Can you earn a tax credit for donating sport fish to charity?

SACRAMENTO — California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife occasionally publishes a question-and-answer series on its blog, giving the state’s anglers, hunters and other outdoors enthusiasts with substantive insight on specific topics.

A recent Q-and-A blog post delved into whether a fish caught from state waters – while fishing with a sportfishing license – is eligible for a tax credit if donated to charity.

“It is unlawful to sell or purchase fish caught via a sportfishing license. Therefore, fish taken via a sportfishing license cannot be easily assigned a monetary value,” the blog post stated, citing Fish and Game Code, section 7121. “It would be very difficult to determine the fair market value of a sport-caught fish because sportfishing and commercial fishing are very different.”

The California Code of Regulations, however, might provide anglers with an avenue for value to be assigned to certain species caught, the Department of Fish and Wildlife post stated.

“There is a provision that does provide for the exchange of certain sport caught fish for filleted, smoked or canned fish (California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 231),” the blog post stated. “This regulation only applies to a limited range of species though, primarily tuna, and they include: albacore, bluefin, yellowfin and bigeye tunas, as well as skipjack and yellowtail.

“This regulation may be helpful in determining the value of a donation if you decide to donate a portion of any of the above listed species to a qualified non-profit charitable organization,” the blog post continued.

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