CDFW To Hold Public Workshop on Lead Bullet Ban Implementation

Media Contact:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

Public Contact:
Katrina Banda, CDFW Inland Desert Region, (909) 466-8462

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public workshop Tuesday, August 19 to discuss the implementation of the lead bullet ban. The workshop will be held at Chaffey College at 9375 Ninth Street in Rancho Cucamonga from 7-8:30 p.m.

A CDFW representative will detail a proposed implementation plan, the PowerPoint is available on the CDFW website. Following the short presentation, interested parties can make comments and provide input that will help shape CDFW’s final recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission, which CDFW anticipates presenting at the Commission’s meeting in Sacramento in September.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 711 requiring that the Commission adopt a regulation to ban lead ammunition 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 now a series of public workshops throughout the state. This is the final workshop in the series. Workshops were held in Ventura in April, Eureka in June, and Redding in July. Others are planned for Sacramento on July 29, San Diego on August 5 and Fresno on August 12. In addition, individuals and organizations may email comments to wildlifemgmt@wildlife.ca.gov (please use “Nonlead implementation” in the subject line) or mail hard copy correspondence to:

CDFW, Wildlife Branch
Attn: Nonlead implementation
1812 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

CDFW Opens Chimineas Unit of Carrizo Plain Ecological Reserve for Apprentice Deer Hunters

Media Contacts:
Robert Stafford, CDFW Environmental Scientist, (805) 528-8670

Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a draw for an apprentice deer hunt on the Chimineas Unit of the Carrizo Plain Ecological Reserve.

The two-day hunt, which is being offered in cooperation with the California Deer Association (CDA), will be held Sept. 13-14 on the 30,000-acre reserve in San Luis Obispo County. A mandatory hunter orientation will be held in the evening on Sept. 12. Overnight lodging will be available at the main ranch house on the ecological reserve on Sept. 12 and 13.

Three apprentice hunters will be chosen by lottery. Selected apprentice hunters must be accompanied by an adult. Participants will receive classroom, range and field training in gun handling techniques and safety, deer hunting and game care. Hunts will be led by CDA volunteers. CDA will also provide breakfast, lunch and dinner on Sept. 13, and breakfast and lunch on Sept. 14.

Applicants must submit a postcard with the hunter’s name, address, telephone number and 2014-2015 junior hunting license number (GO ID number) to:  Chimineas Apprentice Deer Hunt, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 3196 South Higuera Street, Suite A, San Luis Obispo 93401. Only one postcard may be submitted per applicant.

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Aug. 8. Late or incomplete applications will not be entered in the draw. Successful applicants will be notified by phone and will receive additional information, including maps and special regulations, prior to the hunt.

Southern California Man Ordered To Pay $10,000 for Commercial Fishing Violations

Media Contacts:
Capt. Rebecca Hartman, CDFW Law Enforcement, (310) 678-4864
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

A Southern California man was given a stiff fine this week for a series of commercial fishing violations in Los Angeles County.

Adam Crawford James, 32, of Winnetka was sentenced to three years probation and revocation of all California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) licenses for the duration of his sentence. In addition, he was ordered to pay $7,000 to the Fish and Game Preservation Fund and an additional $3,000 to the city of Santa Monica in fines and penalty assessments.

James pleaded no contest to four Fish and Game Code misdemeanor counts, including the illegal take of fish and invertebrates, the take of sea urchin without a permit, failure to obtain a receiver’s license, selling fish to person not licensed as a fish receiver and failure to pay landing taxes.

In 2013, CDFW wildlife officers received information from the CalTIP hotline that James was attempting to sell commercially caught fish to restaurants without a receiver’s license. In California, commercial fishermen are permitted to sell their catch directly to restaurants provided they have a receiver’s license.

CalTIP (Californians Turn In Poachers and Polluters) is a confidential witness program that encourages the public to provide CDFW with factual information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters. The toll free telephone number, (888) 334-2258 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers may remain anonymous.

Joint Release of Federal Recovery Plan for Salmon and Steelhead and Conservation Strategy for California’s Ecosystem Restoration Program

noaa cdfw logos

SACRAMENO, Calif. – NOAA Fisheries and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today jointly released two plans to restore populations of salmon and steelhead in California’s Central Valley: NOAA Fisheries’ Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Plan and CDFW’s Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) Conservation Strategy.

The two plans are complementary in that CDFW’s conservation strategy presents a broader framework for restoring aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems throughout the Central Valley, while the federal recovery plan focuses on the recovery of endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, and threatened Central Valley steelhead.

A shared goal of both plans is to remove these species from federal and state lists of endangered and threatened species. The recovery plan provides a detailed road map for how to reach that goal. It lays out a science-based strategy for recovery and identifies the actions necessary to restore healthy salmon and steelhead populations to the Central Valley.

“Establishing clear priority watersheds, fish populations and actions is essential to achieve recovery,” said Maria Rea, NOAA Fisheries Assistant Regional Administrator for California’s Central Valley Office. “Implementation of this plan will depend on many parties working collaboratively to pool resources, expertise and programs to recover Chinook salmon and steelhead populations that are part of California’s natural heritage.“

Recovery plans required by the Endangered Species Act are guidance documents, not regulatory requirements, and their implementation depends on the voluntary cooperation of multiple stakeholders at the local, regional, state and national levels.

“The Sacramento Valley joins together a world-renowned mosaic of natural abundance: productive farmlands, meandering rivers that provide habitat and feed salmon and steelhead, wildlife refuges and managed wetlands, and cities and rural communities,” said David Guy, President of the Northern California Water Association. “The recovery plan is a positive step forward–through efficient management of the region’s water resources, water suppliers throughout the Sacramento Valley will continue to work with our conservation partners to help implement the recovery plan and improve ecological conditions in the Sacramento River for multiple species and habitat values.”

The ERP conservation strategy was developed by CDFW collaboratively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries to help guide environmental restoration and establish adaptive management to improve restoration success in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its watershed. The approach of conservation strategy is to restore or mimic ecological processes and to improve aquatic and terrestrial habitats to support stable, self-sustaining populations of diverse and valuable species.

“It is critical we make strategic investments in our natural resources,” said Charlton H. Bonham, Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “The funding of these high-priority restoration projects is not only an example of the coordinated effort between state and federal governments, but an example of California’s continued efforts to minimize the effects of drought on fish and wildlife. Central Valley salmon and steelhead deserve nothing less.

California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s 2014-15 budget provided CDFW with $38 million to implement enhanced salmon monitoring, restore sensitive habitat, improve water infrastructure for wildlife refuges, expand the fisheries restoration grant program, and remove barriers for fish passage. Some of that money will be used on projects recommended by the federal recovery plan.

Dick Pool of the Golden Gate Salmon Association said, “We thank and congratulate the scientists of NOAA Fisheries for their outstanding work in developing the Central Valley Recovery Plan. GGSA and the salmon industry particularly appreciate the fact that the plan includes both short range and long range actions that can reverse the serious salmon and steelhead population declines. GGSA has identified a number of the same projects as needing priority action. We also commend the agency for its diligent efforts to engage the other fishery agencies, the water agencies and the salmon stakeholders in the process. We look forward to assisting in finding ways to get the critical projects implemented.”

The federal recovery plan and state conservation strategy work together as a blueprint of how at-risk species can be restored to sustainable levels.Restoring healthy, viable salmon and steelhead runs will preserve and enhance the commercial, recreational and cultural opportunities for future generations. As the fish populations grow and recover, so too will the economic benefits and long-term fishing opportunities for everyone.

“The Recovery Plan provides a clear framework to better coordinate and align restoration projects in the Delta, the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and their tributaries to achieve greater conservation outcomes,” said Jay Ziegler, Director of External Affairs and Policy for The Nature Conservancy. “We are pleased to see the integration of multiple habitat values in the Plan including the importance of expanding lateral river movements to enhance floodplain habitat and recognition of the importance of variable flow regimes to benefit multiple species.”

The development of a recovery plan is an important part in the successful rebuilding of a species because it incorporates information from a multitude of interested parties including scientific researchers, stakeholders and the general public. Since 2007, NOAA Fisheries has held 14 public workshops, produced a draft for public comment, and met with strategic stakeholders to guide the plan’s development and ensure a comprehensive and useful document.

CDFW will be investing considerable resources in improving water conservation on public wildlife refuges in the Central Valley and protecting important salmon stocks that contribute to the state’s fishery. The department has also recently released a restoration grant solicitation which includes salmon and steelhead watersheds in the Central Valley. The solicitation can be found here. Applications are being accepted until August 12, 2014.

More on the NOAA Fisheries Recovery Plan and the CDFW Ecosystem Restoration Program

Contact:
Jim Milbury, NOAA Fisheries Communications, (562) 980-4006
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Communications, (916) 651-7824

Recreational Pacific Halibut Fishery is Closed for the Month of August

Media Contacts:
Melanie Parker, CDFW Marine Region, (831) 649-2814

Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) wants to remind anglers that recreational fishing for Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) is closed for the month of August. The season will reopen on Sept. 1 and run through Oct. 31.halibut photo

When the season reopens, both the daily bag and possession limit of Pacific halibut will be one fish and there will be no minimum size limit.

Pacific halibut fishing regulations are developed through a collaborative regulatory process involving CDFW, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the California Fish and Game Commission, the International Pacific Halibut Commission and other west coast states. For more details regarding Pacific halibut management, please visit the CDFW website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/pacifichalibut.asp.

 

 

CDFW To Hold Public Workshop on Lead Bullet Ban Implementation

Media Contact:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

Public Contact:
Greg Gerstenberg, CDFW Central Region,  (209) 769-1196

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public workshop Tuesday, August 12 to discuss the implementation of the lead bullet ban. The workshop will be held at the Department of General Services Building at 2550 Mariposa Mall in Fresno from 7-8:30p.m.

A CDFW representative will detail a proposed implementation plan, the PowerPoint is available on the CDFW website. Following the short presentation, interested parties can make comments and provide input that will help shape CDFW’s final recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission, which CDFW anticipates presenting at the Commission’s meeting in Sacramento in September.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 711 requiring that the Commission adopt a regulation to ban lead ammunition 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 now a series of public workshops throughout the state. A public workshop was held in Ventura in April, Eureka in June and Redding in July. Others are planned in Sacramento on July 29 and San Diego on August 5. After Fresno, planning is underway for a workshop in Rancho Cucamonga. In addition, individuals and organizations may email comments to wildlifemgmt@wildlife.ca.gov (please use “Nonlead implementation” in the subject line) or mail hard copy correspondence to:

CDFW, Wildlife Branch
Attn: Nonlead implementation
1812 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

 

CDFW to Hold Public Meetings on Proposed Low-Flow Closure of the Russian River

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold two public meetings to discuss the proposed low-flow closure changes to the Russian River and North Central Coast streams.

The first meeting is Wednesday, July 30 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, 5550 Skylane Blvd., Suite A, in Santa Rosa. The second meeting is Thursday, July 31 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Gualala Community Center, 47950 Center St. in Gualala near the intersection of Center Street and South Highway 1.

A CDFW representative will detail the proposed regulation changes. Following the short presentation, interested parties can make comments and provide input that will help shape CDFW’s final recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission, which CDFW anticipates presenting at the Commission’s meeting in Van Nuys in December.

The Russian River and other North Central Coast streams provide critical life-stage habitat for coastal Chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead trout. All three of these species are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Coho salmon is also listed under the California ESA.

CDFW is preparing regulatory changes for Title 14, Chapter 3, Article 4, section 8, part (b) to add low-flow fish restrictions to the Russian River and base the closure of North Central Coast streams on one or more stream gauges on rivers that are more representative of these North Central Coast streams than the current regulated flows of the Russian River. These proposed regulatory actions are based upon fishery impact concerns that have arisen during the past three years of drought conditions. During the past two winters, salmon entering these streams were forced to congregate into the remaining pools below restricted passage areas, and then were subject to heavy angling pressure. In both years the Russian River and North Central Coast streams have dropped to mere trickles, yet have remained open to fishing till an emergency closure was enacted by the Fish and Game Commission in February 2014. This emergency action expired on April 30, 2014.

The two public meetings are being led by CDFW to solicit public comments regarding the regulatory changes that are proposed to protect these ESA-listed fish while still providing sport fishing opportunities. In addition to these public meetings, individuals and organizations may submit comments in writing. The written comments can be sent by email to ryan.watanabe@wildlife.ca.gov, or by mail addressed to CDFW, Bay Delta Region, Attn: Ryan Watanabe, 5355 B Skylane Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

 

Media Contacts:
Ryan Watanabe, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (707) 576-2815
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

CDFW and Partners Raid Santa Cruz County Marijuana Grow

Officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and other agencies arrested two suspects, cut down marijuana plants and removed hazardous materials from a Santa Cruz county waterway on July 15.

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Acting on an anonymous tip on the CalTIP line, wildlife officers — with assistance from CAL FIRE, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department and Santa Cruz County Code Enforcement — raided an illegal marijuana cultivation site in the upper reaches of the south fork of Vicente Creek off Robles Drive near Bonny Doon. The site had been set up on private property without the landowner’s permission and was diverting water from the creek.

Officers arrested two male suspects and cut down and removed 180 fully mature marijuana plants with an approximate value of $360,000. Officers also found and removed several pounds of hashish, fertilizer, dozens of butane canisters used to manufacture concentrated cannabis, and other harmful materials that cause direct damage to the environment of Vicente Creek. CDFW officers conducted a full reclamation of the site.

“These marijuana cultivation sites are not only illegal but the trash left behind causes tremendous damage to the environment,” said CDFW Assistant Chief Brian Naslund. “Our officers are working hard around the state to find and remove these cultivation sites, keep harmful chemicals from entering state waters and ensure public safety.”

Marijuana cultivation is becoming an increasing problem in California as the historic drought wears on.

“Illegal marijuana growers steal substantial amounts of water, exacerbating our severe drought conditions,” said Naslund. “Marijuana plants use six to eight gallons of water per plant, per day, and are a direct hazard to wildlife that eats the plants.”

Law enforcement officials are also concerned that that hikers and walkers could be in danger if they accidentally come across a marijuana cultivation site. Illegal growers often carry weapons.

The suspects were taken into custody and will be charged with multiple violations including streambed alteration, pollution and placement of hazardous materials on the property of another.

The lower Vicente Creek is the southernmost salmon stream in California. It is a historic waterway that supports both anadromous steelhead and endangered Central Coast Coho salmon.

CalTIP (Californians Turn In Poachers and Polluters) is a confidential secret witness program that encourages the public to provide CDFW with factual information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters. If you witness a poaching or polluting incident or any fish and wildlife violation, or have information about such a violation, please call 1-888-DFG-CALTIP (888-334-2258), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Media Contact:
Lt. John Nores, CDFW Enforcement, (408) 591-5174
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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CDFW’s SHARE Program Offers Fall Hunting Opportunities

Contact:
Victoria Barr, SHARE Program Coordinator, (916) 445-4034
Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program will be providing public access for big game and upland game hunts this fall.

Hunters with a valid California hunting license may apply for SHARE hunts through the Automated License Data System (ALDS). An $11.06 non-refundable application fee will be charged for each hunt choice. Successful applicants for each property will be allowed to bring a hunting partner or a non-hunting partner. To apply for these hunts, please go to http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/.

Northern Region
The Willow Foothill property in Siskiyou County will provide opportunities for one A-1 deer and three C-1 deer hunts. The property is located 16 miles north east of Yreka and consists of 640 acres of foothill oak woodlands and vantage points for views of Mt. Shasta and the valley.

South Coast Region
Jones Ranch and Sleepy Creek Ranch in Santa Barbara County will offer hunts for deer, bear, turkey, quail and dove. These remote ranches in West Cuyama Valley encompass 1,000 acres between them and will offer separate hunting opportunities. The terrain features miles of trails through oak savannahs, riparian habitat, juniper-sage woodlands and chaparral. Both ranches back up to 250 acres of Bureau of Land Management land as well as the Los Padres National Forest, providing extra hunting access if needed.

For more information about each SHARE property and the opportunities available please go to http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/share/.

These opportunities were made possible by the SHARE Program, which offers incentives to private landowners who allow wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities on their property. Participating landowners receive liability protection and will receive compensation for providing public access to or through their land for wildlife-dependent recreational activities. The goal of the SHARE Program is to provide additional hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational access on private lands in California.

CDFW Central Region to Hold Public Outreach Meeting Regarding Northern San Joaquin Valley Type A Wildlife Areas

Media Contacts:
Sean Allen, CDFW Central Region, (209) 826-0463
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Central Region is planning a meeting on Aug. 16 in Los Banos to discuss various impacts of the statewide drought on Type A wildlife areas.

CDFW is partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Waterfowl Association, Ducks Unlimited and the Grassland Water District to provide licensed hunters with updates on habitat conditions, availability of water for wetlands and possible impacts to Type A hunting programs on public lands and to allow them to make comments and recommendations. State wildlife areas to be discussed include Mendota, Los Banos, Volta and North Grasslands, including the Salt Slough, China Island, Gadwall and Mud Slough units.

The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Grassland Water District Office, 200 W. Willmott Ave. in Los Banos.

Federal Refuge personnel will be available to speak about the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, including the Lone Tree Unit, and the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, including the San Luis, Kesterson, Blue Goose, Bear Creek and Freitas units. Grassland Water District staff will make a presentation on refuge water supply and impacts to private wetlands within the Grasslands Ecological Area.

According to state law (Fish and Game Code section 1758), CDFW shall annually provide an opportunity for licensed hunters to comment and make recommendations on public hunting programs including anticipated habitat conditions in the hunting areas on Type A and B Wildlife Areas, as defined under the California Fish and Game Commission’s  regulations, through public meetings or other outreach. In complying with this section, CDFW may hold regional meetings on its hunting programs for several different wildlife areas.

Please email Sean Allen (Sean.Allen@Wildlife.ca.gov) if you are planning to attend so that seating arrangements can be made.

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