California Outdoors for the week of 8/1/2013

Computer-assisted fishing

  Question: In the regs it states, “It is unlawful to take or assist in the taking of any fish in or from this state, by computer-assisted remote fishing.” However, I have heard that you can use a remote-controlled boat to tow a line and or bait out as long as the bait and hook are connected to a rod and reel and not to the boat. Is there any truth to this?

—Toby M.

    Answer: Most of these remote-controlled boats that people talk about are not powered by computers. They are battery-powered. Only remote computer-assisted fishing is prohibited. Even though the remote controls may employ some computer technology, this law does not prohibit their use as long as the person in control is present at the site. Thus, these types of boats are legal to use as long as the angler maintains control of the hook and line via a fishing rod. Remote-controlled boats are most often used to take hook and line out farther or into tight places that the angler cannot easily reach by regular casting.

    Remember that a legal number of hooks must be used, and in inland waters you are limited to either three hooks or three artificial lures with a maximum of three hooks on each lure (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 2.00).


Archery season

  Question: My dad and I often hunt together. During archery season and squirrel season, I hunt deer with a bow and he always comes along with me. We were wondering if it’s OK for him to hunt squirrels with a .22 rifle while I hunt deer.

—William H.

    Answer: During an archery only deer season, you are prohibited from carrying, or having under your control, any firearm (Fish and Game Code, section 4370). The exception is if you are a peace officer. However, if your dad is not hunting deer, this provision would not apply to him.


Importing birds

  Question: I have family in Mexico who have given me a parrot and some love birds which I would like to bring to California. I have been searching the Web and have been directed here. Any information on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

—Bob S.

    Answer: Some species of “love birds,” such as Quaker or monk parakeets, are prohibited under restricted species law (found in CCR Title 14, section 671(c)(1)). If the species you are inquiring about are not restricted species, provisions to import them can be found by consulting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For a complete list of restricted species, please check


Kayak fishing

  Question: I recently purchased a kayak and I’m trying to find information on regulations. Do I have to have a net? How many rods can I use? I have searched the website but haven’t found anything kayak-specific.

—Christopher P.

    Answer: A kayak is generally considered a boat/vessel, so regulations that apply to boats also apply to kayaks when angling. Unless you are fishing for a few species such as rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, greenling or salmon north of Point Conception (Santa Barbara County), there are no boat-specific limits on rods for boats fishing in the ocean. A landing net with an opening of not less than 18 inches is required for boats (and kayaks). The reason is for assistance in landing undersize fish of species having minimum size limits (CCR Title 14, section 28.65(d)).


Copy of code

  Question: I would like to know where the California Fish and Game Code is officially published so that I may appropriately cite regulations therein.

—Elizabeth J.

    Answer: Both the California Fish and Game Code and the California Code of Regulations Title 14 can be easily accessed from links on our enforcement page at Otherwise, CD copies of the FGC may be purchased from LawTech Publishing, 1060 Calle Cordillera, Suite 105, San Clemente, CA 92673, 800-498-0911 or To view the Fish and Game Code online, go to


Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Contact her at

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