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California Outdoors for the week of 11/9/2011

Wanted: rattlesnake wrangler

Question: Do you have a phone number for someone from Fish and Game to come get a rattlesnake out of my yard? I don’t want it killed.

—Anonymous

Answer: Sorry, but Department of Fish and Game (DFG) staff will not come out to your house to remove or relocate rattlesnakes residing in your yard. However, if you can muster up the courage to deal with it yourself, you will not need a license to kill or trap it. If not, and you have no neighbors, friends or family members willing to help you move the rattlesnake, your best option will be to contact a professional pest control service to do it.

For the future, here are some helpful hints from DFG Associate Wildlife Biologist Nicole Carion on how to discourage rattlesnakes from taking up residence near your home.

—Don’t let feed from bird feeders overflow and build up on the ground to attract rodents.

—Don’t allow high rodent populations to occur near your house. Rattlesnakes are great population managers for ground squirrels and other rodents, so try to keep their numbers down.

—Always be mindful when working in or around wood or rock piles. Don’t stack these materials near your house.

—Also, for the safety of your pets, remember to keep them indoors, especially at night.

 

Importing excess fish

Question: I live on the California/Oregon border as a resident of California. I have both California and Oregon fishing licenses. My primary fishing is in the surf for redtail perch. California’s limit for perch is 10 per day. Oregon’s limit is 15 per day. If I legally take my Oregon limit in the Gold Beach area, is it legal for me to bring them home to California? Can I certify the catch as being caught in Oregon at the agriculture check station upon re-entry into California?

—Al T.

Answer: It is legal to import the redtail surfperch taken in Oregon in excess of California’s limit of 10, but you cannot take any redtail in California until you have fewer than 10 in your possession (that means either consume them or give away the extra). Prior to bringing them into California you will need to fill out a Declaration for Entry form. They are available online at dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/docs/declaration_form.pdf or in the 2011 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet on page 79.

 

Threatening bear

Question: Someone recently asked what can be done with a nuisance bear that has been vandalizing garbage cans, threatening animals and making everyone nervous. You said they could only shoot the bear if the bear hunting season was open and they had a hunting license and bear tag, or if they had already qualified for a Depredation Permit. Well, what about if the bear gets more aggressive and wants more than a garbage can, and it actually breaks into someone’s house? What if it actually goes after their pets or their livestock? What should the owner do, call the DFG or the local sheriff’s department for help?

—Anonymous

Answer: The bear problem in the previous Q&A concerned a “nuisance bear” that was essentially looking for an easy meal by raiding unsecured garbage cans for discarded human food. The problem you describe, though, is more serious.

According to DFG Bear Program Manager Marc Kenyon, if the bear is immediately threatening human safety by chasing someone, attacking someone or even entering an occupied dwelling — essentially a “nuisance bear” that has elevated itself to a “public safety animal” — then the bear can be killed immediately without a tag or permit. Also, if a bear is discovered while in the act of injuring, harassing or killing livestock (including honeybees, oddly enough) or a pet, then the owner or tenant of the land or property may legally shoot the bear immediately without a tag or permit (Fish and Game Code, section 4181.1). He or she will then need to report the killing within 24 hours to DFG.

However, in any situation where you believe a wild animal is threatening human life or safety, immediately call 911 or your local law enforcement agency. They are equipped to respond to such situations and in many instances can provide a much faster response time.

 

Helicopter fishing

Question: I saw a man fishing with a remote-controlled helicopter and he caught a fish with it. Is this legal or not?

Answer: It is legal as long as the remote-controlled vehicle is used only to move an angler’s line around while the angler maintains control of the line attached to the terminal tackle.

 

Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. Contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.


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