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California Outdoors for the week of 1/2/2013

Carrie Wilson
California Department of Fish and Game
 

Drifting for fowl

  Question:Is it legal to drift down or anchor a boat in a river to hunt for waterfowl? The river is in the “Balance of the State” zone and is surrounded by unincorporated privately owned farmland, with the occasional house or barn visible from the water.I know you cannot discharge a firearm within 150 yards of a dwelling or near a public road, and I know that all motors must be out of the water. Would drifting be considered forward motion?

—Anonymous

    Answer:Drifting is not considered “under power.” What you describe would be legal as long as your motion was not due to momentum provided by the motor before it was turned off, and as long as you did not violate other state and local ordinances and regulations. As always, do not discharge a firearm within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling.

 

Returning female crabs

    Question:I was surprised to discover the current regulations do not say female Dungeness crabs must be thrown back. Has there been a change in the long-standing regulation that required this? Is it now legal to keep the female Dungeness crab, providing all other stipulations are met (size, season, limit, zone)?

—Kurt H.

    Answer:Yes! Sport fisherman may keep the female Dungeness crab — commercial fishermen must throw them back. Since the females are often much smaller and less meaty than the males and lack the large claws, many fishermen toss them back so they can reproduce more young for future generations. The larger females that meet the minimum size requirements also carry the most eggs and produce the most offspring, so it’s beneficial for the population to let the females go. However, there is no law that compels you to do so.

 

Displaying mountain lions

    Question:I read where Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed into law a bill allowing the mounting and display of these animals in California. Does that mean that mountain lions taken in other states can be brought into California for mounting and display?

—Peter B.

Los Angeles

    Answer:No, it is still illegal to import mountain lions. Fish and Game Code section 4800, which was enacted via an initiative measure in 1990, provides that mountain lions are specially protected mammals that cannot be taken or possessed except under limited circumstances related to public safety or protection of property. Senate Bill 769, which amended the law in 2011, now allows for the possession of a mountain lion carcass, but only if all of the following requirements are met:

    1) The lion was legally taken in California.

    2) The DFG has specifically authorized the possession for the purposes of SB 769.

    3) The carcass is prepared for display, exhibition or storage, for a bona fide scientific or educational purpose, at a nonprofit museum or government-owned facility generally open to the public or at an educational institution, including a public or private postsecondary institution.

    Only mountain lions taken for depredation or public safety reasons in accordance with the Fish and Game Code will fall within the SB 769 exception allowing possession of displayed mountain lions.

 

Yo-yo fishing

    Question:I know jug fishing, yo-yo fishing and the use of trotlines with 20-plus hooks per line are the norm in the South. I am interested in yo-yo fishing in California for catfish and possibly trying a two-jug trotline with 10 to 12 hooks on the line to catch catfish. My question is: In California, are private (non-commercial) fishermen limited to just one line with three hooks max? In reading the regs, it seems that an extra poleendorsementis just that, for an extra pole, not an extra line. In regards to yo-yo fishing and trotline fishing, an article from 2007 Outdoor Life is available at outdoorlife.com/articles/fishing/2007/09/tackle-free-fishing.

—Mark H.

San Bruno

  Answer:You must closely attend your lines at all times and you are limited to two lines with a maximum of three hooks on each line with a two-pole stamp. Otherwise, you must use a single line with three hooks maximum when fishing bait, or three lures per line, which could each have three hooks. It is illegal to allow lines to simply fish themselves while attached to a float. For a similar previous question and answer, go to californiaoutdoors.wordpress.com/2008/11.

 

Carrie Wilsonis a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. She will select a few questions to answer each week. Contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.

 

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