Tuesday, September 18 , 2018, 8:53 am | Fair 59º

 
 
 
 
Outdoors

Outdoors Q&A: What’s the Best Method for Catching Octopus?

Octopus and shrimp in an Anacapa Island reef. The eight-limbed cephalopods may be taken at any time of year so long as a number of rules are followed. Click to view larger
Octopus and shrimp in an Anacapa Island reef. The eight-limbed cephalopods may be taken at any time of year so long as a number of rules are followed. (Derek Stein photo)

Question: We have a question about catching octopuses. Can octopuses caught in crab traps be kept? Can sport fishermen use traps to target octopus for sushi or to use for bait? If not traps, can you recommend a better way? Also, are there any seasons, bag limits and/or size limits for octopus? (Nick W.)

Answer: No, traps may not be used to take octopus. They can be taken only by hand or hook-and-line fishing gear, and no chemicals of any kind may be used to assist in taking octopus by hand.

Octopus may be taken year-round, and up to 35 octopuses may be taken per day or possessed at any time.

Scuba diving equipment may not be used to take octopus north of Yankee Point, Monterey County (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 29.05). There are no size limits for octopus.

Legal to Hunt With an AK 47?

Q: Is it legal to hunt with a California-legal AK 47? I understand I am supposed to use soft point ammunition, but I was wondering if the rifle itself will pose legal issues when it comes to hunting. (James M.)

A: If your rifle is one that is legal to possess in California, it would be legal to use for hunting purposes. However, you must have legal ammunition for the area and species you plan to hunt.

When hunting big game, center-fire ammunition and soft-nosed or expanding bullets are required.

Nonlead projectiles are required when taking bighorn sheep or when hunting any wildlife on a state-managed Wildlife Area or Ecological Reserve.

The laws relating to assault rifles and high-capacity magazine are quite complex. The agency with the most expertise in this area is the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms (note the sections that specifically address assault weapons and high capacity magazines).

You can either check their website or call their general information line at 916.227.7527.

Trapping Eurasian Doves for Bird Dog Training?

Q: Is it legal to trap Eurasian doves? I’ve purchased a bird dog pup and would like to use the doves for live bird training.

If it is legal, do I just need my hunting license or is a trapping license needed? Also, are there any special rules about transporting them live to a field to train with? (Chris R.)

A: Eurasian collared doves are resident game birds, and the allowed “methods of take” can be found in the Waterfowl and Upland Game Hunting Regulations booklet under CCR Title 14, section 311 on page 26.

Trapping is not an allowable method of take for game birds.

Nonlicensed Guest Fishing at My Private Pond?

Q: I recently purchased a home with a private pond. Is it OK for my guests to fish the pond without a fishing license? (Randy N.)

A: A sport fishing license is not required for fishing in waters on private property by the owner or the owner’s invitee if a number of conditions are met.

First, those waters must be wholly enclosed by that owner’s real property, and the waters not have a hydrological connection to any permanent or intermittent waterway of the state.

Also, an invitee shall not have compensated the owner for such a fishing privilege, nor shall the fish be taken for profit. Otherwise, your guests need fishing licenses.

Seasons, bag limits and other California angling regulations apply to all waters on private lands in California, except for the ponds of registered aquaculturists.

Selling a Moose Mount?

Q: Can a person sell a moose mount? I don’t see anything in code or title but thought you may know. (Yvette A. )

A: California law does not prohibit the sale of a moose mount because moose are not found in the wild in California.

Fish and Game Code, section 3039(a) states, “It is unlawful to sell or purchase a bird or mammal found in the wild in California.”

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

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