Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 12:32 pm | Fair 74º

 
 
 
 
Outdoors

Outdoors Q&A: Can Sport-Caught Fish Be Donated to the Food Bank?

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! Click to view larger
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! (CDFG photo)

Question: We 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.

Because 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.

Many food banks and soup kitchens no longer accept donations of meat or fish that is not USDA-certified, so you may want to check with them in advance.

Airguns and Upland Game Hunting?

Q: 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)

A: 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 category of game includes wild turkey (must use at least 0.177 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.

Diving for Fish After Abalone Limit Reached?

Q: Just a quick question now that abalone season is upon us. I took up spear fishing 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 spear fish after I get my limit of abalone? (Tom R.)

A: It is legal to spear fish 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?

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

A: 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 regulation 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?

Q: 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)

A: 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 (CCR Title 14, section 2.09).

There’s an exception, though, under the provisions of spear fishing (CCR Title 14, section 2.30).

— 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 >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
"We both love this business. We strive to make life long relationships from each real estate transaction."

Full Profile >