Are liquid/spray scents considered “baiting”?

California black bear ( U.S.F.W.S. photo)


Question: I know you can’t bait bears but can I use any scents (liquids or sprays)? (Kendon A.)

Answer: Yes, you can use scent attractants when taking bears, but use extreme caution in your selection and use of a scent product. Under some circumstances and depending on the nature of the product you use, it could be classified as bait.  Aerosols sprayed into the air and not onto any solid surface are probably the safest types to consider.

“Baited area” is defined as “Any area where shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grains, salt, or other feed whatsoever capable of luring, attracting or enticing such birds or mammals is directly or indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed or scattered, and such area shall remain a baited area for ten days following complete removal of all such corn, wheat or other grains, salt or other feed (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 257.5).

According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) retired Capt. Phil Nelms, using any substance that can be seen or felt and not just smelled (e.g. liquids that do not immediately evaporate, scented pastes or gels, even aerosols sprayed onto trees or leaves) may be sufficient reason to classify them as “feed” because they can be eaten or can entice the animal to consume the surface on which the scent is deposited.

Can licensed anglers fish more rods from a public pier?
I know people without fishing licenses are allowed to fish from public piers with a limit of no more than two rods. But what if I have a valid fishing license and ocean enhancement stamp and still fish on public piers? Since Department of Fish and Game (DFG) regs allow licensed anglers to fish in ocean waters with an unlimited number of rods, am I allowed to fish with more than two poles while fishing in ocean waters from a pier? (Frank R.)

Answer: If a licensed angler is not fishing from a public pier or jetty and not fishing for a species with rod limits (e.g. rockfish, lingcod or salmon), then more than two rods may be used. On public piers though, no person may use more than two rods and lines, two hand lines, or two nets, traps or other appliances used to take crabs (CCR Title 14, section 28.65(b)), regardless of whether they have a fishing license.

Shooting limits of doves in both CA and AZ?
If I shoot 20 doves over two days in California (not Eurasian collared doves) and then go to Arizona and shoot 20 doves over two days there, and then come back to California with all 40, can I legally possess all 40 as long as I have a valid Arizona and California license? (Jon K.)

Answer: No. Doves are a federally managed species and regulations are set nationwide. One daily bag limit consists of 10 mourning or white-winged doves in aggregate. After opening day, each person may legally possess two daily bag limits at one time, regardless of which state they were taken in.

Average size of hatchery-released trout?
What is the average size of newly released trout from your hatcheries? (Sigrid T.)

Answer: Catchable size trout from DFG hatcheries are about eight to 12 inches long and weigh 1/4 to one pound each. Occasionally, surplus broodstock that weigh several pounds each may be stocked. Non-state commercial trout hatcheries may stock larger fish at private and semi-public waters. These are purchased by the water manager or local concessionaire. Some of the released trout may not be caught immediately and others will live in the lake or reservoir for a second season.

Can I own a pet hedgehog?
I saw pet hedgehogs on a local TV station and they said you can buy them in pet stores for about $200. Can I own one in California? (Tad K.)

Answer: No. All prohibited species in California are listed in CCR Title 14, section 671 and hedgehogs are specifically listed under section 671 c(2)(D).

Hedgehogs are members of the Order Insectivora and may not be imported, transported or possessed alive in California.

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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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