Question: Here’s a photo of a tag that was found attached to rope entangled in kelp near the New Dungeness Lighthouse in Washington State. Can you identify what the tag is for and where it might have originated? (Mark)
Answer: You found a commercial Dungeness crab buoy tag for the biennial period of 2017–2019. Tags like these are attached to floating buoys on commercial crab pots. How interesting that it floated all the way up to Washington! Tags can become dislodged from lines for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are cut by boat propellers, kelp stands or from floating logs dragging on the line. The tag you photographed originated in northern California. It isn’t of any use to the original permit holder, so we would consider it marine debris at this point. You can feel free to dispose of the tag.
Fall Hunting Seasons and COVID-19
Question: I was happy to see that the 2020-21 hunting licenses and tags are now available for purchase! Is there any talk of canceling hunting opportunities, though? Would I get a refund if I was successful in the Big Game Drawing, but then couldn’t hunt? (Andy)
Answer: There are no plans to close fall hunting seasons or restrict opportunities at this time. Some properties managed by other government agencies are closed to hunting this spring. Big game seasons are still several months away, and we are hopeful that most or all restrictions related to COVID-19 will be lifted by then.
You can find the 2020 Big Game Hunting Digest on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website. The deadline to apply for the Big Game Drawing is June 2, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
We are also hopeful that all successful applicants will have the opportunity to hunt. That said, these are unprecedented times, and we can’t predict the future with certainty. We are closely monitoring direction from the Governor’s office as well as local health and safety orders, and at this time, we have made the decision to proceed with the Big Game Drawing. If a situation arises in which a successful applicant is unable to travel due to COVID-19, we will evaluate that request within the bounds of the law and make a case-by-case decision.
Can I fish from a power boat below the Feather River fish hatchery?
Question: I have been fishing the Feather River in downtown Oroville just below the Feather River Fish hatchery for years. I was under the impression you couldn’t use a motorized boat to fish that section. However, I have been seeing a lot of motorized boats fishing that area recently, and I can’t find any regulations on this. Can you take a motorized boat up the river below the hatchery? (Michael)
Answer: There are no laws prohibiting the use of motorized boats on the Feather River below the hatchery. In fact, you will often see CDFW employees and California Department of Water Resources employees out on motorized boats doing various work on that portion of the Feather River.
With regard to fishing, you’ll want to make sure you are fishing for a legal species during its open season. Please note that the section of the Feather River closest to the hatchery – from the Fish Barrier Dam down to the Table Mountain bicycle bridge – is closed to fishing all year.
Carrying two rods?
Question: Is it legal to carry two fly rods in case one breaks? (Mike)
Answer: You can carry as many rods as you’d like as long as there’s not more than one line in the water at the same time. California law would prohibit you from fishing with two rods in inland waters without first obtaining a second rod validation, unless you are under 16. The second rod validation does not apply to waters where anglers are required to use only barbless hooks and artificial lures.
Can I have a javelina as a pet?
Question: Are javelina legal to keep as pets in California? (Gregg)
Answer: The javelina (Tayassu tajacu) also known as collared peccary, is restricted under California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 671. They can only be kept in California under a Restricted Species Permit issued for scientific or educational purposes. They are not legal to keep as pets.
Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week in this column. Please contact her at