Question: If I go diving with a friend in Sea Ranch and my wife stays home in San Francisco, can I dive one day and gift those abalone to my wife even though she is not with me at the moment? Then the following day, can I dive again, take an additional limit for myself, then drive home alone with six abalone in my car? I would make sure the abalone remained in their shells and I would carry a letter stating three of the abalone are gifts for my wife. Does she have to be with me in order for me to gift the abalone to her?
-- Chuck V.
Answer: This scenario would not be legal. Regardless of your intent, if you have six abalone in your possession, you will be in violation of an overlimit and could be cited and have all of your abalone confiscated. Only three abalone can be possessed at any time by an individual, period.
To legally gift abalone to someone else, that person must be with you to receive and take possession of the abalone. Just carrying a note stating you intend to give away three of the six abalone in your possession will not suffice.
Though regulations allow for gifting abalone to other people, remember that bag and possession limits are set up as fishery management tools to help control excessive take of abalone. Even with the current limits and regulations, there is concern that some heavily used fishing sites are showing signs of reduced abalone populations. Careful management is required to help assure California's abalone stocks remain healthy and sustainable for continued future harvest through the coming years. Each diver and shore picker should be aware and mindful of this and help whenever they can.
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Q: On the Klamath River, is it legal for an Indian guide with paying clients on his boat to use more than one rod per passenger and barbed hooks when this is illegal on this river?
-- Kathleen C.
A: Generally, there are no exceptions for Native Americans in the fishing regulations; however, on some rivers where tribal rights have been granted to the native people while on the tribal lands, they can be exempt from California fishing laws. When such exemptions are in place, it only applies to Native Americans on the Tribal Roll with the rights. In your example, the paying clients are not exempt unless they are on the Tribal Roll with the exemption.
Q: We feed birds in our yard year round, but this year we are delighted to have a family of wild quail who have taken up residence in our yard in San Ramon. Our problem is there are also two pair of raucous big birds that look like and act like blue jays, and they have taken over our yard.
Their call is so unpleasant and they are aggressive and chase away other smaller birds. They are eating the food we're trying to preserve for the quail and other smaller birds, such as finches. Can those large blue-jay-like birds be trapped or contained some how? They are so bold they attack neighborhood dogs and cats by pecking at their heads.
-- Dione Z.
A: Sorry to hear about the problem. Unfortunately, the jays are protected under the Migratory Bird Act and cannot be trapped, contained or hurt. Your best bet is to try to change your feeding methods to exclude the jays. This might be difficult but it's really your only alternative.
Q: I have a house on five acres near Winters and have some really nice bucks on my land. Every day they come within a few feet of my house and graze on my garden and plants. If I purchase an A Zone tag this year, can I legally shoot a deer on my land from my house or porch? My house is more than 200 yards from any other property or house and it is outside of the city limits. Thanks.
-- Brian T.
A: Yes. The safety zone law prohibits shooting within 150 yards of any occupied dwelling without the permission of the occupant. As long as it is otherwise legal to discharge a firearm in this area (meaning not in the city limits), then go for it!
Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. Contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.