Boy with decoys at sunrise

January 2021 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, waterfowl, turkey and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $12.14 non-refundable application fee is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

1 — Recreational Groundfish Fishery for Boat-based Anglers Closed. Species include rockfish, cabezon, kelp and rock greenlings, lingcod, leopard shark, soupfin shark and spiny dogfish, and other federally managed groundfish. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/groundfish-summary.

2 — White and White-fronted Goose Season Opens in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

7 — “Humbled: How California’s Monterey Bay Escaped Industrial Ruin” Virtual Event, 5:30 to 7 p.m. In their book, “Humbled: How California’s Monterey Bay Escaped Industrial Ruin,” local authors Glenn Church and Kathryn McKenzie recount the story of a divided community, an emerging environmental movement and the twists and turns that eventually dismantled plans for a vast industrial complex. Hear from the authors and learn about this pivotal event in California’s history of conservation. Hosted by the Elkhorn Slough Reserve, this event is free and available to stream live via Facebook and Zoom. For more information and to view the program, please visit www.facebook.com/events/801486314032275.

10 — Canada Goose Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

12— California Fish and Game Commission Meeting. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2021.

12—California Fish and Game Wildlife Resources Committee Meeting. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2021.

13 — Duck Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

15 — White Geese and White-fronted Goose Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

31 — Duck and Goose Season Closes in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

31 — Duck and Goose Season Closes in the Colorado River, Southern San Joaquin and Southern California Zones. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

31 — Deer Tag Reporting Deadline. Deer tag holders must submit a harvest report for any 2020 deer tag by the Jan. 31, 2021 deadline. All tag holders must report even if they did not hunt, or they hunted unsuccessfully. Tag holders who do not report by this deadline will be charged a $21.60 non-reporting penalty fee when purchasing a 2021 deer tag drawing application or deer tag. To report your harvest online, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/hunting#9941260-tag-reporting.

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Media Contacts:
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 804-1714

Black bear cub in rehab

California Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers Receive Financial Support from the State

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is directing approximately $550,000 in grant funding to 45 nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation organizations to immediately support care for injured, sick and orphaned wildlife. The funds are made available from taxpayer contributions to the Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund.

“California’s injured, sick and orphaned native wildlife need our help now more than ever,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We are proud to quickly make funds available to help these important partner organizations operate during difficult economic times.”

In 2017, Assemblymember Marie Waldron’s Assembly Bill 1031 created the Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund on the state’s income tax form, and thanks to taxpayers’ generosity, more than $820,000 has been donated as of October 2020.

“I am so pleased these organizations will receive the funding they desperately deserve,” Waldron said. “Without them, California’s wildlife would suffer, which would mean we all suffer.  I’m honored to have played a role in conserving California’s abundant natural beauty.”

In 2019, these 45 organizations collectively cared for nearly 112,000 orphaned or injured wild animals, including bats, opossums, skunks, raptors, reptiles, foxes, songbirds, fawns, sea birds, coyotes, bears and many other native species.

CDFW acted swiftly to stand up the new competitive grant program to support and advance the recovery and rehabilitation of injured, sick or orphaned wildlife and conservation education. Funds may be used to support activities such as operations and ongoing facility needs, innovation in animal care (e.g., wildlife rehabilitation techniques, enclosure designs, diet and behavioral enrichment), post-release monitoring and conservation education for the public.

“The California wildlife rehabilitation community is incredibly grateful for this much-needed support,” said Rachel Avilla, president of the California Council for Wildlife Rehabilitators Board of Directors. “While 2020 has certainly taken its toll on many small organizations, our commitment to helping wildlife remains strong as injured and orphaned animals continue to need our help daily. We want to thank Assemblymember Waldron and her team for pushing this landmark legislation through and CDFW for being an excellent ally. We are profoundly grateful for their continued collaboration and support to help care for California’s precious wildlife.”

Consistent with the legislation, eligible organizations were required to document their status as a nonprofit organization that operates a permitted wildlife rehabilitation facility, complies with all conditions of its Wildlife Rehabilitation Memorandum of Understanding, and maintains active participation in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Medical Database.

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Media Contact:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 591-0140

Chinook Salmon

CDFW Awards $10.7 Million for Fisheries Habitat Restoration Program Projects

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 27 projects that will receive funding for the restoration, enhancement and protection of anadromous salmonid habitat in California watersheds.

The grants, which total $10.7 million, were awarded through CDFW’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP). Established in 1981, FRGP has included funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund since 2000. The federal fund was established by Congress in 2000 to reverse the declines of Pacific salmon and steelhead throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

“The ongoing momentum to restore California’s habitat for these historic species hasn’t stopped as we face a global pandemic and devastating wildfires,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “Awarding these projects highlights the resilience, passion and vision for salmon recovery by our state’s restoration community, for which we are grateful.”

In response to the 2020 Fisheries Habitat Restoration Grant Solicitation, CDFW received 80 proposals requesting more than $40.6 million in funding. As part of the competitive grant program, proposals underwent a rigorous technical review by CDFW and NOAA scientists.

The 27 approved projects will further the objectives of state and federal fisheries recovery plans, including removing barriers to fish migration, restoring riparian habitat, monitoring of listed populations, and creating a more resilient and sustainably managed water resources system (e.g., water supply, water quality and habitat) that can better withstand drought conditions. These projects further the goals of California’s Water Action Plan and CDFW’s State Wildlife Action Plan, as well as addressing limiting factors specified in state and federal recovery plans.

The list of approved projects is available on the FRGP website.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 216-7848
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 804-1714

Commercial Dungeness Crab Update

The commercial Dungeness crab season in the central management area, Point Arena to the Mexico border, will continue to be delayed due to the presence of whales within fishing grounds and the potential for entanglement. The commercial Dungeness crab season in the northern management area was scheduled to open Sunday, Dec. 1, but was delayed until at least Wednesday, Dec. 16 due to low meat quality. Meat quality testing and delays are a long-standing tri-state industry supported component of the season opener to ensure high quality crab at the start of the fisheries in northern California, Oregon and Washington. In early December, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director will re-assess entanglement risk in the central management area and evaluate risk in the northern management area to inform the season opener for both areas.

CDFW in partnership with researchers, federal agencies and the fishing industry has conducted surveys from the Oregon state line to the Channel Islands to observe marine life concentrations. CDFW has conducted five aerial surveys since late October and more than 10 vessel-based surveys have been conducted by researchers and the fishing industry. Additional sources of data include observations from a network of observers spread across three national marine sanctuaries.

Based on those data sources, “CDFW, after consulting with the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, is enacting a delay in the central management area,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “Available data indicates the whales still remain in the fishing grounds. This risk assessment focused on the central management area because the northern management area was already delayed due to low meat quality. CDFW staff, collaborators and partners have scheduled additional surveys in the next few weeks that, weather permitting, are anticipated to provide the data necessary to reassess whale presence. Our hope is both quality testing and additional marine life survey data will support a unified statewide opener on Dec. 16, just in time to have crab for the holidays and New Year.”

CDFW is planning additional aerial surveys for the first week of December to inform a risk assessment in advance of Dec. 16. When the data indicates the whales have migrated out of the fishing grounds, CDFW stands ready to open the commercial season.

For more information related to the risk assessment process or this delay, please visit CDFW’s Whale Safe Fisheries page.

For more information on Dungeness crab, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/crab.

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Media Contacts:
Ryan Bartling, CDFW Marine Region, (415) 761-1843
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

Angler casting a line on the water

2021 Fishing Licenses and Related Items Now Available for Sale

New This Year: Anglers Can Choose to Auto-Renew Sport Fishing Licenses

California anglers can now purchase 2021 fishing licenses and related items directly through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website or authorized license agents. (Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, license sales counters at CDFW offices remain temporarily closed to the public.)

The cost of a 2021 annual resident fishing license has been set at $52.66, while a one-day license will cost $17.02.

For the first time, anglers have the option to sign up for auto-renewal of their annual sport fishing licenses, report cards and validations.

“More than a million anglers purchase annual licenses to fish California waters and for many of them, this will be a welcome feature,” said Josh Morgan, chief of CDFW’s License and Revenue Branch. “Signing up for auto-renewal helps ensure that you won’t end up on the water with an expired license.”

Anglers must enroll in the auto-renewal program through CDFW’s online sales website. License agents cannot enroll customers in the auto-renewal program, but customers who make purchases in person from license agents can go online later and enroll themselves.

Not all CDFW products for sale are eligible for auto-renewal at this time, although the feature will be expanded to other items in the future. For more information and a complete list of items available for auto-renewal, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions about auto-renewal on CDFW’s website.

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Media Contact:
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 804-1714