Checkpoint Planned to Help Stop Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease and Quagga and Zebra Mussels

Kyle Chang, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (951) 897-6193
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) wardens will check vehicles and boats in San Bernardino County to prevent the introduction and spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and quagga and zebra mussels. The checkpoint will be conducted at Yermo Border Station on Monday, Oct. 20 and Tuesday, Oct. 21.

CWD is a neurologic disease that is fatal to deer, elk and moose. California hunting regulations specifically prohibit importing brain or spinal cord tissue from deer and elk harvested outside of California to minimize the risk of introducing CWD into the state. Out-of-state big game hunters should review CDFW’s hunting regulations regarding interstate transport of deer and elk before bringing game meat across state lines. CWD has been detected in free-ranging cervids in 19 states and two Canadian provinces.

Quagga and zebra mussels, non-native freshwater mussels native to Eurasia, multiply quickly and encrust watercraft and infrastructure, and compete for food with native fish species. These mussels can be spread from one body of water to another by nearly anything that has been in infested waters by getting entrapped in boat engines, bilges, live-wells and buckets.

Quagga mussels were first detected in the Colorado River system in January 2007 and were later found in San Diego and Riverside counties. They are now known to be in 29 waters in California, all in Southern California. Zebra mussels were discovered in San Justo Reservoir in San Benito County in January 2008.

For more information on CWD, please visit the CDFW website at For more information on quagga and zebra mussels, please visit

CDFW to Hold Public Workshop on Phasing Out Lead Ammunition for Hunting

Media Contact:
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public workshop to discuss phasing out lead ammunition for hunting in a way that is least disruptive to hunters. The workshop will be held on Saturday, October 25 at Richmond Elementary School, 700-585 Richmond Road East, Susanville, CA 96130 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

A CDFW representative will detail the proposed implementation plan, which is summarized on the CDFW website. Following the short presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions and discuss opportunities for public input during the Fish and Game Commission’s regulatory approval process.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 711 requiring that the Commission adopt a regulation to phase out lead ammunition for hunting in the state no later than July 1, 2015, with full implementation of the ban to occur no later than July 1, 2019. Governor Brown has directed CDFW and the Commission to work with all interested parties in order to produce a regulation that is least disruptive to the hunting community.

In order to determine what is least disruptive to hunters, CDFW has been reaching out to interested parties this year in a number of ways, including question and answer sessions at sportsmen’s shows, meetings with hunting organizations and a series of public workshops throughout the state. Workshops were held in Ventura in April, Eureka in June, and Redding and Sacramento in July, San Diego, Fresno and Rancho Cucamonga in August. CDFW presented its draft regulations, as modified by public input from these workshops, to the Commission’s Wildlife Resources Committee on September 17 in Sacramento. Interested, individuals and organizations may email comments to the Fish and Game Commission at (please use “Nonlead Implementation” in the subject line) or mail hard copy correspondence to:

California Fish and Game Commission
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Artists Sought for 2014 California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest

Scott Gardner, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 801-6257
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is conducting an art contest to select the design for the state’s 2014-2015 upland game bird stamp.

The California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest is open to all U.S. residents ages 18 and over. Entries will be accepted through Dec. 12, 2014. This year’s stamp will feature the Gambel’s quail, and art contest entries must include at least one Gambel’s quail. Entries will be judged on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and suitability for reproduction as a stamp and a print.

The contest will be judged by a panel of experts in the fields of ornithology, conservation, art and printing. The winning artist will be selected during a public judging event, with the date and location to be announced later.

An upland game bird validation is required for hunting migratory and resident upland game birds in California. The money generated from stamp sales must be spent on upland game bird-related conservation projects, education, hunting opportunities and outreach.

CDFW sells about 200,000 upland game bird validations annually. Any individual who purchases an upland game bird validation may request their free collectable stamp by visiting For collectors who do not purchase a hunting license or upland game bird validation or for hunters who wish to purchase additional collectible stamps, an order form is also available on the website.

For contest information and entry forms, please visit

Waterfowl Hunting Regulation Changes Now in Effect at Liberty Island Ecological Reserve

Media Contacts:
Ryan Carrothers or Jeff Stoddard, CDFW Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, (530) 757-2461
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds hunters that new land regulations have gone into effect at Liberty Island Ecological Reserve.

On Aug. 11, 2014, regulations recently adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission went into effect. These regulations included the designation of the CDFW property located on Liberty Island as an ecological reserve. The new regulations require that all personal equipment and belongings, including waterfowl hunting blinds, be removed from Liberty Island Ecological Reserve daily. These regulations can be found in Title 14, California Code of Regulations, sections 551 (v)(1) and 630 (b)(69).

Liberty Island Ecological Reserve, which is north of Rio Vista in Solano County, will remain open to waterfowl hunting seven days per week during the regular waterfowl season. The placement or construction of any permanent or semi-permanent hunting blinds on the reserve is prohibited. Hunters may continue to use temporary floating blinds as long as they are removed from the island daily.

Many permanent blinds can be found at Lower Sherman Island Wildlife Area, which is about 15 miles to the southwest of Liberty Island in Sacramento County. These blinds are owned by CDFW and are maintained by volunteers and members of the Lower Sherman Island Duck Hunters Association. These blinds are available on a first come, first served basis. No new permanent or semi-permanent blinds may be constructed or placed on the Lower Sherman Island Wildlife Area.

More information regarding public use on wildlife areas and ecological reserves can be found at

Illegal Marijuana Cultivation Sites Cleaned Up to Protect Endangered Species

Media Contact:
Lt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 508-7095

California wildlife officers will work with several allied agencies and scientific personnel to clean up six polluted illegal marijuana cultivation sites to protect three species threatened with extinction. The sites encompass habitat of the federally endangered Coho salmon, federally threatened northern spotted owl and the Pacific fisher, which was recently proposed for listing as federally threatened.

Scientific data conclusively proves how pollution from illegal marijuana cultivation has further degraded habitat quality for each species, and how bioaccumulating rodenticides, common to illegal cultivation sites, continue to acutely affect the northern spotted owl and the Pacific fisher. Consequently, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) applied for and received Section 6 federal funds earmarked to benefit such species to conduct cleanup operations after the sites were eradicated and secured.

Wildlife officers from CDFW, the California Air National Guard’s Counterdrug Task Force and the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office conducted the raids and eradication of each of the six sites in mid-summer, and marked them for return and environmental reclamation. The growers are alleged members of one or more international drug trafficking organizations. In addition to polluting the land and water and destroying habitat, they represent a serious threat to public safety.

Personnel from all agencies will work together to restore the sites to as pristine a condition as possible. They will remove the entire infrastructure of the grow site including rodenticides, fertilizers, pesticides, human waste and garbage and thousands of feet of irrigation tubing.

On Oct. 16, representatives of the media will be escorted into one of the grow sites. The general location will be in Trinity County off of Highway 299, midway between Whiskeytown and the coast. It is a 40 minute hike from the road. Those joining the tour should be in good physical condition, wear long pants and long sleeves with good hiking boots, wear gloves and have eye protection, wear a wide brim hat, carry plenty of water (most operational personnel will have 100 ounces or more CamelBak style water containers) and an energy bar type of snack. Photographers are advised to prepare for the extremely dusty conditions that result from working underneath a helicopter.

Media should R.S.V.P. to for operational details and specific information on when and where to meet.

Klamath River Chinook Quota Met for 2014

Media Contacts:
Sara Borok, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (707) 822-0330
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) projects that Klamath River anglers will have met their upper Klamath River catch quota of 702 adult fall-run Chinook salmon above the Highway 96 bridge by sundown on Friday, Oct. 10.

Starting Saturday, Oct. 11, anglers may still fish but can no longer keep adult Chinook salmon over 22 inches. They may still keep a daily bag of three Chinook salmon under 22 inches in the Klamath River above the Hwy. 96 bridge at Weitchepec.

The fall-run Chinook salmon quotas on the Trinity River are 681 adult Chinook salmon from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar flat and 681 adult Chinook from Cedar Flat up to the Old Lewiston Bridge. These sub-area quotas have not been met yet, and anglers may retain one adult Chinook salmon as part of their three fish daily bag limit.

CDFW reminds anglers that a salmon report card is required when fishing for Chinook salmon in anadromous portions of the Klamath basin.

Steelhead fishing remains open, with a daily bag of two hatchery steelhead or trout and possession limit of four hatchery steelhead or trout. Hatchery steelhead or trout are defined as fish showing a healed adipose fin clip (the adipose fin is absent). Anglers are also required to possess a steelhead report card when fishing for steelhead.

Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling 1 (800) 564-6479.

CDFW to Offer Wilderness First Aid Clinic in Northern California

Media Contacts:

Lt. Dan Lehman, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 358-4356
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8844

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program is sponsoring a Wilderness First Aid Clinic on Saturday, Nov. 15 at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.

The clinic’s goal is to provide outdoor enthusiasts and individuals hunting in remote locations with the knowledge, skills and ability to make sound decisions in wilderness emergency situations. Taught by Alex Van, a 30-year veteran firefighter, paramedic and world traveler, this clinic will include hands-on training in the treatment of cuts, broken bones, burns and gunshot wounds, as well as addressing first aid kits and basic survival equipment.

The clinic will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $45 for adults. Youths 16 years and younger are free but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

CDFW’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment. Space is limited, so participants are asked to preregister online at After registering, participants will receive an e-mail with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring.

Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is located 3 miles east of Davis (3 miles west of West Sacramento), off Interstate 80.

Two Weeks Left to Apply for CDFW Wildlife Officer Academy

Media Contact:
Lt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 508-7095

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is recruiting those interested in a career as a wildlife officer.

CDFW is accepting applications for wildlife officer cadet through Oct. 17, 2014. The department is particularly interested in recruiting applicants with a passion for conservation of California’s fish and wildlife resources.

California wildlife officers are charged with ensuring public safety, enforcing fish and wildlife laws, investigating illegal sales of wildlife, protecting the state from pollution, enforcing habitat protection laws, fighting illegal drug trafficking, keeping the homeland secure and responding during natural disasters. As peace officers, they have the authority to enforce all California laws, such as the Vehicle Code and Penal Code, and are federally deputized to enforce federal fish and wildlife laws.

A typical day for a California wildlife officer is diverse as the state’s fish and wildlife. Wildlife officers patrol ocean, desert, mountain and valley environments, as well as urban areas. They frequently work independently and conduct full-scale law enforcement investigations. Wildlife officers employ everything from all-terrain vehicles to jet skis and snowmobiles while on patrol and spend much of their typical day making contact with Californians in the great outdoors. CDFW has a dive team and utilizes K-9 partners as well. Environmental crimes and pollution incidents also fall under the purview of wildlife officers. Annually, wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations for violations of the law.

Successful applicants will enter a 31-week academy training program, followed by 19 weeks of field training, where they will work with a seasoned field training officer. CDFW’s academy at Butte College is California Peace Officer Standards and Training certified. Cadets are trained as police officers with specific emphasis on wildlife, pollution and habitat protection.

In California, with 159,000 square miles of habitat and wildlife diversity unequaled by any other state, the average wildlife officer has a patrol district of more than 600 square miles. The state has more than 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs, three desert habitat areas and scores of high mountain peaks.

The CDFW Law Enforcement Division expects an overwhelming number of inquiries and asks prospective candidates to extensively review materials on the website before contacting CDFW with questions.
To find information on minimum qualifications, required materials and an application for the academy, please visit

For general information about a career as a wildlife officer, please visit
Applications must be postmarked no later than Oct. 17, 2014.

CDFW Urges Californians to Be Mindful of Property Rules on Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve

Media Contact:
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding those who visit state ecological reserves to be mindful of the site’s specific rules and regulations. CDFW also reminds Californians that trespassing on ecological reserves and wildlife areas that are closed, like the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve (BWER), is not only a crime, but can be very dangerous.

CDFW limits public access to BWER due to health, safety and resource concerns. CDFW is working to address the onsite criminal activity, including drugs, as well as homeless encampments and their related issues. BWER also has sensitive cultural resources that should be respected.

Public access to BWER is available through Friends of Ballona Wetlands (, The Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority (, and the Audubon Society ( which conduct organized tours and restoration activities in specified areas of BWER. CDFW also partners with local law enforcement agencies to assist with site security and addressing issues pertaining to the homeless encampments. If people want to participate in protecting, visiting and restoring BWER they can contact the organizations above to get involved. They can also report suspicious activity witnessed at BWER to the CalTIP Hotline by calling (888) 334-2258. Finally, they can spread the word to friends and family about this important natural resource in a highly urban area.

According to state law (Title 14 CCR, section 630), CDFW is obligated to protect and maintain designated ecological reserves which includes enforcing the rules.

Reserves that are open to the public have hours from sunrise to sunset. On all state properties, it is illegal to feed wildlife, operate motorized vehicles outside of designated areas, disturb bird nests, release any fish or animal, start any fire or light fireworks or other explosive or incendiary devices, disturb habitat, alter the landscape or remove vegetation.

Failure to comply with the law could result in a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

For more information on CDFW’s ecological reserves, please visit

Waterfowl Hunting Regulation Changes Now in Effect at Laguna Wildlife Area

Media Contacts:
Stacy Martinelli, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5537
Conrad Jones, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5544
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds hunters at the Laguna Wildlife Area near Sebastopol in Sonoma County that waterfowl hunting regulation revisions for this area are now in effect.

On April 16, 2014, the Fish and Game Commission adopted changes to regulations regarding public use of CDFW Lands. On Aug. 11, 2014, the new regulations went into effect. The regulations clarify closures and implement shoot day restrictions on waterfowl hunting in the Laguna Wildlife Area. These revisions can be found in Title 14, California Code of Regulations, sections 551(o)(29) and 551(q)(8).

The Laguna Wildlife Area includes the Timber Hill Unit, Blucher Creek Unit, Cooper Road Unit and the Occidental Road Unit. The Timber Hill, Blucher Creek and Cooper Road Units remain closed to all hunting.

The only portion of Laguna Wildlife Area open to hunting is the Occidental Road Unit, where waterfowl hunting is now restricted to Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays during the regular waterfowl hunting season. The only legally authorized access to this Unit is by boat. There is no foot or terrestrial access.

The full commission decision can be found at

A complete list of hunting opportunities and regulations can be found at

California Department of Fish and Wildlife News


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