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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

Oregon Weekly Recreation Report

04/01/15 -- Spring Chinook opportunities abound! Ocean salmon fishing is open from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.; fishing is picking up on the Columbia and Willamette rivers; anglers are reporting early catches on the Rogue...Full Story

Child hospitalized after fall in Park cave

04/01/15 -- A five year old Klamath Falls child fell approximately 20 feet while exploring a lava tube cave at Lava Beds National Monument with his family on Friday, March 27. Park rangers were the first on the scene. Emergency crews were...Full Story

More public meetings set for Lands Passes

04/01/15 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has scheduled two additional public meetings regarding possible changes to its Lands Pass Program. The meetings will be held in Butte and San Diego...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

Cormorant hazing aims to protect young fish

Cormorants in a row on a log in the water
03/31/15 -- Hazing of double-crested cormorants is set to begin soon in several areas along the Oregon Coast to improve survival of juvenile salmon and steelhead. Double-crested cormorants are goose-sized, fish-eating... 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

Wildlife feeders to attract turkeys?

Spring turkey photo by Carrie Wilson
California Outdoors Q&A by Carrie Wilson
03/27/15 --  A buddy of mine has a feeder on his ranch that he loads up with feed to attract turkeys to his property. He intends to hunt them once the season opens. I told him this was illegal baiting but he said he would pull the feed out before...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

Fundraiser goal: Reopen Dry Lagoon Camp

Dry Lagoon, Humboldt County, Overgrown with vegetation
03/27/15 -- Grass roots activists including Kayak Zak’s of Trinidad are inviting the public to join free guided kayak tours in tandem sit-on-top kayaks on Sunday, April 12 in continuation of fundraising efforts to reopen...Full Story

Turtle Bay: Annual Plant Sale is April 3/4

Arboretum & Gardens Nursery, photo courtesy of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
03/25/15 -- Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding will hold its 23rd Annual Arboretum Spring Plant Sale on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4 at the Turtle Bay Nursery. Turtle Bay members are offered a Members Night Event and pre-sale...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

Oregon Weekly Recreation Report

03/25/15 -- Now is the time to check out free Family Fishing Events in Oregon. The 2015 schedule is now posted on line. This can be a great way to introduce friends or family members to fishing. ODFW will provide...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

Riley, Oregon dig excites archaeologists

Orange agate tool, photo courtesy of BLM
03/06/15 -- Near the Rimrock Draw Rockshelter outside of Riley, Oregon, archaeologists recently discovered evidence suggesting one of the oldest known human occupations in the western United States. Archaeologists with the Bureau...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

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

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

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

Northern California and Southern Oregon offer superb fresh and saltwater fishing. Before you make a trip, make sure you have
up-to-date news about where the fish are biting!

Hunting News

This region is also famous for its world-class hunting opportunities. Make sure you are armed with the absolute latest news by checking
the reports being filed daily at MyOutdoorBuddy.com.

Northern California Outdoor News, Northern California Outdoor Reports Outdoor News 

If you like to explore the great outdoors your choices are essentially infinite in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Use our news pages to plan your next outing!

Northern California Destination News, Northern California Destination Reports

Destinations

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these pages you'll know in advance what lies ahead and what
not to miss in the almost-mythical State of Jefferson.
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Photo Galleries

A preview of coming attractions...if you are planning a trip to this area be forewarned: What photographers have captured will whet your appetite for what will be an outdoor journey filled with wonders.  

Product & Services Directory

Don't let anything come between you and a wonderful weekend, vacation or or auto tour in this region. The fine product and services providers listed here will have what you need to enjoy your visit.  

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