All posts by ptirawildlife

CDFW Warns Anglers and Hunters about Bogus License Sales Websites

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has been made aware of several websites that improperly charge customers extra fees for online fishing and hunting license purchases and collect sensitive personal information as part of their unauthorized transactions.

California hunting and fishing licenses may properly be purchased in only one of four ways:

The ALDS, which is CDFW’s exclusive means of online license sales, was launched in 2011. ALDS can be accessed via CDFW’s website or by clicking the link that is frequently provided in official communications from the department. When making an online purchase, please check the URL of the site you are visiting to ensure you are on the official CDFW website ( or the ALDS website ( These are the only CDFW-affiliated links for hunting and fishing license sales.

Customers should be aware that there are many unofficial websites that attempt to represent the CDFW and/or contain information about hunting and fishing licenses, and Internet search engines may not always list the official CDFW website as the top result.

Please be cautious when providing personal information to any website. While authorized purchases made through independent license sales agents and ALDS are subject to an additional 5 percent handling fee, the fraudulent sales websites offer products for sale with “shipping and handling fees” that are much higher than 5 percent of the base purchase price. To date, it appears that the fraudulent activity has been limited to charging customers unauthorized fees. Licenses that have been mailed to customers after unauthorized transactions may be valid; however, CDFW cannot guarantee that this is or will be true in all cases.

If you believe you may have been defrauded by an unauthorized website or would like to check the validity of a previous purchase, please provide us with information about your experience at

Media Contact:
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937.

More Information:
Frequently Asked Questions


CDFW and PG&E to Provide Additional Angling Opportunity in Plumas County as Part of Lower Bucks Lake Dam Upgrade Work

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) are working together to offset effects anglers may experience as a result of dam upgrade work scheduled for the summer of 2020 at Lower Bucks Lake in Plumas County.

The concrete dam at Lower Bucks Lake is owned by PG&E. Since its construction in the late 1920s, the downstream face of the dam has experienced gradual damage from repeated freezing and thawing, enlarging surface cracks in the dam. Although there are no immediate safety concerns, PG&E is going to install a water-resistant membrane on the upstream side of the dam to prevent future damage and will restore the downstream face of the dam.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved PG&E’s plan. The project is slated to begin in May 2020 and conclude by November 2020. To perform the work, Lower Bucks Lake must be drained and roads, campsites and other public access to the lake will be closed temporarily to ensure public safety. Nearby Bucks Lake will not be impacted and will remain open to the public.

Lower Bucks Lake is located in the Plumas National Forest less than 20 miles from the Plumas County seat of Quincy. The small, 136-acre reservoir sits at an elevation of approximately 5,022 feet and is located downstream from the much larger, 1,850-acre Bucks Lake. The two reservoirs are connected by Bucks Creek.

While Bucks Lake is a major recreation destination offering camping, lodging, RV accommodations, fishing, boat rentals and water sports of all kinds, Lower Bucks Lake provides a quieter, more secluded fishing experience with just seven small public campsites, no formal boat launch and boating restrictions. Although CDFW has not stocked Lower Bucks Lake with fish since 1966, the lake holds small populations of Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout and Kokanee Salmon.

To offset lost fishing opportunity in the area due to the project, CDFW and PG&E evaluated several options. A fish rescue will not be feasible during the lake’s drawdown due to steep terrain, safety concerns and limited access.

CDFW and PG&E instead will focus efforts on providing additional fishing opportunity at Bucks Lake during the dam work. Bucks Lake will receive double the number of catchable-sized Rainbow Trout stocked in addition to the normal number of Brown Trout and Brook Trout planted.

Once the upgrade project is complete, CDFW and PG&E will work together to rebuild the fishery at Lower Bucks Lake through substantial fish stocking in 2021 and 2022, which will include the planting of Kokanee Salmon, and Rainbow and Brown Trout.

In addition to catchable, sub-catchable and fingerling-sized fish provided by both CDFW and PG&E, PG&E has committed to stocking trophy-sized Rainbow Trout into Lower Bucks Lake to jump-start the fishery for the 2021 fishing and camping season.

“With the number and size of fish we’ll be planting in Lower Bucks Lake after the project, it should provide a fast-action fishery and a great fishing opportunity for quite awhile,” said Amber Mouser, CDFW’s district fisheries biologist for Plumas County.

In the meantime, anglers are encouraged to pay a visit to Lower Bucks Lake this summer and fall, enjoy the beautiful setting and – if skilled and lucky enough – a delicious, healthy meal of trout or Kokanee Salmon. All fishing regulations, daily bag and possession limits still apply.

Media Contacts:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Sarah Mussulman, CDFW North Central Region, (916) 591-1152

Photo of Lower Bucks Lake courtesy of PG&E

CDFW to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Dungeness Crab Trap Gear Retrieval Program

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is developing regulations to implement a retrieval program for lost or abandoned commercial Dungeness crab gear. A public hearing will be held at 10 a.m. on June 25, 2019 at the CDFW Monterey Office at 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Monterey, Calif.

At the initial public hearing in Santa Rosa on April 2, CDFW proposed modifications to the program. A supplemental public comment period began May 10 and will run through June 24, 2019.

Under existing law (Fish and Game Code Section 8276(d)), all commercial Dungeness crab traps must be removed from the water by 11:59 p.m. on the last day of the commercial Dungeness crab season. Under the proposed program, qualified entities (Retrieval Permittees) and their designated agents can retrieve lost or abandoned commercial Dungeness crab gear remaining in the water after the close of the season. Retrieval Permittees must contact the Dungeness crab vessel permitholder and offer to return the gear in exchange for reasonable compensation. If reasonable compensation is not provided, CDFW will reimburse the Retrieval Permittee and levy fees against the vessel permitholder. The program is expected to reduce the amount of lost or abandoned commercial trap gear in ocean waters, which pose entanglement risk to marine life and navigational hazards to other boaters.

Interested individuals are encouraged to review the proposed regulations ( and to submit written comments prior to the close of the supplemental public comment period (5 p.m. on June 24) or give oral comments at the public hearing on June 25, 2019.

Media Contacts:
Morgan Ivens-Duran, CDFW Marine Region, (831) 649-2811
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

Bear Responsible for Sierra Madre Incident, and Cub, to be Released to the Wild

The adult black bear that scratched a man on his Sierra Madre property on June 10 was protecting her cub and not acting abnormally aggressive, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) investigation has concluded. CDFW is in the process of releasing both the bear and cub back to suitable habitat near the location where they were captured.

The sow strayed onto the man’s property, where the adult bear was challenged by the man’s dog. The sow had a cub nearby. The dog reportedly engaged in a physical confrontation with the sow prompting the man to run into the fray to save his dog. He kicked the sow, which prompted it to scratch him. CDFW biologists concluded the bear acted in defense of itself and its cub, which constitutes normal behavior. The man successfully saved the dog and called 911. The injuries to the man and his dog were not serious and both are expected to fully recover.

A wildlife officer responded to the scene and tranquilized both bears after the man identified them as the ones involved in the incident. Officers collected DNA evidence samples from the man and the sow and sent them to the CDFW Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Sacramento for analysis. Forensics scientists compared the DNA profile of the captured adult bear to those of evidence taken from the man to conclude with a very high level of confidence that the captured bear was the one involved in the incident.

Forensics scientists also compared the bear’s DNA to the DNA evidence collected from a bear attack reported on April 25, also in Sierra Madre. The evidence showed that it was not the same bear.

CDFW reminds Californians that much of the state is bear country, even Los Angeles County, one of the most populated counties in the United States. CDFW encourages the citizens of Sierra Madre and anyone living in and around bear habitat to review tips on how to better coexist with bears and other wildlife at CDFW also recently published seven things to know about California bear activity right now.

CDFW will share photos of the release on social media when available.

Media Contacts:
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

North State Trout Stocking Schedule Changed to Reduce Potential Impacts to Cascades Frog

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced changes to the summer trout stocking schedule in backcountry waters in its Northern Region as a result of the candidacy of the Cascades Frog (Rana cascadae) for listing as an endangered or threatened species.

The Cascades Frog is found in a variety of habitats such as large lakes, ponds, wet meadows and streams at mid- to high-elevation ranges from the Klamath-Trinity region, along the Cascades Range axis in the vicinity of Mount Shasta, southward to the headwater tributaries of the Feather River.

In 2017, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to approve the candidacy of the Cascades Frog for potential listing under the California Endangered Species Act. During the candidacy review process, CDFW is obligated to protect the species from take, including protection from introduced fish in its native habitats, one of a number of threats to its survival in California.

Consequently, 41 backcountry locations primarily in Siskiyou and Trinity counties now known to support Cascades Frogs will not be stocked with trout in 2019. An additional 19 locations will not be stocked until CDFW can conduct a visual inspection to determine the presence of frogs. If visual inspection detects the presence of Cascades Frog, no stocking will occur.

CDFW will continue to stock trout in 146 locations throughout its Northern Region, which encompasses Del Norte, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counites.

The 41 locations removed from CDFW’s 2019 trout stocking allocations are typically remote, backcountry waters that were planted annually with fingerling rainbow trout by airplane, horses or mules. These waters historically were devoid of trout before humans introduced them.

Not stocking these waters should not negatively affect fishing opportunities in the near future because it takes a substantial amount of time for the fingerlings to grow to catchable size. Most of these waters contain self-sustaining populations of trout that will be available for anglers to catch this year just as in previous years.

The trout originally allocated to these 41 locations will be stocked into other waters to improve angling opportunities. Many of the trout will remain in CDFW’s hatcheries to grow to catchable size for later stocking into more popular and accessible waters.

Check CDFW’s Fish Planting Schedule for the latest waters stocked with trout. CDFW also offers an online, map-based Fishing Guide and mobile app to inform fishing decisions.

The list of Northern Region waters that will not be stocked in 2019 include:

Siskiyou County

  • Aspen Lake
  • Big Blue Lake
  • Blueberry Lake
  • Buckhorn Lake
  • Burney Lake
  • Buzzard Lake
  • Chinquapin Lake
  • Clear Lake
  • Cliff Lake
  • Crater Lake (Big), China Mountain
  • Cuddihy Lake #1
  • Cuddihy Lake #3
  • Deep Lake
  • Dogwood Lake
  • Fisher Lake
  • Granite Lake (Blue)
  • High Lake
  • Hogan Lake
  • Lake of the Island
  • Lipstick Lake
  • Milne Lake
  • Rainy Lake
  • South Sugar Lake
  • Spirit Lake
  • Statue Lake
  • Summit Lake
  • Syphon Lake
  • Wicks Lake
  • Wooley Lake
  • Wright Lake (Lower)

Trinity County

  • Big Bear Lake
  • Deer Lake
  • Diamond Lake
  • Emerald Lake
  • Granite Lake
  • Horseshoe Lake
  • Little Boulder Lake
  • Luella Lake
  • Ward Lake

Media Contacts:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Andrew Jensen, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2378