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Old 08-25-2020, 04:56 PM   #1
Cynical Sauropsid
What Thamnophis do/can people keep in California?

I've tried to figure it out on my own and it seems like (according to the CA fishing regulations) only 2 individuals of any sirtalis species can be kept by a single person, except for the San Francisco gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia) which can't be kept at all. And the south coast garter can't be kept at all. I don't even know exactly what that is, they just call it sirtalis spp, but I think they mean sirtalis infernalis.

Other species which seem to be limited to 2 are:

(45) Terrestrial gartersnake (Thamnophis elegans)
(46) Sierra gartersnake (Thamnophis couchii)
(47) Aquatic gartersnake (Thamnophis atratus)
(48) Northwestern gartersnake (Thamnophis
(49) Checkered gartersnake (Thamnophis

And I have read other places that Thamnophis gigas is illegal in California as well.

These restrictions seem to be in place for collection AND possession. Which to me, seems to indicate that it doesn't matter if they are captive bred or not. And the fact that they put a blanket restriction on all sirtalis, indicates to me that it doesn't matter if they are native or not. I read that to mean even eastern garters are restricted to just 2.

I wanted to maybe start a little collection but I'd rather deal with species that are not restricted. What do other people keep in California? Am I reading the regs too literally or have I gotten it wrong somehow? Any insight would be appreciated. I have scoured the internet for some official source which spells it all out clearly and the best I could come up with is what seems to be implied by the 2020 California fishing regulations.

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garter snakes, thamnophis

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