WON Big Fish Challenge


Carrie Wilson – DFG Q & A

Click here for Carrie Wilson – DFG Q & A

Sunday, October 30, 2011
Shooting a nuisance bear?
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Nuisance Bears

Turning in Wasted Waterfowl
Question: Last year during waterfowl season my son and I were hunting in a state wildlife area on a pond. As we were wading across the pond on our way out we found a dead duck on the edge of the pond. The bird had clearly been shot and in the water for perhaps a day or two. We picked up the bird and gave it to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) folks at the check-out station when we turned in our shoot cards for the day and showed our harvested birds. We were told that since the bird was “in our possession” it counted toward our daily bag total. And since we had limited out, we were now over limit for the day. The folks acknowledged that the bird had probably been dead for a couple of days, but chided us that in the future we should just “let the dead bird lay there” because some animal will eat it eventually. We were not cited but we’re wondering if our behavior was illegal. 


Answer: According to DFG Assistant Chief Mike Carion, picking up the duck does add it to the possession of the person. If you find a dead duck and already have a limit, it is best to leave it. Predators and scavengers will quickly put it to use.


Can lobsters be taken from inside San Diego Bay?


Question: Do you know if divers can take lobster within San Diego Bay? (Bob S.)


Answer: Fish and Game regulations do not specifically prohibit diving for lobster in San Diego Bay. However, much of the bay is closed to all public use (including diving) by local ordinances and federal regulations. Diving in these closed areas by the public for any purpose is prohibited. Please contact the San Diego Police Department or San Diego Harbor Patrol for specific information about these closures.


Purchasing a bow-mounted laser range finder


Question: I am an archery hunter and am interested in purchasing a bow-mounted laser range finder. However, the manufacturer’s website does not list California as a state where this device can be legally used to hunt. The device I’m considering doesn't emit a visible light so I am wondering what the DFG's stance is on this before I make the investment into the product for hunting purposes. (L.C.)


Answer:  If any of the following characteristics are part of the range finder, it will not be legal to use in California for the take of big game:


1) If the laser transmitter is an integral part of the device and is attached when in the field and you are taking big game;


2) If the device electronically alters or intensifies a light source for the purpose of visibly enhancing an animal including projecting a laser beam (red dot) that provides a visible point of aim (even if it is not being used for that purpose);


3) If the device throws, casts or projects an artificial light or electronically alters or intensifies a light source for the purpose of providing a visible point of aim directly on an animal.


Devices that are commonly referred to as laser rangefinders, "red-dot" scopes with self-illuminating reticules and fiberoptic sights with self-illuminating sight or pins that do not throw, cast or project a visible light onto an animal are permitted (Fish and Game Code, section 2005).


Lead ammo for pistol in condor country?


Question: In the lead-free condor zone, can I carry a pistol that is loaded with lead ammo for self defense, with the intention of NEVER using it for hunting purposes? The purpose of carrying it is for self defense only. Of course I'll be carrying lead-free ammo for my rifles, but I want to know about the side arm. Personally, I carry either a Glock 20 in 10mm or a Ruger 44mag. (Brandon C.)


Answer: In order to carry a pistol while hunting in the condor zone, you must carry only lead-free ammunition for it. Lead ammunition is not allowed in the condor zone, even for a sidearm. For more information on the non-lead requirements in condor country, please go to www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/condor/.


Is it legal to spearfish a marlin while diving?


Question: I had an argument with my friend over whether or not we could spear a marlin while diving. I know that you can't spear broadbill, but I looked up the allowed fish that spearfishermen can take and it clearly says in the regulations that we can spear marlins (see section 28.90). But my friend read that section and he said a broadbill is a marlin, so that means I can't spear those fish. Is he right? (Anonymous)

It is legal to spearfish for marlin but not for broadbill swordfish - they are different species!


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Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week. Please contact her at CWilson@dfg.ca.gov.

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