When is Night Fishing Legal?

Question: We love to fish for crappie and are wondering if it is legal to fish for them at night, too. I am not aware of any California lakes that allow night fishing using lights off of your boat. Is this legal, and if so, what bodies of water allow this type of fishing? Thanks for all of your weekly information (W. Yamamoto).

Answer: Night fishing for crappie is permitted by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) as long as the lake where you plan to fish permits fishing at night (Section 2.15). Some lakes prohibit night fishing for purposes of access control, safety or security reasons. You will need to contact the agency or concessionaire managing the lake to inquire about their policy.

Serving Abalone
Question:I am the office manager of a San Francisco Bay area restaurant. A customer called asking if they could bring abalone into the restaurant for us to prepare and cook for them and their friends. We are not sure whether this is permissible or not. What are the laws regarding preparing a customer’s abalone in our restaurant? (John P.)

Answer: Yes, it is legal to prepare and serve abalone provided by your customers, but only under certain conditions. The person who legally harvested the abalone (under the authority of their California sport fishing license) may take their abalone into a restaurant for cooking by the restaurant staff as long as they remain present while it is prepared and served to them and their friends. If the person with the abalone must leave briefly while the abalone are being prepared, they must tag the abalone with a signed statement that includes their name, address, telephone number, the date taken and the total number of abalone belonging to them. Also important, each person bringing abalone to your restaurant for preparation may only legally provide three abalone each (FGC Section 2015).

Swine Flu and Feral Pigs
Can hunters contract the swine f lu virus from feral pigs? (Pete T., Redondo Beach)

Answer: No, the swine flu virus is spreading by human-to-human transmission; there is no indication of a human-animal disease relationship. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, people cannot get swine flu from eating pork or pork products. No food safety issues related to the flu have been identified, so eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe. Most influenza viruses, including the swine flu virus, are not spread by food.

Wild pigs do carry other potential hazards though, such as swine brucellosis, but the incidences of hunters contracting the disease from wild pigs in California are rare. Dr. Ben Gonzales, DFG veterinarian, recommends that hunters use common sense while in the field handling and dressing wild pigs. He also recommends the following safety precautions:

  1. Wear gloves and eye protection while handling and dressing wild pigs.
  2. Don’t eat, drink or smoke while working on the pigs.
  3. After dressing the animals, change into fresh clean clothes.
  4. Wash hands and equipment thoroughly with hot, soapy water.
  5. Safely handle, store and properly cook the meat.

Check the DFG Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov for more information and updates.

Do You Need to Carry Your License When…?
I’ve already harvested my turkeys for the year and now want to help my wife to get hers with a bow. I will be working just as her caller and set-up assistant but will have no gun or bow in the field. Must I have my hunting license on my person? Thanks. (GGB)

Answer: If you plan to assist your wife in her hunt, it would be a good idea for you to keep your license on you (especially if you already have one anyway), but by law you’re not required to. If you are just assisting someone by calling the birds in, there is nothing in the law that requires you to carry a hunting license As long as you’re not carrying any hunting implements that would allow you to directly participate, you may help her without carrying your own hunting license.

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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 CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.

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