Q: We are bow hunters and are wondering if there are any regulations against using lighted arrow nocks? They turn on when shot from your bow and stay on until you turn them off. They operate by a small lithium battery and will stay on for many hours if needed. The light makes it easier to follow the path of the arrow once released and will stay on until retrieved from the animal or wherever it ends up.
Joe G., Grass Valley
A: There are no prohibitions against using lighted nocks so long as they don’t emit a directional beam of light. “Notwithstanding the general prohibition of the use of lights in Fish and Game Code section 2005, arrows or crossbow bolts with lighted nocks that do not emit a directional beam of light may be used” (California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 354(d)). A nock is the slotted portion at the back of the arrow that sits against the bow string and holds the arrow in place until the archer is released.
Q: In the ocean and/or bays, such as Tomales Bay by Lawson’s Landing, is a second rod stamp required? Is a second rod stamp required to catch California halibut with multiple rods in Tomales Bay?
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John C., Roseville
A: A second rod stamp is not required to fish with multiple rods in Tomales Bay. A second rod stamp only applies to inland waters defined under CCR Title 14, section 1.53. Restrictions on gear in the ocean pertain to certain areas such as San Francisco Bay and certain species such as groundfish and salmon.
Q: I was given a few ducks and geese by a hunter in Fresno. These ducks have tags, and the hunter provided me with an affidavit stating they were gifted. I don’t have time to mount these anymore. Can I give them away for free since I don’t have a federal permit? Also, I have a few ducks that I mounted for myself but would now like to part with them. Can I give them away for free as well?
A: Yes. And for the gifted ducks and geese, once you are ready to give them away, you will also need to pass along any paperwork you received with them to the person you are passing the ducks and geese along to (Code of Federal Regulations Title 50, Part 20, sections 20.36-20.40).
Q: I’m thinking of hiring a fishing guide for a trip. How can I check to make sure he has all the necessary licenses and insurance?
A: To see if the guide is licensed and in good standing through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, please go to www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/guide and click on the licensed hunting and fishing guides link. The license authorizes them to guide their fishing clients for money or compensation but will not confirm that they carry insurance or any other credentials. Your best bet will be to ask around about their reputations at a local fishing or sporting goods store or get a referral from past clients. You should also ask the prospective guide to show you proof that they carry insurance and/or any other credentials.
Q: I have a simple question about recreational hoop netting. Can I use an electrical device like an Ace Hauler to aid in the retrieval of my hoop nets? It uses an electrical motor to aid in the work. You just wrap the rope around the wheel and pull. The motor does most of the work. If this is legal, are there any restrictions on the use of such a device?
A: There are no regulations prohibiting the use of manual winches by sportfishers to assist in pulling crab traps or hoop nets. Use of power-driven winches is prohibited north of Point Arguello, but there is an exception for handling crab traps or nets (see CCR Title 14, section 28.70).
Carrie Wilson, marine environmental scientist with the Department of Fish and Wildlife: CalOutdoors@wildlife.ca.gov