Q & A with state outdoors experts | TheUnion.com
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Q & A with state outdoors experts

California outdoors experts are answering questions from residents on various wildlife issues.

Here are a few popular questions:

Q: Which fish species can be filleted at sea?



(Actual text of question): I need to get the straight answer regarding filleting game fish while on a boat. In the ocean/bay waters, do I need to keep stripers and leopard sharks intact until I get home or can I keep the fillets in one piece with a one inch or more square of skin left on each fillet? Also, are the rules different for inland waters regarding the filleting of fish? (Howard A.)

A: You can find an outline of which species may be filleted at sea while on a boat and which may not under section 27.65(b) and (c) on pages 33-34 in the Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet. Only those listed as allowed to be filleted can be filleted. Striped bass and leopard sharks are not on this list and so may not be filleted at sea.




Section 27.65(c): Fish That May Not be Filleted, Steaked or Chunked: No person shall fillet, steak or cut into chunks on any boat or bring ashore as fillets, steaks or chunks the following: any species with a size limit unless a fillet size is otherwise specified in these regulations. California halibut may be filleted or brought ashore as fillets south of Point Arena (Mendocino County).

Since the regulations specify minimum lengths for stripers (18 inches total) and leopard sharks (36 inches total), but no fillet lengths, neither species can be filleted while on a boat or brought ashore as fillets, steaks or chunks.

There are no provisions allowing for filleting fish in inland waters or for possessing fillets on a boat in inland waters with the exception of new regulations passed for 2015-2016.

Title 14 Section 1.45. Filleting of Salmonids in Inland Waters.

Except as otherwise required, all salmon and steelhead taken in inland anadromous waters where a sport fishing license is required, must be kept in such a condition that species and size can be determined until placed at the angler’s permanent residence, a commercial preservation facility or being prepared for immediate consumption.

Also when required, the presence or absence of a healed adipose fin scar must be able to be determined until placed at the anglers permanent residence, a commercial preservation facility, or being prepared for immediate consumption.

(a) Exceptions:

(1) Chinook salmon taken from July 1 through December 31 in the following areas:

(A) The main stem of the American and Feather rivers.

(B) The main stem of the Sacramento River between the Deschutes Road Bridge and Tower Bridge.

Outside of these exceptions, it would be a violation of Fish and Game Code, sections 5508 and 5509.

Q: Hunting with a .22 caliber rimfire in a lead-free zone?

(Actual text of question): I was wondering if you could still hunt with lead .22 caliber rimfire in a lead free zone.

I’ve been looking for lead free .22 caliber rimfire rounds and its very slim pickins out there. (Cory S.)

A: Although the availability of non-lead ammunition may be improving with time, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recognizes it can still be hard to find some calibers.

It will take additional planning to participate in hunts where nonlead ammunition is required.

We encourage hunters who intend to participate in these hunts to plan well ahead to be sure they have legal ammunition.

There are a number of lead-free .22 rimfire rounds that are manufactured, and stores in the California condor range may be most likely to have them in stock.

We recommend searching on the Internet and calling ahead to local retailers. Remember that .22 rimfire is only legal to use when hunting small game and nongame animals.

Current law does not require use of nonlead ammunition when taking rabbits or tree squirrels, unless you are hunting on CDFW lands, but nonlead ammunition will be required statewide for all hunting beginning July 1, 2019.

Q: About Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) web map?

Actual text of question: I read a journal article recently about California’s Marine Protected Areas (MPA), but cannot locate a website showing exactly where the MPAs are.

Do you have anything posted online where I can go or something you can send me? (Jamie)

A: Printed marine protected area (MPA) guidebooks are available via some of the same vendors that sell fishing licenses so that you can easily obtain them (see http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa/guidelocations.asp). If you have problems finding a guidebook, contact your local CDFW office and ask them to send you one.

If you like the utility of Google Maps, you might appreciate MarineBIOS (see http://map.dfg.ca.gov/marine/) a map that you can use to zoom in close on marine protected areas to get a fix on the boundaries. MarineBIOS lets you choose your “basemap.” You can use satellite imagery, a street map or other basemaps, whatever makes the most sense for your situation.

Click on the green basemaps button in the upper lefthand corner of the screen to access these options).

If you have a smartphone or other mobile device with GPS capability, you can use the map on MPAmobile (www.dfg.ca.gov/m/MPA/) to show you where you are in relation to any MPAs, and you can look up information on individual MPAs.

All of this information and more is available online at (www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa/). On this Web page, in the Popular Resources box to the right, you’ll find the top four big blue buttons lead you to these resources, so these should help you learn where California’s marine protected areas are.

A new Marine Management News blog post also describes resources you can use to learn about MPAs (see https://cdfwmarine.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/mpa-maps/). If all else fails, you can email your MPA questions to AskMPA@wildlife.ca.gov and we will be glad to assist you.

For more information on this Q & A, see CalOutdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.


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