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How Many Rods Can I Use While Fishing In Tomales Bay?
California Outdoors 2-3-21
CO Tomales
This photo of Tomales Bay, by the California State Parks, was contributed through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Fishing In Tomales Bay

Question: When fishing off the shore of Tomales Bay in Marshall, Marin County, I can only use one rod, right? (Ramon)

Answer: Fishing regulations in Tomales Bay are outlined in the Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet. The number of rods you can use will depend upon what species of fish you are targeting. California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 28.65 states that any number of hooks and lines may be used in all ocean waters and bays, with these exceptions that could apply in your case:

On public piers, no person shall use more than two rods and lines, two hand lines, or two nets, traps or other appliances used to take crabs (Title 14, section 28.65).

When rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, sculpin, or kelp or rock greenlings are aboard or in possession, where only one line with not more than two hooks may be used (Title 14, section 28.65 (c)).

North of Point Conception, where only one rod and line may be used by each angler fishing for salmon, or fishing from any boat or floating device with salmon on board (Title 14, section 28.65 (e)).


Fishing Rights For Native Americans

Question: I’ve heard that since I’m Native American, I can net fish in inland waters like lakes and rivers. Is this true? (Tyler)

Answer: Thanks for reaching out about allowable fishing methods for Native Americans in California. In general, Tribal members outside of their home reservation or rancheria are restricted to using the same methods as anyone else fishing in California. California fishing regulations currently only allow for take of fish by hook and line and otherwise prohibit the use or possession of any nets other than dip nets for landing fish within 100 yards of inland waters (streams, lakes, canals, reservoirs) with a few limited exceptions. Tribal members fishing within their home reservation or rancheria may use any methods to fish that are authorized by their Tribe.


How To Report Poaching And Polluting

Question: I recently watched two guys hunting at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge shoot and kill three pintails. I’m positive all three were pintails and I know the limit is one each. Then I saw them at the parking lot and they only had two pintails, so I think they got rid of one before leaving the blind. What’s the best way to report something like this?

Answer: Let’s start with the best way to report what you saw. You’re right, the daily limit for ducks is seven, but within that limit of seven a hunter may only take one pintail. A summary of those regulations is at If you saw two hunters shoot three pintails, whether or not it was done by accident, one of them is in violation of an overlimit. That alone justifies a call to CalTIP, our 24-hour poaching and polluting tip line. Be prepared to include the exact location of where you saw the violation occur. National Wildlife Refuges, state Wildlife Areas, and even private duck clubs are big and a detailed location description will help a wildlife officer make contact with the appropriate persons. Otherwise, the physical description of the suspects is usually “waders and full waterfowl hunting camouflage” and that’s what everyone out there looks like! You’ll help us maximize the probability of a wildlife officer making a case if you remain available by phone to help vector them in on the alleged violator.

California Fish and Game Code section 4304 states “No person shall at any time capture or destroy any deer and detach or remove from the carcass only the head, hide, antlers, or horns.” However, it continues to include other acts of waste by stating, “nor shall any person at any time leave through carelessness or neglect any game mammal or game bird which is in his possession, or any portion of the flesh thereof usually eaten by humans, to go needlessly to waste.” Intentionally leaving behind an extra pintail even if accidentally shot would be well within the definition of “carelessness or neglect.” Thus, the situation you described would possibly involve two violations, both misdemeanors.

In the future, if you witness a poaching or polluting incident or any fish and wildlife violation, or have information about such a violation, immediately dial the toll-free CalTIP number (888) 334-CALTIP or (888) 334-2258, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. CalTIP also accepts tips via text and the CalTIP app. If you hunt and fish regularly, we encourage you to use any of these tools to report poachers and polluters. You can find more information about CalTIP here:


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