Question: What are the differences between bait and attractants? I know baiting is illegal but was curious about using attractants. What qualifies something as an attractant? Can you please define the difference? Josh L.
Answer: There is no difference
bait is an attractant and an attractant is bait.
No specific definition is provided in Fish and Game laws for these terms, but the definition of "baited area" in the California Code of Regulations is helpful. It reads: "Resident game birds and mammals may not be taken within 400 yards of any baited area. (a) ... baited area shall mean 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 ..."
This means the use of any substance (real or artificial) to attract an animal to an area and causes the animal to eat is prohibited. Generally, aerosols sprayed into the air are permissible because there is nothing to feed on. But the same products applied to a surface (tree, brush, rock, etc.) where the animal licks, eats, chews, nibbles, etc. is considered feed and is a violation.
In addition, intentional acts to disrupt the normal behavior patterns of birds or mammals, as well as feeding big-game mammals, are prohibited.
For the complete regulations, please go to http://dfg.ca.gov/regulations/ to find the California Mammal Hunting Regulations for 2012-2013.
Q: I want to use a net to cast and catch my own bait rather than continue to buy bait at the stores. Is it legal to do so? I do most of my fishing in lakes and I see shad and minnows I would like to catch. I can't seem to find any information on the Web site that relates to catching your own bait, and if you could what are the sizes of the nets that I can use? Khanh Vu
A: Unfortunately, the device you describe (commonly called a throw net, casting net or Hawaiian throw net) is not legal for freshwater. Approved baitfish can be taken only by hand, with a dip net, or with traps not over 3 feet in the greatest dimension. In addition, possession of these nets in inland waters or within 100 yards of any canal, river, stream, lake or reservoir is a violation of state law.
Q: I would like to fish with two rods in the Delta but don't know whether the regulations are in the freshwater books or in the ocean books. Is the Delta part of the ocean regulations or is it considered inland waters? Where does it change from ocean to inland if considered inland? Brian S., Felton
A: You can legally fish in the Delta with a second rod stamp. Inland regulations apply from upstream of the Delta to Carquinez Bridge. The definition of inland waters vs. ocean waters is, "Inland waters are all the fresh, brackish and inland saline waters of the state, including lagoons and tidewaters upstream from the mouths of coastal rivers and streams. Inland waters exclude the waters of San Francisco and San Pablo bays downstream from the Carquinez Bridge, the tidal portions of rivers and streams flowing into San Francisco and San Pablo bays, and the waters of Elkhorn Slough
Q: If I hunt deer with a 30-30, can I carry a .22 pistol at the same time (not to shoot deer)? And if I wound a deer with the 30-30, can I kill the wounded deer with the .22 cal? John D., Ramona
A: Yes, it is legal to carry a .22 caliber rimfire pistol while taking deer during an open rifle season. No, you cannot kill a wounded deer with any rimfire cartridge. If hunting in condor country, remember that your pistol ammunition must also be lead-free.
Q: If I am a land owner or a land owner's agent engaged in squirrel depredation in the condor area, do I have to use non-lead bullets? John B.
A: Yes, even if you are using rimfire ammunition to shoot nongame mammals, the use of projectiles containing lead is prohibited in the condor range.
Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. Contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.