California Outdoors Q&A

Can I keep and raise quail as domesticated game birds?
  • June 16, 2022
Quail perched in nature

Domesticated game birds

Q: Can I keep and raise quail as domesticated game birds? Can I sell their eggs?

A: California is home to three native species of quail: mountain, California and Gambel’s quail. In order to keep these species and others as domesticated game birds, a Domestic Game Breeder’s license is generally required, per Fish and Game Code, section 3200.

A Domesticated Game Breeder's License is required for any person engaged in raising or importing, or who keeps in captivity, domesticated game birds which normally exist in the wild in this state, if the birds or mammals are kept more than 30 days after you acquire them. Additionally, you would need to obtain birds from another game breeder; you cannot trap wild quail for the purpose of starting your brood. The game breeder’s license requires you to report the live birds in your possession each year. Visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Game Breeder webpage for a link to the application and info on laws, regulations, requirements and a species list.

If you are interested in Coturnix quail, also called Japanese quail, please be aware that this species does not exist in the wild in California. Therefore, CDFW does not manage the species as a game bird and it is not listed under the Domesticated Game Breeder’s License. Additionally, please review local municipal codes and laws, and zoning regulations, regarding keeping and raising any domestic fowl, including quail.

If you want to sell eggs, please review requirements by other agencies such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Food and Agriculture and/or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Pet bass?

Q: Can I keep a largemouth bass as a pet in California?

A: No, it is not legal to possess a largemouth bass as a pet. Fish and Game Code, section 2118(e), prohibits possession of several types of fish in California, including largemouth bass. With certain exceptions, including some exceptions related to bass tournaments, movement of live fish taken from the wild is prohibited by the California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 1.63, which states that except as provided in sections 4.00 through 4.30 and 230, live fin fish may not be transported alive from the water where taken.

Multi-day fishing permits

Q: I’m going out fishing overnight and heard that I can get a multi-day permit that allows me to keep more than one bag limit of fish. How does that work?

A: If you’re planning to be offshore fishing for more than one calendar day, it is possible to obtain a multi-day fishing permit. Requirements are spelled out in section 27.15 of the 2022-23 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations. The “Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip (PDF)” application form is only allowed for fishing trips that are continuous and extend for a period of 12 hours or more on both the first and last days of the trip. Also, no berthing or docking is permitted within five miles of the mainland shore during the trip. The form must be completed by the vessel’s owner or operator and submitted with payment of $7.21 to CDFW (see contact info below). The form must be received at least 48 hours prior to the date of the vessel’s departure. There is currently no option for submitting the form via email.

Depending on the length of the trip, the permit authorizes up to three daily bag and possession limits of saltwater fin fish, lobster and rock scallop for each licensed person fishing in ocean waters. No person may take more than one daily bag limit of fish per calendar day and the provisions of the permit do not apply to salmon, steelhead, striped bass or sturgeon take and possession limits. There’s also a requirement that passengers must all disembark at the location stated on the multi-day permit. Additionally, the permit must be posted in view for all passengers onboard the boat.

More information on the process, requirements and links to download forms can be found on CDFW’s website. Application forms can be faxed with a credit card payment authorization (PDF Form) to (562) 596-0342.


Categories: General

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