Cowcod Photos repsonse from DFG.

surfgoose

active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    3,262
    5,382
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
    Boat
    whichever has the longest bunk
    If you are fishing in Florida and other southern states where you may encounter a Goliath grouper or other no-take species, you can jump into the water with it and have your friend in the boat take the picture. You see this on outdoor tv shows all of the time. So in a perfect situation, you would jump into the water, your friend would film you unhooking the cow cod and placing a descender into the jaw, and the fish going back down almost untouched. We all know that this is not going to happen in California.

    If you take a fish out of the water you start to cause it damage and stress. Even handling it quick and carefully to unhook it and put a descender device into the jaw and send it back down causes some mortality. The law requires you to make an honorable effort to obey, not a perfect effort. If I was on the boat and observed this situation taking place back when I was wearing the badge, nobody would get a citation for lifting it up, removing the hook, and then sending it down with a descender. An honorable effort is being made. When the fish gets held up for the smiling photo, the entire context of the picture disappears. And likely, controversy follows.

    But if I was answering the question as sent in by Chris and Logan, I would give the same "by the book" answer that they received, because in the field you have "administration of justice" more than "law enforcement" because the written law can't possibly cover all of the myriad variable situations that the officer will run into. And some people will take a written answer that is general and then use it as an excuse to willfully interpret the law in a self-satisfying way. I had a guy tell me once that he wasn't trying to snag fish, he was just trying to retrieve a lost lure, and he couldn't help it if fish kept getting in the way.
     
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    Double O

    Member
    Jan 18, 2007
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    glendale
    Name
    mike
    Boat
    17ft bayrunner
    Last Decemeber (2020) we caught a Cowcod in 180ft of water. it was a big one maybe 15lbs we wanted to photo it and i wasnt sure about the laws. I asked the DFG about the same time my son had asked the DFG and here is the Joint response we got.



    Name: Logan Flaxington
    County: Los Angeles
    Message:
    Good Afternoon, my name is Logan Flaxington; I come to you regarding the regulations of the Cow cod fishery. I was wondering if someone were to catch a cow cod that had good size to it, would they be allowed to remove it from the water for a picture, then send it back down to the bottom?
    Message sent from www.wildlife.ca.gov/Explore/Director/Email:



    Name: Chris
    County: Los Angeles
    Message:
    Hello, i am an avid sport fisherman in the Southern Ca. management district and i am well aware of the MLPA and Ground fish regulations. When fishing for Rock Cod in a relatively shallow 180' deep and an Angler hooks a Cow Cod, is it legal for the Angler to take photo of the fish prior to being sent back down into the deep? or are Cow Cod to be handled like a Black sea bass, such as cant come out of the water? Thank You for your Time. Chris



    Good evening Logan and Chris,


    My name is Santos Cabral and I would like to help answer your question regarding taking pictures with Cow Cod Rockfish. Ca. Code of Regulations Title 14 section 28.55 (b) (1) states the limit on bronzespotted rockfish, cowcod and yelloweye rockfish is zero. These species shall not be taken or possessed as part of the RCG limit. Per the above regulation you would not be allowed to take a Cow Cod Rockfish and pose with it on your boat for pictures. If you do happen to incidentally catch a Cow Cod Rockfish it is best practice to leave the fish in the water and use needle nose pliers to safely remove the hook from the fish. A rockfish descending device can come in handy to help get the fish down to depth to increase its chance of survival due to barotrauma. If you have any other questions or need clarification on the above regulation please don’t hesitate to call me at your convenien kinda like UFOs,believe it when I see it
     
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    CaptJgray

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Jan 23, 2014
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    Jeff Gray
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    hell no....
    Do you really think a fish with its eyeballs blown up the size of golfballs, its bladder blown out its mouth and everything else,stretched to the point of no return, is going to be revived? a black sea bass will be released just fine,but when a 5lb fish needs 4lbs of lead to sink it, I have my doubts about it surviving anyway, I would like to see a video showing a blown up rockfish being sent back down to 300ft swimming normally,then I will be a believer, kida like UFOs
    Ohhhhh
    this was a "what's your opinion" or "what's common sense here" question and not a regulatory question to the Fish and Game. I missed that part...
    for what its worth they have a much better chance than the seabags that have been deflated with a dirty fillet knife, and Ive seen more cods, that were released properly, survive than I have blacks which tend to suffer from the same ailment, just without the eyeball issues. Alaska and Oregon have years of actual scientific data on the subject.
    And you must not be watching the news, UFO's are thicker than the Albies off our coast at the moment...

    so in short
    I believe in UFO's, I believe in doing what I can to save any fish that I'm not taking, I believe in passing on info so that folks don't get in trouble for doing something illegal when it really has no purpose than to flex, and I believe in the DFG to do the best they can with our resource. My advice, read the regs, study them, learn them, then try to change the ones that don't make sense for one reason or another. If we don't attempt to send Cows back down then we are going to look like a wasteful fleet with all that orange behind the boat. if we don't at least try we won't be able to fish that depth for long, and the fish I want are 15-20 fathoms above the cows head anyway...
     
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    Double O

    Member
    Jan 18, 2007
    253
    159
    glendale
    Name
    mike
    Boat
    17ft bayrunner
    Ohhhhh
    this was a "what's your opinion" or "what's common sense here" question and not a regulatory question to the Fish and Game. I missed that part...
    for what its worth they have a much better chance than the seabags that have been deflated with a dirty fillet knife, and Ive seen more cods, that were released properly, survive than I have blacks which tend to suffer from the same ailment, just without the eyeball issues. Alaska and Oregon have years of actual scientific data on the subject.
    And you must not be watching the news, UFO's are thicker than the Albies off our coast at the moment...

    so in short
    I believe in UFO's, I believe in doing what I can to save any fish that I'm not taking, I believe in passing on info so that folks don't get in trouble for doing something illegal when it really has no purpose than to flex, and I believe in the DFG to do the best they can with our resource. My advice, read the regs, study them, learn them, then try to change the ones that don't make sense for one reason or another. If we don't attempt to send Cows back down then we are going to look like a wasteful fleet with all that orange behind the boat. if we don't at least try we won't be able to fish that depth for long, and the fish I want are 15-20 fathoms above the cows head anyway...
    Well if you saw UFOs on the news, I guess they must be real. Please post that blurry video so you can make me a believer too
     
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    walter heim

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    Feb 20, 2021
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    walter heim
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    Bayrunner
    We bring short fish into the boat all the time, measure them and release them. We sometimes take pictures of these illegal short fish. Also, if you had 4 reds and pulled two more up on the next drop, are you supposed to leave number six in the water? I would bring both in the boat, unhook and release number six. I would say, lip the fish, take the picture and release it with a descender. I would probably not distribute the picture. Cowcod are rarely caught shallow. I have a 19 lb fish on the wall that I caught in 300 ft back in the 90s. Good catch!

    I have a bought descender, but what I find works better is a large hook like a 9/0 siwash. File off the barb and tie a weight to the eye of the hook. Tie you line to the 180 deg bend in the hook. You could probably string two hooks in series for multiple releases.
     
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