Tag Archives: Sacramento Valley

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Aug. 28 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $30 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 29 funded projects will provide benefits to fish and wildlife – including some endangered species – while others will provide the public with access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, land owners and the local community. The funds for all these projects come from bond initiatives approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Some of the funded projects include:

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    A $970,000 grant to the City of Red Bluff for a cooperative project with the Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways, to construct a boat launch facility compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act that includes a 2-lane boat ramp, improved parking, a new restroom, picnic areas and pedestrian paths.

  • An $805,000 grant to the California Waterfowl Association to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 226 acres of land for the protection of giant garter snake, Swainson’s hawk, black rails and wetlands near Marysville in Yuba County.
  • A $4.8 million grant to the American River Conservancy to acquire in fee approximately 1,080 acres of land for the protection and preservation of riparian and woodland habitat that includes native fisheries and oak woodlands, and to provide for potential future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities on land fronting the Cosumnes River in El Dorado County.
  • A $10 million grant to Save the Redwoods League for a cooperative project with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Peninsula Open Space Trust, Sempervirens Fund and the State Coastal Conservancy to acquire a forest conservation easement over approximately 8,532 acres of working forest lands, forest reserve areas and habitat linkages near the town of Davenport in Santa Cruz County.
  • A $750,000 grant to the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy and others to acquire in fee approximately 879 acres of land to protect native grasslands, oak woodlands, coastal scrub and wildlife corridors, and to provide the potential for future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities near Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo County.
  • A $1.6 million grant to the Trust for Public Land for a cooperative project with the City of Santa Clarita to acquire approximately 302 acres of land to provide recovery benefits for federally threatened and endangered species and to provide corridors linking separate habitat areas to prevent habitat fragmentation, protect significant natural landscapes and ecosystems and provide the potential for future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities.

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

Yolo County Jury Convicts Sturgeon Poachers

A Yolo County jury convicted a repeat sturgeon poacher and his accomplice of multiple felonies and poaching charges stemming from a 2010 poaching investigation. They were convicted June 19, with sentencing scheduled for Aug. 1.

In Feb. 2010, Nikolay Krasnodemskiy, 41, of North Highlands, and his partner Petr Dyachishin, 54, of Citrus Heights, were observed catching and retaining oversized sturgeon and processing their eggs into caviar. An extensive investigation conducted by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers from the Delta Bay Enhanced Enforcement Project and the Special Operations Unit proved the two were selling the sturgeon and their eggs on the black market for personal profit. Sale of sturgeon, their parts, or any fish caught with a recreational fishing license is illegal.

Krasnodemskiy and Dyachishin were each convicted of two felonies related to conspiracy, in addition to multiple counts of commercial sales of sturgeon, possession of oversized sturgeon, failure to tag sturgeon and possession of sturgeon over the annual limit.

California’s sturgeon population is on the edge of sustaining a recreational fishery. As a result, sturgeon anglers must adhere to strict size, limit and tagging requirements to help wildlife officers distinguish between honest anglers and poachers, and to help CDFW biologists maintain adequate scientific data on the fishery and protect the larger breeding adults.

“Taking these poachers out of business will help ensure a healthy sturgeon population into the future,” said CDFW Captain David Bess, who participated in the investigation.

Nikolay Krasnodemskiy was the subject of multiple sturgeon poaching investigations including Operation Delta Beluga II in 2005, which culminated in a conviction and revocation of his fishing license. Soon after his fishing license was reinstated in 2009, he became the subject of another sturgeon poaching investigation. By Feb. 2010, wildlife officers had observed him continue his sturgeon poaching activities, including commercial sales.

Wildlife officers will seek a permanent revocation of Krasnodemskiy’s fishing license and forfeiture of all fishing gear seized during the investigation.

CDFW appreciates legitimate sturgeon anglers for their patience with sturgeon tagging and recordkeeping requirements, which were integral to making the case as well as the long-term management of the sturgeon fishery. CDFW also thanks the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office for their dedication and successful prosecution of the case.

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

Sacramento Family Faces Felony Charges for Selling Sport Caught Fish

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers arrested a Sacramento family of three early Saturday morning for illegally selling sport-caught fish from the Delta.

Luan Van Dao, 51, his wife Mung Thi Bui, 49, and their son Tuan Anh Dao, 29 were arrested by CDFW officers after more than a month of watching the family fish daily in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and hide their fish in a hidden compartment aboard their boat. The suspects also appeared to have an established network of buyers to whom they would sell fish on a regular basis. In California, commercial fishermen are permitted to sell their catch directly to restaurants, but private or sport-fishing catch is illegal to resell.

Luan Van Dao and Mung Thi Bui were convicted of poaching fish in 2006. During the current investigation Tuan Anh Dao was cited for possession of an oversized sturgeon on Nov. 16.

“Convicted poachers who continue to sell California’s fish and wildlife for personal profit are a wildlife officer’s highest priority,” said CDFW Law Enforcement Division Captain Rudy Arruda. “These poachers are taking away from the legal and legitimate anglers.”

All three suspects face charges of felony conspiracy and illegal sale of sport-caught fish. If convicted the suspects could face jail time, significant fines, loss of their fishing licenses and other penalties. ­

Charges will be filed with the Yolo County District Attorney when the investigation is complete.

Media Advisory: Photos and video can be downloaded at ftp://ftp.dfg.ca.gov/OCEO/ 

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

Packaged fish for sale

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

Join California Department of Fish and Wildlife Natural Resource Volunteer Program in Sacramento

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is recruiting applicants for the Natural Resource Volunteer Program (NRVP) to serve in the Sacramento area. The NRVP provides conservation and enforcement education through public service while providing biological, enforcement and administrative staff support to CDFW.

The next training academy will be held in Sacramento during September 2013.

Graduates will become unpaid, but very fulfilled volunteers for CDFW.

NRVP applicants go through a selection process which includes an initial screening and background check. Selected participants will attend a three-day training academy.  An additional eight-hour training day each month, through the course of a seven-month probationary period, will prepare them for a monthly service commitment of at least 16 hours. Volunteers will work with a trained mentor implementing their newly acquired skills.

Applicants should be teachable, accountable, have basic computer and writing skills and a willingness to talk about conservation principles to the public both in the field and in a class room setting. Applicants must show a desire to work well with others in a team environment to do tasks that free up time for paid CDFW staff.

CDFW Natural Resource Volunteers have no law enforcement authority and are trained to be educational ambassadors for CDFW, donating their time in a variety of areas including responding to human/wildlife incident calls, instructing at NRVP academies, representing CDFW at community outreach events, disseminating useful information to the public, and patrolling CDFW lands, ecological reserves, and inland and coastal fishing areas.

Application deadline is August 19, 2013. Applicants should be submitted as soon as possible. Please contact Lt. Steven Stiehr or Warden Brian Moore at (916) 358-1948 prior to submitting an application.

Media Contact:
Warden Brian Moore, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 358-1948
Lt. Steven Stiehr, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 358-1948

New Sport Ocean Fishing Regulation Changes for 2013

New 2013-2014 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulation booklets are now available at California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) offices and wherever sport fishing licenses are sold. Anglers and divers need to be aware of a number of new fishing regulations that are in effect this year.

Regulation changes include the following: new size and bag limits for kelp bass, sand bass and spotted bass, and new at-sea fillet size requirements for these basses and ocean whitefish. Changes also include new regulations for groundfish (including rockfish), northern California marine protected areas, and sturgeon. Regulation changes are highlighted throughout the booklet for quick reference.

Effective March 1, 2013, new size, bag, and fillet size limits are in effect for kelp bass, sand bass, and spotted sand bass. Bass must now be at least 14 inches total length or 10 inches alternate length (measured from base of foremost spine of dorsal fin to longest tip of tail), and fillets must be at least 7 ½ inches long and retain a 1 inch square patch of skin when filleted at sea. The new bag limit for these basses is five fish in combination.

New marine protected areas (MPAs) are now in effect in northern California, from the California/Oregon border to Alder Creek, near Point Arena. For more information, visit http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa, or the MPA mobile website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/m/MPA, or a northern California CDFW office.

New sturgeon fishing regulations established a new method of measuring sturgeon and a new size limit of 40 to 60 inches fork length (not total length, as before). Barbless hooks are required when fishing for sturgeon and snares are prohibited. Fish longer than 68 inches fork length may not be removed from the water. For more information: https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=58288&inline=1

New seasons, bag and size limits, and species allowed for take have been established for groundfish. For more information: http://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/new-recreational-groundfish-regulations-effective-march-1/

Also effective March 1, 2013, fillets from ocean whitefish filleted at sea must now measure at least 6 ½ inches long, and the entire skin must remain intact.

For the complete set of new and updated ocean sport fishing regulations, CDFW recommends picking up a copy of the new 2013-2014 regulations booklet. Booklets are also available online at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/sportfishing_regs2013.asp.

Media Contacts:
Mary Patyten, Marine Region, (707) 964-5026
Carrie Wilson, Communications, (831) 649-7191

The 2013-14 Freshwater Sports Fishing Regulation Pamphlet Issued

Media Contacts:
Karen Mitchell, Fisheries Branch, (916) 445-0826
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Changes this year include new regulations on sturgeon, salmon and steelhead retention, new areas where hatchery trout or steelhead may be retained, and a black bass slot limit removal on five waters. Regulation changes are highlighted in the front of the pamphlet for quick reference.

New sturgeon fishing regulations establish a new method of measuring sturgeon and a new size limit of 40-60 inches. Barbless hooks are required when fishing for sturgeon and snares are prohibited. Fish longer than 68 inches fork length may not be removed from the water. For more information: https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=58288&inline=1

Salmon and steelhead anglers in inland valley waters can not fillet steelhead or salmon until they reach their permanent residence, a commercial preservation facility or the fish is being prepared for immediate consumption. All steelhead and salmon must remain in such a condition that their species and size can be identified.

Anglers will be allowed to harvest hatchery trout and hatchery steelhead in most catch and release areas under new regulations.

There will be no slot limit regulation for black bass in McClure, Millerton, Oroville, Orr and Siskiyou lakes. The statewide standard daily bag limit and 12-inch minimum total length regulations will apply on these waters.
Other changes include:
• Yellow Perch have been removed from the sunfish bag limit. Yellow perch have a year-round season with no bag limit.
• Spearfishermen will be allowed to harvest striped bass by spearfishing in the Valley District and all of Black Butte Lake will be open to spearfishing.
• Eulachon may not be taken or possessed.
• Wolf Creek (Mono Co.), Chowchilla River, and Eastman Lake will be open to fishing.
• The Sisquoc River will be closed to all fishing all year to protect listed steelhead.
• Silver King Creek tributaries (Alpine Co.) below Tamarack Lake Creek will be closed to all fishing all year to protect threatened Paiute cutthroat trout.
• Davis and Pine creeks in Modoc County will be closed to the harvest of trout. Catch and release fishing is allowed.
• Smith River Low Flow Regulations – The minimum flow trigger on the Smith River has been increased from 400 cubic feet per second to 600 cubic feet per second.
• Eight amphibians and three reptiles have been removed from the list of species authorized for take with a sport fishing license.

There are other changes to the freshwater sport fishing regulations, so please review all of the 2013-2014 regulations pertaining to the species you intend to pursue.

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.

 

Tehama County CDFW Officer Selected as NWFT Wildlife Officer-of-the-Year

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) has selected Wildlife Officer Mitch Carlson as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Wildlife Officer-of-the-Year for 2012.

Every year, NWTF honors a California wildlife officer who serves as an outstanding example of its mission on behalf of wild turkeys, turkey hunting and wildlife conservation. Carlson will now be in the competition for the federation’s national officer of the year award.

Wildlife Officer Carlson patrols northern Tehama County, which is known for healthy turkey populations. During the spring and fall turkey hunting seasons, he devotes much of his patrol time to protecting the resources and has developed an excellent reputation for differentiating between turkey hunters and poachers.

On his own initiative, Carlson in 2012 coordinated and implemented a wildlife habitat restoration project on the Merrill’s Landing Wildlife Area. The 300-acre wildlife area had experienced a massive noxious weed infestation resulting in dramatically reduced habitat quality.

“Waist-high yellow starthistle, a noxious weed, choked off native vegetation and rendered the area almost useless to wildlife,” said Carlson. “Habitat quality, more than anything else, affects wildlife populations.”

In order to complete his vision for a restored wildlife area, Carlson brought together several state and federal agencies, including CDFW, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CAL FIRE, the Tehama County Fish & Game Commission and others to provide labor and funding for the restoration. The ongoing project should be complete by the spring of 2014.

In addition to turkeys, the project will benefit black-tailed deer, waterfowl, song birds, resident upland game birds and various species listed as threatened or endangered such as the elderberry longhorn beetle, western yellow-billed cuckoo, bank swallow and Swainson’s hawk.

Carlson has been a wildlife officer for 11 years and takes pride in the protection of resources and sharing his knowledge, experience, training and education with other wardens by being a firearms and defensive tactics instructor, defensive tactics and firearms committee member, firearms armorer, and TASER instructor.  He is the lead trainer in defensive tactics for CDFW’s Wildlife Officer Academy. He is also an avid turkey hunter in his off-time.

On Jan. 1, 2013 the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) became the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The new name was mandated by AB 2402, which was signed Sept. 25 by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. and is one of numerous provisions passed into law during 2012 that affect the department. Traditionally known as game wardens, the department’s law enforcement staff will now be called wildlife officers

The NWTF is a national nonprofit conservation and hunting organization that, along with its volunteers, partners and sponsors, has worked for the conservation of the wild turkey and preservation of our hunting heritage. When the NWTF was established in 1973, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America and hunting seasons have been established in 49 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico.

Media Contacts:
Wildlife Officer Mark Michilizzi, CDFW Law Enforcement (916) 651-2084

Nimbus Hatchery Fish Ladder to Open Nov. 5

The salmon ladder at Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova will open Nov. 5, signaling the start of the spawning season on the American River. Department of Fish and Game (DFG) hatchery workers will open the gates from the river at 10:30 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.

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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 38 million eggs over the next two months in order to produce an estimated 24 million Chinook salmon for release next spring.

Each hatchery has a viewing area where visitors can watch the spawning process. At Nimbus and Feather River hatcheries, thousands of schoolchildren tour the facilities 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 DFG website at www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Hatcheries/HatList.asp.

Around the state, 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. DFG biologists use the information from the tags to chart their survival, catch and return rates.

Media Contacts:

Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944
Mark Clifford, DFG Hatchery Coordinator, (530) 918-9450