All posts by ptirawildlife

East Side of Knoxville Wildlife Area Reopens Following 2018 County Fire

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is pleased to announce the reopening of the east side of the Knoxville Wildlife Area in Napa County on March 1, 2019.

The July 2018 County Fire consumed approximately 6,000 acres of the wildlife area and forced the closure of the entire east side. This winter’s vegetation regrowth over the burned area has helped stabilize hillsides allowing the public to once again enjoy the recreational opportunities the 21,500-acre wildlife area has to offer.

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

CDFW Offering Drawings for 86 Spring Wild Turkey Hunts on Public, Private Land

California’s spring turkey season opens statewide March 30 and extends through May 5, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering 86 special hunts this year on public and private land to help hunters bag a tom.

Young hunters have additional opportunities. Junior Hunting License holders can hunt March 23-24, the weekend before the general opener, and the two weeks after the general season closes, May 6-19, using shotguns or any other legal method of take. CDFW is offering 25 special turkey hunts reserved just for Junior Hunting License holders.

California’s archery-only spring turkey season runs from May 6-19. New this year, CDFW is offering a drawing for seven, archery-only hunts throughout the general and archery seasons near Millerton Lake in Madera County.

CDFW’s SHARE Program, which provides public hunting access to private properties, is offering drawings for spring turkey hunts on two private ranches in Tulare County, the 722-acre River Ridge Ranch and the 975-acre Hart Ranch. Both properties are new to the SHARE program for the spring turkey season.

With growing populations of wild turkeys in almost every part of the state, the spring turkey season has become one of the most anticipated events on the upland bird hunting calendar.

Shooting hours for spring turkeys are from one half-hour before sunrise to 5 p.m. Both a hunting license and an upland game bird stamp validation are required to hunt wild turkeys, although an upland validation is not required of Junior Hunting License holders.

Nonlead shot is required when taking wild turkeys with a shotgun anywhere in the state except when hunting on licensed game bird clubs. These regulations apply to both public and private land, including all national forests, Bureau of Land Management and CDFW properties. For more information on nonlead ammunition regulations, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/nonlead-ammunition.

Applications for CDFW’s special spring turkey hunting opportunities must be made through CDFW’s Automated License Data System. Hunts are grouped into four separate drawings: Junior Hunts, General Opening Weekend Hunts, Archery-Only Hunts and Balance of Season Hunts. There is a $2.42 application fee and only one application per hunter is allowed for each drawing. Applications allow hunters to select their top three hunt choices in order of preference. Hunters may only be drawn once per application. The application deadline for these hunts is as follows:

  • Junior Hunts: Saturday, March 2, 2019
  • Opening Weekend General Season Hunts: Saturday, March 9, 2019
  • Archery-Only Hunts: Sunday, March 10, 2019
  • Balance of the Season Hunts: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

To apply, please visit CDFW’s online sales site, sign into your account, select the “Purchase Licenses” link and select “2018 – Hunting” from the menu on the left side of the page. The spring turkey hunt application items will be available under the “Drawings” section on the right side of the page. After submitting your application, checking out and completing payment, you will be able to download a receipt confirming your entries into the drawings.

For more details and descriptions of these hunts, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/turkey-hunts.

Hunters will also find the “SHARE Hunts Multi Choice Application” available in the same location online after signing into their accounts. The application fee for the Tulare County private ranch turkey hunts is $11.62 per hunt with all of the proceeds returned to participating landowners to pay for these hunts and additional opportunities.

For more details and descriptions of these SHARE hunts, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share#51518483-general-hunts and select the links for the River Ridge Ranch and the Hart Ranch.

CDFW to Host Public Meeting on Ocean Salmon Fisheries

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites the public to attend its upcoming annual Salmon Information Meeting. The meeting will feature the outlook for this year’s sport and commercial ocean salmon fisheries, in addition to a review of last year’s salmon fisheries and spawning escapement.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa.

Anglers are encouraged to provide input on potential fishing seasons to a panel of California salmon scientists, managers and representatives who will be directly involved in the upcoming Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) meetings in March and April.

The 2019 Salmon Information Meeting marks the beginning of a two-month long public process used to develop annual sport and commercial ocean salmon fishing recommendations. The process involves collaborative negotiations with West Coast states, federal and tribal agencies, and stakeholders interested in salmon fishery management and conservation. Public input will help California representatives develop a range of recommended season alternatives during the March 5-12 PFMC meeting in Vancouver, Wash. The PFMC will finalize the recommended season dates at its April 9-16 meeting in Rohnert Park, Calif.

A list of additional meetings and other opportunities for public comment is available on CDFW’s ocean salmon web page: www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon/preseason.

The meeting agenda and handouts will be posted online as soon as they become available.

Commission Accepts Listing Petition; Requires Closure of Some Recreational Fishing in Klamath Basin

At its February 2019 meeting in Sacramento, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources.

The Commission accepted a petition to list Upper Klamath-Trinity River Spring Chinook Salmon as endangered, setting into motion a status review to be completed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

The petitioners, the Karuk Tribe and Salmon River Restoration Council, submitted information suggesting declining population trends and a low abundance, making this stock of salmon vulnerable to extinction. The Commission action results in Spring Chinook Salmon being designated as a Candidate Species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), which provides Candidate Species the same protections as species listed as endangered and threatened under CESA.

CDFW also requested the Commission adopt emergency fishing regulations necessary to reconcile them with the CESA protections. CDFW will also be in consultation with federal regulatory bodies concerning ocean fishing regulations.

Acceptance of the petition triggers a one-year status review by CDFW to determine if a CESA listing by the Commission may be warranted. CDFW, after review of the best scientific information available, will make a recommendation to the Commission on whether to list Spring Chinook Salmon as either endangered or threatened, or that listing is not warranted at this time.

The following inland salmon fishing closures were approved by the Commission through the emergency regulations:

  1. Klamath River main stem from the mouth of the river to Iron Gate dam. Closed to salmon fishing from the anticipated effective date of February 22 (subject to approval from the Office of Administrative Law (OAL)) to August 14.
  2. Trinity River main stem from its confluence to the Highway 299 Bridge at Cedar Flat. Closed to salmon fishing from the anticipated effective date of February 22 (subject to OAL approval) to August 31.
  3. Trinity River main stem from upstream of the Highway 299 Bridge at Cedar Flat to Old Lewiston Bridge. Closed to salmon fishing from the anticipated effective date of February 22 (subject to OAL approval) to October 15.

Fishing for Upper Klamath-Trinity River Fall Chinook Salmon will be allowed in these areas after the closure dates listed above. Quotas and bag and possession limits for Fall Chinook Salmon will be adopted by the Commission in May of this year. Steelhead fishing will be allowed year-round with normal bag and possession limits.

Along with its adoption of the emergency regulations, the Commission also directed CDFW to work with stakeholders, including affected counties, fishing organizations, Tribes and conservation groups, to investigate options to allow some Spring Chinook Salmon fishing in 2019. Under Section of 2084 of Fish and Game Code, the Commission can consider hook-and-line recreational fishing on a Candidate Species. CDFW will present the results of that stakeholder collaboration and potential options using Section 2084 at the Commission’s next public meeting, which will be held April 17 in Santa Monica.

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

Additional information can be found in the “2018-2019 California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations” and the “2018-2019 California Supplement Sport Fishing Regulations.”

The Commission also voted to re-elect Commissioner Eric Sklar as president and Commissioner Jacque Hostler-Carmesin as vice president. In addition to Sklar and Hostler-Carmesin, Commissioners Russell Burns and Peter Silva were present. One seat is vacant.

The full Commission agenda, supporting information and a schedule of upcoming meetings are available at www.fgc.ca.gov. An archived video will also be available in coming days.

Media Contacts:
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (208) 220-1169
Kevin Shaffer, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 327-8841

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The California Fish and Game Commission was the first wildlife conservation agency in the United States, predating even the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. There is often confusion about the distinction between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Commission. In the most basic terms, CDFW implements and enforces the regulations set by the Commission, as well as provides biological data and expertise to inform the Commission’s decision-making process.

 

 

 

 

CDFW Magnifies Efforts to Recruit Hunters and Anglers

In an effort to get more Californians involved in fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is partnering with the recreational fishing and hunting communities, state and federal agencies, and others to address barriers and opportunities to hunting and fishing in the state.

“Our goal is to support and encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy California’s wild places,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “The fishing and hunting opportunities in this state are unparalleled, they belong to all Californians and should be utilized by all of us. This effort is to make sure Californians know that.”

CDFW has formed an executive-level task force, hired a full-time coordinator to head-up the effort, hired a research scientist, and finalized a statewide recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) action plan. A staff-level working group is working to increase hunting and fishing participation by collaborating with diverse stakeholders to transform barriers to participation into opportunities. Some of the barriers CDFW will look at initially are access and opportunity challenges, public perception of fishing and hunting, and license structure and pricing. The effort will also focus on encouraging more adults to take up hunting and fishing for the first time.

Research shows spending time outdoors improves physical, mental and social well-being. Many hunters and anglers say the reason they participate in these activities is to enjoy the quality time with family and friends and to bring home great memories and healthy food.

California is home to some of the nation’s most diverse hunting and fishing opportunities, but participation in these activities has declined significantly since the 1970s and 1980s. Hunters and anglers play a crucial role in managing natural resources by regulating wildlife populations to maintain ecological and biological diversity, participating in wildlife surveys for scientific data collection, and reporting wildlife crimes. Hunters and anglers also help sustain a multi-billion-dollar outdoor recreation industry and provide the primary funding source for state-level fish and wildlife conservation in California. The decline in participation poses an ever-increasing threat to wildlife conservation, the state’s long-standing hunting and fishing heritage, and Californians’ connection to the outdoors in general.

“The fishing and hunting community has rallied around CDFW, and we are now poised to tackle the challenges before us,” Bonham said.

To get involved or learn more about the state’s R3 efforts, please contact Jennifer.Benedet@wildlife.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:
Jen Benedet, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 903-9270
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824