Can't catch more than your limit

October 8, 2013 

Question: Can you discuss ocean fish possession limits? I often see people coming to our area to fish for several days and they take a limit every day without eating or gifting any of the fish to someone else. On day three, when they leave the ocean, they have three limits of rockfish in a cooler. It's not right. Most folks do not know or understand that the daily bag limit is also the possession limit for most fish.

Ryan H., San Luis Obispo

Answer: You are correct. Regardless of how many days someone ocean fishes, they must abide by both daily bag limits and overall possession limits. In most cases, bag limits and possession limits are the same — so at no time can anyone possess more than one daily bag limit. In order to fish again once a daily bag limit is reached, the angler must wait until the next calendar day, and unless a higher possession limit is specifically authorized, the angler must either eat or gift their fish to someone else before taking more. At no time can anyone be in possession of more than one possession limit.

Q: We own a pet store in Northern California and also help rescue animals and then place them in suitable homes. A client recently asked us to help rescue a 12-year-old garter snake and then find a good home for it. My questions are, is it even legal for us to possess a garter snake within our shop? Next, if we can possess it, can we charge our standard adoption fees for our services in placing this snake in a new home?


Answer: If the garter snake is native to California, then it is not legal to sell or even possess within a pet store. Kyle Chang, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife officer, said it would also be illegal to charge a fee to rehome the garter snake since they are not on the list of snakes legal to "sell" — and finding a home qualifies under the definition of barter, exchange or trade. It's also not legal for anyone to release the snake back into the wild.

If, however, the garter snake is non-native, then CDFW regulations do not apply (except for the illegal release of the garter snake into the wild). But all other state, county and city laws relating to the pet trade would apply.

Q: I know the maximum number of hoop nets that can be fished from a boat is 10. We take a couple of multi-day trips every year and invariably lose one or two during the trip. My question is can we carry a couple of spares on the boat to replace any we lose?

Larry H.

A: You cannot. No more than 10 hoop nets can be carried on a vessel.

Q: I will be hunting for deer and bear this year and noticed on the tags where it asks for the distance and direction from the nearest landmark. What does that mean by the "nearest landmark"? I am also unsure as to just what kind of landmark they want.

Dan B.

A: Harvest data, including the location where an animal is taken, is an important component of wildlife management. The geographic location helps biologists get specific location information, so the more accurate you can be with distinguishing landmarks the more helpful it is to managing our wildlife. There are many acceptable locations on any map. Just provide distance and direction to the nearest mountain, creek, river, city, town, campground or other landmark.

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