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What about bloodsucking Leeches?

5/5/11 -- California Outdoors Q&As by Carrie Wilson
Question: My daughter and I love to swim and play in waters wherever we find them. While in French Gulch (Shasta County) last year, we decided to play around in Clear Creek.

The creek was running pretty high, but when my daughter and I got out we had these black, worm-like things hanging off us. Our first thought was leeches, which got us out of the water quite quickly! Someone told me they were rock worms and wouldn’t hurt us. We haven’t returned there though because we’re still too scared they were leeches.

We also stopped at Eagle Lake (Lassen County) to go swimming and ended up with these tiny little round slime balls on us. When picking up these slimy things in question, they flattened out on our hands and started slithering like a leech across our hands. This was another trip where my daughter and I ran screaming out of the water to rinse off under the faucet! There were lots of people swimming in the lake who either didn’t seem to notice or else knew something we didn’t.

Clear Creek was a very cold creek, but Eagle Lake was very warm, so I could understand Eagle Lake possibly having leeches. Do these leeches suck human blood? Are they harmful to humans in any way? I love the outdoors and swimming, but too many encounters with creepy leech-like things are making me leery about the safety of it. (Kim B.)

Answer: Without pictures, it’s tough to say, but it sounds like you encountered two different invertebrates. According to Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Associate Fish Pathologist Garry Kelley, Ph.D., the organism at Clear Creek was likely a free-living caddis fly larvae (Genus Rhyacophila), commonly known as a rock worm. This type of caddis fly crawls around rock bottoms in search of food and is commonly eaten by trout. Caddis flies are not at all harmful to humans.

The organism at Eagle Lake might be a leech based on the “slithering” swimming motion you described. There are many types of leeches and most are fluid feeders. Leeches are either scavengers or are parasitic (i.e., they feed on other organisms). Some species of leeches suck blood from vertebrates (humans, waterfowl, fish, etc.) while others feed on insects, mollusks, oligochaetes or dead animal matter. Kelley suspects the organism described at Eagle Lake was non-parasitic in nature because bloodsucking was not indicated.

Can cow cod caught in Mexico be imported to U.S. waters?
Question: If we’re fishing in Mexican waters and catch a cow cod, can we legally bring it back into a California port as long as we have all of the proper licenses and the Declaration for Entry form properly filled out? I’d just like to know for sure as we fish Mexican waters frequently targeting rockfish and I’d like to avoid a citation. (Jeff M., San Diego)

Answer: No. Cowcod may not be imported or even possessed in California regardless of where caught (Fish and Game Code, section 2353(a)(2)). Broomtail groupers and canary, yelloweye and bronze-spotted rockfishes are also illegal to be possessed or imported into California under this regulation and under California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 28.55(b)(1), even if they were taken legally in Mexico.

How many turkeys in possession?
Question
: I’m going out of town on a three-day turkey hunt and need some clarification on the possession limit. If my buddy and I each get a turkey each day (total of six) and get stopped by a warden on the way home, will we be legal? I heard that you can’t have more than one bird with you at a time, but the regulation states possession limit is three birds per hunter for the season. I want to make sure I am legal. Otherwise I will have to travel back and forth after each successful day and it’s about a two-hour drive each way. Any information you could give me would be appreciated. (Brent M.)

Answer: The daily bag limit for turkeys during the spring season is one bearded turkey per day and you can take three per season. According to retired DFG Capt. Phil Nelms, you may have three bearded turkeys in your possession as long as you only take one per day. You do not have to return home after taking a bird on any one day.

Fishing for sanddabs
Question
: When fishing for sanddabs, how many hooks can be attached to the line on a single rod? (Len P.)

Answer: You may fish for sanddabs with as many hooks as you like on a single rod, unless rockfish, lingcod or salmon are on the vessel or in possession, in which case special restrictions apply (CCR Title 14, section 28.65).

Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. While she cannot personally answer everyone’s questions, she will select a few to answer each week. Please contact her at CalOutdoors@dfg.ca.gov.

More Outdoor News

Oregon F&WC to review wolf status April 24

04/18/15 -- ODFW staff will present its Biological Status Review for the Gray Wolf in Oregon to the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission at its meeting on April 24. The state’s Wolf Plan calls for initiating a process to delist wolves...Full Story

The Fuss About Mushrooms

Morel mushrooms, Jerry Speilbusch
By Jason Haley
04/16/15 -- We’ve often discussed this. Everyone who loves the outdoors is passionate about something in particular. It might be ducks over decoys or steelhead, or maybe backcountry hiking. It was bird dogs and...Full Story

Harvest of Road-Killed Wild Game Meat?

Mule Deer photo by Carrie Wilson, CA DFW
California Outdoors Q&A by Carrie Wilson
04/16/15 -- Question: I have a screwy immune system with 3-4 different diagnoses (depending on the doctor) as to what the problem may be. Going vegetarian makes it worse. I must have flesh food, but again...Full Story

How to Describe Car Problems with Sounds

Article by Don Stec
04/15/15 -- Several years ago I did a radio commercial about a woman who gave the following description of her car problem, she said. “My car makes a loud scream like noise when I accelerate, then I hear a loud ka-plunk and the warble... Full Story

Klamath NF Fire meetings planned

04/15/15 -- Klamath National Forest Supervisor Patricia Grantham has announced that two more public open house meetings will be held for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement comment period on the Westside Fire Recovery Project... Full Story

Oregon Weekly Recreation Report

04/15/15 -- Oregon’s Spring Chinook seasons are rolling along. Fishing will continue to improve on the Willamette and on the Umpqua, Rogue and other coastal rivers. The season opens on the Hood and Umatilla rivers in mid-April... Full Story

‘Preppers’ & Disaster Preparedness Myths

Life is hard... it's even harder if you're stupid, John Wayne
By Capt. William E. Simpson
04/14/15 -- We live in a world where civilization, reason and logic are said to be at historic heights, yet so many people today, especially our youth, are making new lows in relevant intelligence and labor under a host of myths and illusions...Full Story

Native American Book Sale is April 21-25

04/13/15 -- In celebration of the State Indian Museum’s 75th anniversary happening this year, the State Indian Museum and California State Parks are presenting a “Just for Kids” Native American Book Sale on Tuesday, April 21 through Saturday... Full Story

Death Valley NP gets new supervisor

Mike Reynolds, newly appointed superintendent of Death Valley National Park, Photo courtesy of NPS
04/10/15 -- Mike Reynolds has been named as the new superintendent of Death Valley National Park, located in eastern California and western Nevada. He replaces Kathy Billings who recently retired. Reynolds will begin his new...Full Story

Whiskeytown NRA joins ‘Find Your Park’

 View of Shasta Bally with storm approaching Whiskeytown National Park. Photo courtesy of Whiskey NRA
04/08/15 -- Whiskeytown National Recreation Area joins parks, programs and partners across the country to encourage everyone to find their park and share their stories online at FindYourPark.com. Launched last week by the... Full Story

Young artists to focus on invasive species

 Youth volunteers with Mountains Restoration Trust help remove invasive red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) from southern California steelhead trout habitat (Malibu Creek) in Southern California. Photo by John Burnap
04/09/15 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will sponsor a youth art contest to promote awareness of plant and animal invaders that threaten California's native species, as part of the 2015 California...Full Story

A Happy Dog is a Panting Dog

Pup, Phil Akers, A Happy Dog is a Panting Dog
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
04/07/15 -- Bigfoot’s number one pet is the wolverine but for us humans it’s the canine. Americans are projected to spend $60 billion this year on pets! A large portion of this goes to dogs. We all love our dogs and generally...Full Story

Ringing in a New Water Year Revisited

California's water reservoir storage graph, FISHIBIO, Erin Loury
By Erin Laury, FISHBIO  
03/31/15 -- It's time to make some water-related resolutions, because October 1 marks the beginning of a new water year. A "water year" is a term used by the U.S. Geological Survey and hydrologists to describe... Full Story

Turtle Bay 'Sweets' exhibition closes May 10

Chocolate and sweet display at Redding Sundial Bridge, Turtle Bay Museum
03/31/15 -- Turtle Bay’s current exhibition, Sweet—A Tasty Journey, has an adjusted closure date of Sunday, May 10, 2015, due to a change in schedule. The summer exhibition, Mindbender Mansion will open May 23, 2015...Full Story

April 2015 CADFW Fish and Wildlife Calendar

Date -- Event
Various Days — Guided Wetland Tours, by Reservation, at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). A wildlife naturalist will lead your group, school or organization through the diverse wetlands of the Gray...Full Story

Spring Bass and Houseboats

Antler houseboat on calm lake water with moon in the background day sky. photo courtesy of Ashley McCracken and Antlers resort and Marina.
By Gary Heffley
03/29/15 -- This combination is better than peanut butter and jelly. Add in the possibilities of also catching panfish, catfish and trout, what could be better. Really, picture the setting, a clear crisp bright dawn morning a fresh hot cup of coffee...Full Story

Thieves steal & strip USFS Fire Truck

03/27/15 -- On the evening of Thursday, March 19, the Forest Service compound at the Wild Rivers Ranger District in Cave Junction was broken into, with a number of items stolen, including a Forest Service fire engine.. Full Story

CDFW wants reports of wildlife mortality

Scientific Aid Nicholas Shirkey examines a red-tailed hawk. Wildlife mortality reports help the CA DFW control outbreak of diseases.
03/25/15 -- Californians around the state can now use an online tool to report incidents of fish and wildlife mortality directly to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). By contributing to CDFW’s growing database, citizens can...Full Story

Traces Left Behind

molecular 3D image of fish DNA substrate
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO.com
03/23/15 -- Humans shed tens of thousands of skin cells every hour, leaving behind traces of their presence everywhere they go. Contained in each of these cells is an individual's entire set of DNA, or even multiple copies of...Full Story

​Surveying in the John Muir Wilderness!

A string of horses at John Muir Wilderness, photo by Matt Campos, BLM
Article and photos by Matt Campos, BLM
03/23/15 -- Our day begins at 6 a.m. We wake to a brisk July morning at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Six of us venture out of our canvas tents at Clyde’s Pack Station, located 3.5 miles west of Wishon Reservoir, and begin...Full Story

Gold & Silver: Should I Buy Some?

piles of gold and silver bars and coins
By Capt. William E. Simpson
03/20/15 -- I get a fair amount of email from readers on various subjects related to economic collapse leading to hard-times, social unrest and a lack of monetary exchange. And one particular question that keeps...Full Story

Kayak Camping in California

A camper sitting under a tree along the lake shore edge, his orange and gray tent setup nearby. Photo courtesy of Headwaters Adventures
By Alex Huntash, KayakCritic.net
03/13/15 -- Outdoor recreation is more popular than ever. Every weekend cheerful families and day-trippers migrate to parks and wilderness areas. They are all after the same thing: peaceful union with nature. A trip to the woods offers...Full Story

Show Respect and Pass Through Quietly

Butte Valley Wildlife Area with Mount Shasta in background, photo by Kathy and Steven Callan
By Steven T. Callan 
03/05/15 -- “Quick, roll up the windows!” said Kathy. We had just entered the ten-mile auto tour route at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, when four cars roared by us like we were standing still. Pulling to the side of the road...Full Story

Visit California: Discover Shasta Cascade

 Shasta Lake is just one of many attractions featured on a new Visit California website. Photo courtesy of Visit California
By Frank Galusha
03/02/15 -- Thanks to Visit California, this region's many attractions are being promoted even more extensively throughout the world. Visit California recently developed a remarkable Shasta-Cascade site of itineraries highlighting various...Full Story

ODFW art competition announced

02/25/15 -- Oregon’sDepartment of Fish and Wildlife announced the annual art competition to select artwork featured on the 2016 Habitat Conservation Stamp, Waterfowl Stamp and Upland Game Bird Stamp...Full Story

Tactical Survival Axe, AKA: ‘The Bruiser’

USMC Tactical Survival Axe, AKA: ‘The Bruiser’, photo by William E. Simpson
Article and photos by Capt. William E. Simpson
02/24/15 -- I am not an expert with edged weapons, even though I have a trunk-load of them, including the old Buck hunting knife that my Dad gave me when I was a teenager many moons ago. So with that said, I wanted to share...Full Story

ODFW: Please shed hunt responsibly

Roosevelt elk shed antler photo by Joe Hulbert
02/24/15 -- This time of year isn’t just for Easter egg hunting. Many Oregonians are in the outdoors looking for another seasonal treat -- shed antlers. Oregon’s male deer and elk naturally shed their antlers at this time of year...Full Story

Hot Stove

blue lake surrounded by gray snow peaked mountains with green grass meadow in the foreground. Photo by Phil Flip Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
02/24/15 -- Much like fantasy baseball, winter is the “hot stove” season for high elevation wilderness adventures. It is time to study and plan for the upcoming summer. But instead of preparing to draft players, we find...Full Story

Open Border & ISIS -- Perfect Storm for USA

William E. Simpson author badge for myoutdoorbuddy.com
By Capt. William E. Simpson
02/18/15 -- Back in July, I wrote an article about the potential for ‘biological warfare’ being waged against America by terrorist groups. Now, as we endure a measles epidemic in America, ISIS, the “JV team” (according to President Obama)...Full Story

A Problem Requiring a Different Approach

A humungous crowd of people.
By Captain William E. Simpson, USMM
02/08/15 -- Most survival strategies and related tactics used today draw upon the methods that were used or which worked in past small-scale localized and regional disasters, and will likely work again to some extent in similar...Full Story

Modoc NF has opportunity for Vets

01/27/15 -- The Modoc National Forest has introduced a new program for veterans -- the Veteran Ecological Restoration Team or VERT. “I am exceedingly proud of folks on the Modoc who show this depth of... Full Story

Firearms and Disaster Preparedness

Military man leaning on the heavy back that pulled him backwards
Article and photos by Captain William E. Simpson, USMM
01/19/15 -- With the start of the new-year, there always seem to be several articles that come out promoting guns as part of a preparedness solution. And it’s an unfortunate fact that firearms have become almost synonymous with Prep... Full Story

Getting Kids Hooked

Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
01/06/15 -- Now, more than ever, we need to get our kids involved in the outdoors. Many kids are becoming softer and lazier with each generation, losing touch with nature, depending on technology to instantly learn everything, presumably...Full Story

Local kayak shop offers classes

a kayak class at Sun Oaks Fitness Center
By Mike Mogler
12/31/14 -- Sun Oaks Tennis and Fitness Center will be the scene for kayak paddlers who want to participate in skill and safety programs presented by ACA (American Canoe Association) certified instructors. Classes will...Full Story

Survival Using RVs

Silver mobile home with striped awning, parked on a grassy field alongside a river with forested hills leading up to snow capped mountains. Photo by William E. Simpson
Article and photos by William E. Simpson
12/26/14 -- Over the past year many people have reached-out to me asking the same question; ‘What can people do to survive a catastrophic event besides sailing to an island on a bug-out boat? This was of course a natural... Full Story

For the Love of Ducks

Snow geese at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. photo by Steven T. Callan
Article and photos by Steven T. Callan
12/23/14 -- With the north wind blowing off snow-covered Mount Shasta, it was brutally cold that December afternoon in 1960. Sitting in the back seat of our family car, I spotted an enormous flock of snow-white birds feeding in the... Full Story

Disaster Preparedness Strategies – Part II

NASA image depicting solar storm impacting earth’s geomagnetic field.
By Capt. William E. Simpson, USMM
11/25/14 -- Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of Disaster Preparedness articles written by Capt. William E. Simpson, USMM. The first was an attempt to simplify the subject of disaster preparedness by focusing on risk...Full Story

Disaster Preparedness Strategies – Part I

Preparedness & Survival by Capt. William E. Simpson
11/12/14 -- Over the past few years, disaster preparedness (“prepping”) has become a popular topic. A very large mix of people have begun preaching prepping, all having different motives for promoting their particular... Full Story

RV Collision Repair Requires Multiple Skills

Don Stec, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
By Don Stec
11/10/14 -- I do not know of any other vehicles that require as many multiple occupational skills to repair than a collision damaged RV, specifically motor homes and travel trailers. Steel and aluminum are used in the structural ...Full Story

Redding vacation planning guide available

Visit Redding, Sacramento river fish ladder
11/06/14 -- Searching for an affordable vacation destination where no two visits will ever be the same? You will find it in spectacular Redding, California. Boasting 300+ beautiful days a year, the “Second Sunniest City in the U.S... Full Story

Making Friends With The Neighbors

Wild (feral) stallions competing - copyright Laura Simpson 2014
By William E. Simpson
10/14/14 -- There are few animals in nature that match the majestic beauty of a stallion running wild and free. They rule their territory by day and by night. Recently, my wife Laura and I decided to change adventures...Full Story

Ishi

 Newspaper headline from early August 1911. Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Bee.
By Phil 'Flip' Akers
10/08/14 -- Southwest of Mt. Lassen lies a remote and largely forgotten piece of Cascade foothill region. Dark basaltic cliffs and pinnacles adorn inhospitable river canyons, carved by what is now Mill and Deer Creeks, through bad...Full Story

Tall Trees and Emerald Waters

Kathy at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, beside one of the largest (redwood) trees on Earth., photo by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
10/06/14 -- Kathy and I recently attended the Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) fall conference on the aptly-named Wild Rivers Coast. Stretching from Port Orford, Oregon to Klamath, California, the Wild.... Full Story

How to Comply with Tow Chain Laws

By Don Stec
09/13/14 -- One of the most common mistakes trailer owners make is: Failure to properly attach a safety chain between a trailer and the towing vehicle. There seems to be a consensus by the general public that simply...Full Story

Above the Canopy

Article and photos by Steven T. Callan
09/06/14 -- Having had the pleasure and privilege of diving in California’s kelp forests from San Diego to Monterey, I would describe it as a surreal, almost religious experience -- witnessing underwater cathedrals rising...Full Story

Trinidad Sea Kayaking

Trinidad Sea Kayaking, Pacific Outfitters, PacificOutfittersAdventures.com
By Jason Self
09/03/14 -- The thing I love most about guiding and coaching sea kayaking is sharing unique experience with others. The ocean is dynamic. It’s full of life and energy. One hundred yards from shore and you’re...Full Story

Lassen National Volcanic Park

Jim Broshears, Mt. Lassen view from Brokeoff Mountain
By Jim Broshears
07/21/14 -- Lassen National Park is one of the best kept secrets in the National Park system. It may be hard to call a place that has over 400,000 visitors a year a secret but compared to Yosemite’s 2.5 million and the 9.4...Full Story

Peak Bagging in Winter

Peak Bagging in Winter, Jim Broshears, Trailhead Adventures, Paradise, CA, MyOutdoorBuddy.com By Jim Broshears
02/11/13 -- Peak bagging, according to peakbagging.com/ refers to climbing mountains. When a summit is reached, it is “bagged”. You don’t have to go to exotic locations to enjoy this sport, or even be an elite mountain climber...Full Story

The Mystery of the Middle Fork – Part III

Jim Broshears, Trailhead Tales author badge for My outdoor buddy
By Jim Broshears
04/09/14 -- Our search for Tuck’s lost meadow continued in 2013. After three previous trips and multiple days of searching, you might be wondering why we don’t just call it a day. Or possibly question why we have not... Full Story

The 'Death Wobble' -- Be Safe Not Sorry!

Death Wobble, underbody of a vehicle, Don Stec
Article and photos by Don Stec
03/31/14 -- Death Wobble is not to be confused with a front-end shimmy or a wheel balance problem. A Death Wobble (DW) is very common on vehicles with a solid front axle. It has earned its name, not from mechanics but by vehicle... Full Story

The Mystery of the Middle Fork -- Part II

Article and photos by Jim Broshears
03/10/14 -- Our return to the Middle Fork of Feather River would take place in August of 2012. Having nearly 10 months to plan the next exploration, we, of course, waited until the last minute decide our course of action... Full Story

The Mystery of the Middle Fork -- Part I

The Mystery of the Missing Valley By Jim Broshears
Article and photos by Jim Broshears
02/15/14 -- Part #1 Exploring the Middle Fork of the Feather River -- Stories about hidden valleys, waterfalls, canyons and fishing are part of outdoor folklore. Most of these tales begin with “When I was a kid we went to this place” and...Full Story

BLM seeks input on use of OR public lands

01/30/13 – Resource Management Plans or RMPs are a process in which the BLM is working with communities, to gain innovative ideas and to identify the latest natural resource research on how your Oregon public lands will...Full Story

 

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