Wednesday, March 21 , 2018, 4:14 am | Overcast 56º


Outdoors Q&A: Target Shooting Directly Next to a Wetland

Q: I was walking the Yolo Bypass Levee north of Interstate 80 this weekend and saw a group shooting from the levee at some targets that were placed right next to the slough and adjacent wetlands to the east. If waterfowl hunters are required to use nonlead shot to prevent incidental lead poisoning, shouldn’t target shooters firing where their shot will enter the wetland also have to use nonlead shot?

It was also disappointing to see a lot of spent shells, clay target debris and glass left all over the ground. Is there any particular regulation prohibiting this? Thanks. (Beckye S.)

A: California Fish and Wildlife laws don’t prohibit the use of lead ammunition for target shooting, but they do prohibit people from depositing garbage, shells, glass, etc., within 150 feet of state waters (Fish and Game Code, section 5652.) If you see this again, please call CalTip at 888.334.2258 and report it.

Legal to Drop Dungeness Crab Traps the Day/Night Before Opener?

Q: Is it legal to drop Dungeness crab gear prior to opening day? I’ve heard it’s legal to drop gear the day or night before opening day to let it soak overnight. I looked in the Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet but couldn’t find anything indicating whether this is legal. If it is legal, how long before opening day can it be dropped? And how early can it be retrieved? (Fred S.)

A: Dungeness crab gear may not be set prior to the recreational fishing season opening date, which this year is Saturday, Nov. 2 at 12:01 a.m. Anyone setting gear prior to this date and time may be cited for taking crab out of season.

Looking for a Fishing Guide

Q: We are planning a trip to Oakland in December. Since I will be in meetings every day, my husband would love to go fishing. How can I find an honest and reputable fishing guide? (Christy L.)

A: A list of licensed fishing guides can be found online by clicking here (click on “Lists” and then “Fishing Guides (PDF)”). Other than this, your best bet is to do a Google search for the different guides around San Francisco Bay, and investigate feedback from customers, which is also likely available online.

Donating Game for Fundraising Dinners?

Q: Can pigs taken by hunters as well as pigs taken under depredation permits be donated for use at a fund-raising dinner? (Mike H.)

A: Yes, as long as those donating the animals receive no compensation for their donations and as long as the patrons are not paying for the dinner itself. It is illegal for animals taken under the authority of a hunting license or depredation permit to be bought, sold, traded or bartered.


Q: Can you help settle a debate please? Is intentionally chumming or blood baiting from shore or the pier permissible in California ocean waters? What specific regulations or laws apply? (Heather H.)

A: Yes, chumming in ocean waters is permitted statewide (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 27.05).

Fish Trapping from a Pier

Q: I don’t have a fishing license because I know I am allowed to fish and catch some crab from a public pier. I am wondering though if I am allowed to use a trap to catch fish. The trap would be a mesh cage made of nylon (or another type of durable material). It would have an opening, be attached to a float to keep it about five feet beneath the surface of the water, and have a main line going back up to the pier where I will have the rope tied down to the railing. I am targeting fish, like mackerel. Does this plan all sound alright? (Dave L.)

A: No. Taking mackerel or most other finfish in a trap under a sport fishing license is not permitted. Only a handful of baitfishes (shiner surfperch, longjaw mudsuckers, Pacific staghorn sculpin) may be taken by traps that meet certain dimensions in certain areas of the coast. For details, please see Section 28.75 on Page 46 of the current Ocean Sport Fishing regulations booklet, which is available online by clicking here, at local California Department of Fish and Wildlife offices or wherever sport fishing licenses are sold.

— Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >