Category Archives: CDFW Staff

CDFW to Host Public Meetings on Lands Regulations Changes

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold four public meetings to provide information and gather public input about possible changes to public use regulations for CDFW lands. The properties affected are in Butte, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Merced, Napa, Nevada, Riverside, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare and Yolo counties. (Additional information can be found on CDFW’s website.)

The focus of the regulation changes is the potential designation of nine relatively new properties as wildlife areas and ecological reserves. In addition, six properties will be considered for removal from the current lists of wildlife areas and ecological reserves, due to changes in management authority. Site-specific regulation changes are also under consideration for some existing wildlife areas and ecological reserves.

The meetings will be drop-in “open house” style with information stations and staff available to discuss the changes under consideration. They will be held from 6-8 p.m. on the following dates:

Tuesday, June 18
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
South Coast Region Headquarters
3883 Ruffin Road
San Diego, CA 92123

Wednesday, June 19
Oroville Branch Library
1820 Mitchell Ave.
Oroville, CA  95966

Monday, June 24
Grassland Environmental Education Center
Los Banos Wildlife Area
18110 Henry Miller Ave.
Los Banos, CA  93635

Tuesday, June 25
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area
45211 County Road 32B (Chiles Road)
Davis, CA  95618

Additional opportunities for public comment may arise when the changes are proposed to the California Fish and Game Commission this fall. For more information about the meetings, or if you cannot attend and would like to submit questions or comments, please contact CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Julie Horenstein at julie.horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov.

###

Media Contacts:
Julie Horenstein, CDFW Lands Program, (916) 324-3772
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

California Fish and Game Commission Meets in Redding

At its June 2019 meeting in Redding, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources. Commission President Eric Sklar and Commissioners Russell Burns, Samantha Murray and Peter Silva were present. Commission Vice President Jacque Hostler-Carmesin was absent. The following are just a few items of interest from the two-day meeting.

The Commission voted to move the policy on Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fisheries management from the Wildlife Resources Committee to the full Commission for further review and potential changes. Scores of Delta anglers were drawn to the meeting for this item because it includes policy regarding striped bass and predation concerns on salmon.

“We hear you. We see you,” Commissioner Murray told the crowd as she thanked them for their public engagement. Commissioners explained that in their review of that policy, they would consider the anglers’ concerns about lost striped bass fishing opportunity on the Delta.

The Commission voted 3-1 to accept a petition to list four species of bumble bees for protection under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The action  begins a one-year status review of the species and following that review, the Commission will make a final decision at a future meeting. During the status review, the bee species have protections under CESA as a candidate species. Commissioner Burns was the dissenting vote.

The Commission voted 4-0 to accept a petition to list summer steelhead under CESA. This commences a one-year status review of the species and the Commission will make a final decision at a future meeting. During the status review, summer steelhead have protections under CESA as a candidate species.

The Commission and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division David Bess announced Jessica Brown as 2018 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year. Brown is Supervising City Attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

The Commission consented to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s additional acquisition of 487 acres to expand the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

CDFW Marine Region staff informed Commissioners that effective July 1, 2019, electronic reporting of landing data is mandatory for fish businesses with a multifunction license, fishermen’s retail license or the fish receiver’s license who are reporting the sale or delivery of commercial fish landings. Two outreach events are scheduled for next week to assist businesses with this transition:

  • June 17, 2019 from 2-4 p.m. at the CDFW Office, 32330 N Harbor Dr., Fort Bragg.
  • June 18, 2019 from 1-4 p.m. at the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Office, 601 Startare Dr., Eureka.

###

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.

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

Annual Trout Fest to Make a Splash at Hot Creek Hatchery

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites everyone to celebrate our state’s fishery resources at the Hot Creek Hatchery Trout Fest on Saturday, June 29.

“Fish hatcheries are a terrific family destination and Trout Fest offers a variety of free, fun activities that will interest the angler and non-angler alike,” said Hot Creek Hatchery Manager Michael Escalier.

The many fun things to do at Trout Fest include:

  • Touch a fish – Trout skin is slimy, colorful and cool. You can learn all about these things at the Trout Touch Pool!
  • Feed a fish – Watch trout jump for joy when you toss them a handful of their favorite food. Learn what trout eat in the hatchery and in the wild at the Aquatic Insect Activity.
  • Catch a fish – Try your new skills to catch your very own “whopper” at our Small Fry Fishing activity (for ages 15 years and under only).
  • Clean a fish – Trout are easy to clean and learn how as we clean your whopper at our Trout Cleaning station!
  • Taste a fish – Fish are delicious! There are so many ways to cook a trout! Here’s your chance to try a few tasty recipes at our Trout Tasting booth.
  • Form follows function – Learn how a trout’s anatomy holds the secret to their survival at the Dissection booth.
  • Paint a Fish – Make some fishy art at the Fish Print booth.
  • Join a school of fish – Learn angling ethics, techniques and helpful fishing tips from expert anglers at our Knot Tying, Rigging, Casting and Fly-Tying activities.

Fishing, science, art and cooking are only some of the fun and interesting activities Trout Fest offers. Local fly fishing groups will provide individual fly-casting lessons and demonstrate the art of fly-tying and catch-and-release techniques. CDFW wildlife officers will also be on hand to answer your wildlife-related questions.

Hot Creek Hatchery is located at 121 Hot Creek Hatchery Road, Mammoth Lakes (93546), to the east of Highway 395. Hours for all events are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Parking, admission and activities are all free. Gear and tackle will be provided (fishing is for kids 15 years and under only). No outside gear is allowed.

Additional information can be found on the CDFW website.

###

Media Contact:
Jana Leiran, CDFW Hatchery Interpretive Services, (916) 539-6644
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

June 2019 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

Various Days — Guided Wetland Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). A wildlife naturalist will lead any group, school or organization on a half-mile route through the diverse wetlands of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. General information includes wildlife identification, behavior patterns and conservation efforts. The experience can be customized to include requested information. The minimum group size is 18 people and reservations are required. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Volunteers lead walks every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and main overlook are fully accessible. The day use permit fee is $4.12 per person, ages 16 and older (permits may be purchased onsite). Groups of five or more should please notify staff that they are coming and groups of 10 or more can request a separate tour. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/elkhorn-slough-er.

Various Days — Bats at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. Participants can watch bats leave the Yolo Causeway and fly away to eat crop pests throughout the valley. Pre-register at www.yolobasin.org for one of 30 dates available from June to September. For more information, please contact Corky Quirk at cquirk@yolobasin.org.

1-9 — California Invasive Species Action Week. The goals of the California Invasive Species Action Week are to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and promote public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources. Informational and volunteer events are scheduled statewide, including weed removal and habitat restoration, webinars and tours. See the map and schedule of events at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives/action-week.

8 — Chollas Lake Park Fishing Derby. Chollas Lake Park, 6350 College Grove Drive, San Diego (92115), 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Equipment, bait and instruction will be provided along with refreshments, crafts and prizes for youths 15 and younger. For more information, please call (619) 527-7683.

11 — California Fish and Game Commission Tribal Committee Meeting, time to be determined, Red Lion Hotel Redding, 1830 Hilltop Drive, Redding (96002). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov.

12 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife/Non-Marine Topics Meeting, time to be determined, Red Lion Hotel Redding, 1830 Hilltop Drive, Redding (96002). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov.

13 — California Fish and Game Commission Marine Topics Meeting, time to be determined, Red Lion Hotel Redding, 1830 Hilltop Drive, Redding (96002. For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov.

15 — Elkhorn Slough Bioblitz, 9 a.m. to noon, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Participants can join a naturalist-guided trail walk to survey and submit data on the reserve’s biodiversity. This event is free, but registration is required. Visit www.elkhornslough.org/calendar to register. All ages are welcome but participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, email Ariel Hunter at ariel.hunter@wildlife.ca.gov.

15 — Kids Fishing Day at Mount Shasta Hatchery, N Old Stage Road, Mount Shasta (96067). Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. and fishing is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fishing poles, tackle and bait will be provided. CDFW staff and volunteers will assist with parking, registration, fishing, netting fish and answering questions. Kids Fishing Days are also scheduled at the hatchery on July 6 and Aug. 17. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries/mount-shasta or call (530) 926-2215.

18 — Land Regulations Outreach Meeting, 6 to 8 p.m., CDFW South Coast Region Headquarters, 3883 Ruffin Road, San Diego (92123). The meeting will inform the public about site-specific changes to public use regulations that are being considered for certain CDFW properties. CDFW personnel will be available at information stations to answer questions and listen to stakeholder interests, needs and ideas. For more information, please contact Julie Horenstein at julie.horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov.

19 — Land Regulations Outreach Meeting, 6 to 8 p.m., Oroville Branch Library, 1820 Mitchell Ave., Oroville (95966). The meeting will inform the public about site-specific changes to public use regulations that are being considered for certain CDFW properties. CDFW personnel will be available at information stations to answer questions and listen to stakeholder interests, needs and ideas. For more information, please contact Julie Horenstein at julie.horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov.

19 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, “CDFW Monitoring of the Salton Sea,” presented by Nasseer Idrisi. 10 a.m. to noon. California Department of Fish and Wildlife monitoring of the Salton Sea has revealed concurrent declines in the tilapia population in the Sea and piscivorous birds that feed on the tilapia. Other fish surviving in the Salton Sea include desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) and sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna). The piscivorous birds that use the Salton Sea as feeding grounds and are impacted by the decline in the fish population include American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), and double crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auratus). Attendance is free. To register or learn more, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures. CDFW employees please register via OTD LEARN.

22 — Sunset Saturday, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Participants can enjoy a sunset on the Slough, with the reserve open to the public until 8 p.m. All visitors must check in at the Visitor Center before entering the trails. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and main overlook are fully accessible. The day use permit fee is $4.12 per person, ages 16 and older (permits may be purchased on-site). For more information, please contact Ariel Hunter at ariel.hunter@wildlife.ca.gov.

22 — Annual Clean-up Day at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, 7:30 a.m. to noon, 45211 County Road 32B, Davis (95618). Volunteers will meet at 7:30 a.m. at the wildlife area check station, then participate in cleanup activities in preparation for the upcoming waterfowl season. Activities typically involve cleaning and brushing up hunting blinds and improving area signage and field markers. Volunteers should bring gloves, work boots and sunscreen. Water and insect repellent will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Yolo Bypass Area Manager at (530) 757-2431.

24 — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Applications on Sale for Fall Elk Hunts. Seventy-two SHARE elk tags will be available during 45 elk hunts offered through the SHARE program. Also on sale are deer, pig, bear and upland game hunts on various properties. An $11 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) will be charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

24 — Land Regulations Outreach Meeting, 6 to 8 p.m., Grassland Environmental Education Center, Los Banos Wildlife Area, 18110 Henry Miller Ave., Los Banos (93635). The meeting will inform the public about site-specific changes to public use regulations that are being considered for certain CDFW properties. CDFW personnel will be available at information stations to answer questions and listen to stakeholder interests, needs and ideas. For more information, please contact Julie Horenstein at julie.horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov.

24-25 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Teachers on the Estuary Workshop, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). This workshop will help middle and high school teachers develop water quality data collection and analysis skills, and will provide information about estuaries and watersheds. Space is limited to the first 16 teachers who enroll. To register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/education/teachers. For more information, please contact Virginia Guhin at virginia.guhin@wildlife.ca.gov.

25 — Public Hearing, Dungeness Crab Trap Gear Retrieval Program, 10 a.m. to noon, 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100, Large Conference Room, Monterey (93940). CDFW is holding this public hearing to solicit input on changes to the proposed retrieval program for lost or abandoned commercial Dungeness crab trap gear. For more information, including documents included in the rulemaking file and information on submitting public comments, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/notices/regulations/gear-retrieval-program.

25 — Land Regulations Outreach Meeting, 6 to 8 p.m., Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, 45211 County Road 32B (Chiles Road), Davis (95618). The meeting will inform the public about site-specific changes to public use regulations that are being considered for certain CDFW properties. CDFW personnel will be available at information stations to answer questions and listen to stakeholder interests, needs and ideas. For more information, please contact Julie Horenstein at julie.horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov.

29 — Trout Fest 2019 at the Hot Creek Hatchery, 121 Hot Creek Hatchery Road, Mammoth Lakes (93546). Trout Fest is a free event that introduces youths to the basics of trout fishing. Youths can learn how to tie basic fishing knots, rig a pole, cast, and handle, clean and cook trout. All equipment is provided, and no outside gear is allowed. Fishing is for those 15 and under. For more information, please email troutfest@wildlife.ca.gov or visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries.

###

Media Contact:
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

CDFW Graduates Six New Warden K-9s

May is graduation season and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division K-9 Academy is no exception. Six new K-9s graduated from the program today and are now ready to put their skills in law enforcement and environmental protection to work.

All of the dogs are trained to detect illegally taken wildlife, invasive species, hidden firearms, expended casings and other evidence or articles. About half of CDFW’s K-9s are dual purpose, meaning they do detection work but also protect their handlers, other law enforcement officers, and the public and aid in the apprehension of suspects.

The new teams and their upcoming assignments are as follows:

  • Warden Shane Embry and K-9 Link. Link is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois. Dual Purpose team assigned to Humboldt County.
  • Warden Michael Hampton and K-9 Leeloo. Leeloo is a 3-year-old German Shepherd. Detection team assigned to Humboldt County.
  • Warden Michael Beals and K-9 Rage. Rage is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois. Dual Purpose team assigned to Glenn County.
  • Warden Jeffrey Moran and K-9 Tess. Tess is a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois. Detection team assigned to Stanislaus County.
  • Warden Casey Thomas and K-9 Canna. Canna is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois. Dual Purpose team assigned to Marijuana Permitting.
  • Warden Nick Molsberry and K-9 Scout. Scout is a 2-year-old English Springer Spaniel. Detection team assigned to Orange County.

Today’s graduation followed eight weeks of intensive training to bring the dogs’ behavior and field responses up to the standards of detection and handler protection required by CDFW and California Peace Officers Standards and Training.

“Our Warden K-9 teams have dramatically increased the officer safety during some very dangerous missions in the backcountry, and have helped us track down and arrest hundreds of felony suspects,” said Lt. Bob Pera, CDFW K-9 program coordinator. “Then the next day, they may put on a demonstration at a public event or school function where they inevitably garner the attention of all present and help gain support for CDFW law enforcement programs.”

Notably, the teams have already begun to show their mettle in the field. Just after their formal certification May 22, Warden Beals and his new K-9 partner Rage joined two veteran K-9 teams, Warden Aaron Galway and K-9 partner Ghille and Warden Nick Buckler and K-9 partner Beedo, for a first patrol. Just nine minutes into the shift, they observed a vehicle committing several driving violations on Highway 36 near Red Bluff. The driver made some headway before they could make the stop. It took some investigative effort to realize a passenger had hopped out of the vehicle earlier and ran off to hide in the brush. Rage deployed and soon located a lighter and a hat off the side of the road 400 yards from the where the vehicle came to a stop. Rage immediately started directly on the track while Ghille came in from a different angle. Warden Buckler and Beedo deployed in an adjacent canyon to cut off any possible escape. Rage tracked the suspect to his hiding place about the same time Warden Galway and Ghille established visual contact. The suspect quickly surrendered for fear of sustaining a bite. He had outstanding warrants for 15 felony violations in North Carolina and had been on the run for more than 12 years.

“CDFW K-9s are selected for drive, determination and obedience. Then they are intensively trained for work specific to wildlife law enforcement,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “The dogs absolutely love what they do, as do their handlers. And at the end of the day, they ask for nothing in return other than a favorite rubber ball, lavish praise and belly scratches.”

CDFW’s K-9 program is funded largely by private donations through the California Wildlife Officers Foundation and handlers thank them for their continued support.

###

Media Contacts:
Lt. Kyle Kroll, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (530) 575-5736
Warden Kyle Glau, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (530) 559-7542