I'm not saying you don't have a legitimate concern, just that posting that right now a permit is required for any and all insect-catching in California is premature and panic-mongering. If/when the state of CA gives a ruling that this is required for any and all handling of insects (because picking something up or taking something in to rear, even if it is then released, is "take"), then I will accept that and have no choice but to abide by that. Until then, we all know that the "squeaky wheel gets the grease" and that is usually a woeful thing.
For the third time here - this regulation applies to scientific collecting. My permits page is in regards to non-commercial, scientific collecting. My comments are about scientific collecting. If you're doing any sort of research, collecting for an educational purpose, or breeding, it appears this law applies given it includes all wildlife in the state of CA. The law does not explicit state that non-scientific collecting is allowed, but it doesn't say it requires a permit either (=no permit required).
I'll forth what Chris says here. This is perhaps the best resource out there on how to get a scientific permit (if there is a better source - or even an alternative one - then I am unaware of its existence). I've used it with success many times - and if I ever need a California permit - I'll go to Chris' web page to find out what he knows about it.
I don't know what all the bickering is all about, but Chris does have a point. Sadly, the state of California's wildlife agencies are run by bureaucrats, so they enforce anything they can on the common folk. Same goes with fishing.
I just want to chime in with support for Chris and the information he has provided. Pointing out the speed limit on a street is far different from pulling out your own radar and calling the cops anytime someone's driving too fast.
In the end, laws are the law, and if a person would rather live in pseudo-anarchy than abide by those laws, I'd invite that individual to come move to the D.R. Congo so that they might see what kind of world that results.