Carp Bowfishing


Check out Paul Rohn bowfishing and his monster catch!


The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has given final approval of Bowfishing for Carp in Cachuma Lake. An ordinance amendment received final approval at the September 28, 2010 meeting. An ordinance revision requires a 30 day period before implementation; therefore Bowfishing will be allowed starting October 28, 2010.

The County has noted the recent increase in population of Carp in the Lake. Carp are known as an invasive species that impacts water quality and the lake's other fish populations. Bowfishing is a growing sport that provides an alternative recreation opportunity and helps assist the County in control of the population.

California Department of Fish & Game Regulations (CCR, T14, Chapter 2, Article 1) explicitly provide for the use of bowfishing sporting equipment for the taking of Carp and other noxious fish species. This clarification to Chapter 26 of the County Code will explicitly bring the County Code in line with California Department of Fish & Game regulations that encourages the take of carp. Fish & Game regulations allow fishing carp year round and there is no limit.

"We see this new activity as a win-win at Cachuma Lake.", said Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr. "Large populations of Carp can negatively impact the lake. This new opportunity would invite more visitors to the lake while at the same time help us control this invasive species."

Bowfishing is allowed by permit (No-fee) at Cachuma Lake County Park only. Permits can be obtained at the Park entrance. Anglers are required to sign the permit and agree to the following regulations.

Cachuma Lake Bowfishing Regulations

Bowfishing is restricted to fishing for Carp only, in compliance with Fish and Game regulations.

  • Bowfishing tackle must have arrow shaft, point, or both, securely attached by a line to the bow or to a fishing reel; this includes crossbows

  • Bowfishing is permitted only by vessel on surface waters of Cachuma Lake.

  • Bowfishing is prohibited within 30 meters (100 ft) of any person outside the vessel of the bow hunter.

  • Bowfishing is prohibited in areas of nesting water birds.

  • Children 18 years of age or younger must be accompanied by an adult in order to bowfish.

  • All fish taken by bow must be eaten, removed from the Park, or disposed of in the fish grinder. Use of the fish grinder is limited to two fish per angler per day. Disposal of Carp into the lake, upon the shoreline, or in trash cans is prohibited.

  • Posses a valid CA State Fish and Game fishing license.

Any individual out of compliance with these regulations, or exhibiting any unsafe use of bowfishing equipment, is subject to revocation of the permit and ejection from the Park.