Outdoors, action, adventure

Category: Saltwater fishing

Fish and Game Q&A: Can trespassing wildlife be trapped and relocated?

Raccoon in a tree. 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: Is it illegal to trap and relocate raccoons? I live at the base of Tauquitz Canyon Mountain in Palm Springs and we have a population of raccoons. One of the residents is determined to trap any and all animals that venture onto his property. The problem is he is not trained to trap and he often keeps the animal for three to five days with no food or water until he feels like getting rid of them. I’ve even released a cat from one of his traps in 110 degree heat! Most of the other residents have been educated on how to keep raccoons from doing any damage and how to keep them out of the trash. They are wild and beautiful and I don’t want anything more to happen to them. Can something be done? (Laurie S., Palm Springs)

Answer: The situation described is illegal, cruel and inhumane. When trapping wildlife, traps must be checked every 24 hours and the animals either dispatched or released in the immediate area.

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Fred Hall Show opens Wednesday at Long Beach Convention Center

Fred_hall The 65th annual Fred Hall Show hits Southern California this week, opening Wednesday at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.

This extravaganza of exhibits and seminars is a must-visit for any outdoor enthusiast. Now subtitled the "Ultimate Outdoor Experience," the exhibitor list has grown to include hunting lodges, firearms manufacturers, outdoor adventures, shooting sports and fishing destination resorts worldwide.

But not to worry -- fishing will still be well represented in the approximately 500 vendor booths and 400 seminars taking place over five days.

There are plenty of activities for children as well, including a free trout fishing pond, archery and gun ranges, fishing video game contests, laser shot games, kids casting lanes and more. And entertaining for both young and old will be the return of the ever-popular Dock Dogs competition on the patio.

Another unique exhibit will feature a preview of "The Manzanar Fishing Club," a documentary film on the Japanese American internees who used to sneak out of the World War II relocation camp at Manzanar to fish the trout-filled waters of the Eastern Sierra.

"This is still a work in progress," said Cory Shiozaki, the filmmaker who organized the project scheduled for release later this year, "but we are thrilled to give an early look to our many friends in the fishing community here in Southern California."

Hours are 2 to 9:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and military members, and free for children 15 and younger with a paid adult.

The show then heads down to the Del Mar Fairgrounds March 24 through 27. Hours are noon to 8:30 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the Del Mar show is $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and military members and free for children 15 and younger with a paid adult.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: The 2010 Fred Hall Show in Long Beach was bustling with outdoor enthusiasts. Credit: Fred Hall Shows

New yellowfin tuna all-tackle world record confirmed

Mike Livingston stands next to the 405-pound yellowfin tuna he caught, a new all-tackle world record. The International Game Fish Assn. has confirmed a 405-pound yellowfin tuna caught by angler Mike Livingston last November as the new species all-tackle world record.

Landed during a 10-day fishing expedition aboard the Point Loma Sportfishing vessel Vagabond, the catch replaces a record held since April, 1977, by Curt Wiesenhutter, who caught a 388-pound, 12-ounce specimen off Mexico's Revillagigedo Islands.

"When the scale hit that number it was like the Super Bowl here," Livingston, 63, a retired school administrator from Sunland, Calif., told Pete Thomas Outdoors in reference to cheers from a crowd of nearly 200 that gathered to witness last year's weigh-in at the San Diego-based landing.

Livingston's fish, which measured 85.75 inches from nose to tail and had a girth of 61.5 inches, took almost three hours to land and was caught west of Magdalena Bay on the southern Baja California peninsula.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Mike Livingston stands next to the 405-pound yellowfin tuna he caught, a new all-tackle world record. Credit: Bill Roecker / Fishingvideos.com

Fish and Game Q&A: What to do about injured wildlife?

Department of Fish and Game veterinarian Pam Swift examines a young black bear cub. 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: We have seen an injured buck in our neighborhood with a gash in his left hind leg and bone sticking out. It’s swollen, probably infected and he can’t put any weight on that leg at all. I don’t see how it will get better and he doesn’t seem to have much to look forward to other than a lot of suffering and a painful death. He needs to either be given a fighting chance by tranquilizing and treating him or to be put out of his misery so this injury won’t fester and cause him to suffer anymore. Is there anything someone can do? (Jennifer P., Pacific Grove)

Answer: There are wildlife rehabilitation facilities that are able to help fawns in some situations, but for safety reasons they cannot possess or take in adult deer. According to Nicole Carion, DFG’s statewide coordinator for wildlife rehabilitation and restricted species, adult deer can be very dangerous and do not fare well in captivity to undergo medical treatment, so a rescue is not a good option. In this particular case, it sounds like humane euthanasia may be the best solution.

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NOAA conducting national survey on economic contributions of saltwater angling

Ocean angler

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is surveying saltwater anglers across the nation to update and improve estimates of the overall economic contributions of saltwater recreational fishing to the U.S. economy. This is NOAA’s second national survey focusing on how much saltwater anglers spend on their sport.

The data collected give a more accurate look at the economic effects of fishing regulations and changes in the ecosystem caused by natural or man-made events. The information gathered in the survey will contribute to more informed decisions on a variety of recreational fishing issues.

Anglers will be asked questions about their fishing habits, including how long their fishing trips last and how much they spend on bait, boat fuel, ice, charter fees and other expenses. Anglers will also be asked to participate in a follow-up survey that will ask them to estimate what they spend on durable goods such as boats and fishing tackle used for saltwater angling for the previous 12 months.

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Fish and Game Q&A: Can hunters sell their game for medicinal reasons?


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 a person buys a hunting license and a bear tag and goes out and hunts a bear legally, then that bear belongs to that hunter. If that hunter takes all the usable parts of the bear, then those bear parts belong to that hunter. But if the bear and all the usable parts belong to the hunter, why can’t the hunter sell the parts of the bear to other cultures that use them for medicinal reasons? Why do Americans think they have the right to tell other cultures what they can and can’t use in their beliefs of medicine, as long as the animals are taken legally? Who knows, maybe they can find a cure for illnesses that we don’t have today. I am a legal and ethical hunter who is about to drive out of state for hunting because of all of the ridiculous laws, so please start thinking about changes in the laws in favor of making hunting more enjoyable for hunters.

-- James "Rufus" Smith

Answer: California Fish and Game laws are designed to protect and preserve California’s wildlife resources. Through the enactment of these laws, the Legislature grants people the privilege to take some species under very specific regulations but has prohibited certain acts that are considered a great threat to the species’ continued existence. Selling the pieces and parts of a bear is only one example of the threats that endanger California wildlife.

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Fish and Game Q&A: How much do California halibut move around?

Associate DFG marine biologist Ken Oda with a California halibut. 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 the halibut out at San Clemente Island. Is it a self-contained population due to the long distance between the island and mainland? If so, is it harder for this island population to mix and propagate with the mainland coastal halibut? I understand that all fertilized fish eggs, larvae and fry drift with the sea currents, but wouldn’t it be easy to overfish this one "homegrown" species of fish at San Clemente Island? (Steve)

Answer: Halibut do move inshore-offshore and along the coast to spawn. They also follow feed and follow favorable ocean conditions. Unfortunately, there is no good answer to your question regarding the fish at San Clemente Island, mostly because no data are available.

According to Department of Fish and Game associate marine biologist Travis Tanaka, more than 26,800 coastal mainland halibut were tagged as part of a halibut study performed in Southern California from 1992 to 1997. The study seemed to indicate that migration was related to the size of the fish, but this was not statistically proven. Most of the fish in the study (64%) were recaptured in the same region as the original capture. However, halibut larger than 550 millimeters (21.9 inches) in length averaged 29.5 kilometers (18.3 miles) in travel. At the same time, smaller halibut less than 550 millimeters averaged from 4.6 to 5.6 kilometers (2.9 to 3.5 miles) of travel. The greatest distance of travel was accomplished by a 559 millimeter (22-inch) halibut, which traveled 319 kilometers (198.2 miles). The lesson here is that fish do move, and in the case of this particular study, the movement was mostly to the north. (The results of this study can be found in DFG’s scientific journal, California Fish and Game, vol. 85, no. 2.)

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Fly-fishing show Saturday and Sunday at Pasadena Convention Center

A fly-fisherman tries his luck amid the seasonal colors on the Merced River.

Fly-fishing enthusiasts of all skill levels will want to plan a trip to Pasadena this weekend, as the annual Fly Fishing Show returns to the city's Convention Center Saturday and Sunday.

Fly-casters, fly-tiers, tackle manufacturers, authors, artists and worldwide angling destination representatives will be on hand staffing about 80 exhibitor booths devoted to the sport.

There will also be presentations, demonstrations and other fly-fishing events each day. A schedule of "Destination Theater" shows and other seminars is available on the Fly Fishing Show website.

Hours are 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $15 for adults (or $25 for a two-day pass), $10 for active military, $2 for children younger than 12 and free for Scouts under age 16 in uniform and children younger than 5.

-- Kelly Burgess


Photo: A fly-fisherman tries his luck amid the seasonal colors on the Merced River. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times


Fish and Wildlife Service issues new report on hunting and fishing trends

A hunter and his dog, surrounded by decoys.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a new report, "Trends in Fishing and Hunting 1991-2006: A focus on Fishing and Hunting by Species," that provides a detailed look at fishing and hunting by species and offers information on national and state fishing and hunting expenditures, participation rates and demographic trends. 

The 72-page report, an addendum to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation, represents a comprehensive survey conducted by the Service’s Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration Program. Data used to support the study were obtained from 11 fishing and hunting surveys sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Assn. of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

"We want reviewers of this research to understand that while the generalization that hunting and fishing are declining in popularity is often heard, this report shows that the truth is more complicated," Richard Aiken, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lead economist for the study, said in a news release.

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Fish and Game Q&A: May a photo be taken with a 'no-take' fish before it is released?

Giant (black) sea bass. 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 fish in Southern California and have a question about black sea bass. I know they are illegal to keep when caught. However, when they are caught while targeting other species, what is the regulation for releasing them? After the hook is removed and swim bladder punctured, may a picture be taken with the fish out of the water before it is released? I am under the impression they may not be removed from the water. I ask because a friend of mine accidentally caught a small black sea bass (about 30 lbs.) and after removing the hook and puncturing the swim bladder, he held it up and posed for a quick picture with the fish. I told him I didn’t think that was legal and he argued it was. He did release the fish immediately after the photo was taken, and the fish swam off, apparently unharmed. I’ve searched the website for clarification, but have found nothing. Can you please clarify this issue for me? We are very conscientious fisherman. (Dave L.)

Answer: Giant (black) sea bass and other no-take species cannot be retained and must be released immediately. Therefore, holding the fish out of the water for a picture is unlawful. The best-case scenario for the fish would be to cut the line while it is still in the water.

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Access is an issue that affects 1 in 5 anglers

A fly-fisherman on Colorado's White River.

Considered a challenge faced largely by hunters, access to areas to enjoy their sport is an obstacle anglers deal with as well, according to results of a recent survey.

When anglers were asked by AnglerSurvey.com if, in the past year, they had to cancel a trip or stop fishing a particular area because they could no longer access it, 19.5% of respondents said they had, largely consistent with results to the same question posed the previous year.

The 2010 survey, which measured angler experiences from 2009, found that 81.5% of concerns raised involved freshwater fishing locations where angler access was affected by low water levels due to drought or lake draw down, pollution generated from excess runoff as a result of storms, boat ramp closures, and limited public right of entry points. Only 19.7% of access concerns affected saltwater anglers that year, but in the January 2011 survey -- measuring angler experiences from 2010 -- that number jumped to 24.8%.

While the poll did not examine causes for limits on access, 2010 witnessed several issues affecting  saltwater fishing which may have led to the jump in access issues. Chief among these were the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which closed much of the area to fishing last summer; bottom fishing closures in the Southeast; and additional sportfishing closures along the California coast as part of the Marine Life Protection Act.

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Fish and Game Q&A: Are broken antlers a sign of nutrient deficiencies?

Sparring mule deer bucks.

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 recently had a wonderful opportunity to accompany a friend to the 2010 Goodale Buck Hunt (G3) in the Owens Valley. It was great to see so many mature bucks in California! However, we noticed many large four-point bucks had broken antlers. Some actually had one complete side broken or partially broken. It appeared that the small tines on the four-point bucks had the most damage. I have never seen this many damaged horns in any other zone or any other state. Is this caused by a deficiency in nutrients? (Bob Pihera)

Answer: It may be that a mineral deficiency is playing a role, but we can’t say for sure. According to Department of Fish and Game deer program manager Craig Stowers, we have documented this deficiency regarding Tule elk in the area but don’t have any data specifically related to deer. Additionally, that particular hunt is held late (in December), pretty much in the middle of the rut. By that time those antlers have endured a lot of stress from animals fighting with each other for dominance. Given this, it wouldn’t be too unusual for these animals’ antlers to reflect a lot of wear and damage from the rutting season.

Q: We are Buddhists. For expressing mercy we used to buy captive fishes and set them free in rivers. However, we could not buy live-bred fishes and free them here because the salesperson in the supermarket said it violates California laws. I could not find any information in the regulations you issued. Please tell us which codes apply. (James W.)

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About the Bloggers
Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.