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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 8:30 am | A Few Clouds 47º


Outdoors Q&A: Collecting Pre-Roasted Turkeys?

Turkeys downed by power lines not fair game

Electrocution not a legal method for hunting turkeys.
Electrocution not a legal method for hunting turkeys. (Carrie Wilson)

Question: From your column, I’ve learned that roadkill is illegal to recover (so that I don’t hunt with my truck). Here’s my question:

In our hilly neighborhood, the turkeys often fly into the power lines, causing a power outage right around breakfast time. On my way to work, I see the roasted turkey near the road.

Since PG&E killed the turkey while it was flying during spring turkey season, and it was obviously fresh, I’m curious if it could have gone into my fridge?

If so, I assume it would have counted against my possession limit. Or is PG&E meat treated the same as roadkill? (Respectfully, Scott S.)

Answer: Good one. Thanks so much for your entertaining question. Unfortunately, you still can’t load these roasted turkeys into your fridge even if it occurred during an open turkey season.

Powerline-killed turkeys are not legal to keep because electrocution is not a legal method of take. To keep a turkey, you must hunt it during the open season with a valid hunting license and upland validation and use a legal method of take.

How to stay safe on the right side of the 50-fathom line?

Q: I have a question about the 50-fathom depth contour boundary for groundfish.

I figured out the boundary is defined as a series of GPS waypoints at about the 50-fathom depth. Some areas seaward of the boundary are shallower than 50 fathoms (300 ft.) and some areas on the land side are greater than 50 fathoms.

So, am I OK as long as I stay on the land side of this boundary no matter the depth? (Jeff L.)

A: Yes. A depth constraint means that during the open season, any species with depth restraints may only be taken or possessed in water depths shallower than the specified depth. Two specific definitions of “depth” apply off California.

In waters shallower than 30 fathoms, depth is defined by general depth contour lines.

In waters equal to or deeper than 30 fathoms, depth is defined by approximating a particular depth contour by connecting the appropriate set of waypoints adopted in federal regulations (50 Code of Federal Regulations Part 660, Subpart C) (California CR Title 14, section 27.20(a)).

Bow hunting during a general season?

Q: Is it legal to hunt deer and/or big game in California with a bow during the general season? (Clayton S.)

A: Yes, as long as your archery equipment meets the general requirements in section 354(c) of the California Code of Regulations Title 14. This regulation can be found in the California Mammal Hunting Regulations booklet beginning on page 28.

Do you need a fishing license to fish at the Fishing in the City events?

Q: I’ve never fished but I’m planning to take my 13-year-old and his friend to a California Department of Fish and Wildlife Fishing in the City event in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has little outdoors experience and is consumed by his cell phone.

I know he does not need a fishing license, but do I if I want to participate? (Nancy M., Burlingame)

A: Fishing in the City offers a great opportunity to introduce a person to fishing, even if they have no experience or equipment. You, your son and his friend are the exact people this program is designed for and we are excited to have you participate.

CDFW has rods to loan and tackle available, and we will teach you what you need to know to get started. Many people have caught their first fish at one of these events.

You are correct about your son not needing a fishing license as he is 15 years old or younger, but you will need one to participate.

Keep in mind, CDFW frequently conducts clinics on either or both of the Free Fishing Days of the year. This year, the Free Fishing Days are July 1 and Sept. 2. More information on the program is available on the Fishing in the City website.

One more thing, many of us parents would like to pull our kids away from the cell phones to enjoy the outdoors, but we recognize how important those devices are to today’s youth.

There are many fishing apps available for download that may pique your son’s interest in other fishing opportunities. Even CDFW has a new online map-based Fishing Guide you can access with good cell reception.

Turn him loose with the app and see if he comes up with any ideas for the next fishing spot he would like to try.

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

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