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December 2018 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.

Saturdays — Swan Tours. CDFW will offer free swan tours near Marysville on Saturdays through January. Co-hosted by local rice farmers, the naturalist-led tours will focus on tundra swans in one of the premier locations for viewing swans in California. Tours will be held on Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. The driving tours also involve walking a short distance and carpooling is encouraged. Pre-registration is required at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/swan-tours and up to 30 people can register for each tour.  For more information, please call (916) 358-2869 or email interpretiveservices@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.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, waterfowl, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $10.75 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

First Through Third Saturdays and Sundays of the Month — Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, 7730 W. Woodbridge Road, Lodi (95242). Online registration has begun for those wishing to participate in guided tours, which run through February. A one-day Lands Pass must be purchased to attend and instructions are available on the same website. Tours fill fast and registration may be done as much as six weeks in advance. To register or for more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.

Weekends — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948), 12:30 p.m. The 90-minute walking tour covers slightly more than a half mile through this premier birding spot that highlights migratory waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. No reservations are necessary for groups of less than 20 people. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and its associated fee-for-use requirement. There is no additional cost for the tour. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

1 — Nature Bowl Coach Registration Opens. Nature Bowl coaching workshops will be held at various sites for the 34th annual Nature Bowl that is scheduled at various sites in the Sacramento region in 2019. The educational event is for third through sixth graders who form teams of up to nine students with an adult coach. Events are held in April and May. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/nature-bowl.

7-8 — California Department of Fish and Wildlife Volunteer Day, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Friant Interactive Nature Site, 17413 N. Friant Road, Friant (93626). Volunteers will help with trail maintenance, including pulling weeds, raking and pruning. Water, snacks and sunscreen will be provided. Volunteers are encouraged to wear work clothes, closed-toed shoes and a hat. Those under 18 must bring a signed parent permission slip. For more information, please contact Cheryl Moxley at (559) 696-8092 or r4salmonidsclassroom@wildlife.ca.gov.

8 — Public Planting Day, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hester Marsh, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Volunteers can join Elkhorn Slough Reserve’s stewardship team as it places 20,000 salt marsh plants in the soil at a new restoration site. The Hester Marsh restoration project is restoring 60 acres of new salt marsh habitat adjacent to the Elkhorn Slough. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/public-planting-at-hester-marsh/.

12-13 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, Dec. 12, 9 a.m., and Dec. 13, 8:30 a.m., QLN Conference Center, 1938 Avenida del Oro, Oceanside (92056). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2018/index.aspx.

14 — Passing On the Tradition Youth Essay Contest Deadline. CDFW and the California Wildlife Officer Foundation are co-sponsoring the annual “Passing on the Tradition” essay contest for young hunters. The grand prize winner will receive a lifetime hunting license, valued at more than $600. This year’s contest invites entrants to share their thoughts about how hunting has positively influenced or affected their life. The contest is open to all junior hunting license holders, as well as youths under 18 who have earned a hunter education certificate. Entrants should submit an essay of 500 words or less.  Entries should be submitted via email to Capt. Robert Pelzman at robert.pelzman@wildlife.ca.gov no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. Applicants must provide their date of birth and a contact telephone number. For additional information, please contact Capt. Pelzman at (916) 653-9727.

15 — General Season for Band-tailed Pigeons in the Southern Hunt Zone Opens (extending through Dec. 23). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

24 — Archery Only Pheasant Season Opens (extending through Jan. 20, 2019). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

24 — Archery Only Pheasant Season Opens. Season extends through Jan. 20, 2019. For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

30 — Black Bear Season Ends Statewide, or earlier if CDFW determines that 1,700 black bears have been reported taken. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/bear. Successful hunters should have their tag validated and a tooth pulled from the skull of their bear. All hunters are required to submit a report on their bear tag, whether they hunted for bear or not. Tags can be mailed to the address on the tag, or reported online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.

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

Trinity River Upstream of Indian Creek Reopens for Adult Chinook Salmon Harvest on Monday, Nov. 19

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Trinity River Hatchery has determined the hatchery will have taken in more than 4,800 fall Chinook Salmon by the end of this week. According to California 2018-19 supplemental sport fishing regulations, the take of 4,800 fall Chinook Salmon at the hatchery triggers the reopening of the recreational Chinook Salmon fishery on the Upper Trinity River between the mouth of Indian Creek, near Weaverville, and Old Lewiston Bridge, at 12 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 19.

Recreational anglers will be able to harvest two Chinook Salmon, with no more than one adult greater than 22 inches, per day in this reach. The possession limit is six Chinook Salmon, and no more than three adults. Reopening this stretch of the Trinity River is designed to allow anglers to catch surplus hatchery Chinook Salmon now that the number of adults needed for spawning has been achieved at the hatchery.

The lower Trinity River, downstream of Hawkins Bar, and the upper Klamath River, upstream of I-5 near Hornbrook, are the other sections of the river that remain open to the take of adult Chinook Salmon. All other quota areas are closed to the take of adult Chinook Salmon. The take of jack salmon, those equal to or less than 22 inches, may be taken in all areas of the Klamath basin, with the exception of the mouth of the Klamath River, which is closed for the remainder of the year. The daily bag limit for jack salmon in these areas is two fish per day and no more than six in possession.

Anglers may monitor the quota status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling the information hotline at (800) 564-6479.

For more information regarding Klamath River fishing regulations, please consult the 2018-2019 California Freshwater and Supplemental Sport Fishing Regulations at wildlife.ca.gov/regulations.

CDFW Shuts Down Black-Market Marijuana Grow in Trinity County

On Nov. 6, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) served a search warrant on a black-market marijuana cultivation operation at the 1700 block of Hidden Valley Road in Trinity County.

The property contained an unpermitted water diversion, water pollution violations, over 900 unprocessed growing marijuana plants and 5,069 pounds of untested black-market marijuana bud.

water tanks 2

During routine flights over Trinity County, CDFW observed more than 600 marijuana plants and numerous large water tanks with a large black irrigation hose leading into dense vegetation along a creek. CDFW verified that the grow was unlicensed by the state and unpermitted by the county. A record check on the property showed no CDFW Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreement (LSAA) had been filed, no state license to grow marijuana and no attempt to legitimize the operation in the county.

CDFW’s Watershed Enforcement Team (WET), which includes a combination of law enforcement officers and scientific staff, inspected the property and detained 32 suspects. Some of the suspects were armed and wearing bullet proof vests. Two suspects had a fake police officer badge. Eleven were booked into Trinity County jail on multiple felony charges related to environmental crimes. The others were released.

Eleven Fish and Game Code violations were documented including a substantial water diversion from a tributary to the South Fork Trinity River, which provides critical breeding and juvenile rearing habitats for steelhead trout, Chinook Salmon, and several species of aquatic amphibians, including the Foothill yellow-legged frog, a candidate for state threatened species status.

The water diversion consisted of a large hose that was actively funneling water to multiple water storage tanks. Unpermitted water diversions like this are capable of dewatering streams during the summer months, which can reduce or eliminate the reproductive success of the aquatic species that rely on these habitats.

“Black-market grows prevent legitimized cultivators from thriving, harm California’s sensitive natural resources with diverted waterways and illegal pesticides and put untested cannabis products on the black-market,” said David Bess, Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “We support the legal cannabis market where cultivators obtain permits, take action to prevent environmental impacts and comply with applicable state and local laws.”

CDFW collaborated with the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, the Trinity County Environmental Health Department and the US Forest Service on the mission. CDFW would like to remind the public to report environmental crimes such as water pollution, water diversions and poaching to the 24/7 CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258.

Media Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 895-3988

 

CDFW and Partners Host Free Cannabis Permitting Workshops in Inland Empire

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) are hosting free cannabis permitting workshops in Palm Desert, Adelanto and Needles from December 4-6, 2018.

Workshops are open to cannabis cultivators, consultants and anyone interested in the topic.

The workshops include presentations from CDFW and SWRCB on the requirements and process of obtaining proper permits for cannabis grows. Workshop attendees will have time to talk with agency staff about individual projects. Representatives from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division and county permitting and planning departments will also be available to answer questions.

The workshops will be held on the following dates:

Tuesday, Dec. 4
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations at 10:30 a.m.)
Coachella Valley Association of Governments
73-710 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 115
Palm Desert, Calif. 92260

Wednesday, Dec. 5
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations at 10:30 a.m.)
Adelanto Stadium
12000 Stadium Way
Adelanto, Calif. 92301

Thursday, Dec. 6
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations at 10:30 a.m.)
El Garces Room
950 Front Street
Needles, Calif. 92363

For more information, please visit CDFW’s cannabis program webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/cannabis and the SWRCB cannabis program webpage at www.waterboards.ca.gov/cannabis.

Media Contacts:
Heather McIntire, CDFW Cannabis Program, (707) 210-4415
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 895-3988

New Regulations for Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery Effective Oct. 30, 2018

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) enacted new regulations to reduce the risk of marine life entanglements in commercial Dungeness crab fishing gear. These regulations became effective on October 30, 2018 and will be in place for the upcoming 2018-19 commercial Dungeness crab season.

Crab closeup

The new regulations allow no more than two trailer buoys to be used at the surface and establish a maximum distance between the front end of the main buoy to the tail end of the last trailer buoy depending on the depth that a trap is deployed. In depths less than or equal to 35 fathoms (210 feet), the distance should measure no more than 4 fathoms (24 feet), while at depths greater than 35 fathoms, the distance should measure no more than 6 fathoms (36 feet).

A diagram describing new surface gear regulations for the 2018-19 season can be found here.

crab

These regulations were developed with input from the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group (Working Group), a multi-stake holder group comprised of state and federal agency staff, fishermen and non-governmental organizations. The Working Group is tasked with evaluating options to reduce the risk of whale interactions with Dungeness crab fishing gear.

In addition to the new surface gear requirements, all recreational and commercial Dungeness crab fishermen are strongly encouraged to follow the Best Practices Guide developed by the Working Group to reduce the risk of marine life entanglements.

More information:
www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab

Media Contacts:
Christy Juhasz, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 576-2887
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 212-7352