Wilson: You can't use technology to track wounded big game

Question: Archery season is starting and before we go out I would like to know if it's legal to use an electronic tracking device that attaches to an arrow. The tracking device separates from the arrow as the arrow contacts the target animal and then enables the hunter to better follow the wounded animal. Thanks for any help.

— Jared T., Red Bluff

Answer: No. There is a regulation that restricts the use of computerized or telemetry devices to track big-game mammals, so this device is not legal to use in California. According to Section 251 of the Fish and Game Code (FGC): "No person shall pursue, drive, herd, or take any bird or mammal from any type of motor-driven air or land vehicles, motorboat, airboat, sailboat, or snowmobile. Additionally, no person shall use any motorized, hot-air, or unpowered aircraft or other device capable of flight or any earth orbiting imaging device to locate or assist in locating big game mammals beginning 48 hours before and continuing until 48 hours after any big game hunting season ... No person shall use at any time or place, without Department approval, any computer, telemetry device or other equipment to locate a big game mammal to which a tracking device is attached."

Q: Our club would like to hold a halibut derby in San Francisco Bay and we need information on permits. When and where are they needed and what are the requirements? Do we need a permit for a halibut derby in the Bay or are permits only needed for bass fishing?

— Mark S.

A: Permits are not required for fishing contests conducted in waters of the Pacific Ocean. That includes all of San Francisco and San Pablo bays west of the Carquinez Bridge. As long as all fishing is done in waters west of the Carquinez Bridge, you will not need a fishing contest permit.

For information on the requirements for having fishing contests in inland waters, and how to get fishing contest permits (and even for permit applications), visit our Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Fishing/.

Q: What are the restrictions on shooting ravens in California? I have personally witnessed ravens killing baby chukar and baby red-tailed hawks. At my home they raid my chickens and steal the eggs.

They like to sit on a pole where the remnants of their kill ends up on the ground, including a variety of egg shell bits and baby desert tortoise shells. I have also seen a group of ravens attempting to kill a cat.

I know that they became protected at one time, but what is the status now? Can I shoot the ones on and around my property?

— David C.

A: No. Ravens, Corvus corax, are protected by both California (FGC Section 3513) and United States laws (Title 50-CFR). Ravens may not be killed in California except under the authority of a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). For more information regarding the availability of such permits, contact the USFWS Permit Office or visit their Web site at www.fws.gov/permits/.

Q: How many fishing rods can be in one's possession? I have a second rod stamp but want to know if I can carry more than two rods with me? Though I might be on foot fishing from the bank, I see anglers on the bass tourney TV shows fishing while still having several rods on their boats. What advice do you have?

— Joe P., Chico

A: The number of rods in your possession is not the issue, it is the number of lines that you have in the water fishing at one time. You can have as many rods as you wish in your possession — just make sure to use only the number allowed for the species of fish or for the particular waters that you're fishing.

Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish & Game. Send questions to CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov