Featured in photo: CDFW Environmental Scientist Ed Roberts
Photo credit: E.W. Roberts IV
Q: Are recreational crab traps allowed to be fished once Dungeness crab season ends?
A: The Dungeness crab recreational season will close statewide Saturday, July 30. Once the season ends, crab traps to take crabs other than Dungeness are allowed north of Pt. Arguello (Santa Barbara County) to the Oregon state line.
As a reminder, the crab trap rules that went into effect November 1, 2021, would still apply and can be found on this flyer (PDF).
We also have some useful FAQs regarding these new crab trap rules.
Stay tuned in October for notices regarding the use of crab traps prior to the start of the 2022-23 Dungeness crab season currently scheduled for Saturday, November 5, 2022.
Q: How do I protect nesting birds while pruning or removing trees and vegetation in my yard?
A: To protect nesting birds, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recommends working in your yard outside of nesting bird season which for many bird species in California is February through August. However, nesting season can vary based on location and species of bird, and in some parts of the state, birds nest year-round. If you must work when birds could be nesting, consider hiring a consulting biologist to conduct a nesting bird survey before doing any work. If nesting birds are present, a biologist can recommend an appropriate buffer area where you can refrain from doing yardwork. You could also delay your yardwork until nesting is complete.
CDFW genuinely appreciates you thinking of nesting birds while managing trees and plants in your yard. Many California birds do nest in backyard trees, bushes and even on the ground. Nesting birds are particularly sensitive to human disturbance and may abandon their nest, eggs and/or young due to human presence and noise. Additionally, pruning or removing vegetation can inadvertently crush, destroy or remove active bird nests.
The California Fish and Game Code (FGC) contains several sections outlining protections for birds, their eggs and nests. FGC section 3503 covers unlawful take, possession or needless destruction of nests or eggs of any bird. FGC section 3503.5 covers unlawful take, possession or destruction of birds of prey or their nests or eggs. FGC Section 3513 covers unlawful take of any migratory nongame bird. In addition, the California Endangered Species Act, beginning at FGC section 2050, prohibits take of threatened or endangered birds. Nesting birds may also be protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the federal Endangered Species Act.
Q: What can I do to scare aggressive coyotes away from my property? My neighbor told me it is illegal to do much of anything to haze them away.
A: A great place to start is CDFW’s Keep Me Wild: Coyotes web page, which has lots of good information on how to prevent coyotes from being attracted to your property in the first place. CDFW also helped produce this short video about living with coyotes. CDFW’s goal, and an important part of our mission, is to help people and wildlife coexist — and that includes native predators like coyotes. Coyotes occupy an extremely important niche in our ecosystem. They help keep rodents under control and regularly scavenge carrion (remains of dead animals), which helps keep neighborhoods clean. In California, people can legally haze coyotes away from themselves or their property if approached. We recommend standing tall and shouting aggressively at an approaching coyote or one that is too close for comfort. Using an airhorn, whistle or shaking a can with small stones or coins can also scare a coyote away. Remember to remain calm and slowly back away from the coyote, but do not run. California FGC section 4152 does allow landowners or tenants to lethally remove coyotes that pose a risk to public safety or cause property damage, but actions must comply with all local and state laws, including county or city prohibitions on the discharge of a firearm. Also see FGC section 4004 and California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 465.5. If there is an immediate danger to public safety, or if a coyote has bitten or scratched a human, please take whatever measures are necessary to get to a safe location and call 911.