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California Fisheries Regulations and Science (MLPA & MPA) Here is a dedicated forum for the extremely important MLPA & MPA process

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Old 09-03-2011, 01:08 PM   #1
jimmyh
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bangsticks/powerhead in california

Hi,

I've read a lot about taking fish with power heads in Florida being illegal, but I just can't seem to find anything about the laws in California.

Assuming the fish is legal to take, is it legal to use a bullet to do so?

Thanks!
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:48 PM   #2
Bill McIntyre
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

Nice introduction.

I don't know whether its legal or not, but I'm willing to bet that it would make you unpopular with other divers.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:52 PM   #3
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

Why's that?

If there are no divers close enough to spook with a bang, and I'm taking the same insignificant number of fish, whats the problem?
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:07 PM   #4
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

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Originally Posted by jimmyh View Post
Why's that?

If there are no divers close enough to spook with a bang, and I'm taking the same insignificant number of fish, whats the problem?
Maybe I'm wrong about diver sentiment, but its my impression that its just not considered to be sporting.

And there is the question of why? My impression is powerheads are used on the east coast by commercial divers trying to take big fish quickly and efficiently. That doesn't apply out here.

On a more personal note, no one is going to use one diving from my boat. I've read about accidental discharges, and I'm not going to risk it.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:15 PM   #5
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

I just looked on line at the CA fishing regulations, and I couldn't find any mention of powerheads in the "gear restrictions" section. It did say that fish could be taken by hook and line, by hand, and by "spearfishing gear" but it didn't define spearfishing gear. It could be mentioned some place that I didn't look though.

Do you live and dive in California? Most people find that they get a better reception if they start with a personal introduction- where they live, what they hunt, diving experience, freedive or scuba, etc.

Or just putting some info in your profile would help.

Last edited by Bill McIntyre; 09-03-2011 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:40 PM   #6
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

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And there is the question of why?
There are a lot of reasons one might want to give it a shot at least once or twice. Toys that go bang are generally fun

Quote:
I just looked on line at the CA fishing regulations, and I couldn't find any mention of powerheads in the "gear restrictions" section. It did say that fish could be taken by hook and line, by hand, and by "spearfishing gear" but it didn't define spearfishing gear. It could be mentioned some place that I didn't look though.
Thank you for taking the time to look for it. That is what I found when I looked as well, but I wasn't sure if there was a standard interpretation of what was included in "spearfishing gear", or if the lack of a mention made them safe.

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Do you live and dive in California? Most people find that they get a better reception if they start with a personal introduction- where they live, what they hunt, diving experience, freedive or scuba, etc.
Yeah, I live in Huntington Beach and do most of my spearing at Catalina. I didn't see any intro thread, and didn't want to pollute the forums with my own intro thread when I'm likely to not be talkative on here anyway.

I've been scuba diving/snorkling since I was a kid. I'm thinking about getting some freediving fins and taking freediving a bit more seriously (I've already broke 5 min static, so I think I should be decent at it ).

I don't hunt anything in particular- I'll pole spear an occasional sheephead and I wrestled and angel shark up by hand a couple weeks ago. I think that earned me a few 'sporting' points to spend on trying out a bang stick

Edit: filled in profile

Last edited by jimmyh; 09-03-2011 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:04 PM   #7
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

I've never seen anyone use one out here. I thought they were used to shoot sharks if they are trying to eat you.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:09 PM   #8
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

Seems excessive for CA. But give it a whirl.
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Old 09-04-2011, 03:35 AM   #9
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

You are likely to be nailed for firearms violation if you are caught with one unless it is constructed with CA particulars in mind.

You won't be invited on many boats (mine included). Reason? Too much crap for me to deal with. And I go diving to enjoy the peace/serenity and may be dinner. Powerheads going off would not contribute to what I seek.

You will help hasten closures in CA. Read: Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 33 page 7362

http://graysreef.noaa.gov/management...fr_75_7361.pdf
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:49 AM   #10
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

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Originally Posted by jimmyh View Post
There are a lot of reasons one might want to give it a shot at least once or twice. Toys that go bang are generally fun
That rules me out. I consider firearms to be serious tools rather than toys.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:23 PM   #11
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

In FL it is illegal to take foodfish by powerhead. I think the commercial guys use them in federal waters. I carry a couple of slip ons in a sealed bag in case the grey suits get a little too aggressive. No chance of accidental discharge, only take em out if you need em.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:48 AM   #12
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

If I could get a tag for the annual elephant seal season, or jetskier hunt, I would use one....Or maybe for that angelshark as thick as a volley ball and bigger than my car. Otherwise not too much use except to provoke people.

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Old 09-07-2011, 03:22 PM   #13
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

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You are likely to be nailed for firearms violation if you are caught with one unless it is constructed with CA particulars in mind.
Other than the overall length of 30" instead of 26", I wasn't aware of any CA specific regulations that might be relevant here. If slip on PPDs are illegal, thats news to me.

Quote:
You will help hasten closures in CA. Read: Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 33 page 7362
To the extent that I will be using them where banned, yes. However, the extent of that is zero. That's the point of this thread- to avoid exactly that.

While they didn't seem to give the rationale for banning powerheads, I can't see any reason my intended use would be harmful at all.

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That rules me out. I consider firearms to be serious tools rather than toys.
I consider them both. Why should that get in the way of taking gun safety very very seriously?

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...Otherwise not too much use except to provoke people.
This doesn't make any sense to me. Land hunters give people a hard time for using underpowered weapons in the name of animal suffering, but sea hunters give people a hard time for using over powered weapons in name of sport?
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:52 PM   #14
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

My quick search of westlaw and lexis nexis for cases or statutes turned up nothing in particular. However, I would be very careful; it may be the case that discharging a firearm underwater would violate a federal or state statute that does not directly address firearms but would be covered nevertheless: environmental regulation and or statutes come to mind.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:17 PM   #15
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Re: bangsticks/powerhead in california

Yes Jimmy, it is true...

use of a powerhead to take a fish here in CA is a

FELONY Dick-o-ramous offense

Not a good way to get buddies to dive with, IMHO. Leave the fireworks at home, and bring a bigger gun if need be.
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