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A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California


California State Rules and Regulations Regarding Hunting and Collecting California Reptiles and Amphibians for 2005









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These out-dated regulations were for 2005 and are kept here for comparison with the current regulations. For the current regulations consult the California Fish and Game Commission web page or dowload the latest California Sport Fishing Regulations pdf brochure.

The information below pertains to private hunting and collecting of native reptiles and amphibians in California, not to selling or trading animals. Nothing here should be considered to be legal advice or an interpretation of local, state, or federal laws, just opinion.

Rules regarding Amphibians:

Article 4, section 5.05 - page 18.

Rules regarding Reptiles:

Article 4, section 5.60 - pages 21-22.


For any supplemental regulations, you should .

These regulations should be current until some time in January or February, 2006. If our link to the regulations is not up-to-date, again, you can find a link to the most current regulations on the California Fish and Game Commission home page.



For your convenience, I have copied the relevant sections from the 2005 .pdf document (downloaded in February of 2005) which you can read below. All emphasis has been added and is not part of the original document.

The information below is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date. For the accurate, current laws, see the actual fishing regulations booklet or the.pdf document.



5.05. Amphibians.

(a) Only the following amphibians may be taken under the authority of a sportfishing license, subject to the restrictions in this section. No amphibians may be taken from ecological reserves designated by the commission in Section 630 or from state parks, or national parks or monuments.

(1) Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus)
(2) California giant salamander (Dicamptodon ensatus)
(3) Southern Seep (Torrent) Salamander (Rhyacotriton variegatus)
(4) Rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa)
(5) California newt (Taricha torosa)
(6) Red-bellied newt (Taricha rivularis)
(7) Northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile)
(8) Long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum), except Santa Cruz longtoed salamander
 (Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum)
(9) Black salamander (Aneides flavipunctatus)
(10) Clouded salamander (Aneides ferreus)
(11) Arboreal salamander (Aneides lugubris)
(12) California slender salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus): See Special Closure (f)(1)
(13) Pacific slender salamander (Batrachoseps pacificus): See Special Closure (f)(1)
(14) Relictual slender salamander (Batrachoseps relictus): See Special Closure (f)(1)
(15) Dunn’s salamander (Plethodon dunni)
(16) Ensatina salamander (Ensatina eschscholtzii)
(17) Western toad (Bufo boreas)
(18) Woodhouse’s toad (Bufo woodhouseii)
(19) Red-spotted toad (Bufo punctatus)
(20) Great Plains toad (Bufo cognatus)
(21) Great Basin spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus (Spea) intermontana)
(22) Couch’s spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus (Spea) couchii)
(23) California chorus frog (Hyla (Pseudacris) cadaverina)
(24) Pacific chorus frog (Hyla (Pseudacris) regilla)
(25) Northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens)
(26) Southern leopard frog (Rana yutricularia)
(27) Rio Grande leopard frog (Rana berlandieri)
(28) Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

(b) Open season: All year. The season closures in Chapter 3 (District Trout and Salmon District General Regulations and Special Regulations) do not apply to fishing for amphibians with methods other than hook and line (see sections 7.00 and 7.50(a)(2)).

(c) Limit: The daily bag and possession limit for each of the amphibian species listed in subsection (a), above, is four except for bullfrogs, which have no daily bag or possession limit.

(d) Hours: Amphibians may be taken at any time of day or night.

(e) Methods of take:

(1) Amphibians may be taken only by hand, hand-held dip net, or hook and line, except bullfrogs may also be taken by lights, spears, gigs, grabs, paddles, bow and arrow, or fishing tackle.

(2) It is unlawful to use any method or means of collecting that involves breaking apart of rocks, granite flakes, logs, or other shelters in or under which amphibians may be found.

(f) Special closures: (1) No slender salamanders (Batrachoseps spp.) may be taken from Inyo and Mono counties and from the Santa Rosa Mountains, Riverside County.

 

5.60. Reptiles.

(a) General Provisions: Only the following reptiles may be taken under the authority of a sportfishing license, subject to the restrictions in this section. The limit for each of the species listed below is two, unless otherwise provided. Limit, as used in this section, means daily bag and possession limit. No reptiles shall be taken from ecological reserves designated by the commission in Section 630 or from state parks, or national parks or monuments.

(b) No sportfishing license is required for the sport take of any rattlesnake.

(1) Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta): Limit: No limit.
(2) Slider Turtle (Pseudemys (Trachemys) scripta): Limit: No limit.
(3) Spiny softshell turtle (Trionyx spiniferus): Limit: No limit.
(4) Western banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus)
(5) Desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis)
(6) Chuckwalla (Sauromalus obesus)
(7) Zebra-tailed lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)
(8) Colorado Desert fringe-toed lizard (Uma notata)
(9) Mojave fringe-toed lizard (Uma scoparia)
(10) Desert spiny lizard (Sceloporus magister)
(11) Granite spiny lizard (Sceloporus orcutti)
(12) Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis): Limit: Species No. 12-16 have a limit of twenty-five (25) in the aggregate
(13) Sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus): Limit: Species No. 12-16 have a limit of twenty-five (25) in the aggregate
(14) Side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana): Limit: Species No. 12-16 have a limit of twenty-five (25) in the aggregate
(15) Western skink (Eumeces skiltonianus): Limit: Species No. 12-16 have a limit of twenty-five (25) in the aggregate
(16) Desert night lizard (Xantusia vigilis): Limit: Species No. 12-16 have a limit of twentyfive (25) in the aggregate
(17) Long-tailed brush lizard (Urosaurus graciosus)
(18) Tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)
(19) Small-scaled lizard (Urosaurus microscutatus)
(20) Desert horned lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos)
(21) Short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglassii)
(22) Great basin collared lizard (Crotaphytus bicintores)
(23) Banded rock lizard (Petrosaurus mearnsi)
(24) Baja California collared lizard (Crotaphytus vestigum)
(25) Long-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia wislizenii)
(26) Gilbert’s skink (Eumeces gilberti)
(27) Western whiptail (Cnemidophorus tigris)
(28) Southern alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata)
(29) Northern alligator lizard (Elgaria coerulea)
(30) California legless lizard (Anniella pulchra), except black legless lizard (Anniella pulchra nigra): Limit: One (1)
(31) Rubber boa (Charina bottae), except southern rubber boa (Charina bottae umbratica)
(32) Rosy boa (Lichanura trivirgata)
(33) Ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus)
(34) Sharp-tailed snake (Contia tenuis)
(35) Spotted leaf-nosed snake (Phyllorhynchus decurtatus)
(36) Racer (Coluber constrictor)
(37) Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum), except San Joaquin Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum ruddocki)
(38) Striped whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatus)
(39) California whipsnake (striped racer) (Masticophis lateralis), except Alameda whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus)
(40) Western patch-nosed snake (Salvadora hexalepis).
(41) Glossy snake (Arizona elegans)
(42) Gopher snake (Pituophis melanoleucus): Limit: Four (4)
(43) Common kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula): Limit: Four (4)
(44) California mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata), except San Diego mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata pulchra) : Limit: One (1). Special Closure: No California mountain kingsnakes shall be taken in Orange and San Diego counties, and in Los Angeles County west of Interstate 5.
(45) Long-nosed snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)
(46) Common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis), except San Francisco garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia): Special Closure: No common garter snakes shall be taken in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and Ventura counties.
(47) Terrestrial garter snake (Thamnophis elegans)
(48) Western aquatic (Sierra) garter snake (Thamnophis couchii)
(49) Pacific coast aquatic garter snake (Thamnophis atratus)
(50) Northwestern garter snake (Thamnophis ordinoides)
(51) Checkered garter snake (Thamnophis marcianus)
(52) Ground snake (Sonora semiannulata)
(53) Western shovel-nosed snake (Chionactis occipitalis)
(54) California black-headed snake (Tantilla planiceps)
(55) Southwestern black-headed snake (Tantilla hobartsmithi)
(56) Lyre snake (Trimorphodon biscutatus)
(57) Night snake (Hypsiglena torquata)
(58) Western blind snake (Leptotyphlops humilis)

(c) Open season: All year.

(d) Hours: Reptiles may be taken at any time of day or night.

(e) Methods of take:

(1) Reptiles may be taken only by hand, except as provided in subsections (d)(2) and (3) below, or by the following hand-operated devices: (A) Lizard nooses. (B) Snake tongs. (C) Snake hooks.

(2) Rattlesnakes may be taken by any method.

(3) Turtles may be taken by hook and line. Fishing methods described in Section 2.00 apply to the take of spiny softshell turtles, slider turtles and painted turtles.

(4) It is unlawful to use any method or means of collecting that involves breaking apart of rocks, granite flakes, logs or other shelters in or under which reptiles may be found.



 


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