California Outdoors Q&A

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  • April 21, 2022
Kern River rainbow trout

Rainbow trout

Q: How high can rainbow trout jump?

A: A rainbow trout can jump a maximum of about three meters or almost 10 feet. However, a more realistic day-to-day jump would be closer to 1.5 meters or about five feet. Rainbow trout are known for being fast swimmers and high jumpers. The reason they can swim so fast and jump so high is because they are very muscular and flexible. This flexibility comes from the fact that rainbow trout have many small delicate vertebrae. A rainbow trout has about 62 vertebrae, whereas a bass only has about 32. This extra flexibility allows them to use the full range of their muscles to jump over obstacles. For more fun fish facts, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Classroom Aquarium Education Program.

Rattlesnakes

Q: Are rattlesnakes aggressive or do they typically avoid confrontation?

A: Rattlesnakes are not aggressive by nature, but they will defend themselves when threatened. If left alone, they will typically move away from a threat, not toward it. If rattlesnakes are unable to escape, they typically signal advance notice of an attack by taking a defensive posture and rattling. Biting is considered last resort. Venom for a rattlesnake is meant for prey immobilization and digestion. It can take weeks for a rattlesnake to replenish after envenomation. Most bites occur when someone does not see a rattlesnake or deliberately puts themselves in harm’s way. Being aware of where you step or put your hands when in rattlesnake country is the best way to avoid being bitten.

Rattlesnakes are distributed broadly across California but are typically found in open habitats like grasslands, savanna and desert. They prefer to live in and around rock outcrops when available. When they are found in homes and yards, it’s usually along a wildland-urban interface. California residents can make their yards rattlesnake safe by removing objects that attract them and their prey. This can include keeping vegetation away from fences, removing piles of boards or rocks and repairing potential access points.

For more information visit wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild/Rattlesnakes.

Desert plants

Q: What is the California Desert Native Plants Act?

A: The purpose of the California Desert Native Plants Act (CDNPA) is to protect certain species of California desert native plants from unlawful harvesting on both public and privately owned lands. The CDNPA only applies within the boundaries of Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. Within these counties, the CDNPA prohibits the harvest, transport, sale or possession of specific native desert plants under many circumstances unless a person has a valid permit or wood receipt, and the required tags and seals. The appropriate permits, tags and seals must be obtained from the sheriff or commissioner of the county where collecting will occur, and the county will charge a fee. More information on the CDNPA, including the species protected under the law, is available on CDFW’s website.

Recreational fisheries survey

Q: What does CDFW do with data from its recreational sport fishing surveys?

A: The California Recreational Fisheries Survey (CRFS) was designed to meet specific management needs for all of California’s diverse recreational marine finfish fisheries and provide accurate and timely estimates of fishing effort and catch. The CRFS team depends heavily on angler cooperation for accurate survey estimates. CDFW would like to thank anglers in advance for taking the time to participate in telephone or in-person dock surveys.

There are two ways that recreational anglers can contribute to the accuracy of the data:

(1) Anglers should cooperate with the CRFS sampler conducting the interview. Please answer the CRFS interview questions truthfully. Take the time to allow the sampler to examine and measure any catch. As a result of increased sampling levels, recreational anglers, particularly those who fish frequently, are more likely to encounter CRFS samplers conducting the survey. Every fishing trip is different — different target species, success rates, different locations, different gear, etc. — so CDFW asks anglers to please complete this survey each time you are asked, even if you’ve completed it before.

(2) Say “yes” to the CRFS telephone surveyor. Licensed anglers are contacted randomly throughout the year and asked questions about their fishing habits. Data collected through this telephone survey are used to estimate fishing effort that cannot be estimated through field observations, such as night fishing and fishing from boats that depart from and return to private marinas. Personal contact information is kept confidential.

For more information visit CDFW’s California Recreational Fisheries Survey webpage.

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Categories: General