All posts by fish&wildlife

I serve as a communication specialist for the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR).

Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities Coming Up at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve

edenlandingdfg4The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering waterfowl hunting opportunities at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (ELER) in Hayward. The reserve includes former salt ponds now managed by CDFW as low-salinity waterfowl habitat and areas restored to full tidal action.

Access to ELER for waterfowl hunting will be open for 100 hunters on a first-come, first-served basis only on the dates listed below. There is no fee for these hunts.

2016 hunts (check-in at 5 a.m. on each of the following dates):

  • Saturday, Nov. 12
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22
  • Saturday, Dec. 3
  • Thursday, Dec. 8
  • Saturday, Dec. 17
  • Thursday, Dec. 22

2017 hunts (check-in at 5:30 a.m. on each of the following dates):

  • Saturday, Jan. 7
  • Thursday, Jan. 12
  • Saturday, Jan. 21
  • Thursday, Jan. 26

All hunters must check in with CDFW staff on the morning of the hunt with a valid California Hunting License, federal duck stamp and state duck and Harvest Information Program (HIP) validations. Hunters will also be required to check out upon leaving and allow inspection of game to evaluate hunter success and collect harvest data.

Junior hunters must be accompanied by an adult hunter or non-hunter 18 years or older. Vehicles are only allowed on the hunt dates specified above, and drivers must stay on designated levees and use approved parking areas. Hunters are advised to use caution and should be aware of soft mud, swift currents, tidal fluctuations and unmarked hazards.

There is a 25-shell limit in the field, and hunters must use nonlead ammunition. (Nonlead ammunition is now required when hunting on all state wildlife areas and ecological reserves. For more information, please see the CDFW nonlead ammunition page.)

A small boat, canoe or other flotation device is highly recommended to access ponds and blinds, navigable sloughs and for game retrieval. Boaters are advised to consult local tide charts before launching and should be aware that extensive mud flats may be exposed and even shallow draft vessels can be subject to hidden underwater hazards during low tides. A hunting dog is also recommended for retrieval of birds. Hunters will receive additional information, including area rules and regulations and maps, upon check-in.

To access ELER from I-880, exit at Alvarado Boulevard and continue west. Turn right onto Union City Boulevard, left onto Bettencourt Road (at the sign for the Union Sanitary District), left on Whipple Road, right on Horner Street, then right on Veasy Street. Please enter at the yellow gate to check in. Hunters are responsible for avoiding closed areas.

Formal plans for public access opportunities at the reserve in addition to hunting are being developed as part of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project (

Media Contacts:

John Krause, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (415) 454-8050

Conrad Jones, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5544

Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 715-9072

Private Lands in Solano and Merced Counties Open for Public Hunts This Fall


Now is your chance to hunt on private property usually off-limits to the public in the Fairfield and Merced area. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program is offering public access for wild pig, waterfowl and upland game hunts this fall.  

SHARE will offer eight wild pig hunts from November through February at Rush Ranch in southern Solano County. Two permits per period will be randomly drawn for each period. Each permit will be good for two hunters. SHARE hunters will have access to 1,000 acres of the ranch and will be allowed to camp in a designated area for no extra fee. Rush Ranch is a 2,070-acre open space area bordered by the Suisun Marsh near Fairfield. Method of take for these hunts will be restricted to archery, crossbow or shotgun slugs only.

SHARE is also offering waterfowl, dove and pheasant hunts on the wildlife management area at the Merced Wastewater Treatment Plant. The property is located five miles south of the city of Merced with 300 acres open for hunting. Tucked between sloughs and agricultural fields, the seasonal pond and wetland provide cover and forage for waterfowl, dove and pheasant.

For more information about each SHARE property, the opportunities available and how to apply for the hunts, please visit 

Hunters with a valid California hunting license may apply online at A non-refundable application fee of $11.37 will be charged for each hunt selection. Successful applicants for each property will be allowed to bring a hunting partner or a non-hunting partner, depending on the hunt. 

The SHARE Program offers incentives to private landowners who allow wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities on their property. Participating landowners receive liability protection and compensation for providing public access to or through their land for wildlife-dependent recreational activities. The goal of the SHARE Program is to provide additional hunting, fishing and other recreational access on private lands in California.

Media Contacts:

Victoria Barr, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-4034

Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 715-9072


CDFW to Host “Bear Aware” Community Meeting in Pine Mountain Club



The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will conduct a public workshop on “Living Responsibly with Wildlife” on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. at the Pine Mountain Club Clubhouse, 2524 Beechwood Way, Pine Mountain (93222).

The one-hour presentation will include information on common wildlife species – including black bears — species biology and behavior, how wildlife can become habituated to humans, CDFW’s role in responding to wildlife/human conflicts and what residents can do to help keep wildlife wild.

In spring, California’s black bears emerge from their winter dens and begin to search for food. In late summer and fall, bears begin preparing for winter and search for more food to gain weight for hibernation. Bears are attracted to anything that smells or looks edible including trash, human food, pet food and livestock. Their search can lead them into campsites, neighborhoods and other populated areas that can result in damage to property, injury or death to pets, livestock or the bear.

Tips for bear-proofing your home, business or rental property include:

  • Purchase and properly use a bear-proof garbage container.
  • Don’t put trash out until the morning of collection day.
  • Don’t leave trash, groceries or animal feed 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.
  • Don’t use birdfeeders.
  • Don’t leave any scented products outside, including suntan lotion or candles.
  • Install motion-detector alarms and/or electric fencing.
  • Harvest fruit from trees as soon as it ripens and promptly collect fallen fruit.
  • Securely block access to potential hibernation sites such as crawl spaces under decks and buildings.

CDFW holds these workshops throughout California to help prevent and reduce conflicts between wildlife and humans. For more information, please call CDFW’s Office of Communication, Education and Outreach at (916) 322-8911.

Media Contacts:

Vicki Monroe, CDFW Wildlife Biologist, (661) 391-6087

Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 715-9072

Sandhill Crane Tours Showcase Birds with New Classification

Morning Stretch_Yarbrough_IMG_0081


The sandhill crane is making its annual migration to the Central Valley – this time with a new name.

Previously known as Grus canadensis, genetic work has led scientists to reclassify the bird as Antigone canadensis (named after Oedipus’ daughter and half-sister in Greek mythology).

“Antigone is most associated with loyal devotion to family, and this brand fits well with observing cranes. Monogamy is displayed among mated pairs, and parents and juveniles are viewable together, moving about in family units of three or four,” said CDFW Interpretive Supervisor David Moore. “This season, the docents have a new name to interpret for our sandhill crane viewers.”

CDFW provides the public a chance to see an annual bird migration and learn the latest on the sandhill crane – including the name change. The Sandhill Crane Wetland Tour Program offers weekend tours October through February at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve outside of Lodi.

The late-afternoon tours, which begin Oct. 1, are offered on the first through third Saturdays and Sundays of each month for the five-month duration of the cranes’ fall/winter season stay in the valley. Tours consist of viewing sandhill cranes and other unique wintering waterfowl, hearing a presentation on sandhill cranes and their habitat, and viewing the cranes’ impressive, nightly behaviors at a location that is only open to the public during tour hours.

Online pre-registration is required and may be done up to eight weeks prior to the tour date. Registration is now open for October dates and will soon open for November tour dates. More information may be found at

The cranes are a great draw to the Lodi area and CDFW Interpretive Services staff has provided important messages of conservation to more than 20,000 visitors on the docent-led tours over the last two decades.

The reserve is readily accessible at any time for self-guided tours. A series of informative interpretive panels at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, South Unit on Woodbridge Road provides visitors with a wealth of information about the cranes and their habitat. Staying until sundown is recommended for witnessing sights and sounds of the “fly-over” as groups of cranes return to roosting spots for the evening.

CDFW is also a co-sponsor the Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival, slated for Nov. 4-6, 2016. Information about festival tours and activities is available at

Media Contacts:

David Moore, CDFW Interpretive Services, (707) 766-8380

Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 715-9072


Up to $10,000 Reward Offered for Information Leading to the Arrest of Shawn Eugene Hof Jr., Suspected of Attempting to Shoot a CDFW Wildlife Officer


With the assistance of California Wildlife Officers Foundation, California Waterfowl Association, The Humane Society of the United States, The Sportfishing Alliance, The Nature Conservancy and private donors, a reward of up to $10,000 is offered for information that leads to the capture, arrest, and conviction of Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr.

On Sunday, August 21, 2016 at around 12:40 a.m., a wildlife officer from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) was patrolling for poachers in Carlotta, Humboldt County. The wildlife officer saw a pickup truck with occupants using spotlights in an attempt to poach deer on Redwood House Road near HWY. 36.  The wildlife officer attempted to conduct an enforcement stop on the vehicle when a person who was in the rear of the vehicle began shooting at the wildlife officer. A vehicle pursuit ensued with the suspects crashing the vehicle off the road. The suspects fled on foot into the woods, evading arrest.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Humboldt District Attorney’s Office are the lead investigating agencies concerning the shooting incident. Through their investigation, they determined one of the suspects is 24-year-old Shawn Eugene Hof Jr.  The Sheriff’s Office obtained a $500,000 Ramey Warrant for Hof’s arrest.

Shawn Eugene Hof Jr. is described as 5’9’ tall, 150 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information in this case (#201604226), particularly the whereabouts of Shawn Eugene Hof, is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

Media Contact:

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