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Sport-Caught Fish as Food Bank Gift?

California Outdoors Q&A, Carrie Wilson, myoutdoorbuddy.com
e often take folks out fishing while they are visiting the area and staying at hotels, bed-and-breakfasts or campsites. Unfortunately, they are often not able to consume all of the fish that they catch. We understand we are allowed to gift fish to friends and family members (as long as each individual does not possess more than one bag limit per person per day).

Are there restrictions on gifting extra fish to local food banks or soup kitchens as long as the food bank would want and accept them? This is a question from a traveler who is interested in planning a future trip. (Jenny O., Santa Cruz)

Answer: Yes, a person is allowed to donate (gift) any fish taken to a food bank or soup kitchen that does not charge money for the fish as long as the fish were legally taken and the daily bag limit was not exceeded. Since every person is only allowed to take or possess one daily bag limit of fish per day, anglers should individually donate their fish to avoid having someone transport more than a possession limit of fish at any time. Since many food banks and soup kitchens no longer accept donations of meat or fish that is not USDA-certified, you may want to check with them in advance.

Party boat, courtesy of CDFW
Sport-caught fish can be donated to a food bank or soup kitchen as long as they were legally taken, don’t exceed the angler’s bag limit and as long as the food bank or soup kitchen will accept them. Be sure to check with them first! Courtesy CDFG.

Airguns and Upland Game Hunting?
Question: My buddy and I are part of the ever increasing population of airgun hunters. We typically take rabbits and ground squirrels, but would like to use these .22 caliber precharged pneumatics for turkey and other upland game, such as quail and dove. While we believe the regulations cover the turkey hunting explicitly, can you confirm if it is also legal to take dove and quail with these firearms? (Jason C., Windsor)

Answer: Resident small game (as listed in California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 257) may be taken with an air rifle firing pellets and powered by compressed air or gas. This includes: wild turkey (must use 0.20 caliber or larger), Eurasian collared doves, quail, non-protected squirrels, jack rabbits and cottontails, in addition to the other resident small game species defined in section 257.

Western mourning dove, white-winged dove and band-tailed pigeons are listed as migratory game birds and may not be taken with an air rifle.

Continue diving for fish after abalone limit reached?
Question: Just a quick question now that abalone season is upon us. I took up spearfishing last season and really enjoy it. I know the regulations state that once you reach your limit on abalone you must immediately stop diving. Does this mean stop diving altogether or just for abalone? I guess the question I am asking is can I continue to dive and spearfish after I get my limit of abalone? (Tom R.)

Answer: It is legal to spearfish after harvesting abalone. Abalone divers may take up to three abalone per day, and no more than three abalone may be possessed at any time. Nothing in the regulations requires you to exit the water after harvesting a limit of abalone. However, individuals “taking abalone shall stop detaching abalone when the limit of three is reached” (CCR Title 14, section 29.15(c)). This section also requires abalone divers to retain all legal-sized abalone they detach until they reach the limit.

Crayfish for bait?
Question: I was wondering if you can use crayfish as bait when fishing for freshwater fish, such as bass? (Jerry Y.)

Answer: Generally, crayfish may be used for bait statewide, with some exceptions (see CCR Title 14, sections 4.00 and 5.35). Even though crayfish are allowed as bait for bass fishing in most areas of California, if the crayfish were not caught and used in the same waters from where taken, many lakes prohibit anglers entering lakes with live bait. This is due to the potential for the introduction of exotic species, such as quagga and zebra mussels. There is no way to certify the bait and water holding the bait are free from these species. If you plan on using crayfish brought into a lake, it is important to check ahead of time with the operator of the lake to see if they allow importation of legally acquired bait.

Underwater camera to find trout?
Question: Is it legal to use an underwater camera to look for trout that may be hiding underneath the creek/river bank? Does it matter if it’s used while engaged in the actual activity of trout fishing or when not in possession of a fishing pole? (Jim B., Elk Grove)

Answer: An electronic viewing device, such as an underwater camera, would be legal but a non-electronic viewing device (such as goggles, scuba mask, etc.), would be prohibited for taking fish (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 2.09). There’s an exception, though, under the provisions of spearfishing (CCR Title 14, section 2.30).

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. Please contact her at CalOutdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

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Game Wardens and Ghost Towns

All that’s left of the ghost town of Newville are the remains of this service station. I remember the old hand-pump gas tank still being out front during the 1960s; it’s gone now. Photo by Steven T. Callan
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The drake mallard, with its iridescent green head., by Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan 
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Western Toad, by kathy callan
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Rafting and Reflecting on the American

Rafting on the American River, by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
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​In Search of the Elegant Trogon

Male hooded oriole in pomegranate tree, photo by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
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Don Webster, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
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hand holding fish, by phil akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
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​A Letter to Ted Trueblood

Ted Trueblood, photo courtesy of Don Webster
By Don Webster
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Flat tires! Are They Undetectable?

Example of what happens to a flat tire driven at freeway speed and possibly ten miles distance, photo by Don Stec
By Don Stec
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Poaching in the Parks

A stately bull elk in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Photo by Kathy Callan
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Those Wonderful Wildlife Caregivers

Steven T. Callen with one of three orphaned black bear cubs, circa 1981. Photo courtesy of Steven T. Callan
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Caribou Wilderness

Susan Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
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A Jewel in the Desert

Once coveted by the pet trade, native reptiles, like this chuckwalla, may no longer be sold in California. Photo by Steven T. Callan
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Indigo snake
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Marijuana Wars and the California DFW

ish and Wildlife Warden Jerry Karnow with suspected poisoned bear at an illegal marijuana grow site. Photo courtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife Warden Jerry Karnow
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Life is hard... it's even harder if you're stupid, John Wayne
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Pup, Phil Akers, A Happy Dog is a Panting Dog
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Butte Valley Wildlife Area with Mount Shasta in background, photo by Kathy and Steven Callan
By Steven T. Callan 
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USMC Tactical Survival Axe, AKA: ‘The Bruiser’, photo by William E. Simpson
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blue lake surrounded by gray snow peaked mountains with green grass meadow in the foreground. Photo by Phil Flip Akers
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A humungous crowd of people.
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Silver mobile home with striped awning, parked on a grassy field alongside a river with forested hills leading up to snow capped mountains. Photo by William E. Simpson
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Snow geese at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. photo by Steven T. Callan
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NASA image depicting solar storm impacting earth’s geomagnetic field.
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Wild (feral) stallions competing - copyright Laura Simpson 2014
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Ishi

 Newspaper headline from early August 1911. Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Bee.
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Kathy at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, beside one of the largest (redwood) trees on Earth., photo by Steven T. Callan
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Jim Broshears, Mt. Lassen view from Brokeoff Mountain
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The Mystery of the Middle Fork – Part III

Jim Broshears, Trailhead Tales author badge for My outdoor buddy
By Jim Broshears
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The Mystery of the Middle Fork -- Part II

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The Mystery of the Missing Valley By Jim Broshears
Article and photos by Jim Broshears
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