? (Chris M.)

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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.



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