Bowfishing CA State Parks. Lake Silverwood, Perris etc. How to get it allowed?

spectr17

Administrator
Admin
Anybody ever approach the state on getting bows allowed in state parks so we can bowfish the lakes?

What would be the best way to get this moving? CBH? I sent an email inquiry off to the CA State Parks Office http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23110

DMC, what state park lakes do you have up there that would work for carp?

We really need to open up some other waters to bowfishing since many want to try new places and the lower desert canals and Colorado river are awfully hot to bowfish in the summer.

We should have something going on at Lake Elsinore next spring but let's try and open some other new water in the mean time.
 

augnmike

Well-known member
Count me in to help. The sport is growing very fast in all the states and I would like to have more options for the CA shooters. I think the problem is ignorance. People assume arrows will be flying all over the place creating a dangerous situation for other lake users. They don't know we have string attached and shoot 5-15 feet in most cases.

One of the keys will be how much interest we can generate on sites like this one and how many folks would be willing to assist.

Anyone else inerested in helping with this endeavor?

Jesse you generated interest at Lake Elsinore, how did you get that done?
 

spectr17

Administrator
Admin
Mike, carp are well known as detrimental to a lake's ecosystem so most water managers are open to our help in knocking the carp population down. It also makes them some money for any admittance fees and traffic us bowfishermen bring to their lake, a win-win for them. It's pretty simple if you can get the manager to sit down and listen to some facts and view a DVD covering bowfishing. As you said, most don't know what bowfishing is, how it's done etc. Education is the first part and key. The other huge selling point is it's a kick in the pants for new folks and kids. Bowfishing is easy to learn and doesn't take a lot of skill to have a ball. It's also not that expensive to start with a cheap bow off Ebay and a simple wrap around reel and arrow.

On Lake Elsinore I contacted the manager and explained to him what bowfishing was and how safe it is. I gave him contact info for Mike at Big Bear so he could get some info from another lake manager. I got some DVDs from AMS Bowfishing to send these managers so they could use them in their presentation to their boards that vote on any lake rule changes. (huge thanks to AMS for the support too).

We then have to follow up by showing up to do live demos if they want to see bowfishing in person to make a decision. Members on Bowfishing Country BowFishing Country - BowFishing All Day - Bowfishing All Night - Powered by vBulletin, have offered to help with scientific info from past battles over carp and the harm they do to lakes. These folks have opened lakes that never had bowfishing and beat back the antis when they have proposed to stop bowfishing at certain lakes. We need to lean on them for info support if we need it.

Lake San Antonio is a county lake up near Paso Robles that we'd like to open up to bowfishing too since it's chock full of carp and a beautiful place to visit. I'm told it would take a variance in their county ordinance regarding their no weapons allowed at the lake, just like the state parks have. I think a tourney could be held at San Antonio in early May before the waterskiing season hits there.

I'd even like to see 4 or 5 tourneys here in SoCal to make it worth the while to build a platform boat and lure more out of staters over to compete. Right now we have 2 tourneys, Clear Lake in NoCal and Big Bear. LAke Henshaw has a tourney some years but it's not really a big deal, more for a trophy then the money competitions like the others. Same for the CBH talapia shoot at Palo Verde on the Colorado River.

Lake Silverwood later in June once it warms up. Lake Perris would be killer early in May also, maybe even April. Here's a pic on Jim Matthews' Outdoor News Service website of a huge carp a guy took there on a fly.

May 30, 2009
- Bob Gaines, Irvine, caught and released this 26.5-pound carp at Lake Perris on a damsel fly nymph using an eight weight flyrod.




Add in Lake Elsinore and that's 4 big bodies of water in SoCal to shoot carp. Add in a Colorado River tourney and thats five. If you miss one tourney you can still hit the next one or two. You get bored at one lake head to a new spot for some fresh scenery.

I'd like to get CBH on board too as they can help in the campaign to lobby for the rule changes it will take to get more water open to bowfishing. I posted a link to this thread in the CBH forum here to let them know what we're up to. CBH has been down the reg change path many times and know the dance well.

No reply yet from the CA State Parks email I sent yesterday.

Let's do it. :smiley-mouse:
 

spectr17

Administrator
Admin
I got a reply back from the CA State Parks inquiry email. The email has been forwarded to the department’s Resource Management Office.
 

augnmike

Well-known member
Jesse, let's pick a few bodies of water and start the process then. I am willing to do whatever I can to help call me when you get the time and we can talk strategy. I hope others (thanks Nick) will come forward with desire to help on this as it will take people with different geographic locations in the state to be as effective as possible.

With the continual closing or hunting areas (SB shooting map for example) we did to be proactive if we hope to keep the sports alive.
 

spectr17

Administrator
Admin
The science and public opinion is one our side, we just need to get in front of the decision makers and lay out our info to persuade them to allow bowfishing.

It may take some time but if we start now and whittle away hopefully we can get new water opened up each year.

I haven't heard anything from the CBH folks yet so I'll send off an email to their board to see how we can do a mind meld on this.
 

Rmoor

Member
Sorry Jesse, posted this on the CBH

In years past some parks would allow bowfishing if you applied for a permit and followed certain guidelines. Permits were issued at each parks main office. The parks department already know carp are a problem. The bow is the issue, it is viewed as a weapon in their eyes even though you are using it for fishing.

You have started the right process by talking to them and presenting the benefits.
Ordinances on bodies of water has to be addressed, it may have multiple jurisdictions. The body of water may be one entity and the land around it may be another. You could bowfish the lake but access to it may not allow the bow (weapon) accross it. Do lots of research, this is not impossible but may take some time to address. Be patient but persistent.

State wildlife areas have the same problem, CBH/SAA has been able to have some of the land management plans changed to include bowfishing with some restrictions.
Each wildlife area generally has its own management plan.

Rmoor
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augnmike

Well-known member
RM, thanks for the info. Do you happen to have a couple of bodies of water where you were successful in getting the regs changed? I can see it providing us the opportunity to use them as a successful example when they say, "that's impossible for us to do."
 

Rmoor

Member
New Bullards Bar Reservoir out of Nevada City area.
This lake has multiple jurisdictions. You have to obtain and permit from the forest service to bowfish even though the lake is controlled by a water agency.

Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area by Davis.
The area manager would allow us to bowfish one month out of the year if we asked.
The area land management plan was up for modification due to added land. Took a couple of years going through the process but now can bowfish without asking. We are limited to certain areas of the property due to multiple use guidelines.

Many years ago the local archery clubs would obtain a permit to bowfish Folsom Lake in the Sacramento area. It was for either a weekend or a day to have an unofficial tournament. This is a state park, we applied at that parks headquarters and I don't remember all of the details but we did have restrictions.

Rmoor
 

spectr17

Administrator
Admin
Thanks RM, that's kind of what I was told for Lake San Antonio, that they would issue a once a year permit to allow a bowfishing tourney but no all year shooting.

It may not be as easy as I thought to get all the state park lakes open to bowfishing all year then but let's push forward and see what happens.
 


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