On fishing for others, hunting during the rut, photo ID, more
Sending a friend to fish
Question: What if four people got together and all paid the boat fare so that one person in the group could take a long-range fishing trip? Three of the people are not anglers. After the trip, all of the fish caught by the one angler would then be split evenly between the four people. Would this be all right or somehow considered selling of fish?
Answer: Fish caught under the authority of a sport fishing license may not be bought, sold, traded or bartered (Fish and Game Code, Section 7121). This means if these people all helped pay the fare for another person to take a fishing trip with the expectation of receiving some of the fish caught back in return, that would be illegal. Anglers who lawfully catch fish may always give fish away to whomever they wish, but it is not legal for nonanglers to pay for another person’s trip with the understanding or expectation of receiving fish in return for that money.
Hunting during the rut
Question: While watching hunting shows on TV, I see that most of them are hunting during the rut. Why can’t deer and elk hunters in California also hunt during the rut?
Answer: It’s all about providing more hunting opportunities to more people. According to Game Species Conservation Program Manager Craig Stowers, seasons are set with certain harvest objectives in mind. Later in the season as the animals go into the rut (breeding period) they become more bold in their attempts to find a mate, and are thus easier to hunt. If the season was held during the rut, the hunter harvest success rate would be higher, and fewer hunters would be able to hunt before the harvest objectives were reached.
Hunter survey data show most hunters simply want an opportunity to hunt. The archery and gun seasons begin in different zones around the state in July and August, respectively. By starting the season early and allowing it to run until late fall when the animals are just going into the rut, more hunters have more opportunities to participate.
In addition to regular season hunts, there are also several special late-season hunts offered that are timed to take place during the rut. These are highly sought-after tags, though, and they are distributed only through the big-game drawing. Most of California’s deer hunting takes place well before the rut begins (general seasons are timed to close about a month before the rut gets started) for two reasons:
1) Hunting during the rut greatly reduces hunter opportunity (hunting success rate is higher and so fewer tags can be issued to achieve the harvest objectives).
2) To create the least amount of disturbance possible during this critical phase of their lifecycle.
The bottom line is deer managers try to strike a balance between providing hunter opportunity and success while not exceeding harvest objectives.
Photo ID required
Question: While hunting or fishing, besides carrying the appropriate license(s), do I also need to have photo identification in possession or can I leave it in my vehicle?
Answer: You will need to verify you are the person holding your own fishing or hunting license. Though photo identification is not mandated by law, being able to identify yourself properly is. If you cannot appropriately identify who you are, you may see yourself in an extended contact with the game warden. If you’re getting cited for something, the game warden may have to take you to jail until you can be properly identified. The bottom line is even though the law doesn’t state you must have photo identification in possession, it would benefit you greatly to carry photo identification, so you may properly identify who you are to the game warden.
Catching lobsters and crabs
Question: Is it legal to fish for both lobsters and crabs at the same time using hoop nets for the lobster and a crab pot for the crabs? My concern is that when we return to harbor, a game warden may question which method was used to take which species. The crab pot is a Northern California type that is “soaked” for days and has escape ports. The hoop net is a basic hoop net.
Answer: You may fish for lobsters and crabs at the same time but only with hoop nets or by hand. Crab traps are legal to use in the north but are illegal for sport fishermen to use south of Point Arguello (California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 29.80(e)). While most lobsters occur in Southern California below Point Arguello, for any that do occur north of this point, crab traps may not be used.
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 CalOutdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.