Question: Is it legal to catch lobster with a noose? I want to make a sort of noose of PVC pipe and an elastic band (from the sling of a sling spear). This would not at all harm the lobster if caught in the noose.
Answer: No, this is not legal. The only approved methods for sport take of lobster are by hand or with hoop nets (California Code Regulations Title 14, section 29.80).
Bass for aquarium
Question: One of my friends has a large aquarium and is interested in putting some largemouth bass in it. I would like to know what the regulations are for catching a largemouth bass in a local lake and then transporting it live to his tank. It would never be released into a different body of water, and it would be taken legally.
Answer: Transporting fish alive from the water where they are taken is prohibited (California Code of Regulations, section 1.63). Laws allowing certain species of live fish to be maintained alive in closed systems do not authorize possession in home aquariums. Your friend can legally buy bass for his or her aquarium from a licensed aquaculturalist, as long as he or she does not release it into the wild.
Selling a bear head
Question: I live in Washington state and need some help with a question that pertains to California rules. I have a friend who lives in California that wants my old mounted bear head for his cabin. It is about 60 years old and has been in the family for years, passed around from one member to the other.
I tried reading the rules on the Internet about taxidermy things and got confused. I don’t want to get in trouble if I send it to him, and I don’t want him to get in trouble for having it. It’s not for resell, just for his personal use. Would we be breaking any laws if I send it to him?
Answer: It is legal under California law for you to give the bear mount to your friend, and for your friend to possess it for personal use. However, sale within California is prohibited.
According to retired California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Capt. Phil Nelms, you will need to check with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to make sure it is legal under its laws. Please provide as many details as possible regarding the description of the mount, your name and contact information, your friend’s name/contact info, etc.
A declaration of entry form for any wildlife entering the state is required (Fish and Game Code, section 2353). This form is available online at dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/docs/declaration_form.pdf. It would be best for your friend to come pick it up or for you to take it to him. If you ship the item from Washington to California, the packaging must contain the following information as required by federal laws pertaining to wildlife movement from state to state.
Title 50 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 14.82: Alternatives and exceptions to the marking requirement.
(a) The requirements of Section 14.81 (requires all the information on the outside of the shipping container) may be met by complying with one of the following alternatives to the marking requirement:
(1)(i) Conspicuously marking the outside of each container or package containing fish or wildlife with the word “fish” or “wildlife” as appropriate for its contents, or with the common name of its contents by species, and
(ii) Including an invoice, packing list, bill of lading, or similar document to accompany the shipment which accurately states the name and address of the shipper and consignee, states the total number of packages or containers in the shipment, and for each species in the shipment specifies:
(A) The common name that identifies the species (examples include: Chinook (or king) salmon; bluefin tuna; and whitetail deer) and whether or not the listed species is venomous; and
(B) The number of that species (or other appropriate measure of quantity such as gross or net weight).
The invoice, packing list, bill of lading, or equivalent document must be securely attached to the outside of one container or package in the shipment or otherwise physically accompany the shipment in a manner which makes it readily accessible for inspection.
The complete Code of Federal Regulations Title 50 is available online at dfg.ca.gov/enforcement.
Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. She will select a few questions to answer each week. Contact her at Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.