Bruce Ajari | Ignorance of fishing laws never an excuse
Recent conversations with anglers have made it abundantly clear that I need to say something about the State Fishing Regulations. Apparently, most anglers are not reading the regulations before fishing.
Many of the conversations I have had were with anglers new to the area. Listening to people describe the locations they fish sometimes is really enlightening. Like the conversation I had one day where an angler was describing a lake below Jackson Meadows.
The angler said that he had caught a nice fish there on a nightcrawler. I asked if the name of the lake was Milton and he said, “Yes.” Milton is an artificial-only, barbless-hook reservoir. When I explained this to him he was surprised to hear it.
His comment was that there were other people fishing off the dam with bait. I told him that he was extremely fortunate to have not been caught by a warden. He thanked me for letting him know about the regulations and vowed never to make that mistake again.
On another occasion an angler told me that he had been fishing the river without much success. I asked him what he was using and where he had been fishing. He indicated that he had been fishing below the town of Truckee with bait.
I explained to him that the water below where Trout Creek enters the river below Truckee is artificial-only, barbless-hook fishing. He was totally unaware of this and felt really bad about doing so.
These two cases point out the need for anglers to familiarize themselves with the regulations in area waters before beginning to fish. This will eliminate them getting a hefty ticket from the local California Department of Fish and Game warden.
Our local warden is an aggressive one, judging by the conversations I have had with some fly-fishing guides. Some of them have been cited for infractions such as having one of their clients fishing with a barbless hook to not having a properly filled out guide log book. In the case of the barbless fly, the client had tied on one of his own recently purchased flies without pinching the barb down, unknown to the guide.
Folks, ignorance of the law is never an excuse. Pick up a set of fishing regulations anywhere licenses are sold, or go online and check them out at http://www.dfg.ca.gov. This will help you avoid an unpleasant visit from the law. Know your regulations!
and#8212; Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.