In support of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and its effort to keep hunters and anglers informed, Pete Thomas Outdoors, on Thursday or Friday, posts marine biologist Carrie Wilson's weekly California Outdoors Q&A column:
Question: I would like a definition of "stowed" in regard to fishing gear while transiting a state marine reserve. The reason I ask is that a sport fisherman reported he was stopped by a patrol boat at the Channel Islands and told he could have been cited for having his rods in the rod holders. He was told he should have had them in his small cuddy.
It does not seem reasonable to require my buddies and I "stow" all our rods and reels in my cabin every time we need to make a move across a state marine reserve. Or when we are at an island, we should not be required to drive six miles out, then whatever distance across, and then back in another six miles … at $4 or more a gallon. All of this would be quite a hardship for those of us fishing from private sport boats just to stow our fishing gear when maneuvering around state marine reserves. (Fred H., Anaheim)
Answer: There is no requirement for equipment to be stowed under the Marine Life Protection Act laws covered in section 632 of the California Code of Regulations Title 14. CCR Title 14, section 632(8) covers the law you are referring to as follows:
Transit or Drifting. Vessels shall be allowed to transit through marine protected areas and marine managed areas with catch onboard. Fishing gear shall not be deployed in the water while transiting through a state marine reserve. Fishing gear, except legal fishing gear used to take species identified as allowed for take in subsection 632(b), shall not be deployed in the water while transiting through a state marine recreational management area, state marine park or state marine conservation area.
Q: My Italian grandmother asked my brother and me to bring home some fresh octopus so that she can make her favorite pasta dish. The only problem is we don’t know how to catch them. Can you help us out? (Joe K.)