Central Coast Kayak Fishing Reports

GENERAL => Regulations including MLPA => Topic started by: RHYAK on November 10, 2017, 11:10 AM

Title: California Outdoors DFW Q and A
Post by: RHYAK on November 10, 2017, 11:10 AM
So on a weekly basis California Department of Fish and Wildlife does a Questions and Answer

California Outdoors Q&A:
Question: I have a question regarding the regulations for market/jumbo squid. Section 29.70 in the Saltwater Regulations simply states that "squid may be taken with hand-held dip nets." However, I have seen many guys using squid jigs of all types to catch squid. The jigs have no hooks but are a circular nest of pins around a lure body that lightly snag the squid when they attack the jig. This seems like a common method of take but I don't see it listed in the regs. Is using a squid jig legal to catch squid south of Pt. Conception? (Mark N.)

Squid fishing regulations can be found in the general mollusks section of the regulations book beginning on page 36. Here it says, "Except as otherwise provided in this article, saltwater mollusks, including octopus, may be taken only on hook and line or with the hands" (California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, Section 29.10). Therefore, since squid may be taken with hook and line, the squid jig may be used as a type of hooking device. Squid jigs are legal for catching squid throughout California.

The other day I caught a striped bass that was between 17 and 18 inches. When I opened the tail it measured 17 inches, but when I barely squeezed the tail, it measured 18 inches. What's the proper way to measure striped bass? (Tou T.)
Answer: Legal-sized striped bass must measure at least 18 inches total length. Total length is defined in the regulations as "the longest straight-line measurement from the tip of the head to the end of the longest lobe of the tail" and specifies that the tip of the head "shall be the most anterior point on the fish with the mouth closed and the fish lying flat on its side" (CCR Title 14, Section 1.62). The best way to measure fish to get the longest total length is to lay the fish down flat on a flat surface, pinch the mouth shut and measure to the longest point of the caudal (tail) fin.

Question: My daughter and I have a huge interest in our local wildlife. We live in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. I have been interested in radio and emergency communications since my childhood. I was hoping you could educate us regarding what tracking collars are being used around my house and what frequencies the collars are using to transmit over. (Anthony D.)
Answer: Thank you for your interest in California's wildlife. When wildlife researchers affix radio collars to a wild animal, their primary purpose is to understand the animal's movements in a natural setting. Animals may alter their behavior in response to people intentionally approaching them. If this happens to an animal that has a tracking collar, the results of the study can be altered, resulting in inappropriate conclusions. This is called introducing "bias" into the data, which is something that scientists always try to minimize.
Therefore, as a matter of maintaining scientific integrity as well as ensuring the safety of the study animals and people (imagine approaching an injured mountain lion), we do not disclose the frequency of the tracking collars we deploy on animals.
But beyond that, while a radio collar may broadcast on a set frequency, it takes sophisticated tracking equipment to interpret that signal. Therefore, the common person would not recognize it on conventional radio equipment. Scientists take great care to be sure that the signal coming from the collars will not conflict with known existing signals.

Question: I have substantial hearing loss and my doctor recommends surgery to correct my problem. The issue is that my hearing would be very sensitive to noise, and shooting a rifle could actually damage it greatly. I don't want to have to give up hunting though, so is there an exception for the hearing impaired where I could use a silencer on my rifle? (Carlos M.)

No. Section 33410 of the California Penal Code regulates the possession and use of silencers, also known as suppressors, with very specific exemptions for the military and law enforcement personnel. Penalties for mere possession in California are quite severe.
California Penal Code Section 33410 states that any person, firm, or corporation who within this state possesses a silencer is guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 or by a fine not to exceed $10,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment. There are no exceptions for hunting or for people suffering from hearing impairment. We recommend that you use hearing protection - which is both legal and prudent.
Title: Re: California Outdoors DFW Q and A
Post by: RHYAK on November 28, 2017, 03:41 PM
Question: I recently heard that a recreational lobster diver who takes lobster from a commercial lobster trap could be arrested and booked into jail on felony charges. Is this true? (Anonymous diver, Orange County)

: Yes, it's true. California Penal Code, Section 487 includes several sub-sections that describe grand theft, which is in fact a felony. A recreational diver who steals fish, shellfish, mollusks, crustaceans, kelp, algae or aquaculture products from a commercial or research operation that is producing a product valued at over $250 has committed a felony. So in addition to theft from commercial lobster traps, this also covers theft from commercial crab traps, and theft from an aquaculture facility.
You'd be surprised how easily the value of those lobsters can add up. The price of California-harvested spiny lobster has been as high as $32 per pound in November 2017. Even theft of less than $250 worth of lobster from a commercial trap potentially involves misdemeanor-level violations, including theft and disturbing another person's traps (California Fish and Game Code, Section 9002). 
Technically the penalties and fines for each misdemeanor conviction could amount to a sentence of six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Another important note: two or more recreational divers who conspire together to commit the misdemeanor violation of stealing lobsters from a commercial trap, and steal a total amount of lobsters that exceed the $250 threshold, are both potentially guilty of felonies. California law and California wildlife officers take the violation of stealing from commercial fishermens' traps very seriously. In addition to being illegal, this behavior is unethical and unsportsmanlike. If you come across an underwater trap, leave it alone!
The vast majority of lobster anglers, whether divers or hoop netters, are law-abiding. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife website includes a lobster information web page to help lobster enthusiasts stay within the law and have a safe, enjoyable lobster fishing experience.
Question: Is it legal under a California sport fishing license to trap minnows using basic minnow traps? The minnows would be used for targeted game fish (striped bass). I see regulations for commercial minnow trapping but not non-commercial. (Michael N.)
Answer: The term "minnow" often is used to refer to many different species of small baitfish, some of which belong to the minnow family. Depending upon where in the state you plan to use the minnows and, more specifically, which species of minnow (e.g. longjaw mudsucker, fathead minnow, Mississippi silverside, etc.), you will need to check the appropriate baitfish regulations that apply to the specific waters where you intend to fish (California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, Section 4.25).
That said, approved baitfish may be taken by hand, with a dip net, or with traps not over three feet in greatest dimension (CCR Title 14, Section 4.05).
Question: Is it legal to mount a rangefinder on a compound bow when hunting deer or bear? (Roger)

Scopes with laser rangefinders are not prohibited. Just be sure the device does not project any visible light or electronically intensified light for the purpose of either visibly enhancing an animal or providing a visible point of aim on an animal (CCR Title 14, Section 353(i)). These devices may be used only for the take of non-game and furbearing mammals as provided in the Mammal Hunting Regulations (CCR Title 14, Section 264.5).
Title: Re: California Outdoors DFW Q and A
Post by: RHYAK on November 30, 2017, 05:06 PM
My specific questions have to do with the Alameda rock wall located behind Encinal High School in Alameda (Alameda County). Is a California fishing license required at the Alameda rock wall? I've heard some say that it is considered a public pier and would not require a license. 
Also, how many poles (lines) are you allowed to have per angler at the rock wall? Some have said one because Alameda is part of the San Francisco Bay. Others have said that the Alameda rock wall is a jetty, so therefore two poles are allowed. I want to make sure that I'm following all Department of Fish and Wildlife laws when I want to bring new friends into the sport. (Luan T.)
Answer: We appreciate the efforts of experienced fishers to teach their friends and younger generations about fishing and help them gain an appreciation for the outdoors. Public piers are excellent places to take beginners who may be apprehensive about trying to go fishing for the first time. No license is needed when fishing off the Alameda rock wall as it is considered a public pier. In fact, no fishing license is needed when fishing recreationally from any public pier in California.
A public pier is defined in the sport fishing regulations as a publicly owned, man-made structure that has the following characteristics: is connected, above the mean high tide, to the main coastline or to the land mass of a named and charted natural island; has unrestricted free access for the general public; and has been built or currently functions for the primary purpose of allowing angling access to ocean waters (California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 1.88). 
Additionally, publicly owned jetties or breakwaters that are connected to land, as described above, that have free unrestricted access for the general public and whose purpose it is to form the most seaward protective boundary of an ocean harbor are public piers. Jetties, breakwaters, promenades, sea walls, moles, docks, linings, barriers and other structures that are not the most seaward protective boundary of an ocean harbor, are not public piers.
The Alameda rock wall falls under the public pier definition. You may use a total of two fishing appliances off the rock wall. That means you may use two fishing poles - or lines - or one rod/line and one net, or two nets.
Even though a license is not required on a public pier, all other regulations (including minimum size, bag limits and seasons) apply. Good luck and have fun fishing with your friends!
Question: I'm from Bakersfield and I see in the regulations that there is a portion of the Kern River that is open to fishing year-round. Does this also include streams that flow into the Kern River? Also, if you are practicing catch-and-release, can you fish for trout when the season is closed? (Cody G.)
Answer: Cody, you are correct in that the portion of the Kern River from Lake Isabella north to the Johnsondale Bridge is open to trout fishing year-round. However, the other waters in that part of Tulare County, including the streams that flow into the Kern River, fall under the general regulations for the Sierra Sport Fishing District and are only open the last Saturday in April through Nov. 15. If you have specific questions about particular streams, you can always check the Trout, Salmon and Special Regulations portion of the 2017-18 Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations, which will list individual waters, such as the Kern River, that have special fishing regulations. If the specific stream you are curious about is not listed, then that stream falls under the general regulations of that particular sport fishing district.
Please be aware that the Kern River above the Johnsondale Bridge is a special regulation water that is open to trout fishing the last Saturday in April to Nov. 15 with restricted limits and minimum size requirements, and only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used.
In regard to your other question, you cannot fish for trout in any fashion when the season is closed to trout fishing. The portions of the Kern River that close to trout fishing are also closed to fishing for all other fish species with the exception of fishing for amphibians, freshwater clams, crayfish and lampreys. When fishing for these other species, however, no hook-and-line methods are allowed during the closed trout season. See the California Code of Regulations Title 14, sections 7.00 and 7.50 for more information about fishing in these waters. 
Title: Re: California Outdoors DFW Q and A
Post by: RHYAK on February 09, 2018, 06:36 PM

I jumped on an open party lobster trip recently (their counts were high!). The crew members were measuring while all of us were watching up close. The 3" tool would drop over the carapace and if fairly tight, they claimed it to be a "keeper". When I politely asked them about this, they were adamant that these were legal bugs. Can you please describe proper measuring at the edge of a lobster's carapace? Can the tool drop in over the carapace edge, and if it's tight, then it's a legal bug? (Jim Kelley)
The crew members were correct - an accurate measuring gauge should fit tightly in a straight line measurement on the lobster carapace from the rear edge of the eye socket to the rear edge of the body shell. When the lobster gauge is placed on the carapace, there should be no space at all between the gauge and the carapace. Please make sure the part of the gauge that is placed on the rear edge of the eye socket is on the hard part of the shell, not on the soft fleshy part where the eyes are. If there is any gap at all between the lobster carapace and the gauge, no matter how small, the lobster is too short and a citation could be issued. See California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 29.90(c) for specific language.
I have a drone that is set up for fishing. I have a Cannon downrigger quick-release that I can attach to my drone. I would like to use my drone to troll or as a jig. When the fish strikes, the line would be pulled free from the drone, and I would fight and retrieve the fish with my rod and reel. Is that legal? (James K.)
Under existing law, using a drone to jig tackle that remains connected to your rod and reel is not illegal so long as the drone is being legally flown in a legal area. Recognizing that regulations on drones are becoming tighter, especially in sensitive areas, you need to be familiar with all local ordinances or special jurisdictions as well. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued citations to drone operators for "harassing wildlife" in some areas of the state, so use common sense when flying and be aware of your fellow anglers.
Is it legal to hunt from a float tube for ducks and geese in Blythe? (Anonymous)
Yes, during the season, you can hunt from a float tube for ducks and geese in Blythe, but you must mind where the state boundary is within the river so that you do not float into Arizona with unlawfully taken birds. There are some places where you may be on what appears to be the California side of the river while you are actually standing in Arizona. The belt-and-suspenders approach is to buy both a California resident hunting license and an Arizona non-resident hunting license, with each respective state duck stamp, and the federal migratory bird stamp.
Duck season just ended and although the last weekend was slow due to the unseasonably warm weather, the prior two weekends were good. I would like to take several friends to a restaurant where they will prepare my own ducks for us to eat. I have heard this is legal to do but I don't know what the requirements are to stay within the law. (Jake M., Sacramento)
Fish and Game Code, Section 2015 provides the legal authorization and requirements. Although it is generally unlawful to possess a bird, mammal, fish, amphibian or reptile, that may not be legally sold, in a restaurant or other eating establishment, there are specific exceptions that would apply in your situation.
Those exceptions include: (1) A person who lawfully took or otherwise legally possessed the bird, mammal, fish, amphibian or reptile, (2) a person preparing the bird, mammal, fish, amphibian or reptile for consumption by the person who lawfully took or possessed it, or by that person and others, if the person who took or possessed it is present on the premises, or (3) a bird, mammal, fish, amphibian or reptile tagged with a signed statement from the person who took the bird, mammal, fish, amphibian or reptile. The statement must include that person's name and address, the date it was taken and the total number and kind taken.
You can enjoy your duck dinner at your favorite restaurant with your friends
Title: Re: California Outdoors DFW Q and A
Post by: RHYAK on March 21, 2018, 10:27 AM
California Outdoors Q&A: More Than One GO ID on Crab Buoys?

Question: Is there any regulation that would prohibit multiple GO IDs on crab buoys? For instance, if a group of friends wanted to share the same crab gear, could they each place their GO IDs on the buoys? (Steve Brown)

Answer: For recreational fishing, there is no regulation prohibiting multiple GO IDs on crab trap buoys used under a sport fishing license (California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, Section 29.80(c)(3).) The GO ID number on the buoy must match the GO ID of the operator's sport fishing license (CCR Title 14, Section 29.80(c)(3).)

If the operator is not the owner of the gear, then written permission from the owner of the trap needs to be in the operator's possession. This includes permission transmitted by email or text (CCR Title 14, Section 29.80(a)(3)).

Note that CCR Title 14, Section 29.85(a)(5), requires that crab traps used on a commercial passenger fishing vessel have the commercial boat registration number on the buoy.

Question: Is there a limit on the number of crab traps a recreational crab fishermen can drop? I personally have 19 crab pots I inherited from my grandfather and want to know if I can use all of them at one time. (Philip)

Answer: There is no limit on the number of crab traps a recreational fisherman can use unless they are on a commercial passenger fishing vessel, in which case the vessel is limited to 60 traps for taking Dungeness crab (CCR Title 14, Section 29.85(a)(4)). However, it is unlawful to waste any fish (CCR Title 14, Section 1.87), which includes Dungeness crab (the definition of "fish" includes crab - see Fish and Game Code (FGC), Section 45). That means that you are expected to regularly check all of the traps that you use. Crabs left in traps that are not regularly checked eventually die and can attract more crabs to the trap, which could be considered waste of fish.

Question: I know there are boat safety courses. Is it required to have passed a boat safety course to legally operate a vessel on the sea to either fish or crab? (Phillip)

Answer: The mandatory boating safety education law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and will be phased in by age. If you operate any type of motorized vessel on California waterways (including powered sailboats/paddlecraft), you will be required to pass an approved boating safety examination and carry a California Boater Card. The first group required to take the exam are boaters 20 years of age and younger. Each year after January 2018, a new age group will be added to those who are required to possess a valid card. Once issued, the card remains valid for an operator's lifetime. The cost of the card is $10. You can apply online through the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways.

Question: I am trying to craft a project made out of wood that may require small amounts of fur or hide from an animal. Is it legal to buy those parts from a different state and get them shipped to California? Or would I have to try to find a store in California that sells them? (Erick)

Answer: With few exceptions, FGC Section 3039 states that it is unlawful to sell or purchase any bird or mammal found in the wild in California. But products or handicrafts made from fur-bearing mammals and non-game mammals lawfully taken under the authority of a trapping license may be purchased or sold. Therefore, regardless of whether the seller is within the state, you should make sure that you are not purchasing any fur or hide from any animal found in the wild in California, unless you can document the fur or hide was lawfully taken by a licensed trapper. One of the exceptions is FGC Section 4303, which states that the skin or hide of any deer lawfully taken may be sold, purchased, tanned, or manufactured into articles for sale. This may be an option for you.

Be advised there are special restrictions related to bears. FGC Section 4758 states that it is unlawful to sell or purchase, or possess for sale, the meat, skin, hide, teeth, claws, or other parts of any bear in this state.