California Department of Fish and Game
Raw or cooked
Question: I often go to Fort Bragg with a group of friends to get abalone. On the first day we all make our dives, and then in the evening we have abalone and a fish fry. The abalone is all sliced, pounded and breaded. Some always remains uncooked or cooked and not eaten. We go diving again the next day and get our limits again, and then head home that day or the next. I know I may only possess three abalone in the shells. However, what about the abalone I have left over, including the abalone that has been sliced, pounded and breaded for food? Will I be in violation for being over my limit? Do I need to keep the old shells and tags?
Answer: The law states: No more than one daily bag limit of each kind of fish, amphibian, reptile, mollusk or crustacean named may be taken or possessed by any one person unless otherwise authorized; regardless of whether they are fresh, frozen or otherwise preserved (California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 1.17).
According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Lt. Dennis McKiver, even if you have leftover abalone that is pounded, breaded and cooked, it remains part of your abalone limit until you either eat it or give it away. If you have a partial abalone left over after your first day’s dinner, you would only be allowed to get two abalone the next day. Otherwise you would be over your possession limit. If you have three tagged abalone in their shells and one partial abalone pounded and breaded and you are headed home, you would not only be in violation of being in possession of an over limit, but you would also be in violation of transporting an abalone that has been removed from the shell.
In the future, make sure you eat all of your prepared abalone or else give it away before you get another full limit or head home.
Pet dwarf caiman
Question: I want to keep a pet dwarf caiman and was wondering how I can get a permit to do so. I know a lot about them and how to handle them properly based on what I’ve learned from other gator experts and gator farm workers. I have done a lot of research myself and know to never release a caiman into the wild.
Answer: Unfortunately, you cannot keep a pet dwarf caiman. California restricts the importation and possession of many species, including all species in the order Crocodilia. No restricted species may be imported or possessed for pet purposes. For additional information and a list of restricted species, go to dfg.ca.gov/about/wildlife.html and click on “Restricted Species Laws” (PDF).
Wild feral hog business
Question: I am interested in starting a company to focus on trapping/eradicating wild feral hogs. Does California have a permit program for this venture? If so, how can I get information and an application to allow me to do this? Are there any counties that need this service?
Answer: According to DFG Statewide Wild Pig Program Coordinator Marc Kenyon, a property owner may apply to the DFG for a permit (depredation permit) to kill wild pigs causing damage to his or her property. This depredation permit contains a section wherein up to three individuals may be listed to act as an “agent” on behalf of the landowner. These agents may kill the pigs for the landowner in the manner specified on the permit. You, as a sole proprietor of a company, could be listed as an agent on this permit at the time it is issued by DFG, and then you would be able to take the pigs as specified in the permit.
Wild pig populations are mostly concentrated around the central coastal counties, ranging from Mendocino to Ventura counties.
Shooting clay pigeons
Question: Is it legal to shoot clay pigeons in the same fields that I use for dove hunting when doves are not in season?
Answer: Fish and Game laws do not generally cover target practice. However, Fish and Game law does prohibit target practice on most state wildlife areas, except in specifically designated areas that are identified as such.
Keep in mind that shooting clay targets produces a lot of litter. Please make sure you have the property owner’s permission before you do it and comply with their requirements regarding cleanup.
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.