California Marine Reserves Collection and Fishing Regulations

SanClementeEric

Blue Ring
Registered
#3
TAKE is for FOOD ONLY!

These regulations apply to taking animals for food and if you research the regulations further, you'll see that it is illegal to take any live animal home for a pet, no matter what area.

If you want to take animals for pets, you have to get a special permit from DFG for that. And it ain't easy.
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#4
SanClementeEric;128770 said:
These regulations apply to taking animals for food and if you research the regulations further, you'll see that it is illegal to take any live animal home for a pet, no matter what area.

If you want to take animals for pets, you have to get a special permit from DFG for that. And it ain't easy.
I was told pretty explicitly by a California state official that a sport fishing license is OK to take for a personal-use pet, but the special permit was required to resell the animal as a pet for someone else. So, a sport fishing license is sufficient to "collect your own pet" but not to "collect an animal to be sold as a pet." It sounded like collecting a pet to be given away for free to someone else is out as well, although that wasn't really explicit. It seemed pretty clear that collecting to breed and sell the offspring was OK with the sport fishing permit as well.

There is also a research collecting permit, and I don't know what the limits are on what can be done with animals collected for research once the research is done.

I'd have to look up what most of these are called, but I'm pretty sure "sport fishing license" was the official name for the one for collecting for personal use.
 

SanClementeEric

Blue Ring
Registered
#5
monty;128773 said:
I was told pretty explicitly by a California state official that a sport fishing license is OK to take for a personal-use pet, but the special permit was required to resell the animal as a pet for someone else.
What state official was that? Do you have that in writing?

I find it hard to believe considering regulations explicitly prohibit transporting live fish under a sport fishing license but I have put in a query to the DFG to clarify.
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#6
SanClementeEric;128775 said:
What state official was that? Do you have that in writing?

I find it hard to believe considering regulations explicitly prohibit transporting live fish under a sport fishing license but I have put in a query to the DFG to clarify.
I guess since it's an official communication, it's not bad form to quote the letter (now that I've dug it up):

Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2006 10:22:50 -0700
From: "Ed Roberts"
To:
Subject: Re: regulations regarding collecting octopuses as pets

Hello Monty,

I apologize for the delay in responding to your email. I recently answered a similar question from another person who posts on TONMO.com.

Here's the long and short of it:

Section 8597(b) of California Fish and Game Code lists the species of marine organisms that may be taken under the authority of a marine aquaria collector's permit.

Specifically, Section 8597(b)(2)(H) states that all species of octopus may be taken EXCEPT O. bimaculatus and O. maculoides. (note - maculoides is an error - should read bimaculoides).

So, these two species of octopus may not be taken legally for the California marine aquaria trade.

These two species of octopus can be taken under the authority of a sport fishing license. There are no regulations that would prohibit you from displaying live specimens of O. bimaculatus and O. bimaculoides in your home aquarium for your hobby. You may run into problems if your intent is to supply specimens for fellow hobbyists or businessess. Remember - it is illegal to buy, sell, barter or trade fish and shellfish taken with a sport fishing license. Be sure to review the appropriate sport fishing regulations before you go out to collect your octopus. Also, please be aware of the impacts that your collecting may have on the population and habitat, and work to minimize these impacts.

I hope this answers your questions.


Best Regards,

Ed Roberts

Edgar W. Roberts III
Marine Biologist
California Department of Fish and Game
619 Second Street
Eureka, CA 95501
707.441.5757 Office
707.445.7883 Fax
707.290.5336 Cell
eroberts@dfg.ca.gov

Visit the Marine Region's Website at:
www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd

Call the Recreational Groundfish Fishing
Regulations Hotline at:
831.649.2801
Other inquiries with my state Senator's office found that putting both bimac species on the restricted list for the aquarium trade was done at the request of longtime TONMO friend Eric Hochberg, who was concerned that if they became popular enough, they could be overcollected enough to impact the wild populations. Here's that email (I removed the "to" line since Damian is a representative of my state Senator who contacted DFG for me, and I don't want to expose his email to spammers):

From: Department of Fish and Game
Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 3:35 PM
Subject: Two Spot Octopus

Hi Damian,
I have been advised by DFG staff that was involved with negotiations
with the aquarium trade for the on species included in FGC 8597 that DFG
did not have data specifically about this species, or the half dozen
species that are harvested in CA.

What we do know is that both species of two-spot octopus (Octopus
bimaculoides and O. bimaculoidoides) are found in the intertidal and
subtidal waters of southern California. The females lay their eggs and
then care for them until they hatch.

Two-spot octopus are important both as predator and prey. In addition
to concern for over-exploitation of small specimens (before they've had
a chance to reproduce), there was also concern about the removal of
female octopus from their broods, and the destruction of intertidal
habitat (and associated animals) to collect them.

We work with an octopus expert at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural
History , Dr. Eric Hochberg, who volunteered as a contact if more
detailed information is needed. ((contact information deleted for privacy, ask me privately if you need it to follow up. -Monty))

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you require additional
assistance.

DFG Legislative Representative
 

Keith

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#7
Oh hell yes. That just made my day. I still don't have an octo yet, so I can still change what I want. I wanted a bimac, but I couldn't find any for purchase, so I was going to get a briareus instead. I tried to find this same information several times, and got no responses. Now I have some options. Theres even a spot where I caught what I believe to be a bimac pretty close to me. Monty, you're a bad ass.
 

SanClementeEric

Blue Ring
Registered
#9
Yeah but you still have to have a special permit!

Here is my letter just received:

Dec 2, 2008

Hi Eric,

It is not legal for you to collect any of those animals or fish to keep as pets. Everything collected under a sportfishing license must be killed before leaving the water where taken. The only way to collect these animals would be under the authority of an Aquaria Collectors Permit, and they are quite pricy. These permits are intended for people collecting fish and animals for the aquarium/pet store trade. In 2009, they will run $391.00 and you can see the details at:
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/commercial/commdescrip.html
Sorry for the bad news!

Carrie


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
< > <
Carrie E. Wilson
Associate Marine Biologist
California Outdoors Q&A Columnist
Calif. Dept. of Fish and Game
CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov
 

SanClementeEric

Blue Ring
Registered
#10
Keith;128822 said:
Oh hell yes. That just made my day. I still don't have an octo yet, so I can still change what I want. I wanted a bimac, but I couldn't find any for purchase, so I was going to get a briareus instead. I tried to find this same information several times, and got no responses. Now I have some options. Theres even a spot where I caught what I believe to be a bimac pretty close to me. Monty, you're a bad ass.
Keith, you cannot collect that bimac. Just because there are no regulations that prohibit the display of them doesn't mean you can collect them. If you collect them, you are breaking the law, at least in California.
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#11
There seems to be some debate between the two DFG people... I wonder if the one I got email from just didn't think about the "animal must be killed" requirement, or if it doesn't apply to invertebrates? I'm almost positive that molluscs and crustaceans can be taken alive with a sport license (I'm thinking bivalves, abalone, crabs, and lobster, primarily.) But perhaps this is wishful thinking.

Anyone feel like scouring the regulations to see what the sport fishing section actually says? I've only read the aquarium collection permit section of the code.

edit: here's a place to start: http://law.onecle.com/california/fish/index.html

edit2: this says there's a specific tidal invertebrate permit: http://law.justia.com/california/codes/fgc/8500.html which sounds like it applies to collection of bimacs the way most people do it (although they live in places other than tidal areas, too)

edit3: I can't find anything in the code about having to kill animals before leaving the water, but I may have missed something... I looked mostly through the 7000 and 8000 sections.
 

Animal Mother

Architeuthis
Supporter
#12
SanClementeEric;129171 said:
Here is my letter just received:

Dec 2, 2008

Hi Eric,

It is not legal for you to collect any of those animals or fish to keep as pets. Everything collected under a sportfishing license must be killed before leaving the water where taken. The only way to collect these animals would be under the authority of an Aquaria Collectors Permit, and they are quite pricy. These permits are intended for people collecting fish and animals for the aquarium/pet store trade. In 2009, they will run $391.00 and you can see the details at:
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/commercial/commdescrip.html
Sorry for the bad news!

Carrie


^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
< > <
Carrie E. Wilson
Associate Marine Biologist
California Outdoors Q&A Columnist
Calif. Dept. of Fish and Game
CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov
How geigh.
 

SanClementeEric

Blue Ring
Registered
#13
Here's The Thing...

I have gone over this issue from both sides for many years. See, I am also a fisherman. I've communicated with Ed Roberts directly on transporting live animals and it's a no-no.

You cannot transport live lobsters for sure! (Although it's hard because they don't die on their own for days!!!)

I see no debate between what you've posted and what I've posted. I think your interpretation of what's in your letters is what is in question.

There's a fine line between what is regulated and what's enforced.

Take sport fishing for muscles, crabs (even sand crabs) and lobsters for example. They are not to be transported live (nothing can be) yet they are usually never dead when you leave. The main gist of the law is to prevent fish from being put into foreign waters, so a DFG warden probably won't cite you for having a live lobster, providing you have all the necessary permits and report cards to take it.

From what I read in your letter from Ed, there are two species of octopus that you CANNOT take (Octopus
bimaculoides and O. bimaculoidoides) and any others can only be taken with a marine aquaria collector's permit, as repeated in my letter from Carrie.

So, no debate.
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#16
SanClementeEric;129181 said:
From what I read in your letter from Ed, there are two species of octopus that you CANNOT take (Octopus
bimaculoides and O. bimaculoidoides) and any others can only be taken with a marine aquaria collector's permit, as repeated in my letter from Carrie.

So, no debate.
I don't see how you can interpret this passage from Ed's letter that way:

So, these two species of octopus may not be taken legally for the California marine aquaria trade.

These two species of octopus can be taken under the authority of a sport fishing license. There are no regulations that would prohibit you from displaying live specimens of O. bimaculatus and O. bimaculoides in your home aquarium for your hobby. You may run into problems if your intent is to supply specimens for fellow hobbyists or businessess.
particularly given that the letter was specifically in response to a query about people collecting for their own use. I'm not saying Ed is right and Carrie is wrong, just that Ed seemed to explicitly say it was OK for personal use as long as you don't give the octo to anyone else... Ed's response was specifically in regards to a question about "suppose I wanted to collect a live bimac for my own aquarium?" so I'm fairly confident in reading that as "there's no problem with catching a live bimac with a sport fishing license and displaying it in your own home aquarium."

Perhaps it would be best to ask them what they meant rather than argue among ourselves; I don't know much at all, but until you reported the information from Carrie, I thought Ed's letter was pretty unambiguous in saying it would be OK. I don't want to get anyone in trouble by telling them it's OK to collect their own bimacs if it isn't, but I also don't want to tell people it's illegal until we're sure that it is, since it seems like something a number of California TONMO folks would be interested in taking advantage of if it is allowed.
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#17
I sent an email to Ed Roberts and Carrie Wilson asking them to look at this discussion and clarify, so, perhaps we can get some more clarification. I hate to bug professionals, but I hope that if we can get an unambiguous answer once and for all we'll be able to point people at the answer here without having to bother the DFG in the future.
 

DHyslop

Architeuthis
Supporter
#19
monty;129192 said:
I sent an email to Ed Roberts and Carrie Wilson asking them to look at this discussion and clarify, so, perhaps we can get some more clarification. I hate to bug professionals, but I hope that if we can get an unambiguous answer once and for all we'll be able to point people at the answer here without having to bother the DFG in the future.
I'd prefer not have further clarification! Ed's original email was rather unambiguous. I could produce that email with clear conscience if I was challenged while collecting.

Now, given that; I don't recall seeing this "murder clause" in there, either. Honestly, I'd trust Ed--a specialist--over the Outdoors Q&A Columnist. Used to dealing with John Q. Public, she might even be stretching because she doesn't want you to go out and start grabbing octopuses.

Dan
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#20
DHyslop;129223 said:
I'd prefer not have further clarification! Ed's original email was rather unambiguous. I could produce that email with clear conscience if I was challenged while collecting.

Now, given that; I don't recall seeing this "murder clause" in there, either. Honestly, I'd trust Ed--a specialist--over the Outdoors Q&A Columnist. Used to dealing with John Q. Public, she might even be stretching because she doesn't want you to go out and start grabbing octopuses.

Dan
Yeah, I was a bit feeling like I would have preferred to stick with the answer I *liked* the most, but making sure we don't misrepresent the laws to people is probably more important. Carrie sent me a nice email saying she's looking into it in more detail, so keep your fingers crossed that she finds out it's OK...

Also, she's an Associate Marine Biologist in addition to a columnist, although I imagine there's not anyone who's "Chief Officer in charge of Octopus Matters" or anything...
 

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