All posts by kmacinty

CDFW Launches Electronic Reporting System for Commercial Fish Landings

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces the availability of E-tix, a new electronic reporting system for commercial fishery landings that came online July 1, 2018. With the cooperation of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), the E-tix application has been adapted to allow electronic reporting of all California landing records.

Since 1933, CDFW has relied on paper landing receipts that over the years expanded to 16 different paper forms. CDFW staff have been responsible for manually entering the data and managing it in data systems that have evolved over the decades. Using E-Tix allows fish receivers to record both federal and state fisheries landings through one application.

Electronic reporting using E-tix has been required for all federal sablefish landings since 2017 and Individual Fishery Quota trawl fisheries landings since 2011.

Between November 2016 and October 2017, CDFW worked with fish businesses and the California Fish and Game Commission to propose and adopt electronic reporting regulations. The regulations allow for voluntary use of the E-tix system to report landings during a one-year transition period, allowing fish receivers to adapt business practices from the old paper system to E-tix. Approximately 74 percent of respondents to a December 2016 survey said one year or less was adequate for this transition. Effective July 1, 2019 all commercial fishery landings must be recorded and submitted electronically using E-Tix (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 197).

In addition, CDFW’s Data and Technology Division is in the process of replacing the outdated Commercial Fisheries Information System to house and manage the landings data with a new, modern Marine Landings Data System. All data submitted using PSMFC’s E-Tix will be automatically transferred to CDFW’s Marine Landings Data System nightly.

CDFW encourages all fish receivers and fishermen with a fishermen’s retail license to begin using E-Tix well in advance of the mandatory electronic reporting date of July 1, 2019.

The E-Tix Login can be found at etix.psmfc.org/Account/Login. Resources to assist in this transition are available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Commercial/Landing-Resources.

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Media Contacts:
Katie Perry, CDFW Marine Region, (916) 445-6456
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

Succulent Plant Poachers Convicted in Humboldt County

Three defendants in a succulent plant poaching case out of Humboldt County have each pled guilty to two felonies and other misdemeanor charges, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office announced. Felony convictions included conspiracy and false filings with the government, and misdemeanor convictions included removal of plant material from public lands and commercial sales of plants removed from public lands.

The succulent plants at the center of the investigation are called Dudleyas. They grow in unique niches close to the coastline, typically on cliffsides immediately adjacent to the water. The poachers had a network of buyers in Korea and China, where Dudleya are valued as a trendy houseplant.

Removal of Dudleya, or any vegetation in sensitive habitat, can result in environmental degradation of habitat and a destabilization of bluffs and cliffs on the coastline. Some Dudleya species are rare or at risk of extinction.

Wildlife officers worked extensively with allied law enforcement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Postal Service inspectors to track down and collect evidence of poaching the succulent plants for sale overseas. During the investigation, wildlife officers witnessed the three removing plants from coastal bluffs in the Humboldt Lagoons State Park. On April 4, officers found the trio in possession of 2,300 Dudleya plants and more than $10,200 in cash.

All three defendants were foreign nationals. Liu Fengxia, 37, of China, and Tae-Hun Kim, 52, and Tae-Hyun Kim, 46, both from Korea, were handed a sentence of three years and eight months in state prison and a $10,000 fine each. Judge John T. Feeney suspended the prison sentences with the conditions that the defendants are prohibited from entering the United States without prior authorization of the federal government and state courts, and prohibited from entering any local, state or national park.

In addition to the fines, the defendants will also forfeit the $10,200 to CDFW as restitution. These funds will be used specifically for the conservation of Dudleya on public lands in Humboldt County.

“Together with prosecuting Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, we hope this conviction and sentencing will send a message to those who may consider poaching California’s precious natural resources to sell overseas for personal profit,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of Law Enforcement.

The case developed from a tip from a member of the public who saw something amiss. Anyone who believes they are witness to unlawful poaching or pollution activity is encouraged to call CalTIP, CDFW’s confidential secret witness program, at (888) 334-2258 or send a text with the tip411 app. Both methods allow the public to provide wildlife officers with factual information to assist with investigations. Callers may remain anonymous, if desired, and a reward can result from successful capture and prosecution.

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Media Contact:
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 322-8911

 

Give the Gift of the Outdoors for Father’s Day

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift this year? How about giving the gift of the outdoors? A California hunting or fishing license is a great way to show appreciation for dad or grandpa and make wonderful memories for many months to come.

As the third largest state in the nation, California provides many opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the state’s famed wilderness. Half of the land is publicly owned, giving hunters and anglers access to millions of acres of public land. With more than 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,172 lakes and reservoirs, and 1,100 miles of coastline that is home to hundreds of native fish and shellfish species, possibilities abound for outdoor adventure!

“The gift of fishing and hunting licenses provides endless opportunities to enjoy California’s unmatched wild places with family and friends,” said Charlton H. Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

Hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased at more than 1,400 license agents throughout the state as well as CDFW license sales offices. Licenses can also be purchased and printed online via CDFW’s website. If purchasing a fishing license as a gift and the purchaser does not have all of the licensee’s information, a gift license voucher will be issued. This voucher can then be redeemed at any license agent location, but it cannot be redeemed online. Hunting license gift vouchers are not available. To purchase a license online or find a local sales agent or CDFW sales office, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing.

A 2018-19 California resident hunting license costs $48.34 and is valid from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. A 2018 California resident sportfishing license is $48.34 and is valid Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018. Lifetime fishing licenses are also available.

Dad can also enjoy the outdoors without leaving the comfort of home with a subscription to Outdoor California magazine. This bi-monthly magazine offers stunning photography and insightful articles about the state’s native wildlife and habitat, and chronicles the ongoing battle against fish and wildlife crimes. A subscription costs $15 for six issues. Those wishing to subscribe can fill out the form, print and mail with a check to the address listed on the form, or subscribe online via CDFW’s licensing sales website.

An honorary donation to support California’s wildlife officers in their fight to protect California’s natural resources would also make a great Father’s Day gift. Consider purchasing a 2018 California Warden Stamp. The funds raised go toward the purchase of new equipment, specialized training and enforcement programs. The stamps can be purchased online.

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Media Contacts:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

CDFW Reminds the Public to Leave Young Wildlife Alone

Spring and early summer is the peak time for much of California’s wildlife to bear their young. With this in mind, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is asking well-intentioned members of the public to leave young wildlife alone.

It may be hard to resist scooping up a young wild animal that looks vulnerable and abandoned, but intervention may cause more harm than good. Young animals removed from their natural environment typically do not survive. Those that do make it may not develop the skills necessary to survive on their own in natural habitat. When this happens, the only alternative is a life of captivity in artificial conditions.

“It is a common mistake to believe a young animal, especially a fawn, has been abandoned when found alone,” said Nicole Carion, CDFW’s statewide wildlife rehabilitation coordinator. “But even if the mother has not been observed in the area for a long period of time, chances are she is off foraging, or is nearby, waiting for you to leave.”

Such behavior is common across many species. A female mountain lion may spend as much as 50 percent of her time away from her kittens.

Fledglings, or young partially feathered birds, found alone and hopping along the ground in the spring or summer, are actually trying to learn to fly. Though it is tempting to pick them up, what they really need is space and time to master flying. The best course of action is not to draw attention to them, advises Carion. You can help by keeping pets away until the bird has left the area.

If a young animal is in distress, or you are unsure, contact a wildlife rehabilitation facility and speak to personnel for advice.

Most wildlife rehabilitators are only allowed to possess small mammals and birds. Although some wildlife rehabilitators are allowed to accept fawns, injured or sick adult deer should be reported directly to CDFW for public safety reasons. Injured, orphaned or sick bears, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, wild pigs or mountain lions should also be reported to CDFW directly.

Anyone who removes a young animal from the wild is required to notify CDFW or take the animal to a state and federally permitted wildlife rehabilitator within 48 hours. These animals may need specialized care and feeding that is best done by trained wildlife care specialists.

It is important to note that wild animals – even young ones – can cause serious injury with their sharp claws, hooves and teeth, especially when injured and scared. They may also carry ticks, fleas and lice, and can transmit diseases to humans, including rabies and tularemia.

To learn more about how to live and recreate responsibly where wildlife is near, please visit CDFW’s Keep Me Wild website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/keepmewild.

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Media Contacts:
Nicole Carion
, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (530) 357-3986
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933

California Black Bears are on the Move

California’s black bears are active and hungry after a period of hunkering down through the winter. As a reminder, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) encourages people to help reduce unwanted encounters with this large mammal by being “bear aware.” People who visit or live in bear country can take actions that promote responsible behavior and safe co-existence with bears.

Black bears are the only bear species in California. They generally prefer mountainous areas and natural habitat. However, as more people visit parks and wilderness areas and choose to live in or near bear habitat, some bears may become used to the presence of people and as a result display less shy and avoidant behavior.

“Over the years, reported human-bear conflicts have increased significantly,” said Vicky Monroe, CDFW’s Wildlife Conflict Programs Coordinator. “Each spring and summer we receive numerous calls from the public reporting anything from black bears eating food off campground picnic tables to bears taking dips in residential swimming pools.”

Black bears have a diverse diet and can eat nearly anything, from berries and insects to pet food, human trash and road kill. They also have a highly specialized sense of smell, which can sometimes lead them to enter homes, cabins and tents while following their nose (and stomach) to a food source. Local communities and areas of human activity in or around bear habitat can provide a tempting food supply for a hungry bear. However, unwanted and/or destructive bear activity may be significantly reduced or even eliminated, when people are mindful and remember to remove attractants and access to food.

Tips for Bear-proofing your Home, Rental or Timeshare

Bears may venture into areas of human activity close to bear habitat, in search of food. The best defense against bear break-ins and bears in your yard is to eliminate attractants to your property by following these tips:

  • Purchase and properly use a bear-proof garbage container.
  • Wait to put trash out until the morning of collection day.
  • Do not leave trash, groceries or pet food in your car.
  • Keep garbage cans clean and deodorize them with bleach or ammonia.
  • Keep barbecue grills clean and stored in a garage or shed when not in use.
  • It is advised to not hang bird feeders in bear country. If you must, only do so during November through March and make them inaccessible to bears. Keep in mind bears are excellent climbers.
  • Do not leave any scented products outside, even non-food items such as suntan lotion, insect repellent, soap or candles.
  • Keep doors and windows closed and locked when unoccupied.
  • Consider installing motion-detector alarms and/or electric fencing.
  • Harvest fruit off trees as soon as it is ripe, and promptly collect fruit that falls.
  • Bring pets in at night. Provide safe and secure quarters for livestock at night.
  • Consider composting bins as opposed to open composting.
  • Securely block access to potential hibernation sites such as crawl spaces under decks and buildings.
  • Do not spray bear spray around property – when it dries, it can serve as an attractant.
  • Do not feed deer or other wildlife – this will attract bears to your property.

Tips for Bear Proofing your Campsite

Maintaining a clean campsite is the responsible and safe thing to do when visiting bear country. Here are a few tips for bear proofing your campsite:

  • Haul garbage out of camp regularly – check with camp host or other camp personnel about safe garbage storage. Use bear lockers if available.
  • Store food (including pet food) and toiletries in bear-proof containers or in an airtight container in the trunk of your vehicle if bear lockers are not available. In some areas, food storage in the trunk is not advisable. Check with camp or park personnel.
  • Clean dishes and store food and garbage immediately after meals.
  • Clean your grill after each use.
  • Never keep food or toiletries in your tent.
  • Change out of clothes you cooked in before going to bed.
  • Do not clean fish in camp.
  • Do not leave pets unattended in camp or sleeping outside.
  • If in the backcountry, store food in a bear-resistant food canister.
  • Use bear resistant ice chests (some jurisdictions will only allow ice chests that are approved as bear resistant)

Tips for Hiking in Bear Country

  • Bears may react defensively if your presence is not known – make noise while hiking. Talk loudly or whistle.
  • If possible, travel with a group of people.
  • Avoid thick brush and walk with the wind at your back so your scent is ahead of you.
  • Watch for bear sign along trails – scat, tracks and stripped bark off trees.
  • Avoid sites where dead animal carcasses are observed.
  • If you see a bear, avoid it and give it the opportunity to avoid you.
  • Leash dogs while hiking in bear country – dogs can surprise and aggravate bears – bringing the bear back to you when the dog flees from the bear.

Black Bear Safety Reminders

  • Black bear behavior is not always predictable. Human-bear attacks are rare in California; however, they do occur. There is no single safety strategy applicable to every bear encounter.
  • Individual bears can display varying levels of tolerance and temperament.
  • Prevention is better than confrontation.
  • Keep as much distance as possible between you and the bear.
  • Share this information with your children. Make sure they know to tell you if they see a bear in the area. Be Bear Aware.

Black Bear Encounters

These are general guidelines based on research by wildlife managers and scientists, intended to help keep you safe in the event of a black bear encounter. Keep in mind that safety tips for grizzly bears are not the same as for black bear. California does not have grizzly bears.

  • If a bear breaks into your home, do not confront the bear. Most bears will quickly look for an escape route. Move away to a safe place. Do not block exit points. If the bear does not leave, call 911.
  • If you encounter a bear in your yard, chances are it will move on if there is nothing for the bear to forage. If there is enough distance between you and the bear, you can encourage the bear to leave by using noisemakers or blowing a whistle.
  • If you encounter a bear while hiking and it does not see you. Back away and increase your distance. Clap hands or make noise so the bear knows you are there and will move on.
  • If you encounter a bear on the trail and it sees you. Do not make eye contact. Back away, do not run. Let the bear know you are not a threat. Give it a chance to leave.
  • If a bear approaches you, make yourself look bigger by lifting and waving arms. Use noisemakers, or yell at the bear. If small children are present, keep them close to you.Carry and know how to use bear spray as a deterrent. In the event of a black bear attack, it is usually recommended to fight back. However, each situation is different. Prevention is the key.

Black Bear Facts

  • Black bears are the only bear species found in California. They range in color from blonde to black, with cinnamon brown being the most common.
  • There are an estimated 35,000 bears in California.
  • Males are much larger than females and can weigh up to 500 pounds, although average weight is about 300 pounds.
  • Black bears can sprint up to 35 mph and they are strong swimmers and great tree climbers.
  • Bears are omnivorous eating foods ranging from berries, plants, nuts, roots, and honey, honeycomb, insects, larvae, carrion and small mammals.
  • Bears typically mate in June and July.
  • Bear cubs are born in winter dens in January and February and are hairless, deaf and blind.
  • Black bear attacks are rare in California and typically are defensive in nature because the bear is surprised or defending cubs; however, bears accustomed to people may become too bold and act aggressively.
  • Female black bears will often send cubs up a tree and leave the area in response to a perceived threat. Do not remain in the area – when you leave, she will come back for her cubs.

For more information about black bear biology please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Black-Bear/Biology.

For information about bear proof containers and where to buy them, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild/Products.

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Media Contacts:
Victoria Monroe, CDFW Wildlife Conflict Program, (916) 856-8335
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933