Shipping Abalone Out of State


Red abalone can be shipped out of state only certain conditions. (© Derek Stein)

Red abalone may be shipped to people out of state, but only certain conditions. (© Derek Stein)

Question: I read your answer to a recent question regarding whether trout can be shipped across state lines, and you said the answer was no. Are there similar restrictions on shipping abalone to friends in other states? Thanks. (Kelly K.)

Answer: The possession limit for abalone is three, so you may not ship more than three abalone at any time. Neither the shipper nor the recipient may possess more than the legal limit at any given time. You also may not offer for transportation by common carrier more than one bag limit at a time, and the common carrier transporting the abalone may not legally receive for transportation more than the bag limit during any interval of time (CCR Title 14, Section 29.15).

The abalone must be shipped whole, in the shell, with the tags still attached. Abalone can only be legally removed from the shell once they are being prepared for immediate consumption. Abalone may not be shipped by parcel post.

Keep in mind that to send or give abalone to an out-of-state person, you must also abide by the importation laws of the state where the abalone will be going.  Different states may have different importation regulations that prohibit or restrict such shipments. Check with the authorities of the state where you’d like to ship for their requirements before trying to do so.

Bow Fishing in Local Lakes?
I bought all the bow fishing tackle to start bow fishing and went out to a local lake where I have seen a lot of carp. When I was putting my boat in, a park ranger stopped me and said bow fishing was illegal in our county. Is this correct? I did not see anything in the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) regulations book pertaining to this. (Shawn C.)

Answer: While DFG does not prohibit bow fishing in certain waters, some local jurisdictions do not allow it because the gear can be considered a weapon, raising public safety concerns. Local regulations may also prohibit bow fishing from public piers in the ocean. Bow and arrow fishing tackle is also authorized only for certain species and in certain areas of DFG regulations (CCR Title 14, Section 2.25).

Loaded Guns on Private Property Behind Locked Gates?
When hunting on private property that is located behind locked gates from the nearest public road, can hunters be cited for having a loaded rifle (unexpended cartridge in chamber) in a vehicle? While I always remove the cartridge from the chamber of my rifle when I get in my vehicle for safety reasons, I thought from a legal perspective a loaded gun in a vehicle was unlawful only when “on or along a highway, or other way open to the public” as specified in Section 2006 of the California Fish and Game Code. I don’t plan to change my habits of unloading a cartridge from the chamber when I get into a vehicle, but want to make sure I am reading the code properly. Thanks. (Christian K.)

Answer: You can legally have a loaded gun in a vehicle as long as you are on private property behind locked gates with no public access. For obvious reasons, though, this practice is strongly discouraged due to safety concerns. Many hunter accidents have occurred due to loaded firearms in vehicles. And remember, despite the provision here allowing for a loaded gun, you are still not allowed to take an animal by discharging the firearm from a vehicle — even if you are on private property.

Deer Hunting with a Dog?
I know it’s not legal to use a dog during the archery seasons for deer and bear, but what about taking my dog out after archery deer season is closed? I have a lab that is a little gun shy and isn’t much into hunting, but I do like to take him with me into the outdoors. He isn’t a deer hunter of any sort and more than likely will hinder my ability to get one, but I’d still like to take him deer hunting with me. May I legally take him along as a companion? Thanks. (Andrew H.)

Answer: You are correct that you may not have a dog in the field with you during archery season for deer and bear, but after the season closes you may take him with you. According to retired DFG Capt. Phil Nelms, the use of dogs for the pursuit or take of mammals or for dog training purposes is prohibited from the first Saturday in April through the day preceding the opening of the general deer season in many dog control zones throughout the state. During the general deer season, one dog per hunter is allowed in the field. (CCR T14, Section 265).

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Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. She cannot personally answer everyone’s questions but will select a few to answer in this column each week. Please contact her at

3 responses to “Shipping Abalone Out of State

  1. I enjoy Q & A alot keep up the good work, Thanks

  2. No question – just a compliment! I was turned on to your blog by a colleague who also works for the State of California. This is a fantastic California nature blog! You’re in my blogroll now.

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