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Golfing with rattlesnakes in Lake Tahoe

California DFG Outdoor Q&As by Carrie Wilson
07/27/12 -- Question: For years I was always told there are no rattlesnakes in the Lake Tahoe area because the altitude was too high. However, recently I’ve read many articles that say rattlesnakes can live as high as 10,000 feet. I am worried because I play golf and often end up in the rough, which means looking for my golf ball in tall grass and brush. Are there rattlesnakes in the Lake Tahoe basin and surrounding areas that I need to be watching out for? (Nick R.)

Answer: The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) doesn't track occurrences of common snake species, but according to DFG Statewide Coordinator for Conservation of Amphibians and Reptiles Betsy Bolster, don’t discount the possibility of encountering a rattlesnake in the Lake Tahoe area. The Great Basin rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus lutosus) is widespread and can occur up to the timberline.

the Great Basin Rattlesnake (subspecies, Crotalus oreganus lutosus) is found in California in the far northeastern corner and in a small region east of the Sierra Nevadas near the Mono Lake area. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
According to references, the Great Basin Rattlesnake (subspecies, Crotalus oreganus lutosus) is found in California in the far northeastern corner and in a small region east of the Sierra Nevadas near the Mono Lake area. Photo courtesy of USFWS

Its range continues outside the state to the north into eastern Oregon, and east to western Utah, southern Idaho, most of Nevada and barely into extreme northwestern Arizona. Its preferred habitat includes rocky hillsides, barren flats, sagebrush, grassy plains and agricultural areas.

You should know though, that rattlesnakes are generally not aggressive, and will usually only strike when threatened or deliberately provoked. Given room they will likely retreat. Most snake bites occur when a rattlesnake is handled or accidentally touched by someone walking or climbing. The majority of snake bites occur on the hands, feet and ankles.

The California Poison Control Center notes that rattlesnakes account for more than 800 bites each year, and only one to two deaths. About 25 percent of the bites are “dry,” meaning no venom was injected, but the bites still require medical treatment.

Given this, since your golf game, like mine, includes some time spent in the rough, I'd keep my eyes and ears open when searching for a golf ball away from the fairway. It might be worth it to hit the pro shop for some extra golf balls rather than taking chances on whether or not you are in rattlesnake habitat. FORE!

(References: (Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Robert C. Stebbins, 1985). Californiaherps.com. californiaherps.com/snakes/pages/c.o.lutosus.html)

Knife rules
Question:
I will be going camping next week at a place called Hell Hole Reservoir near Lake Tahoe and I need to know if I may bring a jeep survival knife with me. The knife has a 15-inch blade with a sheath. I know you are not allowed to carry a knife more than three inches long in California, but I need to know if there is an exception for camping. (Mitch L.)

Answer: There is no Fish and Game law regarding your knife and I am not aware of any law regarding knives with blades that are longer than three inches.

According to ret. DFG Capt. Phil Nelms, “generally prohibited weapons are listed in California Penal Code, section 16590, and special provisions regarding knives and similar weapons begin at section 20200. You may want to pay special attention to sections 21310 and 16470 regarding concealed dirks and daggers, but knives with fixed blades are generally not prohibited as long as they are carried openly (not concealed).”

To check all the laws regarding knives online, please go to leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html. In addition, you may want to contact your local police or sheriff's department for more information regarding dangerous weapons.

Tagging abalone with rubber bands?
Question:
After reading a recent answer to a diver who asked how to attach his abalone tag to a rare abalone he’d taken that had no siphon holes where he could affix the tag, I have a question. Some members of my dive club and I assisted DFG with the abalone creel survey last year. We noticed that some of the pickers we surveyed used rubber bands to attach the tags to the abalone. They just laid the tag on the shell and put the rubber band all the way around the abalone to hold the tag on. There were no holes in the tags. Is this a legal way to attach the tag? (Curt H.)

Answer: No, this is not legal. The law requires the tag be “... securely fastened to the shell of the abalone. To affix the tag, a “zip tie,” string, line or other suitable material shall be passed through a siphon hole on the abalone shell and through the tag at the location specified on the abalone tag.” (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 29.16 (b)(3)).

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 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

Sea turtle gets airlift to warmer clime

Sea Turtle, USFWS photo
02/25/15 -- Solstice, a distressed sea turtle that was rescued and then successfully treated by the Oregon Coast Aquarium and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), headed back to warmer waters. Swimming is a turtle’s...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

CalTIP via text message and a new App

Poached surf perch photo courtesy of CA DFW
02/22/15 --The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has launched a pilot program that makes it easier for the public to report wildlife and pollution crimes with their cell phones. Tipsters can now text anonymous information... Full Story

Euthanasia drugs reach wrong animals

Turkey vulture photo courtesy of CA DFW
02/22/15 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has confirmed that several turkey vultures have been poisoned from the veterinary euthanasia drug pentobarbital in Marin County. Six turkey vultures...Full Story

U.S.F.S. to hold listening sessions

02//21/15 -- The Pacific Northwest (OR, WA) and Pacific Southwest (CA) Regions of the U.S. Forest Service are beginning a public conversation on the process for revising forest land management plans in the Northwest Forest...Full Story

Oregon Weekly Recreation Report

02/20/15 -- Did you know you can fish for trout, somewhere in Oregon, 365 days a year? This time of year, fishing for last year’s holdover trout can be excellent. And early trout stocking has begun in some west-side zones...Full Story

Residential varmint trapping

Striped skunks (USFWS photo)
California Outdoors Q&A by Carrie Wilson
02/20/15 --  I live in Chico across the street from Bidwell Park. Lately I have been plagued with raccoons and skunks on my property. They have been wreaking havoc on my garden, crapping all over my deck and carport, and I think they have...Full Story

Selecting Hiking Boots and Shoes

 Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra trail show. Photo courtesy of Trailhead Gear
By Jim Broshears
02/19/15 -- In order to be prepared to shop for hiking shoes or boots, you need to be able to answer the following questions. How are you going to use the shoe/boot? Do you want waterproof or ventilated? Do you want low, mid or high... 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

Klamath County man & dogs missing

Spencer Kling Giesea and his two dogs (Bella and Angel)
02/18/15 -- Oregon State Police (OSP) and the Lake County Sheriff's Office are continuing the search for a missing Klamath County man who was last seen on Friday, February 13, near Quartz Mountain Snow Park. Spencer Kling Giesea...Full Story

CA Jr. Duck Stamp Contest still open

The new traveling Junior Duck Stamp Art Bin displays its contents. USFWS photo
02/15/15 -- It’s not too late for our youngsters to enter this year’s California Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Artwork has begun to arrive at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex as students in grades K-12 across California...Full Story

Marysville: Help Ellis Lake Prosper!

Floating Islands West Logo, myoutdoorbuddy.com
02/15/15 -- Help Ellis Lake Prosper, a nonprofit group, came together to make a difference in their community. Ellis Lake located in Marysville, Ca, was once the spillway of the Feather River. Robbie McLaren, esteemed for his design...Full Story

Rogue Aquatics offers aquarium dive

China Rockfish (Sebastes nebulosus) one of many varieties of rockfish living off the Oregon coast, is easily identified by its striking colors and mottling. Photo courtesy of Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport Oregon “Passage of the Deep” exhibit
02/12/15 -- Rogue Aquatics of Central Point, Oregon is inviting anyone interested in diving to take a road trip with them to Newport and dive in the Oregon Coast Aquarium on Sunday March 7. The dive leader is Dana Sallee of Rogue Aquatics...Full Story

Shasta Lake level raising all boats

Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake, Feb. 10, 2015, Frank Galusha, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
Article and photo by Frank Galusha
02/11/15 – Shasta Lake business owners were in an upbeat mode yesterday after rains brought the lake level to within 88-92 feet of the crest. The depth at the dam was approximately 423 feet, up from 386 feet a year ago...Full Story

CWA also focused on pintail regs

02/09/15 -- Recently CWA's Regulations and Traditions (R&T) Committee participated in a discussion with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Migratory Bird Division regarding the pintail harvest strategy. CWA's goal in the discussion was... 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

Sudden Oak Death found in RR-Siskiyou

02/06/15 -- The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is treating a recently-identified site of Sudden Oak Death, with work expected to be completed before March 1, 2015. The three-acre site is located upriver from the Redwood Bar... Full Story

Bat Hibernacula count breaks record

Cluster of 30 Townsend big-eared bats
02/04/15 -- Last week, a record breaking number of bats were counted during annual bat hibernacula surveys at Lava Beds National Monument - 1,582 Townsend's big-eared bats, seven Myotis bats, one big brown bat, and one unidentified... Full Story

Plan now for vacation trips later this year

mountain goats traveling across steep granit cliffs, Photo Don Quilici
Article and photos by Don Quilici
02/01/15 -- If you are like Elaine and I, I would be willing to bet that by now, you are feeling trapped in your home by our winter weather.As a die-hard winter addict, I personally love cold days, frosty nights, frigid temperatures, deep snow, thick ice... Full Story

USFWS challenges kids with art contest

01/31/15 -- Youth across the nation are invited to put their creative skills to work for wildlife in the 2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, an integral part of the 10th annual national Endangered Species Day celebration... Full Story

Apply for Whiskeytown NRA artist program

01/28/15 -- The National Park Service, in partnership with the Friends of Whiskeytown, is beginning the twelfth year of hosting an Artist-in-Residence program. The park is seeking established professional Plein Air artists with a history... Full Story

Seven wolf pairs now breeding in OR

01/28/15 -- Oregon is moving to Phase II of its wolf recovery plan after wildlife biologists documented seven breeding pairs of wolves in Oregon in 2014. Of nine known wolf packs, only the Imnaha Pack is not a breeding pair... 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

Rogue/Siskiyou NF asking for comments

01/24/15 -- The High Cascades Ranger District of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest will be considering a proposal to add additional overnight campgrounds to an existing campground concession permit. An amendment to...Full Story

CDFW: Wildflower tours in Butte County

Field of bright colored wildflowers, photo courtesy of CDFW
01/21/15 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering naturalist-led wildflower tours this spring at North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve near Oroville. Wildflower season usually begins slowly in late... 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

New book written by columnist Don Webster

Don E. Webster
By Frank Galusha
12/31/14 --  MyOutdoorBuddy columnist, Don E. Webster, has a new book being published soon, which will be available on Amazon and Kindle shortly after the first of the year. Entitled "Bears, Beer, Trout Tacos, Etc." -- Short Outdoor Tales...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

USFWS initiates ESA review of Monarch

Monarch Butterfly Photo by Tim Shaw, USFWS
12/30/14 -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it will be conducting a status review of the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service has determined that a petition from the Center for Bio...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

High Cascades winter road closures begin

12/04/14 -- It is that time of year again, when the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest wants to remind the public of the seasonal closure of Forest Service roads to motor vehicles, other than over-snow vehicles, on the High Cascades... Full Story

Lassen offers ranger-led snowshoe walks

12/03/14 -- Lassen Volcanic National Park is offering ranger-led Snowshoe walks starting Saturday and Sundays, January 3 through April 5, 2015 at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Ranger-led snowshoe... 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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Northern California Fishing News, Northern California Hunting Reports

Fishing News

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the reports being filed daily at MyOutdoorBuddy.com.

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