San Joaquin Delta hunting
Question: I was recently told that I can hunt anywhere along the San Joaquin Delta for waterfowl as long as the boat is not moving and I don’t use a motor to retrieve the ducks and geese. I am wondering if this is true or are there only specific areas where waterfowl hunting is allowed?
Answer: Many areas of the San Joaquin Delta are open to waterfowl hunting from a boat, but general laws do apply so you could not hunt or shoot a firearm within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling, cannot hunt on private property or within prohibited areas such as municipalities. It is important to research your specific hunting area and know legal access points.
No person shall pursue, drive, herd or take any bird or mammal from any type of motor-driven air or land vehicles, motorboat, airboat, sailboat or snowmobile (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 251). Exceptions are also listed, including 1) When the motor of such motorboat, airboat, or sailboat has been shut off and/or the sails furled and its progress therefrom has ceased, and it is drifting, beached, moored, resting at anchor, or is being propelled by paddle, oar or pole. Although you cannot shoot a bird while your boat is under power, you can use your motor to retrieve dead waterfowl.
Lobster report cards
Question: I have a question regarding lobster report cards. I was wondering if I have to buy a new one every time I go out. The lady at the sporting goods store said I had to. This doesn’t seem right because the limit is seven lobsters and there are about 100 spaces to fill out. Please let me know as I don’t want to keep buying these every time if I don’t really have to.
Answer: No, you do not need to buy a new report card each time you go on a lobster trip. Here are some basic tips for filling out your card properly:
Prior to beginning lobster fishing activity, you must record the month, day, location and gear code on the first available line on the report card. When you move to another location, switch gear or finish fishing for the day, you must immediately record on the card the number of lobster kept for that location using a particular gear type. New lines must be used when changing locations, days or gear types.
Enter only one gear type per line. Even if multiple gear types are deployed simultaneously, each gear type must be entered on its own line with the catch correctly split between the gear types. Only a handful of cards are returned to the Department of Fish and Game each year with every single line filled in — using new lines for each instance of changing gear, location, etc. will not cause you to have to buy a new card!
Make sure to write the correct information in each field (for example, don’t enter the location code where the number of lobsters is supposed to be). Use the location code number — do not write in the name of the location.
Fill in all of the fields. For example, if two locations are fished on the same day, fill in the date for both locations. If no lobsters are taken, fill in “0.”
An additional lobster report card may be purchased in the event an individual fills in all lines and returns the card.
All lobster report cards need to be returned, even if no lobster were taken. In the event a card was bought but not used, you should write “did not lobster fish” across the card, and turn it in.
DFG will accept late cards but the data is important for monitoring the fishery, so returning it by the deadline helps greatly.
One last thing: don’t forget to use indelible ink.
Carrying a sidearm
Question: I am a person who does everything by the book and I have a question regarding sidearms while hunting. Is it legal to carry a sidearm for protection while upland game bird and/or small game hunting or is it considered a method of take and illegal? If it is legal, does the lead-free ammunition restriction apply when in the condor range?
Answer: Yes, it is legal to carry a sidearm for protection while upland game bird and/or small game hunting as long as you don’t use it to take the game. If hunting in condor country, the ammunition for your sidearm must be lead-free.
Carrie Wilson is 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.