Tag Archives: Central California

CDFW Asks Trout Anglers to be Mindful During Drought

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is asking trout anglers to be mindful about fishing in the state’s waters and the effects their catch can have on the populations. As the summer progresses, the effects of the current drought on California’s wildlife continue to mount. Aquatic wildlife are especially vulnerable as streamflows decrease and instream water temperatures increase, exposing cold water species such as trout to exceptionally hostile habitat conditions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Because of the lower water levels and accompanying higher water temperatures in many California streams, many trout populations are experiencing added stress, which can affect their growth and survival. Many of California’s wild trout anglers have adopted catch-and-release fishing as their preferred fishing practice. Careful handling of a trout after being caught with artificial lures or flies allows for the possibility of trout being caught additional times.

However, catch-and-release fishing during afternoon and early evening in streams and lakes that have elevated water temperatures may increase stress, hinder survival and increase hooking mortality for released trout.

“Please be mindful of the conditions when you are fishing,” said California’s Wild Trout Program Leader, Roger Bloom. “Afternoon and evening water temperatures may be too warm to ensure the trout being released will survive the added stress of hooking, fighting and sustained exposure to the warmer water that builds up during hot days in summer and fall.”

Some of the state’s finest trout streams have special angling regulations that encourage or require catch-and-release fishing. In waters that may experience elevated daytime water temperatures (greater than 70 degrees Fahrenheit) the best opportunity for anglers to fish would be during the early morning hours after the warm water has cooled overnight and before the heat of the day increases water temperatures.

These low water conditions and warmer water temperatures are happening across the state—from Central Valley rivers flowing below the large foothill reservoirs to mountain streams in Southern California and in both east and west slope Sierra Nevada streams.

“Enjoy California’s outstanding trout fishing and help us to keep wild trout thriving by using good judgment,” said CDFW Fisheries Branch Chief, Stafford Lehr. “Fish earlier and stop earlier in the day during these hot summer days ahead.”

Protective measures for catch-and-release fishing during the drought include:

  • Avoiding fishing during periods when water temperatures exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit (likely afternoon to late evening)
  • Playing hooked trout quickly and avoiding extensive handling of fish
  • Keeping fish fully submerged in water during the release
  • Utilizing a thermometer and checking water temperatures every 15 minutes when temperatures exceed 65 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Stopping angling when captured fish show signs of labored recovery or mortality
  • Utilizing barbless hooks to help facilitate a quick release

Although other states have used temperature triggers to close recreational fisheries, California does not currently have a legal mechanism in place to accomplish that. Historically, CDFW has requested voluntary actions by anglers to avoid catch-and-release fishing in waters like Eagle Lake and the East Walker River during periods of elevated water temperatures. At present there are local angling groups in Truckee encouraging anglers to participate in a volunteer effort to avoid fishing in the afternoon and evening.

As we move through these extreme conditions, CDFW is asking anglers to help protect our state’s native and wild trout resources. Anglers interested in researching local conditions prior to a trip should contact local tackle shops, check online fishing reports or contact a local CDFW regional office. Anglers should also consider using a hand-held or boat-mounted thermometer to assess water temperatures while fishing.

Media Contact:
Roger Bloom, CDFW Heritage and Wild Trout Program, (916) 464-6355
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

120128-F-8708H-0366

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

CDFW Law Enforcement Active at Eastern Sierra Deer Opener

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers contacted more than 800 hunters while patrolling more than 14,000 square miles of Inyo and Mono counties during the deer season opener that started Sept. 20. During the opening weekend, 13 CDFW wildlife officers issued eight citations and 22 warnings.

Violations included hunting deer without a valid deer tag in possession, having loaded guns in a vehicle on a public roadway, overlimits of trout, speeding and driving without insurance.

Officers also conducted a wildlife checkpoint operation to promote safety, education and compliance with law and regulations through education, preventative patrol and enforcement.

On Monday, Sept. 23, the southbound lanes of Highway 395 were reduced to one lane and all vehicles traveling south on U.S. 395 were screened by the CDFW’s law enforcement officers. Screening consisted of an introduction and brief questions. Approximately 2,000 vehicles were contacted. Of those, 262 vehicles submitted to an inspection. A total of four violations were found, including three deer tagging violations, and one angler was found to have an overlimit of trout (32 trout). Several hunters were warned for not fully filling out their Deer Harvest Report Cards.

Average screening took less than 20 seconds per vehicle and the average inspection took about two minutes and 30 seconds per vehicle. If violations were found, the occupants were detained and issued citations.

CDFW also provided informative literature about the invasive quagga mussel and New Zealand mud snail to help reduce the spread of these invasive species.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Bill Daily, CDFW Law Enforcement, (760) 872-7360
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

120128-F-8708H-1031

Special Dove Hunting Opportunity Offered on Cosumnes River Preserve

Dove season is approaching and people seeking hunting opportunities can visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Upland Game Bird Program’s web page. It lists numerous statewide hunts, including the North Central Region’s Cosumnes River Preserve hunt.

Dove season is scheduled Sept. 1 – 15 and Nov. 9 – Dec. 23. Additional information on species and bag limits can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/upland-summary-12-13.html. In CDFW’s North Central Region, which serves Plumas, Sierra, Butte, Glenn, Lake, Colusa, Sutter, Yuba, Nevada, Placer, Yolo, Sacramento, El Dorado, Amador, Alpine, Calaveras and San Joaquin counties, there will be one special hunt opportunity Sept. 1 on the Cosumnes River Preserve located in Sacramento County. Applications and information are available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/uplandgame/gamebird.

Hunters will be selected by a computerized drawing. Applicants must submit an application with their choice of hunts listed in order of reference. Applications may include up to two hunters applying as a party. Hunters may apply only once for each hunt, either as an applicant or as a guest. Submitting multiple applications will result in disqualification.

The purchase of an Upland Game Bird Stamp supports these special hunts and other programs that provide additional upland game bird hunting opportunities. The stamp is required for all upland game bird hunters except apprentice hunters.

Media Contacts:
Sara Holm, CDFW Environmental Scientist, (530) 346-6305
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

Previously Oiled Sea Otter Seen with Second Pup

July 31, 2013
Media Contact:
  Eric Laughlin, OSPR, (916) 214-3279

a sea otter floats in a kelp bed with a newborn pup on her stomach
Olive with her second pup. Colleen Young/CDFW

Olive_pup_nursing_IMG_5665dfg

Facebook followers of “Olive the Oiled Otter” received good news today: Scientists found her with what they believe is her second pup. The birth of Olive’s first pup last fall was a milestone in oiled wildlife rehabilitation as it was the first pup born to a previously oiled sea otter in California.  The birth of this pup further confirms that oiled wildlife can continue contributing to the population after rehabilitation and release.

After a several week hiatus, during which scientists could not locate Olive, she was spotted Tuesday morning clutching a newborn pup, according to CDFW Environmental Scientist Colleen Young, based at CDFW’s Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center in Santa Cruz.

Both mom and pup appeared to be healthy and Olive was observed holding, grooming and nursing her new pup at the Capitola surf spot she’s been known to frequent, known to locals as “The Hook.”

“Olive’s second known pup further demonstrates that formerly oiled wildlife can successfully reproduce, again validating the importance of rehabilitating oiled wildlife,” Young said.

In July 2012 sea otter researchers from CDFW, the U.S. Geological Survey and Monterey Bay Aquarium discovered Olive was pregnant with her first pup when they brought her into a mobile veterinary lab for the first exam since her release. The team determined she was about halfway through a normal pregnancy term. She was given new flipper tags and released back to her capture site.

“Olive,” who was estimated to be a year old at the time of her rescue in February 2009, earned her name during rehabilitation when the staff used olive oil as part of the intensive washing process.

After being rehabilitated, she was released back into the wild on April 7, 2009 and has been monitored since. Most of her sightings have been at the near shore kelp beds off Capitola.

CDFW scientists will continue monitoring Olive and her new pup at a safe distance to document her success in the wild while avoiding disturbance to the new family.

CDFW teams with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the U.S. Geological Survey to study the ecology and population trends of the Southern Sea Otter, which is listed as a federally threatened species. Results of the 2012 sea otter survey listed a population index of 2,792, which represents a very small increase in number and reverses the downward trend of the last few years.

The public has the opportunity to donate to the Sea Otter Tax Check-off Fund to support sea otter research. Donations can be made on line 410 of Californians’ individual income tax returns. For more information on the Sea Otter Tax Check-off Fund visit www.dfg.ca.gov/taxcheck.

Additional information on Olive’s progress and photos are available at www.facebook.com/Olivetheoiledotter. General information on sea otter research is also available at
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/ospr/Science/marine-wildlife-vetcare/index.aspx#.

Photos for media use provided by CDFW:
https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=69797
https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=69798

Video:
http://youtu.be/gQw97SGlnzY

Statewide Dove Hunting Opens Sept. 1

Media Contacts:
Ben Lewis, CDFW Environmental Scientist, (559) 243-4005, ext. 165
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Special Hunting Opportunities Offered In Central Region

Dove season is approaching and people seeking hunting opportunities may visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Upland Game Bird Program’s web page. It lists numerous statewide hunts, including many opportunities in CDFW’s Central Region.

Dove season is from Sept. 1-15 and Nov. 9 – Dec. 23. Additional information on species and bag limits can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations.

In the Central Region, serving Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne counties, there will be five dove hunt sites hosting nine special hunt sessions.

Applications and information are available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/uplandgame/gamebird.

Hunters will be selected by a computerized drawing for one hunt only. Applicants must submit an application with their choice of hunts listed in order of preference. Applications may include up to two hunters applying as a party.

Hunters may apply only once for each hunt, either as an applicant or as a guest. Submitting multiple applications will result in disqualification.

CDFW advises applicants that there are changes for this upcoming season. The North Grasslands Wildlife Area China Island and Salt Slough unit quotas have been reduced to reflect a decrease in food plot acreages.

Additionally, no special draw will occur for the Huron hunt site as a special food plot was not planted.
The purchase of an Upland Game Bird Stamp supports these special hunts and other programs that provide additional upland game bird hunting opportunities. The stamp is required for all upland game bird hunters except apprentice hunters.

Department of Fish and Wildlife Partnering with the International Sportsmen’s Exposition

Media Contacts:
Mark Michilizzi, Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-2084
Carrie Wilson, Office of Communications, (831) 649-7191

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will participate in the annual International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) at Cal Expo in Sacramento from Jan. 10-13. The event is the largest outdoor sportsmen’s show of its kind in northern California.

Fisheries and wildlife scientists and game wardens will be available throughout the show to answer questions from the public and provide information regarding fishing and hunting opportunities throughout the state. A full service license booth will sell licenses, tags and report cards.

CDFW’s wildlife officer recruitment trailer will have information for anyone interested in pursing a career in fish and wildlife enforcement.

In addition, there will a free laser shot game in the trailer.

Wildlife officer K-9 detection teams will also be at the show conducting demonstrations in the Sporting Dog Arena. The demonstrations are scheduled on Jan. 10 from 12:30–1:30 p.m., Jan. 11 from 2:30–3:30 p.m. and Jan. 13 from 10:30–11:30 a.m.

California wildlife officers featured in the popular television series “Wild Justice” on the National Geographic Channel will be on hand for a presentation in the Adventure Theater Jan. 12 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Marina Delucci of Rocklin is the winner of the first CDFW and ISE youth hunter essay contest where contestants submitted an essay, 500 words or less, on what “Passing on the Tradition” means to them. Marina, an 11-year-old fourth generation waterfowl hunter, will be awarded a lifetime hunting license, a signed box set of DVDs of the second and third seasons of “Wild Justice,” and hunting gear and clothing provided courtesy of the CDFW Hunter Education program. Marina will receive her award on Saturday during the “Wild Justice” presentation.

 

Anglers and Divers Can Now Report Harvest Results Online

Anglers and divers can now go online to more easily submit their abalone, lobster, salmon, steelhead and sturgeon report cards required by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). These report cards provide important harvest data critical to helping fishery scientists better manage these fishing programs.

Reporting requirements for anglers and divers have not changed, but this online submission option makes the reporting faster and easier. By providing harvest details more quickly, fisheries managers can more promptly put the information to use.

Standard mail reporting is still available and can be done through the address printed on the report card.

To report online, just go to CDFW’s Online License Service (www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/ols/) page and search for your profile by entering your last name, date of birth and ID Number, which can be a driver’s license number, a GO ID or other form of identification. When the system finds an exact match, it automatically logs the user on to their profile, where he or she can purchase a license or complete a harvest report card.

Confirmation numbers will be provided to those who report online, so there will be no need to mail in the report card. Write the number on the report card and retain it for 90 days for survey purposes. Once a report card has been reported, it is no longer valid.

Please note: The law requires sport fishing report cards be submitted by January 31 even if divers and angers were unsuccessful or did not fish at all. Please refer to your report card for specific reporting requirements. For additional information on harvest reporting requirements, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/harvestreporting/.

Details on specific species and reporting availability online are listed below.

Requirements for online reporting
Complete data is required and must be completed within 20 minutes to avoid a system time out.

Sport fishing report cards may be reported online only after the last day of the report card’s validity. All entries on the report card must be entered onto the electronic form, including activity where no catches were made.

Reporting Availability – You may submit your information online for items below beginning on the specified date. Only the data from 2012 report cards and beyond may be submitted online.

Dec. 1, 2012
Abalone Report Card

Jan. 1, 2013
North Coast Salmon Report Card
Spiny Lobster Report Card
Steelhead Report Card
Sturgeon Fishing Report Card

Fishing harvest and effort data is essential to help scientists better manage these fisheries, which is why anglers are required by regulation to submit sport fishing report cards in a timely manner.

Contacts:
Glenn Underwood, License Program Analyst, (916) 928-6882
Carrie Wilson, Environmental Scientist, (831) 649-7191

Newest Wild Trout Waters Located in Fresno County Wilderness Area

The South Fork San Joaquin River and Sallie Keyes Lakes in Fresno County are the latest waters to be designated as Wild Trout Water in California.

Located approximately 60 miles northeast of Fresno in the John Muir Wilderness Area, the watershed provides anglers a remote wilderness fishing opportunity with the possibility of catching brown, brook, rainbow and golden trout.

The watershed may be difficult to get to, but the scenery is breathtaking and there are opportunities to catch California golden trout, the state freshwater fish, as well as trophy-sized brown trout.

The waters were designated last month by the California Fish and Game Commission. It is the policy of the Commission to designate certain waters to be managed exclusively for wild trout. The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Heritage and Wild Program (HWTP) is responsible for not only managing designated Wild Trout Waters, but also recommending new waters to the Commission each year.

Wild Trout Waters are those that support self-sustaining trout populations, are aesthetically pleasing and environmentally productive, provide adequate catch rates and are open to public angling. Wild Trout Waters may not be stocked with catchable-sized hatchery trout. The HWTP has been conducting an evaluation of the South Fork San Joaquin River watershed since 2007. The evaluation includes  snorkel surveys, angler assessments, habitat evaluations, gill net surveys and a remote infrared camera study.

The designation boundaries include the “South Fork San Joaquin River and all tributaries from Florence Lake upstream to the boundary with Kings Canyon National Park including the Piute Creek drainage (Fresno County).” In addition, “Sallie Keyes Lakes (Fresno County)” are located within this watershed and consist of two lakes situated along the Pacific Crest Trail above 10,000 feet elevation near Selden Pass.

With the inclusion of these waters into the HWTP this year, there are now 44 designated Wild Trout Waters across the state encompassing more than 1400 miles of stream habitat, 11 lakes, and 10 Heritage Trout Waters. For more information on designated waters, please visit us at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildtrout


Media Contacts:

Roger Bloom, DFG Fisheries Branch (916) 464-6355
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944

Updated Guide to Central California Marine Protected Areas Now Available Online

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has released an updated Guide to the Central California Marine Protected Areas. This full-color guide now includes enhanced maps with identifiable landmarks, shoreline boundary images and existing regulations for marine protected areas (MPAs) along the central California coast (Pigeon Point in San Mateo County to Point Conception in Santa Barbara County). Additional information about central California MPAs, answers to frequently asked questions, general rules that apply to all MPAs and links to DFG web pages are also included in the updated guide.

“The public has asked us for assistance in identifying local MPA boundaries on-site and that is just what this enhanced guide provides,” said Paul Hamdorf, Acting DFG Marine Region Manager.

Central California MPAs went into effect on September 22, 2007 after the California Fish and Game Commission adopted regulations earlier that year. This regional network includes 28 MPAs and one State Marine Recreational Management Area,covering approximately 204 square miles of state waters, or 18 percent of the region.

The guide is available for viewing and printing at www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/guidebooks.asp.

For more information on California’s MPA network, including the central California coast, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa.

Contact:
Mary Patyten, DFG Marine Region, (707) 964-5026

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