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Category: Abalone

Fish and Game Q&A: Can I use a beach net in San Diego area waters?

Net 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 am using a 20-foot beach net (the type generally used inland as bait nets) on an inland water (Mission Bay or San Diego Bay, in particular) to demonstrate to my kids the kind of near-shore sea life that is around, am I going to get zinged?

Here are the details: I would be using a 20-foot beach net, or a longer one if possible. It would be operated by hand with me (a license holder) on one end and my 7-year-old son on the other to crowd whatever sea life would be in the particular area. We are not targeting any species in particular. We would not actually take any sea life, but perhaps would handle them and observe them in a confined area. Would the regulations be any different for a non-inland area? (Tim D., San Diego)

Answer: I’m glad you asked first before taking that beach net out to show your kids what you’d catch. Here’s why …

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Fish and Game Q&A: Can landowners get a depredation permit for crows or ravens?

Crows sitting on a backyard fence in winter.

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 am having problems with crows damaging my crops. Based on size, I think we also have ravens at work here. I know there is a crow hunting season, but what about ravens? Since "corvids" (crows and ravens) are very problematic predators for song birds and marbled murrelets on the coast, can landowners get a depredation permit for either species? If so, where? (Patrick)

Answer:  There is no hunting season for ravens. They are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Check with the Permit Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at www.fws.gov/permits/. Crows are also protected by the MBTA, but there is an open season between December and April each year (CCR Title 14, sections 472(d) and 485). Fish and Wildlife may provide a permit exemption for crows causing damage. Check in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 50, section 21.43, available online at www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html.

Q: A friend recently hit a deer, causing about $1,200 in damage to the vehicle. He picked up the deer and put it in his truck to take home for food. He was stopped by a sheriff’s deputy who told him to take the deer out of his vehicle or he would be cited. I heard that it is legal to pick up "roadkill." Can you please clarify this? (Sandy B.)

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Fish and Game Q&A: Why is there a set season for abalone diving?

Live red abaloneIn 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’m an avid abalone diver who has been diving for more than 28 years and I am curious why we have a set season for abalone diving. Since we have abalone report cards and are limited to three per day and 24 abalone per year, why does it matter what time of year we take those abalone? I can understand the reason for a season when the only limit was four abs per day and all you wanted during season. But currently we are only allowed 24, so what difference does it make what time of year I take my 24 abs? I feel we should be able to go all year. From my understanding, abalone do not have a set breeding season since they are broadcast spawners and breed all year depending on the tides and currents. (Matt M.)

Answer: The abalone season is one tool for reducing the take of abalone and it works in conjunction with other regulations to limit the overall number of abalone taken. According to Department of Fish and Game associate marine biologist Jerry Kashiwada, the abalone fishery is not regulated with a fixed quota like some fisheries. The report card limit is only designed to reduce excessive take and is not based on the number of abalone each person should be allowed to take.

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2009 was another year of extreme poaching cases for California Fish and Game wardens

Lt. Chris Graff, of the California Department of Fish and Game, measures a legal-sized lobster in this 2002 photo.

California Department of Fish and Game wardens had a busy year in 2009 investigating illegal hunting and fishing cases statewide. Many involved repeat poaching offenders who were stealing California's natural resources for profit, undeterred by prior convictions and sentences.

"Our game wardens are expertly trained to investigate complex wildlife crimes, arrest suspects and ultimately protect the resources that belong to all Californians," said Nancy Foley, the department's law enforcement division chief.

"Although the vast majority of California's hunters and anglers are law-abiding and respectful of our resources, these repeat poachers and other criminals pose a constant challenge to our investigators."

A few of the most egregious cases from last year include:

-- Binh Chau, 35, of San Diego, was arrested for the fifth time in less than three years on suspicion of poaching lobsters in the La Jolla Conservation Area. Chau gained notoriety after his second lobster-poaching arrest, when he was found to be hiding six lobsters in his pants.

-- A Sacramento deer-poaching ring was exposed after poachers were observed killing deer in the Sierra foothills and then arrested in the act of selling the meat. DNA analysis by Fish and Game’s Wildlife Forensics Laboratory identified 28 deer recovered at one suspect’s residence.

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Fish and Game Q&A: Can someone be cited for the inadvertent stomach contents of their catch?

A lingcod caught during a boat trip out of the Marina Del Rey.

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

Question: Can someone be cited for the inadvertent stomach contents of their catch? As an example, a typical cabezon belly might contain a couple of 3-inch abalone, crabs and/or octopus. Is it a violation to have the abalone (and crabs and octopus if it is in a no-invertebrate take zone) in possession? Another example would be a ling with a big rockfish in his belly. Could the stomach contents place you over the 10-fish RCG complex (rockfish, cabezon and greenlings) possession limit? (Craig G.)

Answer: This situation would be the same as if you caught an undersized or prohibited species unintentionally while fishing. According to Lt. Dennis McKiver, you are required to discard or return to the sea any prohibited species as soon as you discover you have caught a prohibited species. Although you would not be required to remove and inspect the stomach contents of all fish you catch to make sure the fish did not contain a prohibited species, if the fish regurgitates a prohibited species you would not be allowed to retain possession of that prohibited species. You must return it to the ocean even if it is dead.

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DFG reminds anglers that fishing report and restoration cards are due by Jan. 31

Fishing guide J.D. Richey releases a five-pound steelhead caught on the American River near Sacramento. The state Department of Fish and Game is reminding anglers that they are required to return 2009 Fishing Report and Restoration cards by Jan. 31. 

Report cards are due for sturgeon, abalone, steelhead trout, spiny lobster and Klamath-Trinity salmon fisheries.

Information collected from report cards provides the DFG with data to monitor and manage California’s fisheries.

The cards can be dropped off at any DFG office or mailed to the following addresses:

Abalone:
DFG -- Abalone Report Card, 19160 S. Harbor Dr., Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5718.

Lobster: DFG -- Lobster Report Card, 4949 Viewridge Ave., San Diego, CA 92123-1662.

Klamath-Trinity Salmon: DFG -- Klamath River Project, 5341 Ericson Way, Arcata, CA 95521-9269.

Sturgeon: DFG -- Sturgeon Fishing Report Card,
P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA  94244-2090.

Steelhead: DFG -- Steelhead Catch Report-Restoration Card, P.O. Box 944209. Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

For the first time, anglers can also report their steelhead cards online. This system also allows the DFG to offer a one-time catch-up period for anglers who did not turn in their 2008 cards.

As an added incentive to utilize the new system, Trout Unlimited California is offering a free guided fishing trip for one angler who files his or her steelhead card online by the deadline. The winner will be randomly selected the first week of February.

All anglers are requested to review their cards carefully and complete the information as accurately as possible. Further report card information can be found on the DFG website license information page.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Fishing guide J.D. Richey releases a five-pound steelhead caught on the American River near Sacramento. Credit: Pete Thomas / petethomasoutdoors

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2010 means it's time for a new sportfishing license

Davey's Locker sportfishing boat 'Western Pride' makes its way back to Newport Beach at sunset.

The new year on the horizon is a time to reflect and to remember -- that it's time to purchase a new annual sportfishing license.

The California Department of Fish & Game requires that any angler 16 years of age or older possess a sportfishing license.

Licenses may be purchased online, at most sporting goods retailers and at DFG sales offices.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions and answers posted on the DFG website regarding sportfishing license requirements:

Question: How long is an annual sportfishing license valid?

Answer: Licenses are valid for a calendar year (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31).

Q: Do I have to wear my fishing license?

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Fish and Game Q&A: Can I mail abalone to someone out of state?

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

Question: I read your answer to a recent question regarding whether trout can be shipped across state lines, and you said the answer was no. Are there similar restrictions on shipping abalone to friends in other states? Thanks. (Kelly K.)

Answer: The possession limit for abalone is three, so you may not ship more than three abalone at any time. Neither the shipper nor the recipient may possess more than the legal limit at any given time. You also may not offer for transportation by common carrier more than one bag limit at a time, and the common carrier transporting the abalone may not legally receive for transportation more than the bag limit during any interval of time (CCR Title 14, Section 29.15).

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Fish and Game Q&A: Can I dig for clams without having a fishing license if I don't take any?

Clams3 In support of the California Department of Fish and Game and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Outposts, on Thursday afternoon or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly Q&A column:

Question: I can't purchase a fishing license this year due to a citation I received last year while helping my friend take his abalone. The penalty was a one-year fishing prohibition, which I deeply regret.

I have now been invited to join some friends who will be clamming next weekend and I would like to know where my limit is. This may sound like I am pushing my limitation, but I would like to know before I get into more trouble. Obviously, I am not planning to take any clams that my friends catch, but I would like to join them while they are digging for clams.

Is digging mud considered fishing while only my friends who have licenses take clams that they find? I personally love nature, so I hope you can help me. As I mentioned, my goal is not taking clams, but joining with my friends in this fun event. (Jerry)

Answer: Sorry, Jerry. California Fish and Game law prohibits taking clams without a valid fishing license in your possession. Fish and Game laws also define taking clams to include any activity that can be considered to hunt, pursue, catch, capture or kill or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture or kill any clam.

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Fish and Game Q&A: Can I finish taking game after legal shooting hours?

Man and boy hunting at sunset.

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

Question: I hunt with a bow and on some occasions will shoot my game right at sundown and then have to chase my animal sometimes for an hour or more. And then when I find it, I may have to shoot it again. Is it legal to finish off an animal after dark if it was shot during the legal hunting hours? (Geoff M., Camarillo)

Answer: No. Authorized hunting and shooting hours are clearly stated in the regulations as running from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset (CCR T-14 Sections 310, 310.5 and 352). To shoot an animal outside of those authorized hours is illegal.

If you hit an animal at sundown but it doesn't immediately go down, you should then mark the location of the hit, let the animal bleed out and recover it in the morning. You cannot take another shot that day after legal hours have passed or you will be in violation. Whenever possible, try to plan your hunt so that you will not be pushing the envelope right at the end of hunt hours and can leave ample time to track and retrieve the animal during legal hours.  

Question: I purchased a lot of ivory beads, findings and pendants in Los Angeles in 1983. When I heard about the elephant poaching in Africa I put all of this ivory away for 30 years. I am now in a very desperate financial situation though and need to sell everything I own. I made some necklaces from this ivory and put them online to sell. I checked the laws about ivory and was told that I could not import or export out of the states, but I could sell what I have within the United States. Is this information accurate? If not, can I sell these pieces legally any place? (Patti D.)

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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.



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