2015 Big Game Digest Now Available Online

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has posted the 2015 Big Game Digest to its website. The 64-page document can be downloaded online for free at www.dfg.ca.gov/publications/digest/.

2015 California Big Game Hunting DigestThe popular guide includes season, quota and harvest information for deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep, as well as tag drawing information, bear and wild pig hunting information and big game hunting regulations for the 2015-16 seasons.

Printed copies of the Big Game Digest will automatically be mailed in late April to hunters who purchased a big game tag or applied for the Big Game Drawing in California in 2014.

“As printing costs continue to rise, more funding for big game conservation will be available if the department reduces printing and mailing costs,” said Dan Yparraguirre, CDFW’s Deputy Director of Wildlife and Fisheries. “Making the Big Game Digest available online also means that hunters can access this information sooner.”

Hunting licenses, tags and drawing applications will be available on April 15. Purchases may be made through the Online License Service, at any CDFW License Sales Office or License Agent, or by telephone at (800) 565-1458. The deadline to apply for the Big Game Drawing is midnight on June 2.

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Media Contact:
Stuart Itoga, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3642
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

April 2015 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

DATE — EVENT

Various Days — Guided Wetland Tours, by Reservation, at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). A wildlife naturalist will lead your group, school or organization through the diverse wetlands of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. General information includes wildlife identification, behavior patterns and conservation efforts. Your experience can be catered to include requested information, along a half-mile walking route. The minimum group size is 18 people. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

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, ages 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, and helping to maintain trails and weeding introduced species. For more information, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html or email www.elkhornslough.org.

1 — Recreational Groundfish season opens for All Boat-based Anglers in the Central Groundfish Management Area (Pigeon Point, San Mateo County to Point Conception, Santa Barbara County) on April 1, 2015. For more information, please visit the Groundfish Central webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/groundfishcentral.

2 — San Diego Area Contingency Plan (ACP) Meeting, 10 a.m., U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services Carlsbad office, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad (92008). Topics will include the status of the ACP revision, recent Sensitive Site Strategy deployments and pollution-response cases. The public is invited to provide ideas for improving the existing area plan. For more information, please contact Kris Wiese at (760) 681-6473 or at kris.wiese@wildlife.ca.gov.

4 — Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Opens from Horse Mountain to the U.S./Mexico Border. For more information, please visit the Ocean Salmon webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429.

4-5 — Spring Turkey Hunt, Little Dry Creek Unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area (95920). The Little Dry Creek Unit is located in southwestern Butte County. Three general parties and one junior/adult party will be drawn through the Upland Game Bird Program Hunt Opportunities. Entry is by special draw only and the deadline for hunt applications was March 18, 2015. For more information, please call (530) 982-2169.

7 — California Fish and Game Commission, Tribal Committee Meeting, Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa (95405), 1 p.m. For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2015/index.aspx.

8-9 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa (95405), 9 a.m. on April 8 and 8 a.m. on April 9. For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2015/index.aspx.

11 — Bolsa Chica Wetland Earth Day Festival, Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, 3482 Warner Ave, Huntington Beach (92648),10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival features educational activity booths, a jump tent and guided nature tours. The free event is co-sponsored by CDFW, the Bolsa Chica Conservancy, Amigos de Bolsa Chica and the Bolsa Chica Land Trust. For more information, please email molly@bolsachica.org.

11 — Trout Fest 2015 at the Moccasin Creek Hatchery, 15300 Highway 49, Moccasin (95347) at the junction of Highway 49 and Highway 120. Trout Fest introduces youths to the basics of trout fishing, as they learn how to tie basic fishing knots, rig a pole, cast, and how to handle, clean and cook trout. Equipment is provided and no outside gear is allowed. Fishing is for those 15 and under. For more information, please call (559) 765-4824, email troutfest@wildlife.ca.gov or visit www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/hatcheries/moccasin/.

11-12 — Spring Turkey Hunt, Howard Slough Unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area (95920). The Howard Slough Unit is located in eastern Glenn County. Three general parties and one junior/adult will be drawn through the Upland Game Bird Program Hunt Opportunities. Entry is by special draw only and the deadline for hunt applications was March 25, 2015. For more information, please call (530) 982-2169.

15 — Recreational Groundfish Season Opens for All Boat-based Anglers in the San Francisco Groundfish Management Area (Point Arena, Mendocino County to Pigeon Point, San Mateo County) on April 15, 2015. For more information, please visit the Groundfish Central webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/groundfishcentral.

18 — Gray Lodge Clean-up and Field Day, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). All are encouraged to participate in various light-duty cleanup projects. The day will be informative and improve the quality of our wildlife habitat. There will be a brief meeting after the field projects to provide an opportunity for comment on the public hunt programs and associated habitat. For more information, please contact Dan Haugh at (916) 871-9000 or dhaugh@calwaterfowl.org.

18-19 — Spring Turkey Hunt, Little Dry Creek Unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area (95920). The Little Dry Creek Unit is located in southwestern Butte County. Three general parties (two persons maximum per party) and one junior/adult party will be drawn through the Upland Game Bird Program Hunt Opportunities. Entry is by special draw only and the deadline for hunt applications was March 25, 2015. For more information, please call (530) 982-2169.

19 — Day at the Docks, Fishermen’s Landing, San Diego (92106), 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. The 36th annual Port of San Diego’s Day at the Docks is the west coast’s largest public celebration of sport fishing. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/DayAtTheDocks.

25-26 — Spring Turkey Hunt, Howard Slough Unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area (95920). The Howard Slough Unit is located in eastern Glenn County. Three general parties (two persons maximum per party) and one junior/adult party will be drawn through the Upland Game Bird Program Hunt Opportunities. Entry is by special draw only and the deadline for hunt applications is April 8, 2015. For more information, please call the Wildlife Area office at (530) 982-2169.

30 — 2014-2015 Full Season Spiny Lobster Report Cards Due. For more information, please visit https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=72059&inline=1.

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

 

CDFW Reminds the Public to Leave Young Wildlife Alone

Media Contacts:
Nicole Carion, CDFW Wildlife Biologist, (530) 357-3986
Carol Singleton, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8962

A fawn waits in the grass for its mother to return.
A fawn waits in the grass for its mother to return. Photo by Tony Attanasio

Spring is a busy time of year for wildlife. Bears, deer, birds and bobcats as well as dozens of other species emerge from winter ready to fill their bellies and raise their young. Because of this increase in wildlife activity, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds people to leave young wildlife alone if they come across them. The improper handling of young wildlife is a problem in California and across the nation, especially in spring.

“Many people don’t realize that it is illegal to keep California native wildlife as pets,” said Nicole Carion, CDFW’s statewide coordinator for wildlife rehabilitation. “Never assume when you see young wildlife alone that they need assistance. Possibly, their mother is simply out foraging for food. If you care, leave them there.”

Healthy fawns may lay or stand quietly by themselves in one location for hours while their mother is away feeding. Once a fawn is removed from its mother, it can lose the ability to survive in the wild. The same danger applies to most animals, including bears, coyotes, raccoons and most birds.

The state’s rehabilitation facilities receive an average of around 400-500 fawns per year from well-meaning members of the public. Many of these fawns were healthy and in no danger, and should not have been disturbed. People can call a rehabilitator, who will determine whether there is a need for a rescue. Rehabilitators are trained to provide care for wild animals so they retain their natural fear of humans and do not become habituated or imprinted.

Dave Cook, a rehabilitator with Sierra Wildlife Rescue in El Dorado County, says his organization receives about 60 fawns a year, mainly between June and July, from people who believe the animals have been orphaned or injured.

“When people call me and say they have an orphaned fawn, I first tell them to monitor it from a distance,” Cook explained. “If it’s crying plaintively that’s a bad sign. If its coat is ungroomed, that’s another sign that it may be an orphan. As a last resort, I ask them to look at its butt. If the butt is clean, it’s likely not an orphan because a doe will meticulously clean the fawn’s bottom after it feeds.”

Cook estimates that over 50 percent of fawns that people report as orphaned are actually not orphans at all. “They look so small and defenseless, almost like someone stepped on them, but this is actually a defense mechanism. They flatten themselves out so that predators won’t detect them,” he said.

Cook explained that fawns can also “play opossum,” going completely limp when someone tries to pick them up. This happened to a family who found a fawn near the American River in Carmichael a few years back. When they picked it up, it went limp and they assumed the fawn had four broken legs, so they took it home and called Sierra Wildlife Rescue. Cook arrived at the home and evaluated the animal, which jumped up and began running around the family room, apparently in perfect health. Fortunately, he was able to return the animal to where it was found and reunite it with its mother. But not all fawns are so lucky.

“I almost always advise that people leave the fawn alone,” he said, “or at least call a wildlife rehabber before intervening. They can help evaluate the situation over the phone or will come out in person to help.”

It’s also important to remember that wild animals carry ticks, fleas and lice, and they can transmit diseases to humans, including rabies and tularemia, so it is best to leave the responsibility for intervention to CDFW personnel or permitted wildlife rehabilitators. In addition, it is illegal to keep orphaned or injured animals for more than 48 hours in California.

To learn more about how to live responsibly with wildlife, including the importance of keeping food and garbage secured and not feeding wild animals, please visit CDFW’s Keep Me Wild website at www.keepmewild.org. For more information on wildlife rehabilitation, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/rehab/facilities.html.

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CDFW Scientists Publish Groundbreaking Work on Marijuana’s Effect on the Environment

Northern California marijuana grow
Northern California marijuana grow

Environmental scientists with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently published a first-of-its-kind study that clearly shows that water used for growing marijuana has a devastating effect on fish in the state.

The study showed that during drought conditions, water demand for marijuana cultivation exceeded stream flow in three of four study watersheds. The resulting paper, entitled “Impacts of Surface Water Diversions for Marijuana Cultivation on Aquatic Habitat in Four Northwestern California Watersheds,” concludes that diminished stream flow from this water-intensive activity is likely to have lethal to sub-lethal effects on state and federally listed salmon and steelhead trout and will cause further decline of sensitive amphibian species.

The study was published online in the scientific journal PLOS One and can be found here.

By using online tools to count marijuana plants and measure greenhouses, and conducting inspections of marijuana cultivation sites with state wildlife officers and local law enforcement, CDFW scientists quantified plant numbers and water use. Utilizing stream flow data provided by staff at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), CDFW determined water demand for cultivation could use more than 100 percent of stream flow during the summer dry season in three of four study watersheds. Stream flow monitoring conducted by CDFW in the summer of 2014 appeared to verify these results.

“All the streams we monitored in watersheds with large scale marijuana cultivation went dry,” said CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Scott Bauer, lead author of the research paper. “The only stream we monitored that didn’t go dry contained no observed marijuana cultivation.”

CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division works closely with dozens of other state and federal agencies to eradicate illegal marijuana grows on public, tribal and private lands as well as protect the state’s natural resources.

“This research paper demonstrates the importance of greater regulatory efforts by state agencies to prevent the extinction of imperiled fisheries resources,” said CDFW Assistant Chief Brian Naslund. “CDFW’s new Watershed Enforcement Team (WET) was created with just that in mind.”

The WET program works with agency partners to protect public trust resources from the negative effects of marijuana cultivation, which include both excessive water use and pollution.

CDFW will continue to monitor the effects of water diversion for marijuana cultivation on stream flow through the summer of 2015.

Some medical marijuana cultivation is legal in California on private lands. Growers must submit a CDFW lake and streambed alteration notification and comply with other applicable laws and regulations. Responsible growers help conserve the state’s natural resources and are less likely to be subject to enforcement action.

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Media Contact:
Scott Bauer, CDFW Watershed Enforcement Team, (707) 441-2011
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

CDFW Launches Online Form for Citizens to Report Incidents of Wildlife Mortality

Californians around the state can now use an online tool to report incidents of fish and wildlife mortality directly to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). By contributing to CDFW’s growing database, citizens can help state environmental scientists gather important information necessary to monitor and evaluate wildlife populations and help prevent and control emerging diseases.

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“The CDFW Wildlife Investigations Lab is asking for this information so we can be one step ahead of a potential disease outbreak or other health concern,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Lora Konde. “If we don’t know about it, we can’t do anything about it.”

CDFW is particularly interested in reports of dead animals with no visible injuries, sick or dead animals in unusual locations and/or more than five sick or dead animals at one location.

There are three ways to submit information:

  • Online: The preferred method is to submit information using the new mortality reporting form found at wildlife.ca.gov/living-with-wildlife. From the “Living with Wildlife” webpage, click on the purple box, “Report Dead Wildlife,” to access the form. The form asks for such information as: observation date, the reporter’s name and contact information, what kind of animal, where the animal was located and estimated mortality date. Photographs may be uploaded as well. The form is meant to be submitted online, but can also be filled out manually, printed and faxed to the Wildlife Investigations Lab at (916) 358-2814.
  • Smartphone: There is not a smartphone “app” available, but the mortality reporting form on the CDFW website is phone-enabled and can be filled out and submitted directly from a smartphone. To access the form, go to the main CDFW website (wildlife.ca.gov) and type “mortality reporting” into the search engine. The first suggested link that appears will redirect you to the form and submission page.
  • Email: Reports can also be sent via email to the Wildlife Investigations Lab email at wilab@wildlife.ca.gov.

CDFW’s database does not include small animals (cats, dogs, skunks, possums, etc.) killed by cars or other mechanical means. These can be reported to the California Roadkill Observation System, www.wildlifecrossing.net/california/. However, please contact your local CDFW office (www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions) if you observe a deer, mountain lion or bear that has been hit by a car.

For health reasons, do not touch a sick, injured or dead animal. If you find an injured or sick animal, you can contact a local licensed wildlife rehabilitation center (www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/wil/rehab/facilities.html) for advice.

Local animal control agencies can also assist with sick animals that may need help or small dead animals that should be removed.

Public contributions to state scientists’ efforts (dubbed “citizen science”) is encouraged and greatly appreciated by CDFW. “When people are going about their daily activities and they keep an eye out in the field for sick or dead animals and take the time to report it to us, it is very helpful. The public’s input is an extra resource to support this monitoring effort and keep wildlife populations healthy,” Konde explained.

Though still relatively new, the online submission feature is already proving to be useful. In January 2015, CDFW began closely monitoring the population of band-tailed pigeons for signs of disease. Many Californians who observed increased numbers of dead birds took the time to share that information with CDFW.

“We were grateful that the public responded enthusiastically and provided us with a lot of useful information through this online reporting method,” said Konde. “This makes the process of gathering data easier and more efficient. The faster we know about an outbreak, the faster we can analyze it and take action.”

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Media Contacts:
Krysta Rogers, CDFW Wildlife Investigations Lab, (916) 358-1662

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988
Kristi Matal, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8911

CDFW’s Deer Conservation and Management Plan Now Available for Public Review

doe in fieldThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has completed its draft Deer Conservation and Management Plan, which is now available for public comment and review. The plan can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/.

CDFW is proposing to develop 10 large-scale deer conservation units, which will assess how recent landscape and environmental changes have impacted deer population and habitat.

The draft plan also covers five important areas: unit plans, population management, habitat conservation, monitoring and outreach. Each unit will prepare separate plans, which will also be available for public comment and review at a future date.

In addition, movement corridors, winter and summer ranges and holding areas will be mapped and used to develop long-term conservation objectives. Areas needing restoration or rehabilitation will also be prioritized in order of importance to conservation and management objectives.

The deadline for comments is April 30, 2015. Interested parties can submit comments via email at DeerPlan@wildlife.ca.gov, or by regular mail sent to Deer Plan, 1812 Ninth St., Sacramento, CA 95811.

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Media Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Stuart Itoga, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3652

Recreational Abalone Season to Open Along Northern California Coast

abalone diver
CDFW photo by Capt. Patrick Foy

California’s popular red abalone sport fishery season will open April 1 in most waters north of San Francisco Bay. However, new regulations effective last year closed parts of Fort Ross State Historical Park to the take of abalone. A map of the closed area can be found online at http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=42101&inline=true.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) also enacted regulations last year that changed the start time from one-half hour before sunrise to 8 a.m. People may travel to fishing locations before 8 a.m. but may not actively search for or take any abalone before that time. The limit on abalone cards was also reduced from 24 to 18, but only a total of nine can be taken from Sonoma and Marin counties.

The changes were made because abalone abundance at eight index sites monitored by CDFW has declined over the years and the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan required a reduction in take. The 8 a.m. start time was proposed by CDFW wildlife officers who were witnessing large numbers of fishermen every low tide, and because it was becoming more difficult to find legal sized abalone (seven inches or greater measured along the longest shell diameter). During the search for legal sized abalone, increasing numbers of undersized abalone were being removed for measurement. It is likely that many abalone do not survive handling. The later start reduces the number of low tide days available for taking abalone, as well as the numbers of abalone taken and the number of undersized abalone killed during the search for legal sized abalone.

A complete list of abalone fishing regulations is available in the 2015 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, which is available wherever fishing licenses are sold or at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/sportfishing_regs2014.asp.

Abalone licenses and report cards may be purchased online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing .

Cards should be returned to CDFW’s Fort Bragg office, 32330 North Harbor Dr., Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554. The return deadline is Jan. 31, 2016 but cards can be submitted early. The licensing webpage linked above also has a tab for reporting abalone catch online which may be done in place of returning the card by mail.

Abalone report cards must be returned even if no abalone were taken or no attempt was made to take abalone.

Abalone cling to rocks, from wave-swept intertidal ledges to deep ocean reefs, where they feed on kelp and other algae. It can take 12 years or more for abalone on the north coast to grow to legal size for harvest and biologists have concerns about the ability of the fishery to sustain current catch rates. Similar to rockfish, abalone are a long-lived species but have generally low rates of reproduction. The last major recruitment event for red abalone occurred more than 25 years ago and recent dive surveys have recorded lower densities of abalone at eight index sites.

Currently, the only ongoing abalone fishery in California is in the northern region of the state, which has remained productive for nearly 60 years. In 2013, the last year numbers are available, the catch estimated from abalone cards and telephone surveys was 230,000. The average catch has been about 254,000 annually for the past 12 years.

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Media Contacts:
Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191

Jerry Kashiwada, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 964-5791

Recreational Ocean Salmon Season to Open South of Horse Mountain on April 4

California’s recreational salmon season will open in ocean waters on Saturday, April 4, 2015, from Horse Mountain (40° 05’ 00” N. latitude) south to the U.S.-Mexico border.Chinook2

The daily bag limit is two Chinook per day and no more than two daily bag limits may be possessed when on land. On a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit.

Between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (38° 57’ 30” N. latitude), the minimum size limit is 20 inches total length. For areas south of Point Arena, the minimum size limit is 24 inches total length.

For anglers fishing north of Point Conception (34° 27’ 00” N. latitude), no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks shall be used, and no more than one rod shall be used per angler when fishing for salmon or fishing from a boat with salmon on board. In addition, barbless circle hooks are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling.

Additional ocean salmon fishing regulations for the 2015 fishing season will be decided next month by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) during its April 11-16 meeting in Rohnert Park, and by the Fish and Game Commission at its April 17 teleconference. Final sport regulations will be published in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) 2015 Supplemental Fishing Regulations booklet, which will be posted online in May at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regulations.

Three alternatives are currently being considered for California’s 2015 commercial and recreational ocean salmon regulations, including season dates, size limits, bag limits and quotas. The public is encouraged to comment on any of the proposed alternatives, which can be found at the PFMC website at http://goo.gl/OEmIuR.

CDFW reminds anglers that retention of coho salmon is prohibited in all ocean fisheries. For complete ocean salmon regulations in effect during April, please visit CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429.

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Media Contacts:
Jennifer Simon, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 576-2878

Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191

Spring Turkey Season Opener Approaches

California’s 2015 general spring wild turkey hunting season opens statewide on March 28 and extends through May 3, with the archery season extending through May 17.Spring turkey and hunter

Hunters who have a current junior hunting license may also hunt the weekend before the opener, (March 21 and 22), and the two weeks after the general season (through May 17), using shotguns or any other legal method of take.

Please note that the season is closed to all hunters from March 23 to March 27.

Shooting hours for spring turkeys are from one-half hour before sunrise to 4 p.m. Both a hunting license and upland game bird stamp are required to hunt turkeys, although an upland stamp is not required for hunters with junior licenses. The bag limit is one bearded turkey per day and no more than a total of three turkeys during all seasons (general, archery and junior) combined.

The statewide population of wild turkeys is estimated at 240,000 birds. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) estimates about 36,000 hunters bag about 28,000 turkeys in the spring season each year statewide. Wild turkeys are found in most counties in California, with the top 10 for spring harvest being Shasta, Butte, Placer, El Dorado, Tehama, Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada and Lake counties.

For places to hunt turkeys and additional tips and information, hunters should refer to the “Guide to Hunting Wild Turkeys in California” on CDFW’s upland game hunting webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/uplandgame/.

Hunters are also encouraged to check CDFW’s special hunts website for more information at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/DFGSpecialHunts/Default.aspx.

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Media Contacts:
Scott Gardner, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 801-6257
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

You Can Help Something Wild When You File!

There’s still time to help endangered species on your California income tax return, if you haven’t yet filed it. Near the end of Form 540 there is a section called Voluntary Contributions where you can donate one dollar or more to the Rare and Endangered Species Fund (line 403) and/or the California Sea Otter Fund (line 410). If you itemize deductions, the amount you donate this year will be tax-deductible next year.

With more than 200 species of plants and 80 species of California’s animals listed as rare, threatened or endangered, a great deal of work is needed to recover them. Donations on Line 403 help pay for essential California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) research and recovery efforts for these plants and animals, and critical efforts to restore and conserve their habitat.

Tiburon mariposa lily, California tiger salamander, giant garter snake, yellow-billed cuckoo and island fox are among the species CDFW is currently working on to ensure they survive well into the future.

California’s southern sea otter population remains below 3,000, so Enhydra lutris is still a fully protected species under state law and listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Donations to the California Sea Otter Fund on line 410 support research by CDFW scientists, who are currently studying 15 years of sea otter mortality information and recently discovered viruses not previously known in this species. These studies should help us better understand the causes of mortality and contribute to population recovery efforts.

If someone else prepares your state tax return, please let him or her know you want to donate to the California Sea Otter Fund on line 410 or the Rare and Endangered Species Protection Program on line 403. If you use Turbo Tax, when you’re near the end of your tax return it should ask if you want to make a voluntary contribution to a special fund. Click “Yes” and go to lines 403 and 410.

CDFW scientists work with their counterparts in other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and the private sector to achieve important recovery milestones to conserve vulnerable species, thanks to California taxpayers like you. More information about how CDFW uses funds in the Rare and Endangered Species Protection and Sea Otter programs is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Tax-Donation and www.facebook.com/SeaOtterFundCDFW.

Media Contacts:
Laird Henkel, CDFW Sea Otter Program, (831) 469-1726
Esther Burkett, CDFW Nongame Wildlife Program, (916) 531-1594
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

California Department of Fish and Wildlife News

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