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Q: I live in Redondo Beach and was told by the city to ask you what could be done about an infestation of the nuisance birds that are an absolute plague in our neighborhood. I have small children that are woken up by these vile creatures starting at 3 am to around 8 am! Please get back to me and let me know what I can and cannot do.
A: There is a provision in the Fish and Game regulations that allows for landowners to destroy (shoot) crows that are damaging farm fields or other crops. However, it seems this is not what you are dealing with, not to mention the fact that firearms cannot be discharged within city limits. If I interpret your question correctly, your principle complaint is the noise level.
There are actually a number of cities that have similar problems with crows and the cities have coordinated with either the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture or the U.S. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife to implement abatement measures. It's a tough issue because most of the abatement measures work only for short periods of time. If you believe the crows are in such a concentration that they create a public health hazard (droppings), then your city or county health department should be notified.
Bottom line, if the roosting crow population continues to grow, the city may need to get involved by contacting the USDA, Wildlife Services Division.
Q: I've been seeing turtles at this lake we like to fish, and there's a good chance I could catch one. What are the regulations regarding catching turtles? Can I bring it home as a pet or to eat?
A: Before attempting to catch one of these turtles, it will be important for you to positively identify what species of turtle it is.
Be aware it is illegal to capture western pond turtles, a native California species, but it is legal to catch and collect non-native turtles (painted, slider and softshell turtles) under authority of a sportfishing license.
While there are no bag or possession limits for these non-native turtles, there are restrictions on the methods of take that may be used to catch them.
Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. She can be contacted at Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.
Published: Aug. 22, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 19