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Species Regulations

Fishing Regulations California Freshwater Fishing

Article 4. Species Regulations

5.05. Amphibians.

(a) Only the following amphibians may be taken under the authority of a sportfishing license, subject to the restrictions in this section. No amphibians may be taken from ecological reserves designated by the commission in Section 630 or from state parks, or national parks or monuments.

(b) Limit: The limit for each of the species listed below is four, unless otherwise provided. Limit, as used in this section, means daily bag and possession limit.

(1) Coastal giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus)

(2) Rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa)

(3) Northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile)

(4) Black salamander (Aneides flavipunctatus), except Santa Cruz black salamander (Aneides flavipunctatus niger): See Special Closure (f)(1)

(5) Clouded salamander (Aneides ferreus)

(6) Wandering salamander (Aneides vagrans)

(7) Arboreal salamander (Aneides lugubris)

(8) California slender salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus)

(9) Southern California slender salamander (Batrachoseps major), except desert slender salamander (Batrachoseps major aridus): See Special Closure (f)(2)

(10) Dunn’s salamander (Plethodon dunni)

(11) Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii)

(12) Western toad (Anaxyrus boreas)

(13) Woodhouse’s toad (Anaxyrus woodhouseii)

(14) Red-spotted toad (Anaxyrus punctatus)

(15) Great Plains toad (Anaxyrus cognatus)

(16) Great Basin spadefoot (Spea intermontana)

(17) California treefrog (Pseudacris cadaverina)

(18) Pacific treefrog (Pseudacris regilla)

(19) Baja California treefrog (Pseudacris hypochondriaca)

(20) Sierran treefrog (Pseudacris sierra)

(21) Southern leopard frog (Lithobates) sphenocephalus): Limit: No limit.

(22) Rio Grande leopard frog (Lithobates) berlandieri): Limit: No limit.

(23) American bullfrog (Lithobates) catesbeianaus): Limit: No limit.

(c) Open season: All year. The season closures in Chapter 3 (District Trout and Salmon District General Regulations and Special Regulations) do not apply to fishing for amphibians with methods other than hook and line (see sections 7.00 and 7.50(a)(2)).

(d) Hours: Amphibians may be taken at any time of day or night.

(e) Methods of take:

(1) Amphibians may be taken only by hand, hand-held dip net, or hook and line, except bullfrogs may also be taken by lights, spears, gigs, grabs, paddles, bow and arrow, or fishing tackle.

(2) It is unlawful to use any method or means of collecting that involves breaking apart of rocks, granite flakes, logs, or other shelters in or under which amphibians may be found.

(f) Special closures:

(1) No black salamanders (Aneides flavipunctatus) may be taken in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.

(2) No Southern California slender salamanders (Batrachoseps major) may be taken from the Santa Rosa Mountains in Riverside County.

5.10. Candlefish or Eulachon.

(a) Candlefish or Eulachon may not be taken or possessed.

5.15. Catfish and Bullheads.

(a) Open season: All year, except for closures listed under special regulations.

(b) Limit: Bullheads, no limit; all other catfish, no limit, except as follows:

SPECIAL REGULATIONS FOR CATFISH

Body or Bodies of Water

Bag Limit

(1) All Waters of the Colorado River District. Also see subsection (c) below. 10
(2) All waters of the Southern District not listed below. 10
(3) Alameda County:
Alameda Creek Quarry Ponds. 5
Chabot Lake. 5
Cull Canyon Lake. 5
Del Valle Reservoir. 5
Don Castro Lake. 5
Jordon Lake. 5
Shadow Cliffs Lake. 5
Temescal Lake. 5
(4) Contra Costa County:
Contra Loma Lake. 5
Lafayette Lake. 10
San Pablo Lake. 5
(5) Inyo County:
All waters. 10
(6) Los Angeles County:
Alondra County Park Lake. 5
Belvedere Park Lake. 5
Cerritos Regional Park Lake. 5
Earvin “Magic” Johnson County Park Lake. 5
John Anson Ford Park Lake. 5
Kenneth Hahn Regional Park Lake. 5
La Mirada Regional Park Lake. 5
(7) Mono County:
All waters. 10
(8) San Bernardino County:
Cucamonga-Guiasti Regional Park Lakes. 5
Glen Helen Regional Park Lakes. 5
Gregory Lake. 5
Mojave Narrows Regional Park. 5
Prado Regional Park Lakes. 5
Yucaipa Regional Park Lakes. 5
(9) San Diego County:
All Waters except Barrett and Upper Otay lakes. 5
Barrett Lake. 0
Upper Otay Lake. 0
(10) San Joaquin County:
Oak Grove Regional Park Lake in Stockton. 10
(11) Santa Clara County:
All waters. 5

(c) Carcasses: In the Colorado River and its backwaters, the carcasses of all catfish and bullheads imported, possessed or transported must have either the head, tail or skin attached so that the species can be identified and numbers can be determined until such fish are being prepared for immediate consumption.

5.20. Clams, Freshwater.

(a) Open season: All year, except for closures listed under special regulations.

(b) Limit: Fifty pounds (in the shell).

(c) Methods of take: Freshwater clams may be taken only by hand, or by spade, shovel, hoe, rake or other appliance operated by hand.

(d) The season closures in Chapter 3 (District Trout and Salmon Special Regulations) do not apply to freshwater clam fishing (see sections 7.00 and 7.50(a)(3)).

5.25. Corvina in the Salton Sea.

(a) Open season: All year.

(b) Bag limit: Two.

(c) Possession Limit: Four.

(d) Minimum size limit: 18 inches total length.

5.26. Gulf Croaker and Sargo in the Salton Sea.

(a) Open season: All year.

(b) Daily bag limit: Six each species.

(c) Possession limit: 12 each species.

(d) Size limit: None.

5.30. Crappie.

See Section 5.82 for the combined sunfish and crappie bag limit regulations.

5.35. Crayfish.

(a) Open season: All year, except for closures listed in subsection (d) of this Section.

(b) Limit: No limit.

(c) Methods of take: Crayfish may be taken only by hand, hook and line, dip net or with traps not over three feet in greatest dimension. Any other species taken shall be returned to the water immediately. Traps need not be closely attended.

(d) Closures for Protection of Shasta Crayfish: Rock Creek (in the Hat Creek Drainage in Shasta County), Fall River upstream of Spring Creek Bridge, Lava Creek, Tule River and all connected waters upstream of Little Tule River, Sucker Springs Creek, Crystal Lake, Rising River and Rising River Lake are closed to take and possession of crayfish. (See Section 4.30 for prohibition against crayfish use for bait in sections of the Pit River).

(e) The season closures in Chapter 3 (District Trout and Salmon Special Regulations) do not apply to crayfish fishing with methods other than hook and line (see sections 7.00 and 7.50(a)(3)).

5.37. Grass Carp.

(a) No grass carp may be taken or possessed at any time, except that any grass carp inadvertently taken must be immediately returned unharmed to the water.

(b) Exception for Siskiyou and Shasta Counties for any waters, within the Sacramento River drainage above and including Lake Shasta: All grass carp taken shall be killed immediately by removing the head and shall be retained by the angler. The angler shall notify CDFW that he/she has taken and possesses a grass carp by calling CDFW’s telephone number (1-530-225-2278) as soon as possible, but not more than 24 hours after taking the grass carp.

5.40. Lamprey.

(a) Open season: All year, except for closures listed under district or special regulations.

(b) Limit: 5.

(c) Methods of take: Lamprey may be taken only by hand, hook and line, spear, bow and arrow fishing tackle, or dip net.

(d) The season closures in Chapter 3 (District Trout and Salmon Special Regulations) do not apply to lamprey fishing with methods other than hook and line (see sections 7.00 and 7.50(a)(3)).

5.41. Landlocked Salmon.

(a) Open season: All year

(b) Daily bag limit: Five

(c) Possession limit: Ten

(d) Size limit: None.

(e) See exceptions in Section 7.50(b) for Bucks Lake, Lake Pardee, New Bullards Bar Reservoir, upper Scotts Flat Reservoir, and Trinity Reservoir.

5.45. Marine Fin Fish, Mollusks and Crustaceans.

Marine fin fish, mollusks and crustaceans taken in lagoons and tidal waters are subject to the bag and possession limits established for the Ocean and San Francisco Bay District (beginning with Section 27.00). See the Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.

5.50. Mountain Whitefish.

(a) Open season: No mountain whitefish may be taken in any water except when trout may be taken in such water.

(b) Limit: Five.

5.51. Northern Pike.

No northern pike, dead or alive, may be released into any water at any time. All northern pike taken shall be killed immediately by removing the head and shall be retained by the angler. The angler shall notify CDFW that he/she has taken and possesses a northern pike by calling CDFW’s CalTIP telephone number (1-888-CDFW-CALTIP) as soon as possible, but not more than 24 hours after taking the northern pike. The angler shall maintain the head and body of the fish in a refrigerated or frozen condition, whenever possible, until CDFW collects the northern pike.

5.60. Reptiles.

(a) Only the following reptiles may be taken under the authority of a sportfishing license, subject to the restrictions in this section. No sportfishing license is required for the sport take of any rattlesnake, but bag and possession limits do apply. No reptiles shall be taken from ecological reserves designated by the commission in Section 630 or from state parks, or national parks or monuments.

(b) Limit: The limit for each of the species listed below is two, unless otherwise provided. Limit, as used in this section, means daily bag and possession limit.

(1) Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta): Limit: No limit.

(2) Pond slider (Trachemys) scripta): Limit: No limit.

(3) Spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera): Limit: No limit.

(4) Western banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus), except San Diego banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus abbotti): See Special Closure (f)(1)

(5) Desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)

(6) Common chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater)

(7) Zebra-tailed lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)

(8) Desert spiny lizard (Sceloporus magister)

(9) Granite spiny lizard (Sceloporus orcutti)

(10) Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis): Limit: Species No. 10-14 have a limit of twenty-five (25) in the aggregate

(11) Common sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus): Limit: Species No. 10-14 have a limit of twenty-five (25) in the aggregate

(12) Common side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana): Limit: Species No. 10-14 have a limit of twenty-five (25) in the aggregate

(13) Western skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus): Limit: Species No. 10-14 have a limit of twenty-five (25) in the aggregate

(14) Desert night lizard (Xantusia vigilis), except Sierra night lizard (Xantusia (vigilis) sierrae): See Special Closure (f)(2): Limit: Species No. 10-14 have a limit of twenty-five (25) in the aggregate

(15) Long-tailed brush lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)

(16) Ornate tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)

(17) Baja California brush lizard (Urosaurus nigricaudus)

(18) Desert horned lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos)

(19) Pygmy short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglassii)

(20) Great Basin collared lizard (Crotaphytus bicinctores)

(21) Mearns’ rock lizard (Petrosaurus mearnsi)

(22) Baja California collared lizard (Crotaphytus vestigium)

(23) Long-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)

(24) Gilbert’s skink (Plestiodon gilberti)

(25) Tiger whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris)

(26) Southern alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata)

(27) Northern alligator lizard (Elgaria coerulea)

(28) Northern rubber boa (Charina bottae): See Special Closure (f)(3)

(29) Northern three-lined boa (Lichanura orcutti)

(30) Ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus), except Regal ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus regalis): See Special Closure (f)(4)

(31) Common sharp-tailed snakes (Contia tenuis)

(32) Forest sharp-tailed snake (Contia longicauda)

(33) Spotted leaf-nosed snake (Phyllorhynchus decurtatus)

(34) North American racer (Coluber constrictor)

(35) Coachwhip (Coluber flagellum), except San Joaquin Coachwhip (Coluber (Masticophis) flagellum ruddocki): See Special Closure (f)(5)

(36) Striped whipsnake (Coluber taeniatus)

(37) Striped racer (Coluber lateralis), except Alameda striped racer (whipsnake) (Coluber (Masticophis) lateralis euryxanthus): See Special Closure (f)(6)

(38) Western patch-nosed snake (Salvadora hexalepis), except coast patch-nosed snake (Salvadora hexalepis virgultea): See Special Closure (f)(7)

(39) Glossy snake (Arizona elegans), except California glossy snake (Arizona elegans occidentalis): See Special Closure (f)(8)

(40) Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer): Limit: Four (4)

(41) California kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae): Limit: Four (4)

(42) California mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata), except San Diego mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata pulchra) and San Bernardino mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata parvirubra): Limit: One (1). See Special Closure: (f)(9)

(43) Long-nosed snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)

(44) Common gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis), except San Francisco gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia) and South Coast gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis spp.): See Special Closure (f)(10)

(45) Terrestrial gartersnake (Thamnophis elegans)

(46) Sierra gartersnake (Thamnophis couchii)

(47) Aquatic gartersnake (Thamnophis atratus)

(48) Northwestern gartersnake (Thamnophis ordinoides)

(49) Checkered gartersnake (Thamnophis marcianus)

(50) Western groundsnake (Sonora semiannulata)

(51) Western shovel-nosed snake (Chionactis occipitalis)

(52) Western black-headed snake (Tantilla planiceps)

(53) Smith’s black-headed snake (Tantilla hobartsmithi)

(54) Sonoran lyresnake (Trimorphodon lambda)

(55) California lyresnake (Trimorphodon lyrophanes)

(56) Desert nightsnake (Hypsiglena chlorophaea)

(57) Coast nightsnake (Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha)

(58) Western threadsnake (Rena humilis)

(59) Western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)

(60) Mohave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)

(61) Western rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus)

(62) Speckled rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii)

(63) Sidewinders (Crotalus cerastes)

(64) Panamint rattlesnake (Crotalus stephensi)

(65) Red diamond rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber): Limit: Zero (0)

(c) Open season: All year.

(d) Hours: Reptiles may be taken at any time of day or night.

(e) Methods of take:

(1) Reptiles may be taken only by hand, except as provided in subsections (e)(2) and (3) below, or by the following hand-operated devices:

(A) Lizard nooses.

(B) Snake tongs.

(C) Snake hooks.

(2) Rattlesnakes may be taken by any method.

(3) Turtles may be taken by hook and line. Fishing methods described in Section 2.00 apply to the take of spiny softshell turtles, slider turtles and painted turtles.

(4) It is unlawful to use any method or means of collecting that involves breaking apart of rocks, granite flakes, logs or other shelters in or under which reptiles may be found.

(f) Special Closures:

(1) No geckos (Coleonyx variegatus) may be taken in San Diego County south and west of Highway 79 to its junction with County Road S-2, and south and west of County Road S-2 to the eastern San Diego County border.

(2) No night lizards (Xantusia vigilis) may be taken in Kern County.

(3) No rubber boas (Charina bottae or Charina umbratica) may be taken in Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

(4) No ring-necked snakes (Diadophis punctatus) may be taken in San Bernardino and Inyo counties.

(5) No coachwhips (Coluber) flagellum) may be taken in the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus, and Tulare.

(6) No striped racers (Coluber) lateralis) may be taken in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

(7) No patch-nosed snakes (Salvadora hexalepis) may be taken in the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.

(8) No glossy snakes (Arizona elegans) may be taken in the following counties: Alameda, Fresno, Imperial (west of Hwy 111), Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside (southwest of Hwy 111 and I-10), San Benito, San Bernardino (West of I-215 and Hwy 138), San Diego, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara and Tulare.

(9) No California mountain kingsnakes (Lampropeltis zonata) may be taken in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties.

(10) No common gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) may be taken in San Mateo, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and Ventura counties.

5.65. Shad, American.

(a) Open season: All year, except for closures listed under special regulations.

(b) Limit: Twenty-five.

(c) Methods of take: Shad may be taken only by angling, except that a dip net may be used in the Valley District.

5.70. Splittail, Sacramento.

(a) Open season: All year, except for closures listed under district or special regulations.

(b) Limit: Two

(c) Methods of take: Splittail may be only taken by angling.

5.75. Striped Bass.

(a) Open season: All year except for closures listed in special regulations.

(b) Limit: Two, except in waters listed in (d) below.

(c) Minimum size: 18 inches total length except in waters listed in (d) below.

(d) Exceptions:

(1) In the Colorado River District, the Southern District (except Lake Elsinore), and New Hogan, San Antonio and Santa Margarita lakes

(A) Limit: Ten.

(B) Minimum size: No size limit.

(2) Lake Elsinore has the limit and minimum size shown in (b) and (c) above.

(e) For the purpose of these regulations, any striped bass hybrid with white bass is considered to be striped bass.

5.82. Sunfish and Crappie.

(a) Open season: All year, except for closures listed under district or special regulations.

(b) Limit: Combined bag limit of twenty-five sunfish and crappie of all species, except in:

(1) Barrett and Upper Otay Lakes (San Diego County): zero bag limit for all species.

(c) Size Limit: No size limit, except at Hodges and El Capitan Lakes (San Diego County), where the crappie minimum size limit is 10 inches, total length.

5.83. Tilapia.

(a) Open season: All year, except for closures listed under district or special regulations.

(b) Limit: No limit.

5.85. Trout and Salmon.

See Chapter 3, District Trout, Salmon and Special Regulations.

5.86. Hoopa and Yurok Indian Salmon Possession Limit.

It is unlawful for any person to possess more than one daily bag or possession limit of fish except as follows: Eligible Hoopa Valley and Yurok Reservation Indians, as defined in Chapter 1, Part 250, Title 25, CFR-Indian Fishing, Hoopa Valley Reservation and Yurok Reservation-Department of the Interior; may possess more than two salmon outside boundaries of the Hoopa Valley Reservation, provided:

(a) Such eligible Indians possess and display upon demand by any officer authorized to enforce this section their Indian Fishers identification card.

(b) All fish are possessed for subsistence or ceremonial purposes and are clearly marked by removing the dorsal fin prior to transporting them from the reservation.

It shall be unlawful to sell or possess for sale any salmon marked pursuant to this section.

5.87. North Coast Salmon Report Card Requirement.

(a) Report Card Required in Waters of the Klamath-Trinity River System and the Smith River. All anglers must have a North Coast Salmon Report Card in their possession while fishing for or taking salmon in waters of the Klamath-Trinity River System and the Smith River, and must complete and return the card pursuant to regulations in this Section and in Section 1.74.

(b) Prior to beginning fishing activity, the cardholder shall record the month, day, and fishing location on the first available line on the report card.

(c) For the Klamath-Trinity River System: Whenever the cardholder lands (either retains or releases) a Chinook salmon, the angler shall immediately record whether the fish was an adult or a jack, and whether the fish has an adipose fin present. Whenever the cardholder releases a Coho salmon, the angler shall immediately record whether the maxillary is present or absent.

(d) For the Smith River: Whenever the cardholder lands (either retains or releases) a Chinook salmon, the angler shall immediately record whether the fish was an adult or a jack, and whether the fish has an adipose fin or left ventral fin present.

(e) Whenever the cardholder moves to another fishing location, the angler shall record the month, day, and location on the next line on the report card.

(f) In the Klamath-Trinity River System and Smith River, a jack Chinook salmon is defined as any Chinook salmon that is less than 22 inches total length.

(g) In the event an angler fills in all lines and returns a North Coast Salmon Report Card, an additional card may be purchased. See Section 1.74.

(h) The annual fee for the North Coast Salmon Report Card is specified in Section 701, Title 14, CCR

Steelhead Fishing Report Card

Anglers must have a nontransferable Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card issued by the department in their possession while fishing for steelhead trout in anadromous waters. For purposes of this regulation, a steelhead trout is defined as any rainbow trout greater than 16 inches in length found in anadromous waters. Anglers must record, with a ball point pen, the month, day, location fished, number of steelhead caught and kept, and number of steelhead caught and released. Month, day and location must be recorded EVEN IF NO STEELHEAD WERE CAUGHT.

A report-restoration card shall be valid for the calendar year. When the card is completely filled-in, a person may purchase another card. Anglers are required by law to return Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration cards to the Department of Fish and Wildlife by January 31 of the year following the card expiration. Example: 2018 cards are to be returned by January 31, 2019.

5.88. Steelhead Report and Restoration Card Requirements for Inland Waters.

(a) Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card Required. All anglers must have a Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card in their possession while fishing for or taking steelhead in anadromous waters, as defined in Section 1.04. Anglers must complete and return the card pursuant to regulations in this Section and in Section 1.74. For purposes of these regulations, a steelhead trout is defined as any rainbow trout greater than 16 inches in length found in anadromous waters.

(b) Prior to beginning fishing activity, the cardholder must record the month, day, and location code on the first available line on the report card.

(c) When a hatchery steelhead is retained, the cardholder must immediately mark the appropriate field.

(d) When the cardholder moves to another location code, or finishes fishing for the day, the angler must immediately record on the card the number of wild and hatchery steelhead that were released from that location.

(e) In the event an angler fills in all lines and returns a Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card, an additional card must be purchased to continue to fish for steelhead. See Section 1.74.

(f) The annual fee for the Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card is specified in Section 7380 of the Fish and Game Code.

5.90. White Bass.

(a) Open season: All year.

(b) Limit: No limit. No live white bass may be possessed or transported. Any white bass taken must immediately be killed by removing the head or cutting through the gills, except at Lake Nacimiento (San Luis Obispo County) where any white bass taken must immediately be released into the water or killed by removing the head or cutting through the gills.

5.91. Yellow Perch.

(a) Open season: All year, except for closures listed under district or special regulations.

(b) Limit: No limit.

5.93. Fully Protected Fishes.

None of the following fishes may be taken or possessed at any time: Colorado pikeminnow, Mohave chub, Lost River sucker, Modoc sucker, shortnose sucker, humpback sucker, Owens pupfish, unarmored threespine stickleback, rough sculpin, bonytail, Owens tui chub, Cottonball Marsh pupfish and desert pupfish.

5.95. Other Species.

Other species of fish may be taken in any number and at any time of the year by angling, except for closures and restrictions listed under district special regulations.