California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Bay Area Fish and Wildlife Defense Attorney

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife enforces violations of the California Fish and Game Code. The Fish and Game Code includes violations of laws pertaining to commercial and recreational fishing and hunting. In California, if you take any protected wildlife or any of its parts without a valid license, tag, permit, in excess of the amount permitted by law or fail to comply with any of the many nuances in the law you can be charged with a violation of the Fish and Game Code commonly referred to as poaching, which can result in thousands of dollars in court fines and forfeiture of money or property. The Law Office of E. Michael Linscheid has experience representing commercial fisherman and those involved with the recreational take of fish and wildlife throughout the San Francisco Bay area and northern California.

The laws regarding fishing and hunting within the State of California are extensive and constantly changing. As a result, a person may be accused of a violation without knowledge that their conduct was illegal. The most common violations of the Fish and Game Code are those in which a person fails to properly complete a tag, possession of undersized or oversized fish and wildlife, misidentification of fish and wildlife or taking fish and wildlife out of season. To have the best chance of getting your charges dismissed, you need a defense attorney on your side who is experienced with these nuanced statutes and regulations.

Mr. Linscheid has experience representing those charged with the unlawful take of Dungeness crab, salmon, abalone, rockfish, waterfowl, upland game birds and hunting related firearms violations. Typically violations of the Fish and Game Code are charged as misdemeanors and infractions but in rare cases, specific violations can be charged as a felony. A misdemeanor violation of the Fish and Game Code can result in imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year and the loss of fishing or hunting privileges. The fine and penalties resulting from the illegal take of fish and wildlife range from $250 to $50,000. In many cases the Department of Fish and Wildlife, in addition to court fines and criminal punishment, will seek the forfeiture of the proceeds of the illegal take of fish and wildlife and any personal property utilized to obtain such fish and wildlife.

In 1999, the California Legislature enacted the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) effectively closing off vast portions of the California coastline to the taking of fish and wildlife. (Fish and Game Code sections 2850-2863) Mr. Linscheid has effectively represented individuals charged with the unlawful taking of fish and wildlife within areas protected by the MLPA.

As an avid sportsman and former commercial fisherman, Mr. Linscheid has a particular personal experience with the issues concerning commercial fisherman and sportsmen. This personal experience gives him a unique understanding of the relevant laws governing fish and wildlife. Please feel free to contact the Law Office of E. Michael for a free and confidential consultation.


Freshwater Fishing

regulations for taking fish, amphibians and reptiles

Ocean Fishing

regulations for taking fish, crustaceans, mollusks and marine plants

Mammal Hunting

regulations for taking big and small game mammals, furbearers, nongame

Upland Game Bird Hunting

regulations for taking upland game birds

Waterfowl Hunting

regulations for taking ducks, geese and other waterfowl
Effective March 1, 2012

12-13 Freshwater Sport Fishing
Effective March 1, 2012

12-13 Ocean Sport Fishing
Effective July 1, 2012

12-13 Mammal Hunting Regulations

PDF Booklet

Big Game

Small Game Summary
Effective July 1, 2012

12-13 Upland Game Bird Summary

12-13 Upland Game Bird Regulations
Effective July 1, 2012

12-13 Waterfowl Summary
(seasons and limits for waterfowl)

12-13 Waterfowl Regulations

Zone Map
In-Season Update

Sturgeon Regulations effective Jan. 1

PDF 12-13 Supplement to Ocean and Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations
PDF 12-13 Booklet of Upland Game Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Regulations / Regulations for Public Lands

New Pheasant Hunting on Mondays during the 2012 Season

Northern CA Shoot Times

Southern CA Shoot Times
12-13 Commercial Fishing
Effective March 1, 2013

PDF 13-14 Freshwater Sport Fishing Booklet