Lt. John Nores, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (408) 591-5174
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and California Wildlife Officer Foundation are again co-sponsoring the annual “Passing on the Tradition” essay contest for young hunters.
“Passing on the tradition of sportsmanship and ethical behavior is a vital part of our hunter education program,” said CDFW Hunter Education Program Administrator Capt. Roy Griffith. “The California Wildlife Officer Foundation wanted to recognize one of the 21,000 students who pass through our program each year with a lifetime California hunting license, valued at more than $600.”
Junior hunting license holders or youths under 16 who earned a hunter education certificate in 2014 are eligible. Contestants need to submit an essay, 500 words or less, on what “Passing on the Tradition” of hunting means to them. Applicants are encouraged to write about conservation, sportsmanship, ethics and the challenge of being a hunter in modern times.
Entries must include the applicant’s name, date of birth and a contact telephone number. Entries should be submitted via email to Lt. John Nores at email@example.com. All entries must be received on or before Friday, Dec. 19, 2014.
Essays will be reviewed and scored by CDFW Wildlife Officers and other CDFW representatives. The winner will be notified by phone.
For additional information, please contact Lt. John Nores at (408) 591-5174.
AWARD CEREMONY: The grand prize will be awarded during a special ceremony at the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) show in Sacramento on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. The contest winner must be present with a parent or guardian.
After almost a year of court procedures, the last of 18 abalone poachers arrested in a 2013 sting has been sentenced. All 18 suspects were found guilty or pled no contest to the charges.
On Aug. 29, 2013, California wildlife officers simultaneously served 13 search/arrest warrants throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento on 18 suspected abalone poachers. The last of the 18, Dung Tri Bui of San Leandro, was recently found guilty in Mendocino County Superior Court after a week long jury trial. Bui was convicted of three misdemeanor counts, including take of abalone for commercial use, conspiracy to take abalone for commercial purposes and take of abalone greater than the daily limit. He was sentenced to 36 months summary probation, $15,000 fine and a lifetime ban on fishing (including the take of abalone). Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Daniel Madow presented the case.
In total, $139,883 in fines and 11 fishing license revocations were handed out to the 18 subjects. All of the subjects received summary probation ranging from one to three years. All seized dive gear was ordered forfeited by the court. Mendocino DDAs Heidi Larson and Tim Stoen and support staff also spent a tremendous amount of time on these cases along with numerous staff from the Sacramento District Attorney’s office.
“We had excellent support from the respective District Attorney’s offices for taking these crimes seriously and prosecuting the poachers to the full extent of the law,” said Asst. Chief Brian Naslund of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division. “The gear forfeiture, fines and lifetime fishing license revocations for California’s worst poaching offenders will hopefully put them out of the poaching business permanently.”
SF Bay Area
Khoa Dang Nguyen
Chinh Quan Le
Toi Van Nguyen
Dung Tri Bui
5521.5, PC 182, 29.15[c]
Hai Van Ha
5521.5, PC 182,
Duoc Van Nguyen
5521.5, PC 182
Nhan Trung Le
PC 182, 2000/29.15[c]
Suong Hung Tran
Chuyen Van Bui
Diep van Nguyen
Khoa Ngoc Nguyen
Dung Van Nguyen
5521.5, PC 115 (a) (F)
32 mo State prison
Tho Thanh Phan
Hung Van Le
PC 115 Forgery of government documents
PC 182 Conspiracy to commit a crime
F&G Code 5521.5 Unlawful to take abalone for commercial purposes
F&G Code 2000 Unlawful possession of California’s fish and wildlife
F&G Code 1052 Unlawful use of another’s hunting/fishing license
Title 14 – 29.15 abalone overlimit
Title 14 – 29.16 abalone report card violations
The salmon ladder at Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova will open Monday, Nov. 3, signaling the start of the spawning season on the American River. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) hatchery workers will open the gates in the ladder at about 10:45 a.m. and will take more than a half-million eggs during the first week alone in an effort to ensure the successful spawning of the returning fall-run Chinook salmon.
The three major state-run hatcheries in the Central Valley – the Nimbus Hatchery in Sacramento County, and hatcheries on the Feather River in Butte County and the Mokelumne River in San Joaquin County – will take approximately 24 million eggs over the next two months in order to produce Chinook salmon for release next spring.
Each hatchery has a viewing area where visitors can watch the spawning process. Thousands of schoolchildren tour the Nimbus and Feather River hatcheries each year. The visitors’ center at Nimbus Hatchery includes a playground with replicas of giant salmon that are enjoyed by young and old alike. For more information about spawning schedules and educational opportunities at each hatchery, please visit the CDFW website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/hatcheries/
There are eight state-run salmon and steelhead hatcheries, all of which will participate in the salmon spawning effort. Those hatcheries, along with federally run hatcheries, will be responsible for the release of 40 million juvenile salmon into California waters. These massive spawning efforts were put in place over the last 50 years to offset fish losses caused by dams that block salmon from historic spawning habitat.
Once the young salmon reach 2 to 4 inches in length, one-quarter of the stock will be marked and implanted with a coded wire tag prior to release. CDFW biologists use the information from the tags to chart their survival, catch and return rates.
Media Contacts: Laura Drath, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 358-2884
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Historical Investigation Helps Researchers with Restoration Planning
A recent study produced by the San Francisco Estuary Institute-Aquatic Science Center and funded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) identifies the dramatic ecological transformation of the Delta over the past 150 years.
Developed by a group of scientists and resource managers, “A Delta Transformed” explains the relationship between specific landscape features and ecological functions, and compares historic conditions with the present. It identifies the restoration framework needed to design landscapes that will support native wildlife and hold up to the threats presented by climate change and invasive species. The complete report can be found at http://sfei.li/deltametrics.
“The Delta no longer functions as a delta and is now a network of deep, engineered channels with declining abundances of native wildlife, particularly fish species, and increasing numbers of invasive species,” said Carl Wilcox, CDFW Policy Advisor to the Director for the Bay-Delta. “This critical report contributes a missing dimension to Delta planning by providing a landscape-scale perspective that illustrates how restoration in the Delta should be implemented to support native habitat and species.”
Presently, the Delta estuary is in a highly altered condition and struggling. Study participants identified a variety of landscape changes in the Delta that have impacted its ecological function over the years. These primary changes include loss of connectivity among habitat, degradation of habitat quality and loss of complexity. The knowledge gained from this project will be used to identify specific elements of the landscape that can be restored to meet the needs of native species.
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is part of the largest natural estuary on the west coast of North America. It is home to more than 750 native species and supplies water to more than 25 million Californians as well as 3 million acres of farmland.
Media Contacts: Steve Goldman, CDFW Biogeographic Data Branch, (916) 445-9939 Leah Sautelet, CDFW Communications, (916) 445-1506 Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has launched an improved online Fishing Guide to help novice and experienced anglers plan successful fishing trips. The new guide is faster and provides detailed information about fish plants and fishing locations.
The map-based Fishing Guide allows users to research information about specific fishing locations by selecting from a drop down menu, clicking directly on the map or by searching for a specific address, city or zip code. Specific information about each location includes planting schedule, historical fishing information and comments about the terrain, local amenities, fish known to the location and links to lodging, camping and dining options.
Other information displayed includes a link to driving directions, locations known to have quagga mussels and links to other pages, including fish planting information, regulations, license sales, boat launch facilities and a ‘safe to eat’ portal. The safe to eat portal displays advisories about contaminants known to the fish in a specific location.
In the coming year, CDFW plans to expand the Fishing Guide to include direct access to fishing regulations, license sales locations and boating facilities.
“We put a lot of effort into creating successful fishing opportunities across the state,” said CDFW Fisheries Branch Chief Stafford Lehr. “The new Fishing Guide will be a major tool that lets us share the useful information we have with the public and to help anglers of the state find new places to enjoy the sport.”
California’s Dungeness crab sport fishery opens statewide this Saturday, Nov. 1. Every year at this time, recreational crab fishers eagerly set out in pursuit of these tasty crustaceans. Some set hoop nets and crab traps from boats and piers while others fish crab loop traps on the end of a fishing rod. Still others will dive in to take the crabs by hand. Regardless of the method, Dungeness crabs are one of California’s most popular shellfish.
“Dungeness crab catches tend to be cyclic with several years of high crab numbers followed by a few years of lower catches,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Christy Juhasz. “Recent seasons have been characterized by high Dungeness crab production so we may begin to see more average catches in the near future.”
The most popular methods for catching the crustaceans are with crab pots (or traps), loop traps and hoop nets. There is no limit to the number of pots or nets that can be fished recreationally, except when fishing from a public fishing pier where only two fishing appliances may be used. Recreational crabbers may keep up to 10 Dungeness crabs per day of either sex, or six crabs if fishing from a party boat south of Mendocino County. No one may possess more than one daily bag limit, and no Dungeness crab may be taken from San Francisco or San Pablo bays, which are important crab nursery areas.
CDFW reminds sport crabbers that traps and nets for Dungeness crab may not be set before 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 1. Those fishing with hoop nets should remember that regulations require raising the nets to the surface to inspect the contents at least every two hours. Any undersized crabs or other species that are accidentally caught can be more quickly released. This regulation ensures that fishermen closely monitor their gear and do not allow any equipment to be abandoned in state waters. Trap fishermen should also closely monitor their traps because lost trap gear can become a self-baiting crab killer.
The recreational size limit for Dungeness crab is five and three-quarter inches measured across the shell, directly in front of and excluding the lateral spines. Crab taken from party boats south of Mendocino County must measure at least six inches across. For a measurement diagram, please see the CDFW website at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=36325&inline=true.
Unlike rock crab species that are fished along rocky reefs, Dungeness crab are usually found on sandy or sand-mud bottoms. Dungeness crabs generally prefer cooler northern and central California waters and are uncommon south of Point Conception. They are typically found at depths of less than 300 feet, although they have been documented down to 750 feet.
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Local Treasure Home to Badgers, Bobcats, Deer, Sensitive Plant Species and More
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is asking visitors to the Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve (BMER) to be mindful of the property rules.
The BMER is open to the public for walking and wildlife watching from sunrise to sunset. Mountain biking, hunting and horseback riding are prohibited. 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.
“In the past year, we have seen an excessive amount of habitat destruction at the Burton Mesa property, which has included tree removal, altered vegetation and increased erosion,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Christine Thompson. “Visitors are welcome and should stay in designated areas, observe usage rules at trailheads and respect the property. We all need to commit to protecting this reserve for all to enjoy in the years to come.”
The BMER consists of 5,368 acres and is characterized by unusual, low-growing, multi-trunked coast live oaks. It is one of the last significant stands of maritime chaparral in central California and is home to several rare, threatened and endangered species, including 14 plant species found nowhere else in the world. Badgers, bobcats, deer, mountain lions, woodrats, snakes and many other species occupy the habitat as well.
The property is owned by the State Lands Commission and leased to CDFW for management, operation and maintenance. In 2004, the Fish and Game Commission approved the designation of ecological reserve status due to its environmentally sensitive resources. Ecological reserves are designed to provide public enjoyment and education as well as protect fragile habitat for a variety of threatened and endangered plants, mammals and reptiles.
According to state law (Title 14, CCR section 630), CDFW is obligated to protect and maintain designated ecological reserves, which includes enforcing the rules. Failure to comply with the law could result in a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
Weekends — Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve. Docent-led walks are scheduled every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and main overlook are fully accessible. Day use fee is $4.32 per person, age 16 and older. Groups of 10 or more should schedule a separate tour. For more information, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html.
Every Monday (except holidays)— Volunteer Stewardship Field Crew Mondays at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve,1700 Elkhorn Road, Royal Oaks (95076), 10 a.m. to noon. Help preserve natural habitat by collecting seeds, planting, helping to maintain trails and weeding introduced species. For more information, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html .
Weekends — Sandhill Crane Wetland Tour at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve CDFW public tours are available to view greater and lesser sandhill cranes at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve outside of Lodi, W. Woodbridge Rd. (95242). Tour registration is posted six weeks in advance. For more information about tour times during the first three Saturdays and Sunday of the fall and winter months, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regions/3/Crane-Tour.
Weekends — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 12:30 to 2 p.m., Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). Each walking tour through this premier birding spot highlights the migratory waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. No reservations are necessary for groups of less than 12 people. Visitors must possess a valid hunting or fishing license or an annual lands pass (either must be purchased in advance). Visitors can otherwise choose to pay a $4.32 day use fee when they arrive. There is no cost for the tour. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHARE Hunt Application Deadlines — Applications for pig, bear, dove, turkey and pheasant hunts on five SHARE properties, including Tejon Ranch and Rush Ranch are due on various days throughout the month. Applications may be purchased at any CDFW license agent, CDFW license sales office or online at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols. For more information, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/share/.
5 — California Fish and Game Commission Marine Resources Committee Meeting, West Ed Building, Ed Meyers Classroom, 4655 Lampson Avenue, Suite A, Los Alamitos (90720), 10 a.m. For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2014/index.aspx.
6 — Mohave Ground Squirrel Lecture presented by Dr. Phil Leitner, 1-3 p.m. in the Natural Resources Building Auditorium, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento (95814). This lecture is part of the Conservation Lecture Series which introduces participants to California’s diverse wildlife. This species was listed as rare under the California Endangered Species Act in 1971 and was then re-designated as threatened in 1984. Mohave ground squirrels are restricted to a small portion of the western Mojave Desert and have a reputation for being hard to find and study. Leitner will describe their annual cycle, food habits, reproduction and dispersal as background to a discussion of conservation strategy. Projected climate change and renewable energy development may affect the western Mojave Desert in ways that will be challenging for this unique California animal. The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan will be critical for its conservation. This free event will also be webcast live. To register, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Lectures. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
7, 8, 9 — Sandhill Crane Festival. Co-sponsored by CDFW, the festival is centered at Hutchins Street Square, 125 S. Hutchins Street, Lodi (95240) with tours embarking to surrounding areas. For more information, please visit www.cranefestival.com/index.php.
8 — Fresno SalmonFest, 11 a.m. Lost Lake Recreation Area, 16385 N. Friant Road, Friant (93626). Co-sponsored by the San Joaquin River Partnership and CDFW, SalmonFest is a celebration of San Joaquin River restoration and offers a chance to learn about the San Joaquin River Restoration Program and experience the river and other activities. For more information, please visit www.fresnosalmonfest.org.
9 — Last day of Recreational Ocean Salmon Season from Horse Mountain to Pigeon Point. Recreational ocean salmon fishing is now closed statewide. For more information, please visit the ocean salmon web page at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp or call the ocean salmon regulations hotline at (707) 576-3429.
10 — Predation on Threatened and/or Endangered Species in the Delta, Sacramento and San Joaquin Watersheds Proposal Solicitation Package Submission Deadline. Applicants must submit their mailed proposals no later than Nov. 10. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Explore/Grant-Opportunities or call (916) 445-0604.
Amargosa voles, small rodents that inhabit rare marshes of the Mojave Desert, have faced dire circumstances in recent years. Loss of habitat, extreme drought and climate change brought this subspecies of the California vole to near extinction, leaving only a few hundred clinging to existence. It is now one of the most critically endangered mammals in North America. Its luck may be changing with the birth of the first set of pups from a new captive breeding program at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
An interdisciplinary research team is working to study the vole and ultimately shore up the population so that it doesn’t go extinct. As part of that effort, the team began a captive breeding program. Ten females and 10 males, all about five weeks of age, were removed from the wild in mid-July and brought to UC Davis.
The research team includes members from UC Davis, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey and UC Berkeley.
In the field, researchers have observed fluctuations in the size of the Amargosa vole population.
“The numbers are at their highest just after breeding in the spring when the vegetation is still good,” said project lead Janet Foley, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “But as the summer wears on and the limited marsh habitat dries up, the population may crash. This year, we saw their main marsh shrinking fast and we knew a large number would die in the coming months. If we wanted to save the species, we had to act quickly.”
During the first few weeks in captivity at Davis, the voles remained quarantined in individual enclosures. They underwent full diagnostic testing for pathogens and genetic analysis to ensure the most diverse breeding pool possible before placed together in breeding pairs.
By October, all three of the pairs produced pups. There are four healthy pups now. Eventually, the animals will be placed outside in large escape-proof tubs in a secure location. The tubs will be planted with bulrush to mimic their native habitat.
Researchers aren’t sure how long it will take the captive population to build. They also hope to learn about optimal breeding conditions – such as food, shelter, length of daylight and temperature – for the voles. Once a few hundred voles have been born in captivity, researchers plan to reintroduce them to the marsh areas in their home range.
“We know the population is already inbred, but we don’t know whether that has affected them as a species,” Foley said. “There’s so much we have yet to learn about this subspecies. This is a great opportunity to understand population genetics, basic ecology and behavior. Previously, we’ve made assumptions about those things, but now we can verify them.”
Taking a toll on the vole
The Amargosa vole (Microtus californicus scirpensis) inhabits sparsely located wetlands just east of Death Valley National Park. Those marsh habitats, which exist only in a few small, isolated patches throughout the desert, are increasingly threatened by drought, climate change and habitat modification by humans. The current drought has likely exacerbated their dire situation. Low water means fewer bulrushes – the wetland plants this subspecies depends heavily upon for habitat and food.
Once thought to be extinct, the Amargosa vole was rediscovered in the late 1970s by a state fish and wildlife biologist. It was listed as an endangered species in 1980 by the state and in 1984 by the federal government. Recent BLM research indicates an 82 percent chance that the species could go extinct within five years if immediate management action is not taken.
In the past few years, the research team has worked to update information about the number of voles and where they live. Researchers have looked at additional factors impacting the Amargosa vole, including infectious diseases, competition with other rodents, predation, and other environmental pressures.
“The commitment and collaboration demonstrated by the inter-agency/academia vole working group is a great example of what can be accomplished in a short time to conserve not only the Amargosa vole, but also its unique desert marsh habitat that other species also depend on,” said program co-lead Deana Clifford, CDFW wildlife veterinarian and assistant clinical professor at UC Davis. “By pooling our resources and working together we can increase the chances that healthy populations of Amargosa voles will persist well into the future.”
Funding for the research and captive breeding colony comes from BLM, CDFW, USFWS and the State Office of Emergency Services (drought funding). UC Davis and CDFW are donating personnel time, and a private landowner has been providing free field housing for the research crews.
About UC Davis
UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.
About the School of Veterinary Medicine
Leading Veterinary Medicine, Addressing Societal Needs: The School of Veterinary Medicine serves the people of California by providing educational, research, clinical service and public service programs of the highest quality to advance the health of animals, people and the environment, and to contribute to the economy. For further information, please visit www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/.
About the California Department of Fish and Wildlife
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife works to manage California’s diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.
Sara Borok, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (707) 822-0330 Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8844
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) projects that the Upper Trinity River anglers will have met their upper Klamath River catch quota of 681 adult fall-run Chinook salmon above Cedar Flat by sundown on Friday, Oct. 24.
Starting Saturday, Oct. 25, 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 Trinity River above Cedar Flat.
The fall-run Chinook salmon quota on the Lower Trinity River is 681 adult Chinook salmon from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar flat. This sub-area quota has not been met yet, and anglers may retain one adult Chinook salmon as part of their three fish daily bag limit.
On Friday, Oct. 24, the Klamath River from the Interstate 5 bridge up to Iron Gate Hatchery reopens to the take of Chinook salmon over 22 inches. The Iron Gate Hatchery has met the 8,000 adult fish number needed for spawning purposes. This means anglers can keep one Chinook over 22 inches as part of the three-fish daily bag limit in this section of the Klamath River.
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 in all areas, 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.