New abalone regs
Question: What are the new abalone regulations that will go into effect this year?
Answer: When the abalone harvest season opens April 1, the following two new abalone regulations are going into effect:
1) The Fort Ross area will be closed for the first two months so abalone in this area may be taken only during the months of June, August, September, October and November (CCR Title 14, section 29.15(b)(1)). A map showing the abalone closure area around Fort Ross can be found at http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=42101&inline=true.
2) Individuals taking abalone shall maintain separate possession of their abalone. Abalone may not be commingled in a float tube, dive board, dive bag, or any other container or device, until properly tagged. Only after abalones are properly tagged (as described in CCR Title 14, section 29.16 (b)), may they be commingled with other abalone taken by another person (CCR Title 14, section 29.15(g)(1)).
The Fish and Game Commission (FGC) lifted the emergency closure off the Sonoma County coast so abalone season will open there on April 1 just like everywhere else, except for the Fort Ross area.
Becoming a federal trapper
Question: I have a friend who lost some livestock to either coyotes or a mountain lion. He wants to protect the rest of his animals and was advised to contact the local government trapper. How can a person become a licensed trapper authorized to track down and remove these problem predatory animals?
Answer: Contact the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The mission of this agency is to provide federal leadership and expertise to resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist. For more information, go to aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage.
Black powder restrictions
Question: Why is a black powder revolver, which develops more energy than some centerfire pistols, not legal for hunting?
Answer: There is ever-increasing technology that provides for methods of take not currently authorized by the FGC. As new methods of take are developed, proposals to the FGC can be made for possible additions to the current legal methods authorized by the regulations. Until then, they may not be used.
Disposing of fish guts
Question: What is the law on how to properly dispose of fish guts? If fishing from the shore in San Diego County, may I clean my catch and toss the remaining fish parts back into the ocean? Will the game warden be able to take a correct measurement with the head of the fish removed?
Answer: Fish and Game laws do not prohibit you from returning the fish waste back to the ocean, although local ordinances may. Check with local police or harbor patrol officers for certainty. Once ashore, there is no requirement to keep fish in a whole condition. However, you must retain enough of the fish in order to accurately measure it. Generally, removing the guts is not an issue in determining size.
Replacing lost license
Question: With the old hunting and fishing licenses, I received a copy to be sent in for a replacement if I lost my license. With the new license, what do I do if it gets lost or damaged?
Answer: DFG’s new automated licensing system stores all sales transactions in a database. Simply visit a license agent or DFG office, provide your identification and indicate that you need to replace a lost or destroyed license. The system will verify your initial purchase and issue you a duplicate license. The new system will also be able to replace any additional validations you had to purchase. A duplicate license and replacement fee will be charged.
Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. Contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.