DFG Offers One-day Turkey Hunting Clinic in February

Media Contacts:
Lt. Dan Lehman, DFG Advanced Hunter Education Program Coordinator, (916) 358-4356
Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8988
 
The Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Advanced Hunter Education Program is offering a turkey hunting clinic Feb. 18 at Tejon Ranch in Kern County. Jointly sponsored by DFG, the Hunter Education Instructor Association of Southern California and Tejon Ranch, this clinic is open to hunters of all ages and skill levels.

turkey in field
Photo courtesty of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
 
Experienced instructor and longtime turkey hunter Dave Holbrock will lead this exciting clinic. Topics to be covered include decoy placement, blind design, ballistics, calling, equipment, game care and cleaning, cooking tips and safety. 
 
The clinic starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. The cost is $45 and space is limited. Youths 16 years and younger are free but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. DFG’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment.
 
Registration forms are available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/advanced/index.aspx. After registering, participants will receive an e-mail with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring. 
 
Tejon Ranch is located along Interstate 5, approximately 30 miles south of Bakersfield and 60 miles north of Los Angeles.  

Steelhead Report Cards Due by Jan. 31, 2012

Media Contacts:
Farhat Bajjaliya, DFG Fisheries Branch, (916) 327-8855
Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8988

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) reminds anglers that they are required to return their 2011 Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Cards between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31. Anglers are requested to review their cards carefully and complete the information as accurately as possible. Information collected from report cards provides DFG with data necessary to monitor and manage California’s steelhead fisheries.

The Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card is a fishing report as well as a catch report. Steelhead anglers record where and when they fished, even if no fish were caught on a given trip. Anglers are encouraged to submit steelhead report card data online at www.dfg.ca.gov/steelheadcard, but report cards can still be submitted by mail. Information must be submitted regardless of whether or not the angler fished for steelhead.

Those who did not fish for steelhead in 2011 are asked to select the “did not fish” option online or write “did not fish” on the card.

Additional information and a list of frequently asked questions about the program can be found on DFG’s Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card Program webpage, www.dfg.ca.gov/steelheadcard. Also on the webpage is “A Report to the Legislature (July 2007)” that includes an overview of steelhead biology and statewide status, projects funded with steelhead angler dollars, angling data, and monthly angling effort and monthly catch for a majority of California’s streams. Anglers may download a copy or they can request one be mailed to them when they return their Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card.

Anglers who wish to return their Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Cards by mail should send them to:

DFG – Steelhead Fishing Report Card
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento,CA  94244-2090

DFG Wardens, State Park Rangers Compete to Collect Wagons for Hospitalized Kids

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-944
Kyle Chang, DFG Law Enforcement, (951) 897-6193
Roy Stearns, California State Parks, (916) 799-1036 

This December, Department of Fish and Game (DFG) wardens and State Parks rangers waged a friendly competition to collect red wagons for hospitalized children in Riverside. On Thursday, Dec. 22, the wardens, rangers and staff members from the two departments together delivered 44 wagons, several toys and a $100 check to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.

Helping the lead the donation drive was DFG Warden Kyle Chang, whose son was hospitalized for more than a week this year. 

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“When I was with my son Kingston at Loma Linda, I watched parents tow their kids and their oxygen bottles around the hospital in these wagons,” said Warden Chang. “I asked the staff in children’s recovery how many wagons they get, and the answer was ‘not enough.’”

Chang challenged the local State Park rangers to help in their quest to collect wagons to donate to the hospital. They came through, donating 18 wagons and $2,200 in game consoles, video games and toys.

State Parks came out on top with more wagons and total donations, but wardens say they are up for the challenge next year.

“Although we lost our friendly competition, the hospital and children won by the generosity of those who donated,” said Chang.

Warden Chang built a wagon trophy that Parks will keep for the year, but DFG wardens will be looking to increase their generosity and win it back in 2012.

Endangered Delta Smelt Population Improves

Media Contacts:
Marty Gingras, DFG Biologist, (209) 948-3702
Jordan Traverso, DFG Communications, (916) 654-9937

Endangered Delta Smelt Population Improves

Delta smelt abundance in 2011 is greater than it has been since 2001 but remains a small fraction of historical abundance, state biologists say. The improvement is likely due in large part to higher than usual Delta outflow which resulted in more and better habitat.

Because it is exceptionally difficult to determine the actual number of Delta smelt, Department of Fish and Game (DFG) biologists use survey data to develop “indices” of the species’ abundance. An index is a number that is likely to vary in direct proportion to abundance. For example, if a hypothetical index were to double from 4 to 8 then abundance would also have doubled (e.g., from 200,000 to 400,000).

The Fall Midwater Trawl Survey index of Delta smelt abundance — which has been developed almost yearly since 1967 and is named after the season and type of net used to collect fish for the index – was 343 this year while the index in 2010 was 29 and its record high was 1673 in 1970. After a decade of record or near-record low annual abundance, the increased number of Delta smelt in 2011 is encouraging.

To help protect and recover Delta smelt, DFG monitors the geographic distribution and trends in the abundance of Delta smelt during each of its life stages. In January, DFG will begin monitoring the spawning migration of adult Delta smelt and resulting larval Delta smelt.

Delta smelt occur only in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The finger-sized fish was historically one of the most abundant in the Delta, but the species declined substantially and was listed as threatened under the California and Federal Endangered Species acts (ESA) in 1993. After a further decline, the species was designated as endangered in 2010 under the California ESA.

Ongoing efforts to protect and recover the Delta smelt population include research on threats to the species, active management to minimize loss at water diversions under federal ESA biological opinions and a state ESA authorization, development of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, improved water quality, habitat restoration and conservation of genetic diversity through special hatchery-rearing techniques.

Longfin smelt abundance is also indexed using Fall Midwater Trawl Survey data. Abundance of the species in 2011 is greater than it has been since 2006 but remains a small fraction of historical abundance. The species declined substantially and was listed as threatened under the California ESA in 2010.

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Department of Fish and Game Casts Holiday Present To Anglers

Media Contacts:
Ethan Rotman, DFG Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5501
Eric Larson, DFG Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5528
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944

Stocked Lakes and DFG’s License Vouchers Make the Perfect Gift

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is providing supplemental fish stocking at several Bay Area lakes for the holiday season. Approximately 23,000 pounds of fish will be planted in 21 lakes around the bay area this month. Planting started this week for about 21,000 pounds of rainbow trout, many up to one pound per fish, and 2,000 pounds of catfish up to one and a half pounds each.

“The holiday season is a time for family and friends to connect and spend quality time together, and there’s no better way to do this than the time-honored tradition of fishing,” said Carl Wilcox, Regional Manager for DFG’s Bay Delta Region. “DFG has made it even easier to buy a license for yourself or someone else with our Automated License Data System. With the lakes stocked and your license just a mouse click away, all that’s left to do is show up and enjoy yourself.”

A fishing license is required of all anglers age 16 or older and all fishing regulations apply. Some lakes may also require a daily fishing permit. Annual licenses and gift vouchers can be purchased online at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/onlinesales.

The enhanced stocking is coordinated through DFG’s Fishing in the City Program, utilizing trout produced by DFG hatcheries and an additional supply of trout and catfish procured from private vendors through program resources.

Since 1993, the Fishing in the City program has supported opportunities for fishing near where people live and work. This is accomplished through fish stocking, habitat improvement and learn-to-fish clinics for youth. The program is funded through the Sportfish Restoration Fund, an excise tax on the sale of fishing tackle and motor boat fuel. DFG trout hatcheries receive funding from the sales of sport fishing licenses.

The following lakes will be stocked as a part of this special program. (Listings include county, lake and number of pounds planted).

Holiday Fish Plant Schedule

Week of December 12, 2011

  • Bon Tempe Reservoir, Marin County, 2,000 pounds of rainbow trout
  • Campbell Percolation Ponds, Santa Clara County, 700 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Contra Loma, Contra Costa County, 500 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Heather Farms, Contra Costa County, 500 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Hidden Valley Lakes, Contra Costa County, 500 pounds of rainbow trout
  • Lafayette Reservoir, Contra Costa County, 500 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Lake Chabot, Solano County, 500 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Lake Cunningham, Santa Clara County, 600 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Lake Lagunitas, Marin County, 1,000 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Lake Merced, north, San Francisco, 500 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Pinto Lake, Monterey County 4,000 lbs of rainbow trout

Week of December 19, 2011

  • Bon Tempe Reservoir, 500 pounds of rainbow trout
  • Campbell Percolation Ponds, Santa Clara County, 500 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Heather Farms, Contra Costa County, 500 lbs of catfish
  • Hidden Valley Lakes, Contra Costa County, 500 pounds of catfish
  • Lafayette Reservoir, Contra Costa County, 1,000 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Lake Cunningham, Santa Clara County, 500 lbs of catfish
  • Lake Cunningham, Santa Clara County, 750 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Lake Elizabeth, Alameda County, 500 pounds of rainbow trout
  • Lake Ralphine, Sonoma County, 300 pounds of rainbow trout
  • Lake Temescal, Alameda County, 250 pounds of  catfish
  • Lake Temescal, Alameda County, 400 pounds of rainbow trout
  • Lakeshore Park, Alameda County, 250 pounds of catfish
  • Lakeshore Park, Alameda County, 500 pounds of rainbow trout
  • Pinto Lake, Monterey County 1,000 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Sandy Wool Reservoir, Santa Clara County, 750 pounds of rainbow trout

Week of December 26, 2011

  • Campbell Percolation Ponds, Santa Clara County, 500 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Horseshoe Lake (Quarry), 500 pounds of rainbow trout
  • Lake Chabot, Solano County, 500 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Lake Merced nNorth, San Francisco, 500 lbs of rainbow trout
  • Lake Raphine, Sonoma County, 750 pounds rainbow trout
  • Shadow Cliffs, Alameda County, 500 pounds of rainbow trout
  • Spring Valley Pond, Santa Clara County, 250 pounds of rainbow trout

All plants subject to change without notice.

For more information, visit the Fishing in the City web site at www.fishinginthecity.org.

For an up-to-date list of fish plants, visit www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/hatcheries/fishplanting/baydelta.asp.

For a list of fish planting locations for your mobile device, visit www.dfg.ca.gov/m/fishplantings/selectweek.