A fishing license is required, even in the winter | SierraSun.com
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A fishing license is required, even in the winter

Bruce Ajari

I trust the holidays were good for all of you. A new year is now upon us, and with that comes the need to renew that fishing license. A California fishing license is valid from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 each year.

Remember, “every person over the age of 16 years who takes any fish, reptile, or amphibia for any purpose other than profit shall first obtain a license for that purpose and shall have that license on his or her person or in his or her immediate possession or where otherwise specifically required by law to be kept when engaged in carrying out any activity authorized by the license. In the case of a person diving from a boat, the license may be kept in the boat, or in the case of a person diving from shore, the license may be kept within 500 yards of the shore.”s

Trout fishermen are required to display the license in a place that is visible, above the waist.

Most are heeding this requirement, but on any given fishing trip I still see some who are not wearing it.

This year an annual resident license will cost you $27.55, and a nonresident annual license is $74.80.

If you happen to lose your license, a fee of $5.80 will be required for a duplicate. A second rod stamp popular to many fishermen is available for $8.95.

New this year is the addition of a one day resident/nonresident license. The fee for this one that should prove to be popular in a resort area such as ours is $10.00. A ten-day nonresident license is also available for $27.55 for those who wish to fish for a more extended period of tune.

There are also other license requirements, but the above cover most of the situations in our region. For additional information and licensing requirements, consult a copy of the California Sport Fishing Regulations. Copies of these regulations are available wherever you can purchase a license.

Of note to you ocean fishermen is a change in the bag limit of ling cod that takes effect around Jan. 1, depending on when the Office of Administrative Law approves the new regulations. The lingcod daily bag and possession limit was reduced from the current three fish each day to two fish each day while fishing in coastal waters out to three miles from shore and the islands off California.

The action to reduce the daily sport fishing bag limit for this popular ocean fish does not affect the current minimum size limit for lingcod caught by anglers, which remains at 24 inches total length.

The new limits also pertain to federal waters from three to 200 miles offshore. The decision to lower the lingcod sportfishing daily bag limit follows a similar action taken in November by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, which includes representatives from the states of Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho, the Coastal Tribes and the National Marine Fisheries Services. The action of the California State Fish and Game Commission and Council were taken in response to to state fisheries’ scientists’ concerns for the overall health of lingcod stocks and the continued declines in West Coast lingcod numbers.

The council’s action to lower the sport bag limit for lingcod in federal waters included significant cuts in the authorized commercial harvest of lingcod,and commitments by state and federal fisheries management agencies to undertake additional lingcod population assessment off the West Coast, including California during 1999.

A recent assessment of lingcod population off Oregon, Washington and southern British Columbia determined that the stock in those waters has declined by more than 90 percent from its unfished population size, much of that decline occurring during the past two decades. This confirms the concerns among the scientific community that indicates that our oceans, once thought to be an endless resource, have limits and that those limits have been exceeded in many cases.

The council also considered – but decided not to reduce – the daily sport fishing bag limit for bocaccio rockfish, another species that has exhibited serious declines in recent decades.

The commission also decided not to change the bag limit for bocaccio in California waters because of the possible wastage of fish that might be associated with a reduced bag limit for this popular, generally deep water rockfish species.

As with any fishery, conservation of the resource will ensure that these important fish remain a part of our heritage.

Even in our own region, we should have this message in mind. Limit your catch!

Fishing report

Most local lakes such as Boca, Prosser, and Stampede are open year round and most anglers are waiting for the ice fishing to begin. With the warming temperatures be sure and consult the local experts before you go out on the ice for your own safety. Donner Lake and Tahoe appear to be the best bets locally to fish for mackinaw and topline for the occasional rainbow or brown trout. Pyramid Lake in Nevada on the Paiute Indian Reservation is perhaps the best bet to fish this time of year. The Nevada side of the Truckee River is open and the fishing has been fair. Remember, you will need a Nevada license to fish there.

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