All posts by ptirawildlife

Registration Now Open for Fall Sandhill Crane Tours in San Joaquin County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting online reservations for docent-led tours of sandhill cranes and their wetland habitat at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, just west of Lodi in San Joaquin County.

The late-afternoon tours run from Oct. 6 through February 2019. They are offered the first, second and third Saturdays and Sundays of each month for the five-month duration of the cranes’ fall-winter stay. Online registration is required and is available as early as eight weeks prior to tour dates.

Registration began in mid-August for October tour dates. November tour dates will become available starting Sept. 15. Registration and additional information is available at the CDFW Bay Delta Region’s Sandhill Crane Wetland Tour page. Please note that purchase of a one-day Lands Pass for a nominal fee is required with registration.

“We are very pleased to offer public tours at the reserve and to showcase the benefits of the restored wetlands,” said CDFW Bay Delta Region Manager Gregg Erickson. “These natural resources belong to everyone. All of us have a part in taking care of them as well as enjoying them.”

The Woodbridge Ecological Reserve is accessible at any time for self-guided tours. A series of informative, interpretive panels are located at the reserve’s southern unit at 11154 W. Woodbridge Road, Lodi, CA  95242. Staying through sunset is recommended to witness the sights and sounds of “fly-over” as groups of sandhill cranes return to roosting spots for the evening.

CDFW is also proud to co-sponsor the Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival scheduled for Nov. 2-4. Information about festival tours and activities is available at www.cranefestival.com/index.php.

Media Contacts:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
David Moore, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 766-8380

CDFW to Host Public Outreach Meeting on Grasslands Wildlife Areas

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will host a public outreach meeting on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Los Banos regarding Central Region Type A wildlife areas. CDFW will take comments and recommendations and provide updates on habitat conditions, availability of water for wetlands and possible impacts to hunter access on these public lands.

CDFW will be joined by representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Waterfowl Association, Ducks Unlimited and the Grassland Water District.

State wildlife areas to be discussed include Mendota, Los Banos, Volta and North Grasslands, including the Salt Slough, China Island, Gadwall and Mud Slough units. Federal refuge personnel will be available to address the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, including the Lone Tree Unit and the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, including the Kesterson, Blue Goose, East and West Bear Creek, and Freitas units. The Grassland Water District will make a short presentation on refuge water supply.

The meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Grassland Environmental Education Center located at 18110 W. Henry Miller Road in Los Banos. Please email sean.allen@wildlife.ca.gov if you are planning to attend so enough seating and refreshments can be arranged.

CDFW annually provides an opportunity for licensed hunters to comment and make recommendations on public hunting programs, including anticipated habitat conditions in the hunting areas on wildlife areas through public meetings and other outreach.

CDFW’s Central Region encompasses 12 counties in Central California and is one of seven CDFW regions in the state.

Media Contacts:
Sean Allen, CDFW Central Region, (209) 826-0463
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

 

CDFW photo by Stuart Itoga.

Interested in a Career as a Wildlife Officer? Now’s the Time to Apply!

Do you have a love of the outdoors and a passion for fish and wildlife conservation? The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division (LED) is currently accepting applications for wildlife officers and cadets.

Applicants who are current peace officers must fill out a warden application by July 31, 2018.

Applicants who are not current peace officers must fill out a warden cadet application by Sept. 30, 2018.

All prospective candidates are encouraged to extensively review informational materials on the LED website before contacting CDFW with questions.

CDFW wildlife officers are fully sworn California peace officers with a fundamental duty to serve and protect the public. Wildlife officers focus their efforts on enforcing the Fish and Game Code and regulations promulgated under that code, but they have the authority to enforce all California laws, including the Vehicle Code, Penal Code, Health and Safety drug laws and more. Most know how wildlife officers protect California fish and wildlife from poachers – but there’s much more! Wildlife officers protect our waterways and habitat from destruction, pollution and litter, provide the public with hunting and fishing information, and promote and coordinate hunter education and safe weapons handling.

Wildlife officers patrol the mountains, valleys, deserts, creeks, streams, rivers and up to 200 miles out to sea. They frequently work alone and cover both rural and urban areas. California’s diverse ecosystem spans 159,000 square miles divided into 58 counties, with a human population nearing 40 million. The state has 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs, and 80 major rivers. Wildlife officers patrol utilizing trucks, ATVs, personal watercraft, boats, snowmobiles and airplanes, making contact with Californians in the great outdoors. Wildlife officers work undercover, conduct surveillances and complete in-depth investigations, including writing and serving search warrants. CDFW LED has numerous specialized teams and assignments including K-9, wildlife trafficking, marijuana eradication and watershed protection, marine patrol, and oil spill prevention and response.

Annually, wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations for violations of the law.

Successful applicants for warden cadet will attend a Peace Officer Standards of Training (POST) certified law enforcement training academy, conducted by CDFW at Butte College, near Chico in northern California. Following the academy, probationary wildlife officers will work with a seasoned field training officer for several weeks, where they will learn to apply their training in practical circumstances.

Media Contacts:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-9982
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

 

CDFW photo of California Wildlife Officer Jorge Paz.

Applications Now Available for Special CDFW Dove Hunting Opportunities

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a drawing for more than a dozen special dove hunts in five counties for the 2018 dove season, the first half of which runs from Sept. 1-15.

The special dove hunting opportunities will take place at the Cosumnes River Preserve in Sacramento County, the China Island and Salt Slough units of the North Grasslands Wildlife Area in Merced County, the Los Banos Wildlife Area in Merced County, the Pilibos Wildlife Area in Fresno County, the Carrizo Plains Ecological Reserve in San Luis Obispo County and the Oak Grove Unit of the San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area in San Diego County.

Other dove hunting opportunities are also available on CDFW wildlife areas without reservations.

The special dove hunt descriptions and application instructions are available at CDFW’s Upland Game Wild Bird Hunts webpage. Hunters need to apply through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) for these opportunities as well as other special wild upland bird hunts for quail, chukar, pheasant and turkey as they become available later in the fall.

A non-refundable $2.42 fee will be charged for each application. Hunters may select their top three hunt choices per application and may apply in parties. Hunters may only apply once for each available hunt date. Duplicate entries will be disqualified.

Applications may be purchased online, at CDFW license sales offices, at retail license agents or by phone at (800) 565-1458.

All hunters must abide by California’s nonlead ammunition regulations. Currently, nonlead ammunition is required when hunting doves on any CDFW wildlife area or ecological reserve, but is not required when hunting doves on private property or other public lands. Starting on July 1, 2019, nonlead ammunition will be required when taking any wildlife with a firearm anywhere in California.

The purchase of an Upland Game Bird Stamp/Validation supports these special dove hunting opportunities. The stamp/validation is required for all upland game bird hunters except those with Junior Hunting Licenses.

Media Contacts:
Ben Lewis, CDFW Central Region, (559) 243-4005
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

 

CDFW photo of father and son dove hunters Dylan and Matthew Miller by Peter Tira.

Western Portion of Knoxville Wildlife Area Reopens to Public Access

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced that the western portion of the Knoxville Wildlife Area in northeastern Napa County has reopened to public access.

The portion of the Knoxville Wildlife Area west of the Berryessa-Knoxville Road has reopened to all authorized public use. The portion of the Knoxville Wildlife Area east of the Berryessa-Knoxville Road will remain closed to public use due to the County Fire, which has burned more than 6,000 acres of the wildlife area. It is unknown when the eastern portion of the wildlife area will reopen to the public. The entire wildlife area is being evaluated to determine when and if additional closures or reopenings will occur.

Media Contact:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908