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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Inland Spear Fishing?  (Read 307 times)

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  • Manatee
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  • Location: Fremont, CA
  • Date Registered: Feb 2007
  • Posts: 20918
March 8, 2018

Question: I know most of the regulations for spear fishing in salt water. But I am from Sacramento, and the ocean is a bit of a drive. I am wondering if I can spear fish in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. If I can, then what time of the year and for what species of fish? I’d also like to know what other bodies of fresh water are open for spear fishing in northern California. (Mike)

 Answer: Mike, thank you for your question regarding spearfishing in fresh water. Spearfishing is slowly becoming more popular in inland waters. California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 2.30 authorizes spearfishing in several locations, but the regulations are crafted to avoid authorization of spearfishing in any salmon spawning area. Looking at a map of the different fishing districts in California on page 2 of the California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations book may help.

Spearfishing is allowed only in:

(a) The Colorado River District for carp, tilapia, goldfish and mullet, all year.

(b) The Valley District and Black Butte Lake (Tehama County) for carp, tilapia, goldfish, striped bass, western sucker, Sacramento blackfish, hardhead, Sacramento pikeminnow and lamprey, from May 1 through Sept. 15, except that no spearfishing is allowed in:

(1) Shasta County (see section 2.12).

(2) Tehama County except Black Butte Lake.

(3) Butte Creek (Butte County).

(4) Feather River below Oroville Dam (Butte County).

(5) Designated salmon spawning areas (See FGC, section 1505).

(c) The Kern River from the Kern-Tulare county line upstream to the Johnsondale Bridge for carp, goldfish, western sucker, hardhead and Sacramento pikeminnow, from May 1 through Sept. 15.

(d) See bullfrogs (section 5.05).

Spearfishing for bullfrogs is another expanding fishing activity, especially in areas where managers are attempting to reduce their populations.