Passport Needed to Fish in Mexico?

Question: There is a rumor going around the sport fishing docks in San Diego that sometime in the near future a passport will be required to fish on charter boats that head into Mexican waters. Would you please comment? Thank you for your assistance. (Warren K.)

Answer: According to Assistant Chief Mike McBride, we have been given no information that this may become a policy in the future and he suggested the answer to your question might best be answered by the U.S. Customs Department. Even if travelers passports do eventually become required by Customs in the future for anglers fishing in Mexican waters, our game wardens’ responsibilities will continue to focus on enforcing fish and game laws that will protect California fish and wildlife resources.

Can I be cited for carrying both a rifle and a shotgun?
Question: On my last day of turkey hunting this year I had a group of pigs run right by me and I missed a golden opportunity to have easily shot one. Could I have been cited if I’d had both a rifle and a shotgun in my possession for just such an occasion? Unloaded or loaded? What if I’d carried both of them while hunting turkeys but only the shotgun was loaded? What about when I stopped hunting turkeys, could I have unloaded the shotgun and loaded the rifle? What type of trouble would I have gotten in? Can you please help? It would be nice next time to be able to hunt both turkeys and pigs without having to walk to my truck to retrieve the second gun. Thank you. (Mario C.)

Answer:According to Monterey Lt. Paul Gaske, the safest thing for you to do in this situation would be to hunt one species at a time, but there are no laws prohibiting you from hunting turkeys and pigs simultaneously. The legal method of take for turkeys with a firearm is to use only a shotgun with no larger than No. 2 shot. The legal method for taking pigs would be with a center-fire rifle or a handgun of .357 caliber or larger. Technically, this means you could carry both a shotgun for turkeys and a rifle or handgun for pigs at the same time and be legal as long as the proper method of take is used to take each game species.

Also legal, you can also use a shotgun with slugs for pigs, however, it is NOT legal to then hunt turkeys with a shotgun and to have shotgun shells in your possession that contain shot size larger than No. 2. During archery season for turkeys, all of this would be a mute point because you are not allowed to carry any additional firearms, even for hunting another species.

Questions on fish farming
Question: I have some questions about fish farms. Do they pose any major threats to the environment? Is improper fish management one cause of high disease rates in farmed fish? Are wild fishes better than farmed fish when it comes to your health when consumed? Does fish farming reduce poverty and provide more jobs to society? Thanks for your insight. (Julie B.)

Answer: Commercial fish farms are required to have DFG permits, and if properly sited and operated, they should have no negative impact on the environment. If the farmed fish are allowed to escape and impact wild fish or other aquatic organisms though, then that might be another story and adverse environmental impacts may occur. One potential problem might be if water discharge from the farm is not properly treated, then there could be impacts to water quality of adjacent receiving stream systems. Fish disease issues can be nearly eliminated at the farms if properly managed.

As far as whether farmed fish or wild fish are better for your health, there is no evidence that farmed fish are less healthy to consume than wild fish. However, wild fish quality is probably better in most cases.
While fish farming can certainly create jobs and provide more employment opportunities, harvesting wild fish also creates jobs. It’s hard to say whether one method creates more jobs than the other.

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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

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