Recreational Ocean Salmon Fishery Season Curtailed on Much of the California Coast

California’s recreational salmon fishery will open in ocean waters on Saturday, April 3 in the Monterey management area, from Pigeon Point (37° 11’ 00” N. latitude) south to the U.S./Mexico border, with a minimum size limit of 24 inches. All other areas of the California coast will remain closed until further notice. The remaining 2021 season dates and associated regulations will be finalized next month.

Although the San Francisco and the Fort Bragg management areas were originally scheduled to open in April, on the advice of salmon fishery representatives, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) made the decision to delay the openers in these areas to limit ocean fishery impacts due to poor stock forecasts. Both Klamath River fall Chinook and Sacramento River fall Chinook have reduced ocean abundance forecasts for the 2021 season compared to long term averages, and the PFMC is taking steps to ensure that enough salmon will return to rivers this fall to meet spawner abundance goals.

Traditionally, fishing in the Monterey management area is better early in the season, prompting recreational fishing representatives to prioritize its opening ahead of areas to the north. Although seasons for the San Francisco, Fort Bragg and Klamath management areas are not yet known, the season alternatives that are currently under consideration prioritize opportunity later in the summer, when catch rates are typically better.

Final season dates will be decided during the virtual PFMC meeting to be held April 6-9 and 12-15. The public is invited to comment on the PFMC’s season proposals at that meeting or at a virtual public hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23. Details on how to attend the PFMC meeting, public hearing, and ways to provide public comment can be found on the PFMC website at www.pcouncil.org

Anglers are advised to check for updated information when planning a salmon fishing trip. Season dates, bag/possession limit information and gear restrictions can be found on CDFW’s ocean salmon web page at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon or by calling the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429. Public notification of any in-season change to conform state regulations to federal regulations is made through the National Marine Fisheries Service ocean salmon hotline at (800) 662-9825.

Media Contacts:            

Kandice Morgenstern, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 484-6901

Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478

State Wildlife Agencies to Hold Workshops on Coyotes in Urban Areas

Due to an increase in the number of reported conflicts between humans and coyotes in California, a series of online-based workshops are planned to help local communities and residents understand the reasons for that increase and how to reduce future conflicts. The first workshop offered by the California Fish and Game Commission and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is scheduled for March 26, 2021. Dates of additional workshops will be provided later. People interested in participating in this conversation about coyotes in the urban environment can visit the Commission website to learn how to join the workshop.

“The Commission and CDFW have heard and understand public concerns about increasing human interactions with coyotes in our cities and towns,” said Commissioner Eric Sklar, chair of the commission’s Wildlife Resources Committee. “Living with wildlife brings challenges, and the workshops are an opportunity to both share and learn more about how we collectively address that reality.”

The principal reasons wildlife, including coyotes, ventures into populated areas is to search for food, water or shelter. Human-coyote interactions are on the rise for many reasons, including increased urbanization, increased abundance of food and water sources, and access to attractants such as pet food, human food, pets and small livestock. Increased interactions can lead to human-coyote bites, pet loss (depredation) and disease transmission concerns. Adaptive, integrated strategies exist to mitigate conflicts and address concerns.

“One of the great things about the State of California is the abundance of open area, natural habitat and diverse wildlife,” said CDFW Deputy Director of Wildlife and Fisheries Stafford Lehr. “But with the rise of human interactions with wildlife, in particular urban coyotes, it is important that the Commission and CDFW work together to improve awareness and safety.”

CDFW and the Commission expect these workshops will provide an inclusive virtual platform for meaningful discussion on human-coyote conflicts and integrated coyote management planning. The first workshop is focused on the science and research related to coyotes in the urban environment as well as the current laws, regulations and jurisdictional roles that create a foundation for communities to reduce human-coyote interactions.

WHAT: Coyotes in the Urban Environment Workshop Series

WHEN: March 26, 2021 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) – Workshop 1 (Science & Research; Laws & Regulations)

WHERE: Participants will join via Zoom and are asked to register in advance and take an online survey. Visit the Commission website or CDFW Facebook page for invite information.

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Media Contacts:
Tim Daly, CDFW Communications, (916) 201-2958
Melissa Miller-Henson, CFGC, (916) 208-4447

Watch out for Wildlife Week Educates Drivers about Increased Animal-Vehicle Collision Risk

Every autumn, as Daylight Saving Time concludes, the number of vehicle-wildlife collisions on California roadways increases. As drivers adjust to less daylight during the evening commute during the first week of November, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Caltrans issue a reminder to be alert and aware of animals on the roads and highways. This year, Watch Out for Wildlife Week also falls during a historic fire season, adding additional urgency to the message.

This is the time of year that deer, elk, bears and other animals are typically on the move for migration, mating or foraging – but wildlife has 3 million fewer acres of forest to call home due to numerous fires around the state. It’s even more likely that displaced animals will be using or crossing roads and coming near traffic.

“Currently, people may be seeing diverse species of wildlife displaced due to fire,” said CDFW Conflict Programs Coordinator Vicky Monroe. “Drivers should be especially cautious driving in areas with known habitat disturbance or fire damage and be aware of wildlife that may be active near roads, such as deer, black bears, bobcats, mountain lions, birds of prey and more.”

Vehicle collisions involving wildlife can be both dangerous and costly.  According to the California Highway Patrol, in 2019, three people died and 390 people were injured in 2,204 collisions with animals on state, county and local roadways throughout California.  The UC Davis Road Ecology Center estimates the total annual cost of animal-vehicle conflicts in California to be at least $307 million in 2018.

“Safety remains our foremost priority,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “This includes doing our part to alert motorists of potential environmental hazards by installing flashing animal crossing warning signs and building larger culverts for safer wildlife passage over and under our roadways.”

Standard driving safety tips carry even more significance in light of habitat loss to the 2020 wildfires. These include:

  • Be extra alert when driving near areas wildlife frequent, such as streams and rivers, and reduce your speed especially around curves.
  • Don’t text and drive! Leave your phone alone; it can wait.
  • Pay extra attention driving during the morning and evening hours when wildlife are often most active.
  • If you see an animal on or near the road, know that others may be following.
  • Don’t litter. Trash and food odors can attract animals to roadways.
  • Pay attention to road shoulders. Look for movement or reflecting eyes. Slow down and honk your horn if you see an animal on or near the road.
  • Respect wildlife. California is their home too.

For any additional information on Watch out for Wildlife Week, or the messaging for California drivers, please contact either the California Department of Fish and Wildlife or Caltrans.

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Media Contacts
William Arnold, Caltrans Public Affairs, (916) 654-3633
Tim Daly, CDFW Communications, (916) 201-2958