Capturing largemouth bass for aquarium

March 20, 2013 

Question: One of my friends has a large aquarium and is interested in putting some largemouth bass in it. I would like to know what the regulations are for catching a largemouth bass in a local lake and then transporting it live to his tank. It would never be released into a different body of water, and it would be taken legally.

Answer: Transporting fish alive from the water where they are taken is prohibited. Laws allowing certain species of live fish to be maintained alive in closed-systems do not authorize possession in home aquariums. Your friend can legally buy bass for his or her aquarium from a licensed aquaculturalist, as long as he or she does not release it into the wild.

Question: I live in Washington State and need some help with a question that pertains to California rules. I have a friend who lives in California that wants my old mounted bear head for his cabin. It is about 60 years old, been in the family for years and passed around from one member to the other.

I tried reading the rules on the Internet about taxidermy and got confused. I don't want to get in trouble if I send it to him, and I don't want him to get in trouble for having it. Its not for resell, just for his personal use. Would we be breaking any laws if I send it to him?

Answer: It is legal under California law for you to give the bear mount to your friend, and for your friend to possess it for personal use. However, sale within California is prohibited.

According to retired California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Capt. Phil Nelms, you will need to check with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to make sure it is legal under their laws. Please provide your friend with as many details as possible regarding the description of the mount, your name and contact information and your friend's name and contact information.

If you ship the item from Washington to California, the packaging must contain the following information as required by federal laws pertaining to wildlife movement from state to state.

Conspicuously marking the outside of each container or package containing fish or wildlife with the word "fish" or "wildlife" as appropriate for its contents, or with the common name of its contents by species.

Container must also include an invoice, packing list or similar document to accompany the shipment which accurately states the name and address of the shipper and consignee.

The invoice, packing list or equivalent document must be securely attached to the outside of one container or package in the shipment or otherwise physically accompany the shipment in a manner which makes it readily accessible for inspection.

The complete Code of Federal Regulations Title 50 is available online at: dfg.ca.gov/enforcement.

Question: I know jug fishing, yo-yo fishing and the use of trotlines with 20+ hooks per line are the norm in the South. I am interested in yo-yo fishing in California for catfish and possibly trying a two-jug trotline with 10 to 12 hooks on the line to catch catfish. My question is: In California, are private fishermen limited to just one line with three hooks max? In reading the regs, it seems that an extra pole endorsement is just that, for an extra pole, not an extra line.

Answer: You must closely attend your lines at all times and you are limited to two lines with a maximum of three hooks on each line with a two-pole stamp. Otherwise, you must use a single line with three hooks maximum when fishing bait, or three lures per line which could each have three hooks. It is illegal to allow lines to simply fish themselves while attached to a float.

-- Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. She can be contacted at at .ca.gov">Cal.Outdoors@wildlif .ca.gov.

The Sierra Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service