Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 7:03 am | Overcast 64º

 
 
 
 

Outdoors Q&A: California Camp Meat Act?

Fishing for answers about lobsters, crabs and live marine rocks

Camping on serene night beneath light of moon. Click to view larger
Camping on serene night beneath light of moon. (Creative Commons)

Question: I wonder if you could settle the subject of a discussion. Recently, I mentioned in camp that it was legal in California to kill “camp meat” under certain prescribed rules.

For instance, if there were 10 men in camp for 11 days or more (perhaps 11 men, 10 days), then they could kill any one deer for “camp meat.”

Such meat must be prepared and consumed in camp and no meat could be removed from the camp’s vicinity. All of my friends flatly stated no such law existed, or ever had.

I am almost certain such a law was in effect until at least the 1970s, dating back to the late 1800s. Could you tell me the current standing of said act, correct wording, whether or not it is still in effect, or when rescinded, if it ever was? (Tom W., SoCal)

Answer: We checked Fish and Game Code books from the 1930s, '40s and '50s, and they all require a tag when taking deer in California. We couldn’t find any reference to “camp meat” or the ability to kill deer strictly for camp meat purposes.

In California, at least, we believe this law never existed.

Lobster limits with a multi-day permit?

Q: What’s the total number of lobsters a recreational fisherman is allowed to possess?

A friend contends that with a three-day, multi-day permit purchased from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) that the limit is 21 lobsters (three days times seven lobsters).

My understanding from reading the regs is that it is never to exceed seven legal-sized lobsters. If so, why do they sell a multi-day permit? (Bill P.)

A: Multi-day permits may be issued to fishermen who will be away from the mainland continuously for three or more consecutive days, including a minimum period of 12 hours or more at sea on the first and last days of the trip (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 27.15).

In addition, the permit prohibits berthing or docking within five miles of the mainland shore. The usual lobster bag limit is seven lobsters per person unless the person has secured a multi-day permit prior to their trip. Daily bag limits always apply for these trips.

With this permit, if the person is away from the mainland at sea for at least three days, they can take and keep up to three days of lobster bag limits (3 x 7 = 21) like your friend said.

The person may then retain those 21 lobsters in their possession but should keep the approved permit with those lobsters until at least two of the bag limits (14) are consumed or gifted.

Why fish Dungeness crabs at 200 feet?

Q: Why in Monterey Bay must we set pots at 200 feet or deeper to catch crab? (Rick B.)

A: There are no regulations requiring you to fish your pots at a certain depth, you’ll just need to figure out what that best depth is. Adult, legal-size Dungeness crabs are often found in deeper water.

You should check with other crabbers to see what depths they are finding success in. It changes all the time. I just spoke to a commercial crabber this weekend and he’s fishing his traps from 150 to 500 feet.

Live marine rocks for home aquarium?

Q: Is it legal to take any marine life or rocks from the California coastline for use in an in-home aquarium? (James H.)

A: Finfish may not be transported alive from the water where taken, except under the authority of a scientific collecting permit or a marine aquaria collector’s permit.

The removal of “live rocks” (rocks with living marine organisms attached) is also prohibited in many areas, including federal marine sanctuaries, state marine protected areas and state parks.

Also, only the following tidal invertebrates may be taken in any tidepool, where not otherwise prohibited:

Red abalone, limpets, moon snails, turban snails, chiones, clams, cockles, mussels, rock scallops, native oysters, octopuses, squid, crabs, lobsters, shrimp, sand dollars, sea urchins and worms (except that no worms may be taken in any mussel bed).

All legal size limits and possession limits must be followed and a fishing license must be in possession in order to take. All other tidal invertebrates may only be taken outside 1,000 feet seaward from the high-tide mark.

Please note that most of the smaller rocks exposed and surrounded by water above mean high tide are within the California Coastal National Monument — where all objects, including rocks, are protected and it is prohibited to collect or remove them or organisms on them.

— Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. She can be reached at [email protected].

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 Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • 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 >

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 >