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I need advice to catch a bimac in San Diego

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Sep 25, 2006
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I live in San Diego, and I want to catch my own bimac. Does anyone with knowledge and experience have some advice for me? I can SCUBA dive, freedive, or wade in tidepools. I even have a small boat, so I can get to whereever I need to be. I just don't know where that is. I've started looking in tidepools on my own, but I'm just stabbing in the dark, and I would really like to get a clue so I can increase my odds of success. Any sage advice?

I've done my homework and I'm prepared to care for an octopus (after my tank finishes cycling) and I'm familiar with the fish and game regulations, so I just need to know about the where, when, and how, to catch a bimac.

Thanks!
 

monty

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Marineboy has mentioned being able to find them consistently (some times of year) in tidepools, and I think marinebio_guy is pretty good at finding them on SCUBA, but possibly more in the Channel Islands than near SD... those are the two I'd look to for advice. Marineboy hasn't been posting for a while, but he seems to pop up on occasion.

This thread is the most useful one I know of: http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/6353/

as AM said, note that you need an appropriate sport fishing license to take a bimac for yourself, and that you can't legally collect them for resale in the pet industry at all in California. Also, keep in mind that there are a lot of protected areas, Marine Sanctuaries and parks and whatnot, where collection is prohibited. SCUBA would probably help out, particularly if you can get good advice from marinebio_guy-- I've only found 2 octos on SCUBA, both in sanctuaries, and both "out in the open"-- the "look for the midden and you'll find the den" rules I've heard haven't helped me any... although I haven't been diving at all since I started reading TONMO, so maybe my octo-spotting skills have improved...
 
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Thanks for the responses. I'll contact the two people you mentioned and see what they can tell me.

I've carefully checked all the appropriate laws and sanctuary boundaries, and for the benefit of anyone reading this thread that may be in a similar position, some pertinent facts are:
1) You need a fishing license to take an octopus.
2) You can take them from anywhere that is not within a protected area, including tide pools.
3) Only the southernmost half of the rocky tide pool area located just north (0.3 miles?) of the Scripps pier falls within the boundary of the Scripps protected area, the northern half is open to fishing. The boundary isn't marked, but the GPS coordinates are published.
4) While there is a law which prohibits taking live fish away from the ocean, that law does not apply to octopus (only to fish).
5) The regulations give an explicit list of the invertebrates which may be taken from tide pools. The list includes octopus, and also several things which make great octopus food (muscles, etc.) (I think crabs and clams are also ok but they have size qty restrictions)
6) There are no size restrictions on octopus (How would I measure the stretchy beast if there were?!)
 

monty

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Note that different rules apply if you're collecting for the marine aquaria trade, and specifically (except for misspelling) prohibit bimac collection:

Section 8597(b) of California Fish and Game Code lists the species of marine organisms that may be taken under the authority of a marine aquaria collector's permit.

Specifically, Section 8597(b)(2)(H) states that all species of octopus may be taken EXCEPT O. bimaculatus and O. maculoides. [sic]
Not that I want to be a naysayer, I just wanted to make that clear to anyone using this thread as a reference. Note that as I read it, there is no prohibition on collecting an octo for personal use (not resale) with a sport fishing license which AFAICT also doesn't preclude collecting an octo for personal use and selling its offspring. keep in mind that IANAL.

- M
 

DWhatley

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I think Monty was trying to get you to think about what happens if you do find one and she has fertile eggs. Bimacs are on the high desire list and it is possible to raise AND SELL the young even if the mother is wild caught and mated in the wild :biggrin2:
 
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oh.
I suspect that I missed his implication because I am subconsciously denying the possibility that I could end up with eggs. This will be my first octopus, and while I may have studied just enough to keep from killing it, I'm clueless about how to deal with eggs. I can see that I had better add that to my list of things to learn.
 

cthulhu77

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Laguna beach tidepools seem to be a fairly popular spot for them, and the fishermen collect them for bait...so I doubt there would be too much trouble for one in a tank.

Sometimes, I wish we could just use common sense instead of laws.

Scarce animals? Leave them alone. Sustainable animals? Sure!

Sorry, just had a moment.
 

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