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
ODFW offers hunting education classes07/28/15 -- Keep the kids occupied this summer and get them ready for fall hunting. Register them for a hunter education class or field day happening around the state in August and early September. ODFW offers two types of... Full Story
Win a Sierra Nevada adventure package
The Ocean and the Dust Bowl
07/27/15 -- The Dust Bowl was a devastating period in American history, and new research suggests that, surprisingly, the oceans are partly to blame. A team of researchers lead by the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for... Full Story
CDFW completes deer capture project
Petition to list Humboldt marten received07/26/15 -- On June 8, 2015, the California Fish and Game Commission received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity to list the Humboldt marten (Martes caurina humboldtensis) as endangered under the California... Full Story
Must licensed hunters/anglers carry ID?
07/23/15 -- While hunting or fishing, besides carrying the appropriate license(s), do I also need to carry my state driver’s license? I would prefer to leave it in my vehicle, but I also want to be sure I am in compliance with the law if I run into a... Full Story
Oregon Weekly Recreation Report07/22/15 -- No fishing is allowed after 2 p.m. in most Oregon streams. Effective Saturday, July 18, and until further notice, all water bodies defined as streams on Page 7 of the 2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations are closed... Full Story
PCT hikers rest at Crystal Lake hatchery
07/22/15 - After enjoying the music and food at the 36th Annual Deep Pit Barbecue at the Hat Creek Hereford Ranch Campground on Saturday July 18, my wife Linda and I were uncertain what to do next. I had been thinking of checking... Full Story
NorCal Road Gypsies Car Show shines
07/21/15 -- The NorCal Road Gypsies hosted their Summer Show and Shine Car Show at Clearwater Lodge on Sunday July 19th. Clearwater Lodge is located at Pit 1 just off Hwy 299 between Burney and Fall River Mills...Full Story
Hat Creek Barbecue sports food and fun
07/19/15 -- Hundreds of people came to the 36th Annual Deep Pit Barbecue at the Hat Creek Hereford Ranch Campground on Saturday July 18 to support the Hat Creek volunteer fire department. The ranch is located...Full Story
Those Wonderful Wildlife Caregivers
07/18/15 -- One of the more disheartening, sometimes discouraging aspects of a wildlife officer’s job is dealing with injured, orphaned, or imprinted wildlife that cannot be released back into the wild. Wildlife rehabilitation facilities, most of... Full Story
Turtle Bay Exploration Park beats the heat
Drownings spur Whiskeytown warnings07/16/15 -- Two drowning incidents and a near drowning at various locations within the Whiskeytown National Recreation area have caused park officials to issue warnings about water safety. According to a release yesterday, lifeguards at... Full Story
Camping permit required for Oroville WA
07/14/15 -- A permit is required for camping in the only California State run public campground open in the Oroville State Wildlife Area. The campground, which has just eight spaces, is located just inside the Larkin Road entrance to...Full Story
Llano Seco Unit 7-mile closed until October
Diesel train rides set for Railtown 189707/13/15 -- Back by popular demand, California State Parks and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (SHP) in Jamestown will offer two diesel train rides on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. during July and August, 2015. In addition... Full Story
Scouting for big game: spring and summer
7/09/15 -- Most of us do not have too much time to scout before the big game season openers. This is especially true when we chose to hunt hundreds of miles away from home. So here is a thought especially for bow hunters... Full Story
Open House set for Wild Horse Sanctuary
CCP/EA for three WMAs out for review07/07/15 -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released the Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment (CCP/EA) for the Butte Sink, Willow Creek-Lurline, and North Central Valley Wildlife... Full Story
July 2015 CA DFW CalendarDATE -- EVENT
Weekends -- Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve. Volunteer-led walks are scheduled every Saturday and Sunday, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center...Full Story
CDFW finishes waterfowl breeding survey
Pow-Wow honors Native American Heritage
06/22/15 -- Over two hundred and fifty tribal members representing numerous Native American nations gathered in Burney on July 19th, 20th, and 21th to celebrate the 8th Annual Pit River Pow-Wow. The event was... Full Story
What size day pack do you need?
06/19/15 -- Let’s begin with short hikes -- We define short hikes as 3 miles or less, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Hydration – About 1 liter is the least water we ever carry. Even on a short hike, nothing can ruin your day quicker than thirst... Full Story
Trail closure in place at Folsom Lake RA06/18/15 -- The trail on the crest of the Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam will be temporarily closed. This closure will interrupt through trail traffic from Browns Ravine to Folsom Point from June 15, 2015 through February 2016..Full Story
Whiskeytown NRA lists summer programs
June 2015 CA DFW CalendarDate -- Event
Weekends -- Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve.Volunteer-led walks are scheduled every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and... Full Story
06/01/15 -- Adjacent to the eastern border of Lassen Volcanic National Park is a remote volcanic plateau on the eastern slopes of what was once Mt. Tehama. Cinder cones, crater peaks, old-growth forest, and azure lakes make up... Full Story
Trail rides offered at Horse Sanctuary
A Jewel in the Desert
05/25/15 -- In late April, before summer set in, Kathy and I decided to spend a few days in the land of blistering sands and sharp thorns. I had worked in the California desert during my early years with the California Department of Fish... Full Story
Sac NWR adds wildlife viewing route05/08/15 -- On May 5, an additional 1.5 mile loop was opened to the public along the popular Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge auto tour route. The route known as the Pool 2 loop will be open through August 30 each... Full Story
How fishing licenses are dated is an issueBy Mike Mogler
05/07/15 -- Recently, while browsing the web, I came upon an article with information regarding possible changes in the way the CA Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) issues fishing licenses in the state. All of us who fish...Full Story
Redding's Turtle Bay to feature Butterflies
Don’t kill them all! Some snakes are good!
04/27/15 -- Most survivalists and Preppers spend a good deal of time outdoors as do many other Americans. Many people have a healthy fear of snakes, and given the fact that there are several species of venomous snakes that are...Full Story
Marijuana Wars and the California DFW
04/16/15 -- Just after daylight in September 2014, four California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers and four Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies quietly locked their vehicles and began what was to be an arduous hike... Full Story
‘Preppers’ & Disaster Preparedness Myths
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
A Happy Dog is a Panting Dog
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
Surveying in the John Muir Wilderness!
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?
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
Show Respect and Pass Through Quietly
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
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 announced02/25/15 -- 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’
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
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
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
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
Firearms and Disaster Preparedness
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
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
Survival Using RVs
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
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
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
RV Collision Repair Requires Multiple Skills
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
Making Friends With The Neighbors
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
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
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
Above the CanopyArticle 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
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
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 WinterBy 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
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!
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
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
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 lands01/30/13 – 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