Spring Wildflower Tours Return to Butte County

Media Contacts:
Bruce Forman, CDFW Interpretive Services, (916) 358-2353
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering residents an opportunity to enjoy beautiful vistas and wildflowers with naturalist-led walking tours at North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve.

Wildflower season generally begins in late February and goes into April. Depending on rainfall, wildflowers may be widespread in early May too.

Tours are offered in March and April on Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Each tour features a two and half mile hike over uneven terrain. Dogs are not allowed.

Up to 25 people may register for each timeslot. Online preregistration is required at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/wildflower-tours. Please visit the CDFW website for a full description.

Those unable to register online or needing more information can call CDFW Interpretive Services at (916) 358-2869 or email interpretiveservices@wildlife.ca.gov.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the Wildflower and Nature Festival at Riverbend Park in Oroville on Saturday, April 2, 2016. The many attractions include children’s activities, cooking demonstrations, food and music. Contact Feather River Recreation and Park District at (530) 533-2011 for more information.


Apprentice Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities Available in Butte County

Media Contact: Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
General Inquiries: Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area Office, (530) 982-2169

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering apprentice waterfowl hunting opportunities at the Howard Slough Unit in the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area.

Beginning on Saturday, Dec.19, 2015, the rice blinds will be open to hunters who possess a junior hunting license. These blinds will only available on Wednesday and Saturday from legal shoot time until noon. Permits must be obtained from the check station and returned by 1 p.m.

Apprentice hunters must be accompanied by an adult hunter or non-hunting adult. Only one adult may hunt from the blind. An adult hunter may bring up to two junior license holders. The limit is three persons per blind.

Apprentice rice blinds are filled first by reservations, then by lottery and lastly, on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters without reservations can enter the lottery at the check station the night before the hunt from 6-8 p.m. Reservation can be made online. First-time users will need to register.

All hunters must have a valid California hunting license and harvest improvement program validation. Adult hunters must also have a Type A wildlife area pass, California duck validation and a signed Federal Duck Stamp before entering the field.

Junior license holders do not need a Type A wildlife area pass or California duck validation. Junior license holders who are 16 or older are required to have a signed Federal Duck Stamp.

Licenses, validations and passes are not sold at wildlife areas and must be purchased in advance from a CDFW license agent or a CDFW license sales office.

For more information on these hunting opportunities, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov or call the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area at (530) 982-2169.

CDFW Cites Lobster Poachers in Southern California 

Media Contact: Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-9982

Wildlife officers in Orange County conducted a successful four-day lobster poaching detail over a two weekend period.

Following the season opener in October, public complaints began pouring in to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) poaching hotline about undersized lobster taken from the San Clemente Pier and the Dana Point jetties. The information came from law-abiding lobster anglers who were witnessing the crimes and reporting them through the CalTIP (Californians Turn in Poachers and Polluters) program.

Meticulous planning and coordinated patrol efforts resulted in seventeen citations, with a total of 25 violations found. Charges included possession of undersized lobsters, lobster report card violations, possession of undersized kelp and barred sand bass, and failure to have a lobster measuring device in possession. If convicted, the individuals cited could face up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail for each offense.

The wildlife officers successfully returned a total of 33 illegally harvested undersized lobsters, two kelp bass and three barred sand bass to the ocean.

“Protecting California’s natural resources requires dedication, passion and teamwork,” said CDFW Lieutenant Dave McNair. “Those anglers who came forward and provided information became an integral part of our team. This was a perfect example of how the CalTIP program works.”

CalTIP is a confidential secret witness program that encourages the public to provide wildlife officers with factual information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters. The CalTIP number, (888) 334-2258, is printed on the back of every hunting and fishing license. Tips can also be relayed by text to tip411, which allows the public to text message an anonymous tip to wildlife officers and lets the officers respond back creating an anonymous two-way conversation. Anyone with a cell phone may send an anonymous tip to CDFW by texting “CALTIP”, followed by a space and the message, to 847411 (tip411). There is also an app for smartphones that works similarly. For more information on the program and how to download the new CalTIP app, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip.

Statewide Ban on Bobcat Trapping to Take Effect Friday

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

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds bobcat trappers that beginning Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, recreational and commercial bobcat trapping will no longer be allowed in California.

At a meeting in Fortuna, Calif. on Aug. 5, 2015, the California Fish and Game Commission adopted regulations to ban bobcat trapping statewide. On Nov. 13, 2015, the Office of Administrative Law approved those regulations to be effective Nov. 20.

As a result of the new regulations, related to hunting and trapping of bobcat (Section 478 of Title 14, California Code of Regulations): It shall be unlawful to trap any bobcat, or attempt to do so, or to sell or export any bobcat or part of any bobcat taken in the State of California.

Any holder of a trapping license who traps a bobcat shall immediately release the bobcat to the wild unharmed. Also beginning Friday, Nov. 20, CDFW will no longer mark bobcat pelts for personal use or issue shipping tags for commercial sale of bobcat pelts taken in California.



CDFW to Host Public Meetings Regarding Groundfish Management for 2017-2018

Media Contacts:
Caroline McKnight, CDFW Marine Region, (831) 649-7192
Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191

Vermilion rockfish (CDFW photo by Athena Maguire).
Vermilion rockfish (CDFW photo by Athena Maguire).

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold five public workshops to discuss groundfish management in California. Attendees will hear an overview of recent groundfish management and science developments and then participate in focused stakeholder discussions on potential changes to recreational and commercial fishery management measures for 2017 and 2018. Several new groundfish stock assessments conducted in 2015 show some previously overfished stocks have been restored, possibly allowing for increased fishing opportunities.

The meetings are scheduled from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the following dates/locations:

  • Eureka: Dec. 2, 2015
    Eureka Public Marina, Wharfinger Building, Bay Room
    1 Marina Way, Eureka, CA 95501
  • Fort Bragg: Dec. 3, 2015
    California Fish and Wildlife Office
    32330 North Harbor Drive, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
  • Sausalito: Dec. 9, 2015
    Bay Model Visitor Center
    2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965
  • Monterey: Jan. 6, 2016
    California Fish and Wildlife Office
    20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100, Monterey, CA 93940
  • Los Alamitos: Jan. 7, 2016
    California Fish and Wildlife Office
    4665 Lampson Avenue, Suite C, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

Staff will interact with participants about their preferences for various management measures, including season dates, potential changes to Rockfish Conservation Areas and bag limits – including the possibility of retaining canary rockfish. CDFW is also seeking input on strategies to best minimize interactions with cowcod and yelloweye rockfish, which remain overfished. The public is encouraged to provide input to managers and representatives based on their own personal experience that will assist in the development of groundfish management.

Groundfish fishing regulations are developed through a collaborative regulatory process involving the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the National Marine Fisheries Service, CDFW, other West Coast states, and the California Fish and Game Commission.

Please visit the CDFW website for more details regarding these scheduled public meetings and groundfish management at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Groundfish/2017-2018.

Please visit the PFMC website for more information about the federal regulatory process at www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/current-season-management/.