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.)
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
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)
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.
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 Report04/01/15 -- 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 cave04/01/15 -- 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 Passes04/01/15 -- 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
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
April 2015 CADFW Fish and Wildlife CalendarDate -- 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
Spring Bass and Houseboats
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?
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 Truck03/27/15 -- 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
Turtle Bay: Annual Plant Sale is April 3/4
CDFW wants reports of wildlife mortality
Oregon Weekly Recreation Report03/25/15 -- 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
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!
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
Kayak Camping in California
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
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
ODFW: Please shed hunt responsibly
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
Modoc NF has opportunity for Vets01/27/15 -- 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
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
Local kayak shop offers classes
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
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
Lassen offers ranger-led snowshoe walks12/03/14 -- 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
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
Redding vacation planning guide available
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
How to Comply with Tow Chain LawsBy 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 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