Upland Game Animals


Cottontail - Statewide, except Eastern Sierra

Mountain Cottontail - Valleys and foothills of Eastern Sierras through Cascades. "Nuttall's Cottontail (Sylvilagus nuttallii)"

Desert Cottontail - in California Southern deserts

Brush Rabbit - along California Coastal Regions

Pygmy Rabbit - Great Basin desert areas NE California "BRACHYLAGUS


White Tailed Jackrabbit "Common snipe fencepost"

Black Tailed Jackrabbit "Jackrabbit2 crop"

Snow Shoe Rabbit - Summer, "Lepus americanus 5459 cropped"

Snow Shoe Rabbit, Winter "Snowshoe Hare, Shirleys Bay"


Fox Squirrel "Sciurus niger"

Gray Squirrel "Western Gray Squirrel"

Marmot "Marmot-edit1"

California Ground Squirrel

Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel "Goldmantelziesel"

Belding Ground Squirrel Central to Northern Sierras

Douglas Squirrel

Townsend's Ground Squirrel


Porcupine "Porcupine Cabelas Springfield"


Opossum "Opossum 2"

Small-Burrowing Animals

Pocket Gopher "Pocket-Gopher Ano-Nuevo-SP"

There are over 30 species in the Americas; if you have identified a specific species, include a photo with key chart distinctions with your small game app.

Mole "Talpa europaea MHNT"

Norway Rat "Rattus norvegicus 1"

Bushy Tailed Wood Rat, Pack Rat "Neotoma cinerea"

Dusky Footed Wood Rat "Neotoma fuscipes"

Other non-game, non-furbearing species may be taken if they are not listed as threatened or endangered.This includes the disparate species of mice, rats, and other burrowing animals, gophers, moles and ground squirrels. For help in identifying ground squirrels. A photo should be included with submission along with the location of kill to aid the Small Game VP in confirming the identity of your harvest.


Badger "Taxidea taxus"

Beaver "American Beaver"

Mountain Beaver

Mountain Beaver (Aplodontia rufa) The mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa) is a North American rodent. It has several common names, including: aplodontia, boomer, ground bear, and giant mole.[citation needed] The name sewellel beaver comes from sewellel or suwellel, the Chinookan term for a cloak made from its pelts. This species is the only living member of its genus, Aplodontia, and family, Aplodontiidae.[2] It should not be confused with true North American and Eurasian beavers, to which it is not closely related

Muskrat "Muskrat Foraging"

Least Weasel "Mustela nivalis"

Short Tailed Weasel, Stoat "Mustela erminea upright"


Mink "American Mink"

Striped Skunk "Mephitis mephitis"

Spotted Skunk "Spilogale putorius"

Gray Fox "Urocyon cinereoargenteus"

Red fox, its color phases, kit fox, channel island fox, ringtail cat, martens, fishers, otters, and wolverines MAY NOT BE TAKEN.

Upland Game Birds


California or Valley Quail "California quail"

Gambel's Quail

Mountain Quail "Oreortyx pictus"


Ringneck Pheasant, cock

Ringneck Pheasant, hen

seasons, limits, closures, and archery regulations may differ by sex of bird. The ringneck is the only pheasant in America, although there are at least 30 subspecies.


Wilson's Snipe


Sage Grouse "Centrocercus urophasianus"

Ruffed Grouse "Bonasa-umbellus"

Blue Gruse - Two Sub Species

Dusky Blue Grouse "Dendragapus obscurus"

Sooty Blue Grouse "Dendragapus obscurus"


Willow Ptarmigan, male "Ptarmigan9"

Willow Ptarmigan, female "Lagopus in Abisko"

Doves and Pigeons

Mourning Dove

White Wing Dove "Zenaida asiatica"

Spotted Dove non-native

Turtle Dove "Orientalturtledove"

Eurasian Dove and variants "Streptopelia decaocto"

Rock Dove "Paloma bravĂ­a"

Bandtailed Pigeon "Patagioenas fasciata"

Inca doves, Mexican doves, and others not mentioned above are assumed to be protected


Puddle Ducks

Mallard "Anas platyrhynchos male female quadrat"

Mexican Duck

found in lower Colorado River drainage, West to San Diego, often mis identified as a mallard as the drake looks similar to a female mallard, but without the greenish bill but a bill that in orange like a female mallard but without the black saddle. The blue in the wing is not dark blue, but more tourquise, a similar species, the mottled duck has a green wing patch. The black duck has the blue patch, but has a darker body.

Northern Pintail, Sprig-male and female "Northern Pintails (Male & Female)"

American Wigeon, Baldpate, male "Anas americana - drake"

American Wigeon, Baldpate, female "Anas-americana"

Eurasian Wigeon, male and female "Anas penelope kuribo"

Northern Shoveller, Spoonbill-male "Northern-Shoveler Anas-clypeata"

Northern Shoveller, Spoonbill-female "Northern Shoveler-Anas clypeata"

Green Winged Teal, male and female "Anas carolinensis FWS"

Bluewinged Teal, male Hen similar to Cinnamon teal. "Anas carolinensis FWS"

Cinnamon Teal, male "Sarcelle cannelle"

Cinnamon Teal, female "Anas cyanoptera"

Wood Ducks

Wood Duck, Male

Wood Duck, Female



Hooded Merganser, male

Hooded Merganser, female

Red Breasted Merganser, male

Red Breasted Merganser, female

Common Merganser,male

Common Merganser, female

Sea Ducks

Common Scoter "Eurasian common scoter"

White Winged Scoter

Surf Scoter, male "Melanitta perspicillata"

Surf Scoter, female "Melanitta perspicillata female"

Harlequin Duck "Histrionicus histrionicus drake Barnegat"

Oldsquaw, Long Tailed Duck, male "Long-tailed-duck"

Oldsquaw, Long Tailed Duck, female "Clangula-hyemalis"

Common Eider, male and female "Somateria mollissima male female"

King Eider, male "Somateria spectabilis"

King Eider, female

Whistling Ducks

Fulvous Whistling Duck, sexes alike "Dendrocygna bicolor wilhelma"

Black Bellied Whistling Duck, sexes alike

Diving Ducks

Bufflehead, male "Bucephala albeola"

Bufflehead, female "Bucephala albeola"

Canvasback, male "Aythya valisineria"

Canvasback, female "Aythya valisineria"

Redhead, male

Redhead, female

Common Goldeneye, male "Bucephala clangula"

Common Goldeneye, female "Bucephala clangula"

Barrow's Goldeneye, male

Barrow's Goldeneye, female

Greater Scaup, male

Greater Scaup, female

Lesser Scaup, male

Lesser Scaup, female

Ringnecked Duck, male "Aythya collaris"

Ringnecked Duck, female

Ruddy, male "Oxyura jamaicensis"

Ruddy, female "Oxyura jamaicensis"


Trumpeter Swan, adult "Trumpeter Swan Sasata" Not legal game in California

Trumpeter, juvenile "Trumpeter Swan Sasata" Not legal game in California

Whistling Swan, adult "Cygnus columbianus"

Coots, Moorhens and Gallinules

American Coot

Moorhen "Gallinula chloropus Moorhens"

Gallinule "Gallinula galeata cachinnans"


Canadian Geese

There are several subspecies from the large Great Basin to the mallard size Cackler and Aleutian Goose--both of the latter have recovered sufficiently for hunting but may have lower take limits--Check! the American Ornithologists' Union's Committee on Classification and Nomenclature split the two into two species, making cackling goose into a full species with the scientific name Branta hutchinsii. The British Ornithologists' Union followed suit in June 2005.[8] The AOU has divided the many subspecies between the two species. The subspecies of the Canada goose were listed as:
  • Atlantic Canada goose, Branta canadensis canadensis
  • Interior Canada goose, Branta canadensis interior
  • Giant Canada goose, Branta canadensis maxima
  • Moffitt's Canada goose, Branta canadensis moffitti
  • Vancouver Canada goose, Branta canadensis fulva
  • Dusky Canada goose, Branta canadensis occidentalis
  • part of "lesser complex:" Branta canadensis parvipes Richardson's cackling goose, hutchinsii hutchinsii) are considerably smaller.
The smallest cackling goose, B. h. minima, is scarcely larger than a mallard.

Snow Geese

Two species: the Common Snow Goose and the mallard size Ross Goose. Both come in blue phases--the Blue Goose (Snow) and the rarer blue phase Ross.


A sea goose--careful of the season usually starts in November and done in December--smaller limits. The Black Brant is the California bird.

Lesser Snow Goose "Anas cyanoptera"

Blue Goose

Ross's Goose

White-Fronted Goose "Anser albifrons"


Sand Hill Crane

This bird is not huntable in California, pending the resolution of a sub-speciation debate.

Non-Native Birds

Starling "Toulouse - Sturnus vulgaris"

English Sparrow, Male "Passer domesticus"

English Sparrow, Female "House Sparrow Passer domesticus"

Brown Headed Cowbird, Male "Molothrus ater"

Brown Headed Cowbird, Female "Molothrus ater"

Bronzed Cowbird

Regulated Migratory Non-Game

Crow "Corvus brachyrhynchos"

Raven "Corvus corax jouveniles".

Currently a Protected Species-regional depredation hunts proposed, but, so far nothing. . .

Salt Water Fish

Unless otherwise noted, this data has come from the Shark Research Committee. See http://www.sharkresearchcommittee.com

Those known or strongly suspected to have attacked humans are marked in RED

Order Chlamydoselachiformes

Family Chlamydoselachidae

Frilled Shark - Chlamydoselachus anguineus

only one Pacific Coast record: Pt. Arguello, California

Order Hexanchiformes

Family Notorynchidae

Broadnose Sevengill Shark - Notorynchus cepedianus

British Columbia to Gulf of California; most abundant off Central California

Bluntnose Sixgill Shark - Hexanchus griseus

Alaska to Bahia de Todos Santos, northern Baja California

Order Echinorhiniformes

Family Echinorhinidae

Prickly Shark - Echinorhinus cookei

Moolach Beach, Oregon, to Baja California and Gulf of California

Order Squaliformes

Family Squalidae

Spiny Dogfish - Squalus acanthias

Bering Sea and Alaska to central Baja California

Family Etmopteridae

Combtooth Dogfish - Centroscyllium nigrum

Southern California to Strait of Magellan, Chile

Family Somniosidae

Pacific Sleeper Shark - Somniosus pacificus

Bering Sea and Alaska to Baja California; in shallow waters in northern part of its range, but in deep water from California southward

Family Dalatiidae

Pygmy Shark - Euprotomicrus bispinatus

Rare off California coast; Found well offshore

Cookiecutter Shark - Isistius brasiliensis

Baja California south to Isla Galapagos

Order Squaltiniformes

Family Squatinidae

Pacific Angel Shark - Squatina Californica

southern Alaska to Baja California and Gulf of California; to depth of 186 meters in Gulf of California

Order Heterodontiformes

Family Heterodontidae

Horn Shark - Heterodontus francisci

Central California to Gulf of California and southward, probably to Ecuador and Peru; rare north of Southern California

Mexican Horn Shark - Heterodontus mexicanus

Bahia Magdalena, southern Baja California, into the Gulf of California and southward to Peru

Order Orectolobiformes

Family Rhincodontidae

Whale Shark - Rhincodon typus

occasionally off Southern California

Family Ginglymostomatidae

Nurse Shark - Ginglymostoma cirratum

southern Baja California into Gulf of California and southward to Peru

Order Lamniformes

Family Mitsukurinidae

Goblin Shark - Mitsukurina owstoni

only one Pacific Coast record, from Southern California

Family Odontaspididae

Ragged-Tooth Shark - Odontaspis ferox

Southern California and Malpelo Island, Mexico

Family Megachasmidae

Megamouth Shark - Megachasma pelagios

Southern California

Family Alopiidae

Pelagic Thresher - Alopias pelagicus

Southern California southward; oceanic, epipelagic

Bigeye Thresher Shark - Alopias superciliosus

California to Gulf of California

Common Thresher - Alopias vulpinus

Goose Bay, British Columbia, to Chile

Family Pseudocarchariidae

Crocodile Shark - Pseudocarcharias kamoharai

Family Cetorhinidae

Basking Shark - Cetorhinus maximus

Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska to Gulf of California

Family Lamnidae

Salmon Shark - Lamna ditropis

Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska to central Baja California

White Shark - Carcharodon carcharias

Gulf of Alaska to Gulf of California, mostly shallow coastal waters

Shortfin Mako - Isurus oxyrinchus

British Columbia to Chile

Order Carcharhiniformes

Family Scyliorhinidae

Brown Catshark - Apristurus brunneus

southeastern Alaska to northern Baja California; deep (137-1298 meters)

Longnose Catshark - Apristurus kampae

Cape Blanco, Oregon, southward to Southern California and Gulf of California;deep (180-1888 meters)

Swell Shark - Cephaloscyllium ventriosum

Monterey Bay, Central California, to Acapulco, Mexico

Lollipop Catshark - Cephalurus cephalus

Southern Baja California and Gulf of California

Peppered Catshark - Galeus piperatus

No Image

Filetail Catshark - Parmaturus xaniurus

Cape Foulweather, Oregon, to Baja California and Gulf of California

Family Triakidae

Grey Smoothhound - Mustelus californicus

Cape Mendocino, Northern California, to Mazatlan, Mexico

Sharptooth Smoothhound - Mustelus dorsalis

Gulf of California

Brown Smoothhound - Mustelus henlei

Coos Bay, Oregon, to Gulf of California

Sicklefin Smoothhound - Mustelus lunulatus

San Diego, California, to Peru

Leopard Shark - Triakis semifasciata

Oregon to Baja California and northern Gulf of California

Family Galeorhinidae

Soupfin Shark - Galeorhinus galeus

northern British Columbia to Bahia San Juanico, central Baja California

Family Galeocerdidae

Tiger Shark - Galeocerdo cuvier

Southern California; possibly north to southeastern Alaska

Family Rhizoprionodontidae

Pacific Sharpnose Shark - Rhizoprionodon longurio

Southern California to Peru

Family Sphyrnidae

Mallethead Shark, Scalloped Bonnethead - Sphyrna corona

Gulf of California and southern Mexico to Peru

Scalloped Hammerhead - Sphyrna lewini

Santa Barbara, Southern California, southward

Scoophead Shark - Sphyrna media

Gulf of California to Ecuador, probably to northern Peru

Great Hammerhead - Sphyrna mokarran

southen Baja California southward to Peru

Bonnethead - Sphyrna tiburo

San Diego, California, to Peru

Smooth Hammerhead - Sphyrna zygaena

Family Carcharhinidae

Silvertip Shark - Carcharhinus albimarginatus

southern Baja California southward to Colombia

Bignose Shark - Carcharhinus altimus

Gulf of California to southern Mexico

Copper Shark - Carcharhinus brachyurus

Gulf of California

Silky Shark - Carcharhinus falciformis

Southern Baja California southward to Peru

Galapagos Shark - Carcharhinus galapagensis

Southern Baja California southward to Colombia

Bull Shark - Carcharhinus leucas

Southern Baja California southward to Peru

Blacktip Shark - Carcharhinus limbatus

San Diego, California, southward

Oceanic Whitetip- Carcharhinus longimanus

Monterey, Central California, to Gaviota, Southern California and southward

Dusky Shark - Carcharhinus obscurus

Redondo Beach, Southern California to Gulf of California

Sandbar Shark - Carcharhinus plumbeus

southern tip of Baja Peninsula and Revillagigedo Islands

Smalltail Shark - Carcharhinus porosus

Gulf of California southward to Peru

Whitenose Shark - Nasolamia velox

No Image

Lemon Shark - Negaprion brevirostris

southern Baja California and Gulf of California to Ecuador

Blue Shark - Prionace glauca

Gulf of Alaska to Chile



Big Skate-Top View

Big Skate-Bottom View

California Skate

Longnose Skate

Monterey Skate

Pacific White Skate

Roughtail Skate

Starry Skate


Bat Ray

Butterfly Ray

Diamond Stingray

Electric Ray


Mottled Guitarfish

Round Ray


Manta Ray

Mobula Ray


Ratfish "Hydrolagus colliei"

Fresh Water

Carp "Cyprinus carpio"


Mullet "Mugil cephalus"


There are perhaps a hundred subspecies of cichlids called "tilapia." They are a non-native species, planted in Southern California waters south of the Tehachapi mountains, in the belief that they would not reproduce and/or are escapees from the the six southern California counties licensed for tilapia aquaculture.

Buffalo Fish "Ictiobus cyprinellus"

Pacific Lamprey

Squawfish, Pike Minnows

Do NOT SHOOT COLORADO RIVER PIKEMINNOWS--they can be quite large--2-3 feet! They are endangered! Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program

Sucker "Catostomus commersonii"

watch for closures in the Colorado River drainage. There are several species, the most common is the white sucker, pictured.

Hardhead ex.1

Hardhead ex.2

Hardhead ex.3

Hardhead ex.4


there are several chubs--the dimunitive arroyo chub of San Diego, Orange, Santa Ana River drainage possibly upstream to San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties are on a watch list if not listed--Do not shoot.

Golden Shiner

A non native non-game fish

Fin Fish

Fin fish may be taken, too, except for black sea bass, garibaldi, gulf grouper, broomtail grouper, trout, salmon, striped bass, and broadbill swordfish. Check for size restrictions on the different bass, any seasonal restrictions, and remember that archery equipment is not allowed within 100 yards of the mouth of any stream accessing ocean waters north of Ventura County or on any trip pursuing marlin or swordfish.



Bullfrog "North American bullfrog"


Mojave Rattlesnake "Crotalus scutulatusa"

Speckled Rattlesnake "Crotalus michellii"

Sidewinder "Crotalus cerastes"

Red Diamondback "Crotalus ruber"

Western Diamondback "Crotalus atrox"

Prairie Rattlesnake "Crotalus viridis"

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake "Crotalus oreganus"

Great Basin Rattlesnake "Crotalus lutosus"

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake "Crotalus helleri"