All posts by korr2013

Boaters Can Help Fight Spread of Invasive Mussels Over Memorial Day Weekend

California agencies combatting the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels remind boaters to remain cautious over the three-day Memorial Day weekend.

Quagga and zebra mussels are invasive freshwater mussels native to Europe and Asia. They multiply quickly, encrust watercraft and infrastructure, alter water quality and the aquatic food web and ultimately impact native and sport fish communities. These mussels spread from one waterbody to another by attaching to watercraft, equipment and nearly anything that has been in an infested waterbody.

Invisible to the naked eye, microscopic juveniles are spread from infested waterbodies by water that is entrapped in boat engines, ballasts, bilges, live-wells and buckets. Quagga mussels have infested 33 waterways in Southern California and zebra mussels have infested two waterways in San Benito County.

To prevent the spread of these mussels and other aquatic invasive species, people launching vessels at any waterbody are subject to watercraft inspections and are strongly encouraged to clean, drain and dry their motorized and non-motorized boats, including personal watercraft, and any equipment that contacts the water before and after use.

“While enjoying this long holiday weekend outdoors experiencing the great variety of recreational opportunities that California has to offer, we ask everyone to please continue their vital, long-standing practice of helping us slow the spread of invasive mussels,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Habitat Conservation Planning Branch Chief Rick Macedo.

Take the following steps both before traveling to and before leaving a waterbody to prevent spreading invasive mussels, improve the efficiency of your inspection experience and safeguard California waterways:

  • CLEAN — inspect exposed surfaces and remove all plants and organisms,
  • DRAIN — all water, including water contained in lower outboard units, live-wells and bait buckets, and
  • DRY — allow the watercraft to thoroughly dry between launches. Watercraft should be kept dry for at least five days in warm weather and up to 30 days in cool weather.

CDFW has developed a brief video demonstrating the ease of implementing the clean, drain and dry prevention method. In addition, a detailed guide to cleaning vessels of invasive mussels is available on the CDFW’s webpage. Additional information is available on the Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) website and the Department of Water Resources (DWR) website.

Travelers are also advised to be prepared for inspections at California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Border Protection Stations. Over the past 10 years, more than 1.45 million watercraft entering California have been inspected at the Border Protection Stations. Inspections, which can also be conducted by CDFW and California State Parks, include a check of boats and personal watercraft, as well as trailers and all onboard items. Contaminated vessels and equipment are subject to decontamination, rejection, quarantine or impoundment.

Quagga and zebra mussels can attach to and damage virtually any submerged surface. They can:

  • Ruin a boat engine by blocking the cooling system and causing it to overheat
  • Jam a boat’s steering equipment, putting occupants and others at risk
  • Require frequent scraping and repainting of boat hulls
  • Colonize all underwater substrates such as boat ramps, docks, lines and other underwater surfaces, causing them to require constant cleaning
  • Impose large expenses to owners

A multi-agency effort that includes CDFW, DBW, CDFA and DWR has been leading an outreach campaign to alert the public to the quagga and zebra mussel threats. A toll-free hotline, (866) 440-9530, is available for those seeking information on quagga or zebra mussels.

Media Contacts:
Adeline Yee, California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, (916) 651-8725
Maggie Macias, California Department of Water Resources, (916) 653-8743
Kyle Orr, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, (916) 322-8958
Steve Lyle, California Department of Food and Agriculture, (916) 654-0462

 

 

Kids Fishing Day Debuts at Lake Siskiyou in Siskiyou County

The inaugural Lake Siskiyou Kids Fishing Day, scheduled May 25 in Mount Shasta, will take place in conjunction with the release of large rainbow trout from the Lake Siskiyou Trout Restoration Project. The trout were raised in net pens at the lake as part of an effort to improve the fishing quality for years to come.

The free event, which is co-sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Rotary Club of Mount Shasta, is open to youths 15 and under. Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. at a site located on North Shore Road in Mount Shasta, and free bait and loaner rods will be available until 3 p.m. While it is recommended that adults accompany children, only youths 15 and under can fish at the event site. Volunteers will be available on site to answer questions about fishing.

“The goal of this youth event is to inspire increased participation of parents and their children in outdoors activities such as fishing,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Monty Currier.

The Rotary Club of Mount Shasta raised the trout, which were supplied by CDFW in an ongoing effort to improve the fishery. The club constructed the pens at the Lake Siskiyou Marina, as part of a partnership that included CDFW, the Rotary Club of Mount Shasta and Siskiyou County. Additional support was provided by area foundations, organizations, volunteers and philanthropists.

For more information about the event, please contact Monty Currier at (530) 225-2368.

Directions to North Shore of Lake Siskiyou: Take Interstate 5 to Mount Shasta and take Exit 738 (Central Mount Shasta). Follow 0.2 miles to a stop sign at W Lake Street. Turn west and drive 0.3 miles to S Old Stage Road. Turn left and go 0.3 miles to W A Barr Road, then bear right and drive 1.8 miles to North Shore Road. Turn right on North Shore Road and drive 2.1 miles to the North Shore recreation access site on the left. Park at signed parking or along the shoulder. Please do not block the road.

Media Contacts:
Monty Currier, CDFW Northern Region, Inland Fisheries Program, (530) 225-2368
Jen Benedet, CDFW Hunter and Angler Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3), (916) 903-9270

 

 

 

May 2019 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

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

Various Days — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Volunteers lead walks every Saturday and Sunday at 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. The day use permit fee is $4.12 per person, ages 16 and older (permits may be purchased onsite). Groups of five or more should please notify staff that they are coming and groups of 10 or more can request a separate tour. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/elkhorn-slough-er.

1 — Recreational Groundfish Season Opens for All Boat-based Anglers for the Northern and Mendocino Management Areas (Oregon-California State Line to Point Arena). For more information, please visit the Groundfish webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish.

1 — Recreational Pacific Halibut Fishery Opens. The fishery will be open May 1 to Oct. 31 or until the quota is reached, whichever is earlier. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/pacific-halibut.

6 — Archery Only Spring Wild Turkey and Additional Junior Spring Turkey Seasons Open (extending through May 19). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

9 — California Wildlife Conservation Board, Strategic Plan Update Public Meeting, 9 to 11:30 a.m., Audubon Center at Debs Park, 4700 N. Griffin Ave., Los Angeles (90031). For more information, please visit https://wcb.ca.gov.

9 — Conservation in a Working Landscape: Stewarding the Elkhorn Slough Watershed, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). This free lecture from 5:30 to 7 p.m. will explore the challenges and successes of stewardship in the Elkhorn Slough watershed. The Elkhorn Slough Foundation’s Stewardship Director, Dash Dunkell, will discuss invasive species removal, the use of technology in land management and provide an update on nearly 4,000 acres of restored land. No registration or RSVP required. For more information, please contact Ariel Hunter at (831) 728-2822 or ariel.hunter@wildlife.ca.gov.

9 — Cannabis Permitting Workshop, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (presentations will begin at 10:30 a.m.), Arts and Community Building, 10400 Heather Ave., California City (93505). CDFW, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the State Water Resources Control Board are hosting several cannabis permitting workshops in May. These free workshops are ideal for new and existing cannabis cultivators, and those interested in the topic. Attendees will have time to talk with state agency staff about individual projects after the presentations. To learn more about CDFW’s role in cannabis cultivation, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis or email askcannabis@wildlife.ca.gov.

11 — Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Kids’ Fishing Day, 7 a.m. to noon, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). Youths 15 and under can compete for the biggest catfish in the morning at the free event and fishing poles and bait will be available. The event will include prizes and lunch for participating youths and a bicycle will be awarded to the holder of the largest fish. Anglers age 16 and above who have a valid California Sport Fishing License may fish from this location after noon. For more information, please contact the Gridley Recreation Division at (530) 846-3264 or the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area at (530) 846-7505.

12 — World Migratory Bird Day Celebration at Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Celebrate the diversity of birds migrating through Elkhorn Slough Reserve by taking a low-tide birding tour at 11:30 a.m. to survey birds in the mudflats. Regular tours are also scheduled at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Craft activities and scavenger hunts will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please contact Ariel Hunter at (831) 728-2823 or ariel.hunter@wildlife.ca.gov.

14 — Cannabis Permitting Workshop, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations will begin at 10:30 a.m.), Mateel Community Center, 59 Rusk Lane, Redway (95560). CDFW, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the State Water Resources Control Board are hosting several cannabis permitting workshops in May. These free workshops are ideal for new and existing cannabis cultivators, and those interested in the topic. Attendees will have time to talk with state agency staff about individual projects after the presentations. To learn more about CDFW’s role in cannabis cultivation, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis or email askcannabis@wildlife.ca.gov.

15 — Environmental Enhancement Committee Meeting, 10 a.m. to noon, California State Coastal Conservancy, 1515 Clay Street, 10th Floor, Oakland (94616). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/ospr/science/environmental-enhancement-fund or contact Daniel Orr at daniel.orr@wildlife.ca.gov or (916) 445-4325.

15 — California Wildlife Conservation Board, Strategic Plan Update Public Meeting, 1 to 3:30 p.m., Sacramento State Downtown, 304 S St., Rooms 110-111, Sacramento (95811). For more information, please visit https://wcb.ca.gov.

16 — Cannabis Permitting Workshop, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (presentations will begin at 10:30 a.m.), County Library Community Room, 995 Palm St., San Luis Obispo (93403). CDFW, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the State Water Resources Control Board are hosting several cannabis permitting workshops in May. These free workshops are ideal for new and existing cannabis cultivators, and those interested in the topic. Attendees will have time to talk with state agency staff about individual projects after the presentations. To learn more about CDFW’s role in cannabis cultivation, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis or email askcannabis@wildlife.ca.gov.

16 — California Fish and Game Commission Teleconference, 10 a.m.  For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov.

16 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee Meeting, 1 p.m., Natural Resources Building, Redwood Room, 14th Floor, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento (95814). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov.

18  Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Reopens from Horse Mountain to Pigeon Point. For more information, please visit the Ocean Salmon webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon, or call either the CDFW Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (800) 662-9825. 

22 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Meeting, 10 a.m., Natural Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). The public is welcome. For more information, please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

22 — Bay Delta Region Type A Wildlife Areas Public Outreach Meeting, 4 to 6 p.m., Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Conference Room, 45211 County Road 32B, Davis (95618). State wildlife areas to be discussed are the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area and the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area Complex. CDFW will take comments and recommendations, and provide updates on habitat conditions, availability of water for wetlands and possible impacts to hunter access on public lands. For more information, please contact Shawn Overton at Grizzly Island Wildlife Area at (707) 425-3828, or Joe Hobbs at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area at (530) 757-2431.

25  Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Opens from the Oregon/California Border to Horse Mountain. For more information, please visit the Ocean Salmon webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon, or call the CDFW Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (800) 662-9825. 

30 — CDFW Land Regulations Outreach Meeting. 6 to 8 p.m., Oroville Branch Library, 1820 Mitchell Ave., Oroville (95966). The meeting will inform the public about site-specific changes to public use regulations that are being considered for certain CDFW properties. CDFW personnel will be available at information stations to answer questions and listen to stakeholder interests, needs and ideas. For more information, please contact Julie Horenstein at julie.horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov.

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

California Department of Fish and Wildlife seeks Applicants for Natural Resource Volunteer Program in the Redding, Sacramento and Humboldt Areas

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is currently seeking applicants for its Natural Resource Volunteer Program (NRVP) in the Redding, Sacramento and Humboldt areas.

Motivated individuals with an ability and willingness to convey conservation principles to the public are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be confident and capable of speaking with the public one-on-one and in group settings. They must also be able to work independently and as a team member to complete tasks. Assignments will be in field, office and classroom environments.

“Our volunteers provide invaluable support to numerous CDFW staff, including biologists, wildlife officers and administrative employees,” said Lt. Liz Gregory, who oversees NRVP recruitment for the Northern Enforcement District. “These are non-sworn, volunteer positions, without law enforcement authority, but their contributions to our daily workload are meaningful and help keep our operations running smoothly.”

NRVP positions are unpaid and require a service commitment of 16 hours per month. Duties may include responding to human/wildlife conflict calls, representing CDFW at community outreach events, working upon CDFW lands, disseminating useful information to the public, instructing at NRVP academies and other assignments to assist staff as needed.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, possess a California driver license and produce a California Department of Motor Vehicle driver’s report. The selection process includes an initial screening, application review, oral interview and a background check including a Live Scan fingerprint clearance.

Successful applicants will attend the NRVP training academy and receive 40 hours of conservation training. The initial phase of the academy is scheduled from Aug. 5-9, 2019. Volunteers will work with a trained mentor to implement their newly acquired skills during a six-month probationary period.

Applications must be postmarked no later than June 14, 2019.

For additional information and to download an application, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/explore/volunteering/nrvp.

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Lt. Gregory at (916) 358-2939.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Liz Gregory, CDFW Northen Enforcement District, (916) 358-2939
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

Shikar-Safari Club International Honors CDFW Assistant Chief John Baker as Wildlife Officer of the Year

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is pleased to announce that Assistant Chief John Baker has been selected as the 2018 Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year. Asst. Chief Baker, who began his wildlife career as a student assistant with the CDFW Law Enforcement Division, has served the people of California and its incredible natural resources for over 30 years. He has distinguished himself through his successful enforcement work, commitment to public service, progressive thinking and strong leadership skills.

Upon completion of the Wildlife Officer Academy in 1992, Warden Baker started his long career with a field assignment in Santa Barbara County, eventually moving into an assignment in the San Joaquin Valley. Over the years, he has demonstrated exceptional investigation skills in traditional poaching cases, but also the more complicated natural resource related crimes such as pollution and water theft. Another one of his career-long projects has been leading the transition from handwritten to electronic recordkeeping by field officers statewide. The data generated by those electronic records has helped the Law Enforcement Division secure and defend overtime allotments, justify new positions and position movements and answer countless questions from legislators and policymakers about poaching and pollution trends.

In the mid-2000s, Asst. Chief Baker found that CDFW was spending more and more time doing law enforcement work related to illegal cannabis cultivation with allied law enforcement agencies. While allied agencies’ focus was most often on the plants themselves, Asst. Chief Baker recognized the need to allocate time and resources to combating other problems associated with cannabis cultivation – poaching, pollution, habitat destruction and water theft. Investigation and prosecution of those environmental crimes resonated well with the public, and some of that early work set the stage to transition into the broader range of illegal cannabis cultivation enforcement work done today.

Several years ago, Asst. Chief Baker realized there was a need for greater public outreach to the Hmong community of the San Joaquin Valley. He participated in a series of radio interviews  broadcast to primarily Hmong listeners to welcome those community members to a lifetime of hunting and fishing as a recreation and as a way to feed their families. As part of that effort, he helped explain what is required to have a successful hunting or fishing trip and stay in compliance with the law.

Another significant accomplishment by Asst. Chief Baker is his commitment to the annual Battle of the Badges blood drive. The friendly competition pits law enforcement against firefighters to see who can donate the most blood, a precious resource to the community. Asst. Chief Baker is there every year rolling up his sleeves to take part himself and to inspire others to do the same.

Shikar-Safari was founded in 1952 as a hunting organization but quickly recognized its potential to effect meaningful change in the area of wildlife conservation. Funds raised by the Shikar-Safari Club International Foundation are used to support various conservation projects in the United States and throughout the world.

Media Contact:
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692