17th 2010

Posted under Rich Reeser's Outdoor Column




  I didn’t get out this past weekend, but according to everyone who has got out on the water this week is catching fish. Most of them are schoolies around 5 to 8 pounds. Butch Carpenter and son Pat went out this past weekend with Butch handing out fishing lessons by landing a nice striper going 22 pounds.
  Allison Shawnego of Hap’s Bait in Rio Vista said, “Things are on fire” right now with stripers being caught on live mudsuckers from the bank around the Rio Vista Bridge and from boaters. She said sturgeon fishing has been excellent in the Pittsburg area with one boat reporting a triple on at one time at the edge of Sherman Island. They got in 150-pounds of fresh shad today, but they had to struggle through the weekend with a limited supply of shad.

 DFG Announces Changes to 2010 Pheasant Season Operations


California pheasant, dove and fall turkey seasons will open November 13. The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced today that based on a cost-benefit analysis, the only days open for pheasant hunting on DFG Type A Wildlife Areas will be Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays.

Over the past several years, DFG had opened its Wildlife Areas to pheasant hunting on days other than the traditional Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays. In evaluating these opportunities, DFG has concluded it is not cost effective to maintain these non-traditional shoot days for the 2010 season on Type A and Type B Wildlife Areas. 

DFG makes every effort to provide hunter opportunities. This decision is the result of several factors which include budget constraints, cost of department staffing, declining pheasant harvest on public areas, increased length of the pheasant season in recent years and decline in demand for the opportunities on these non-traditional shoot days. As a result, DFG has determined it will be more cost effective to direct these resources to habitat management and improving future opportunities. 

Hunter opportunities on Type C Wildlife Areas will remain open as normal but the Type A and Type B Wildlife Areas will be limited to only the Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays for the 2010 pheasant season. Reports and publications on pheasant can be found at A list of Wildlife Areas can be found at DFGs website ( or in the current Waterfowl and Upland Game Hunting Regulations booklet.

California Outdoors Q&As
When Is a Duck Not a Duck Anymore?

Question: During waterfowl season, I would like to hold onto as many birds as I can so that I can mount those birds that are in the best shape. But at what point does a duck go from being a duck in my possession to a carcass for mounting? Does a skinned-out bird count as one duck toward that season’s bag limit? Do birds in the freezer from last year count toward this season’s bag limit? Do mounted birds count toward my possession limit? I would like to know what the regulations are and abide by them. (Brian P.)
Answer:  According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Assistant Chief Mike Carion, generally, Fish and Game laws and regulations prohibit a person from having more than the bag or possession limit prescribed for each species. You may not keep game for longer than 10 days following the season, unless you have a valid hunting license (or a copy) for that species that was issued to you or to the person who donated the birds to you. The license must have been issued for the current or immediate past license year. Possession limits apply to each person in the household whether they were the taker of the game or not. As long as you do not possess more than the legal possession limit for each person living at the residence, you will still be in compliance with the laws.
If you plan on mounting birds for another person, you will be required to obtain a Federal Taxidermy Permit (Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 50, section 21.24) and will be required to tag all birds belonging to someone else (specific requirements can be found in CFR Title 50, section 20.36). In addition, you must keep accurate records of who you obtained the birds from, date taken, species and who you deliver the bird to. (Fish and Game Code, section 3087 and California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, section 695).
As far as at what point a duck is no longer a duck and instead a carcass for mounting, under DFG laws, “bird” means any wild bird or part thereof. A feather, bone, webfoot, etc. from a wild duck is always a bird. Once you remove, consume or otherwise use the edible portions of the bird, the bird would no longer count toward your possession limit for the season. As long as you have the edible portions of the bird, it would still count toward your possession limit.
Once you skin out a duck and remove all of the edible portions, the edible portion remains part of your possession limit while the remainder of the carcass can be kept for taxidermy without counting toward your possession limit.
Keep in mind that birds still in the freezer from last year DO count toward this season’s possession limit, but mounted birds that were legally taken and preserved by taxidermy are not counted in either the bag or possession limits.
For more information, please see Fish and Game Code, sections 22, 2001 and 3080, available online at
Legal method to take rock scallops?


Question: What is the legal method of take for rock scallops and are there any size limitations? Am I allowed to SCUBA dive for rock scallops? (Lee C.)
Answer: You may use SCUBA to take rock scallops. The daily bag and possession limit is 10 rock scallops per person and there are no size limits. They may be taken by hand or by using dive knives or abalone irons. The regulations that discuss legal methods for taking rock scallops are located in your current 2010-2011 Ocean Sport Fishing regulations booklet in section 29.05(d) (page 52) and section 29.60(b) (page 55). 
Can filling guzzlers be considered baiting?


Question: I have a question concerning water for guzzlers. I’ve always assumed it was okay to add water to dry or nearly dry guzzlers, but an incident occurred to a friend of mine in early summer that has me wondering. He was adding 50 gallons to a dry guzzler when a hiker came up to him and told him what he was doing was illegal, mentioning that he could be cited for baiting wildlife. I find that hard to believe, but figured we better check it out with DFG. Are there any laws against adding water to dry or nearly dry guzzlers? (Gerald O.)
Answer: There no fish and game laws specifically prohibiting adding water to a guzzler or other area where wildlife may gather to drink. In fact, there is a very active volunteer effort addressing this in Southern California. There are some restrictions, though, so please check CCR Title 14, section 730 to ensure that your activities are legal.

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