Question: We would appreciate some clarification on an issue regarding minors and firearms.
Can a minor (someone less than 18 years old, but holding an adult California hunting license for individuals 16 years or older) be in possession of a firearm and ammunition without the presence of an adult supervisor or written permission of an adult on their person? James S.
Answer: Nothing in the Fish and Game Code or regulations prohibits a juvenile who has passed a hunter education class and obtained the appropriate license or tag from carrying a gun while hunting.
There are specific prohibitions and restrictions regarding the transfer or sale of guns to minors within the Penal Code, but the Penal Code provides specific exemptions that allow for minors to possess firearms for lawful purposes, such as hunting.
Q: I'm an avid free diver and spear fisherman, as well as a frequent clammer.
While diving for Dungeness crab, I noticed a number of enormous clam siphons in the silty mud bottom in 4-8 feet of water. Having dug for horseneck clams on a number of occasions, it was clear to me that these were horseneck siphons, or "shows." These clams are all well below the low tide line and would thus be impossible to dig in the traditional way.
Would it be legal to harvest these clams using a homemade PVC "clam gun" to excavate the mud in which they are encased? Looking at the regulations pertaining to horseneck clams, underwater harvest is neither specifically permitted nor forbidden. Carter J.
A: Yes, you can take clams underwater using a "clam gun" as long as you are free diving.
The use of SCUBA is prohibited for the take of clams north of Yankee Point in Monterey County. SCUBA can be used south of Yankee Point.
You don't say where you plan to dive for clams, but you might like to know that there are gaper clams south of Yankee Point.
Q: I live in San Joaquin County and have two fishing questions. First, is it legal to fish with live shad? Second, is it legal to use a cast net or bait net to catch shad and minnows? Justin
A: A casting net, or throw net, is unlawful to use or possess in inland waters. But dip nets are authorized for taking certain species of fin fish that can be used as bait.
Live shad can be used in the Valley and South Central Districts (section 4.10) in waters where taken, but they must be taken with a legal dip net under certain provisions.
Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. Contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.