California Outdoors for the week of July 18
Question: I live in Redondo Beach and was told by the city to ask you what could be done about an infestation of the nuisance birds that are an absolute plague in our neighborhood. I have small children that are woken up by these vile creatures starting at 3 a.m. to around 8 a.m.! Please get back to me and let me know what I can and cannot do.
Answer: There is a provision in the Fish and Game regulations that allows landowners to destroy (shoot) crows that are damaging farm fields or other crops. However, it seems this is not what you are dealing with, not to mention the fact that firearms cannot be discharged within city limits. If I interpret your question correctly, your principal complaint is the noise level.
There are actually a number of cities that have similar problems with crows and the cities have coordinated with either the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife to implement abatement measures. Here is a good article written by the Washington Department of Wildlife regarding nuisance crows: http://1.usa.gov/177hxJ1.
As you will see as you read it, it’s a tough issue because most of the abatement measures work only for short periods of time. If you believe the crows are in such a concentration that they create a public health hazard (droppings), then your city or county health department should be notified.
Bottom line, if the roosting crow population continues to grow, the city may need to get involved by contacting the USDA, Wildlife Services Division.
Angel shark limits
Question: Yesterday I caught and released a Pacific angel shark. At first I did not know what it was. It looked like a guitar fish but was different. After looking through the regulations, I didn’t see anything about the Pacific angel shark. Is there a bag limit and/or size limit on them? Or are they a protected species? I also caught and released a broadnose sevengill shark. The regulations list a limit of one but no size limit. Does this mean any size can be taken?
Answer: When a fish species is not mentioned specifically in the Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, section 27.60 applies (found on page 32 of the current Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet). The general bag limit instructs fishermen to keep no more than 20 fish per day, of which no more than 10 fish may be of the same species.
Additionally, there are some species for which there is no bag limit (see section 27.60(b) for these species). If no size limit is given for a species, there is none.
Question: I’ve been seeing turtles at this lake we like to fish, and there’s a good chance I could catch one. What are the regulations regarding catching turtles? Can I bring it home as a pet or to eat?
Answer: Before attempting to catch one of these turtles, it will be important for you to positively identify what species of turtle it is. Be aware it is illegal to capture western pond turtles, a native California species, but it is legal to catch and collect non-native turtles (painted, slider and softshell turtles) under authority of a sportfishing license.
While there are no bag or possession limits for these non-native turtles, there are restrictions on the methods of take that may be used to catch them (California Code of Regulations Title 14, sections 2.00 and 5.60). The only way to legally collect western pond turtles would be if you held a scientific collecting permit (CCR Title 14, section 40(a)). However, these permits are issued only to scientists doing bona fide research.
Hunting license number
Question: How can my son find his existing hunting license number? He has his certificate but lost his license. Can you let us know what to do?
Answer: Your son can contact any CDFW office that issues licenses or any outside vendor that sells hunting licenses, and ask them to look it up. He will just need to provide either a driver license number, or if he is too young to have one, provide the parent’s identification information that the previous license was purchased under.
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 Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.