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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:09 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:32 pm
Posts: 142
My recent DFG emails:

LT DFG Lt. Liz Schwall,

Forgive me for sending another email before getting your reply to my last inquiry, but I thought this might clarify some concerns and assist in making your reply.

First, if it is not otherwise clear, I am asking as an individual angler and not as a representative of anyone else, individual or group. I do know, however, that many others are interested in these answers and I am asking permission to post them on the internet.

Second, these questions have arisen because for the first time in many years I want to harvest some fish for the table after years of strict catch-and-release. I am concerned about maintaining fish quality as well as obeying the law.

Third, the apparent best practice for maintaining fish quality for the table is to immediately bleed. fillet, and put the fillets on ice.

Fourth, it is also clear such practices can make enforcement of size and species regulations difficult - maybe impossible - especially if the fillets are completely skinned.

Fifth, some species of saltwater fish have specific size-of-fillet-and-skin-patch treatment - but it appears many saltwater and all freshwater fish are not covered by any such regulations.

Sixth, the size of some fish species and the limit numbers (or lack of them) of other species mean small boat and shore anglers cannot properly store limits of whole, gutted fish on ice, especially if anglers are targeting multiple species. I am thinking, for example, of the size of a limit of chinook salmon for one or more anglers; or of the numbers of crappie, panfish, catfish, etc.

Seventh, do traditional angler practices such as cooking and eating fish on board boats or ashore, or filleting fish at fish stations on shore before taking the fillets only home, open them to enforcement action?

Eighth, to put a fine point on it, is it a violation of DFG regulations for an angler to have in possession only fillets, in number appropriate to the legal limit of a given species, each of which meets or exceeds the length requirement for whole fish of that species, and each of which has a reasonable size patch of skin (and scales if applicable) to allow species identification? I know there are no regulations specifically giving permission for such practices except for a limited number of saltwater species, but would DFG find such practices a violation? Would the DFG answer change if the angler kept in possession the rest of the carcass of each fish in addition to the fillets (which would not have to be iced down or given special care)?

Ninth, please understand that I think DFG is a great, horribly underfunded agency. I wish you folks could be present more places and times, and use science to enhance all the fisheries of the state more than you do already. I also applaud your enforcement efforts and wish there were more of them.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

---------Previous DFG exchange ------------

On the FishSniffer striper board we have been discussing the best practices for care of striped bass for eating. I have asked questions and various answers have been posted. What is the definitive DFG position on:

1. Is it legal to fillet stripers on the water?

2. If it is legal to fillet stripers on the water, do you have to keep the carcass(es) until you get home (or cook the fillets)?

3. Is it okay to discard carcass(es) and just keep fillets that are long enough that they prove they are from stripers 18" or longer with a patch of skin-and-scales for identification?

4. If 3 is okay, can you discard carcass(es) back into the water where you caught the fish, that is, fillet the fish on the boat and discard the carcass(es) overboard?

Can I post your answers, or would you have someone post your answers, on the FishSniffer striper board?

Thanks.

P.S. If there is a better way to ask DFG such questions, please let me know. Thanks Again.


Don,

Thanks for your inquiry. Here are the answers to your questions:

1: It is illegal to fillet any striped bass while out fishing and or
possess the fish in a condition where it can not be measured - See Fish
and Game Code 5508. In addition it would be illegal to be in possession
of fish where the species would also be in doubt. See Fish and Game Code
5509. I have included both laws below. There are additional regulations
for ocean fishing that allow for certain fish to be filleted and
cleaned. These regulations do not include Striped Bass. See Ocean
Fishing Regulations Section 27.65 - Filleting of Fish on Vessels.

5508. It is unlawful to possess on any boat or to bring ashore any
fish upon which a size or weight limit is prescribed in such a condition
that its size or weight cannot be determined. The commission may adopt
regulations, under which fish other than whole fish may be brought
ashore, which establish sizes or weights for cleaned or otherwise cut
fish equivalent to sizes or weights for whole fish.

5509. It is unlawful to possess on any boat or to bring ashore any
fish in such a condition that the species cannot be determined, except
as otherwise provided in this code or regulations adopted pursuant
thereto. The commission, subject to the provisions of Section 5508, may
adopt regulations whereby fish taken by persons fishing from a vessel
licensed pursuant to Section 7920 may be brought ashore in such a
condition that the species cannot be determined.


2: Stripers should be maintained in whole condition (Gutting is OK.)
until they are stored at your residence and ready for immediate
consumption.

3: See answers above

4: See above. generally, returning fish entrails to the water is not
illegal.

Regarding cleaning fish for consumption - See Inland Fishing
Regulations regarding eating inland fish and health issues, pages 58 -
62 and in the Ocean Fishing Regulation pages 52 - 55.

You may post these answers. Lieutenant Liz Schwall is generally the
best enforcement contact regarding these issues. Her email is
lschwall@dfg.ca,gov. I hope this information is helpful.

Dennis DeAnda
Fish and Game Captain
Headquarters - Investigative Services
(916) 651-9982 Office HQ
(916) 825-7263 Cell Phone


[I cannot find my first email to Lt. Schwall. Basically it asked if the same policy in Capt. DeAnda’s email regarding striped bass would apply to other freshwater fish.]


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:57 pm 
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Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:32 pm
Posts: 142
[Email reply by me to Capt. DeAnda]

Outstanding! Thank you very much.

FYI, I will post all this on discussion threads already started on this topic at:

http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=5488

http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/bb/in ... pic=6478.0

http://kfs.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/ ... 1351079003

http://www.fishsniffer.com/cgi-bin/foru ... 1165166661

http://www.fullspeedfishing.com/forum/s ... hp?t=21900

You have done these communities a great service.

Happy holidays and thanks again.
----- Original Message ----
From: Dennis DeAnda <DDeAnda@dfg.ca.gov>
To: Don West <dwwestesq@sbcglobal.net>
Cc: Liz Schwall <LSchwall@dfg.ca.gov>
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2006 8:29:03 AM
Subject: Re: DFG law re care of fish on the water
Mr. West,

Because I answered your questions last time and because you have several more, I have been asked to respond to you new inquiry. Let me attempt to answer your questions:

1. When fishing, on a boat or while traveling to and from your fishing location you should always maintain fish with a specific size limit in a condition where the size can be determined. In addition, anytime you reduce a fish to a fillet or similar condition, you should always maintain an ability to identify the species of the fish. As is required in ocean waters, a skin patch should suffice.

As I stated before, it would be illegal to fillet any fish listed and identified in the Ocean under Regulation Section 27.65(c). This includes salmon, striped bass and sturgeon. In inland waters there is no specific section prohibiting filleting fish. Unfortunately, if you possess fish where a size limit is required and can not be determined, this will be a violation.

2. As stated before, fish being prepared for immediate consumption may be filleted and made ready to eat.

3.Skin patches for the identification of fish species is fine for fish that have no specific size or weight limit.

4. Discarding fish entrails and carcasses back into the water is fine. Fish degrade extremely fast. Returning fish carcasses back to the water returns needed nutrients back to the system.

I hope this answers your questions.

[The following is the first email I sent to Lt. Schwall and then lost. DWW]

>>> Don West <dwwestesq@sbcglobal.net> 11/30/06 1:18 PM >>>
DFG Lt. Liz Schwall lschwall@dfg.ca.gov

Lt. Schwall:

Captain DeAnda answered some questions under discussion on the FishSniffer website about stripers (copy reproduced below for convenience and URL included). The same questions have been posed about other fish species: salmon, trout, crappie, other panfish, catfish, etc.

We want to obey the law. We also want to get the fish we chose to harvest to the table in the best condition for eating. The practices of bleeding, filleting, putting the fillets on ice, and discarding the fish carcass(es) while still on the water has been discussed.

Specifically, what is the DFG policy on the following practices:

1. Is it legal to fillet salmon (chinook, kokanee, etc.- ocean caught, ocean-run in rivers, or land-locked in freshwater), trout, crappie, other panfish, or catfish on the water?

2. If it is legal to fillet such salmon, trout, crappie, other panfish, or catfish on the water, do you have to keep the carcass(es) until you get home (or cook the fillets)?

3. Is it okay to discard carcass(es) and just keep fillets with a patch of skin-and-scales for identification?

4. If 3 is okay, can you discard carcass(es) back into the water where you caught the fish, that is, fillet the fish on the boat and discard the carcass(es) overboard?

Can I post your answers, or would you have someone post your answers, on the appropriate FishSniffer boards?

Thanks.


http://www.fishsniffer.com/cgi-bin/foru ... 7220/15#24

“From: Dennis DeAnda <DDeAnda@dfg.ca.gov>
To: Don West <dwwestesq@sbcglobal.net>
Cc: Liz Schwall <LSchwall.PO_CEEB1.DOM_CEEB@dfg.ca.gov>; Rob Allen <RAllen.PO_CEEB1.DOM_CEEB@dfg.ca.gov>
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2006 9:53:42 AM
Subject: Re: Striper Questions To Head of DFG Investigative Division


Don,

Thanks for your inquiry. Here are the answers to your questions:

1: It is illegal to fillet any striped bass while out fishing and or
possess the fish in a condition where it can not be measured - See Fish
and Game Code 5508. In addition it would be illegal to be in possession
of fish where the species would also be in doubt. See Fish and Game Code 5509.
I have included both laws below. There are additional regulations for ocean fishing
that allow for certain fish to be filleted and cleaned. These regulations do not include
Striped Bass. See Ocean Fishing Regulations Section 27.65 - Filleting of Fish on Vessels.

5508. It is unlawful to possess on any boat or to bring ashore any
fish upon which a size or weight limit is prescribed in such a condition
that its size or weight cannot be determined. The commission may adopt
regulations, under which fish other than whole fish may be brought
ashore, which establish sizes or weights for cleaned or otherwise cut
fish equivalent to sizes or weights for whole fish.

5509. It is unlawful to possess on any boat or to bring ashore any
fish in such a condition that the species cannot be determined, except
as otherwise provided in this code or regulations adopted pursuant
thereto. The commission, subject to the provisions of Section 5508, may
adopt regulations whereby fish taken by persons fishing from a vessel
licensed pursuant to Section 7920 may be brought ashore in such a
condition that the species cannot be determined.


2: Stripers should be maintained in whole condition (Gutting is OK.)
until they are stored at your residence and ready for immediate
consumption.

3: See answers above

4: See above. generally, returning fish entrails to the water is not
illegal.

Regarding cleaning fish for consumption - See Inland Fishing
Regulations regarding eating inland fish and health issues, pages 58 -
62 and in the Ocean Fishing Regulation pages 52 - 55.

You may post these answers. Lieutenant Liz Schwall is generally the
best enforcement contact regarding these issues. Her email is
lschwall@dfdg.ca,gov. I hope this information is helpful.

Dennis DeAnda
Fish and Game Captain
Headquarters - Investigative Services
(916) 651-9982 Office HQ
(916) 825-7263 Cell Phoneâ€


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