Category Archives: CDFW Staff

Nimbus Hatchery Fish Ladder to Open Oct. 9

The Nimbus Hatchery Fish Ladder on the American River will open on Monday, Oct. 9 at 10:45 a.m. The ladder is opening unusually early in the season to accommodate the arrival of returning adult fall-run Chinook salmon that hatched in the Coleman National Fish Hatchery (CNFH) in Battle Creek in 2014. Eggs from fall-run Chinook salmon that stray to Nimbus Hatchery will be returned to CNFH to ensure a healthy population of these fish for commercial, recreational and ecological purposes.

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“These fish were born at the height of the drought in 2014,” said Jay Rowan, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) North Central Region Senior Environmental Scientist. “They were trucked to the Delta as fry and released near Rio Vista and the San Pablo Bay as part of a massive effort to improve their chances for survival in a year of poor river conditions.”

Returning now as adults, many of these salmon will stray into the American River and not return to their home waters to spawn. The lack of returning fish will make it extremely difficult for the CNFH to reach their goal of producing 12 million fall-run Chinook salmon this fall to release in the waters below Lake Shasta.

CDFW is partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), with the support of the Bureau of Reclamation, to collect eggs at Nimbus Fish Hatchery to assist CNFH in meeting its production goals and maintaining a stable salmon population on Battle Creek and the upper Sacramento River.

When the salmon reach Nimbus Hatchery, staff will separate out the fish that have had their adipose fin removed, indicating that they carry a tiny coded wire tag that records their hatchery of origin. Fish identified as being of CNFH origin will be spawned with one another, and their fertilized eggs returned to CNFH. Fish that have not had their adipose fin removed will be spawned and their eggs held until it is determined if they will be needed to meet CNFH production goals.  Fish that are not yet ready to spawn will have a colored tag attached to their dorsal fin and will be returned to the American River, where they will be available to anglers until they either spawn naturally or climb the ladder again and are spawned at the hatchery to meet the Nimbus Fish Hatchery egg collection goals. While anglers are able to catch and keep fish marked with these tags, the tags have no monetary value and do not need to be returned to CDFW.

Nimbus Hatchery visitors can observe salmon in the fish ladder and view the spawning process through windows in the Visitor Center. For more information about spawning schedules and educational opportunities at Nimbus Hatchery, please visit the CDFW website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries/nimbus.

Media Contacts:
Laura Drath, CDFW North Central Region, (916) 358-2884
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 201-2958
Shane Hunt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (916) 930-5604

October 2017 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

DATE — EVENT

Various Days — Guided Wetland Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). A wildlife naturalist will lead a group, school or organization on a half-mile route through diverse wetlands. General information includes wildlife identification, behavior patterns and conservation efforts. Tours 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.deiter@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, deer, bear, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $10.50 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

Weekends — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough. 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 on-site). Groups of five 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.

7 — General Duck and Goose Season Opens in the Northeastern Waterfowl Zone. For complete regulations, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl or contact Melanie Weaver at melanie.weaver@wildlife.ca.gov.

7 — General Deer Season Opens in Zones D19, X1, X2, X3a, X3b, X4, X5a, X5b, X6a, X6b, X7a, X7b. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

7-8 — Early Quail Season for Junior Hunting License Holders in the Mojave National Preserve. One weekend only. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

7-8 — Fall Fish Festival, Taylor Creek Visitor Center, 35 Visitor Center Road, South Lake Tahoe (96150), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., both days. The festival is a family event encouraging participation by children and their parents in a variety of educational and entertaining activities. For more information, please visit https://tahoesouth.com/events/fall-fish-fest-kokanee-salmon-festival-at-taylor-creek-visitor-center/.

10 — California Fish and Game Commission Tribal Committee Meeting, time to be determined, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, 900 El Camino Real, Atascadero (93422). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2017/index.aspx.

11 — California Fish and Game Commission Coastal Fishing Communities Public Meeting, 4 to 6 p.m., following the conclusion of the California Fish and Game Commission meeting, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, 900 El Camino Real, Atascadero (93422). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2017/index.aspx.

11-12 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on both days, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, 900 El Camino Real, Atascadero (93422). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2017/index.aspx.

14 — General Season Opens for Black Bears in deer hunting zones X1 through X7b on Oct. 14, 2017, and extends through Dec. 31, 2017. The first general season for black bears opened in deer hunting Zone A on Aug.12, 2017. General black bear season will open with the general deer-hunting season in deer zones A, B, C, D, X8, X9a, X9b, X10 and X12 and extends through Dec. 31, 2017. Please note that deer zones A, B, C, D, X8, X9a, X9b, X10 and X12 have different deer season opening dates depending upon the deer zone. CDFW shall close the season earlier if 1,700 bears have been reported taken. For daily updates on reported bear harvest, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Bear or call toll-free (888) 277-6398. Please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/current/mammalregs.aspx for a description of the current mammal hunting regulations and American black bear hunt zone boundary descriptions. The bag and possession limit for general season is one adult bear per hunting license year. Cubs and females accompanied by cubs may not be taken.

14 — General Deer Season Opens in Zones D11, D13, D14, D15 and D17. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

14 — Archery-only Pheasant Season Opens. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

16-18 — Dungeness Crab Task Force Meeting. Ukiah Valley Conference Center, Cabernet II Room, 200 S School Street, Ukiah (95482). The public meeting is designed to discuss the Dungeness crab fishery and an agenda will be released within ten days of the scheduled meeting. For more information, please visit www.opc.ca.gov/2009/04/dungeness-crab-task-force/ or email info@dungenesscrabtaskforce.com.

18  — California Fish and Game Commission Coastal Fishing Communities Public Meeting, 4 to 6 p.m.,, E.P. Foster Library, Elizabeth R. Topping Room, 651 East Main Street, Ventura (93001). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2017/index.aspx.

20 — Youth Essay Contest Opens. CDFW and the California Wildlife Officers Foundation are co-sponsoring the annual “Passing on the Tradition” essay contest for young hunters. The California Wildlife Officers Foundation will recognize one grand-prize winner with a lifetime California hunting license, valued at more than $600. Second and third place winners will also be selected and prize packages will be awarded. The contest is open to all junior hunting license holders, as well as youths under 18 who have earned a hunter education certificate. The topic of the essay is scheduled to be announced soon. Entries should be submitted via email to Lt. John Nores at john.nores@wildlife.ca.gov and must be received on or before Dec. 15, 2017. Applicants must provide their date of birth and a contact telephone number. Essays will be reviewed and scored by CDFW wildlife officers and other CDFW representatives, and the winners will be notified by telephone. For additional information, please contact Lt. Nores at (408) 591-5174.

20 — General Duck and Goose Season Opens in the Colorado River Waterfowl Zone. For complete regulations, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl or contact Melanie Weaver at melanie.weaver@wildlife.ca.gov.

21 — General Duck and Goose Season Opens in the Balance of State, Southern San Joaquin Valley and Southern California Waterfowl Zones. For complete regulations, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl or contact Melanie Weaver at melanie.weaver@wildlife.ca.gov.

21 — Quail Season Opens in Zones Q1 and Q3. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

21 — General Chukar Season Opens Statewide. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

21 — General Snipe Season Opens Statewide. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

21 — General Deer Season Opens in Zone X9c. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

28 — General Deer Season Opens in Zone D16. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

31 — Red abalone season closes for 2017.  Due to concerns over declining red abalone populations, the California Fish and Game Commission used emergency action to reduce the number of abalone taken. The reduction was implemented by delaying the start of the season one month, reducing the annual limit, and closing the fishery on Oct. 31, a month earlier than the traditional closure at the end of November.

Media Contact:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

 

Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr. Wanted for Attempting to Shoot a CDFW Wildlife Officer

A reward of up to $20,000 remains available for information leading to the arrest of Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr., suspected of attempting to shoot a California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officer in August 2016. Anyone with information in this case (#201604226), particularly the whereabouts of Hof, is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539, or the CDFW CalTIP line at (888) 334-2258.

The California Wildlife Officers Foundation, California Waterfowl Association, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States, Nature Conservancy, Sportfishing Alliance and private donors collaborated on the reward.

Hof 2
Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr.

On Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, at approximately 12:40 a.m., a CDFW wildlife officer was patrolling in Carlotta, Humboldt County.  The officer saw a pickup truck with several occupants using spotlights on Redwood House Road near Highway 36.  The officer attempted an enforcement stop of the truck when the driver sped away. A pursuit ensued and a person in the rear of the truck, believed to be Hof, began shooting at the wildlife officer during the attempt to get away. The suspects crashed their vehicle into a tree before fleeing on foot into the woods, where they escaped.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Humboldt District Attorney’s Office took lead in the initial investigation into the shooting incident. Through their investigation, they identified Hof as the suspect.   The Sheriff’s Office obtained a $500,000 Ramey Warrant for Hof’s arrest.

Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr. is 25 years old. He is 5’9”, 150 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes.

Humboldt County Sheriff Office Tip Line 707-268-2539

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Media Contact:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-9982

CDFW Law Enforcement Now Hiring Wildlife Officers

Do you have what it takes to be a California wildlife officer? The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division (LED) is currently accepting applications for wildlife officers and cadets. CDFW is particularly interested in recruiting applicants with a love of the outdoors and a passion for fish and wildlife conservation.

Applicants who are current peace officers must fill out a warden application by July 31, 2017.

Applicants who are not current peace officers must fill out a warden cadet application by Sept. 30, 2017.

All prospective candidates are encouraged to extensively review informational materials on the Law Enforcement Division’s 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. They have the authority to enforce all California laws, including the Vehicle Code, Penal Code, Health and Safety drug laws and more. The primary mission of a wildlife officer is to enforce wildlife resource laws; to protect California waterways and habitat from destruction, pollution and litter; provide the public with hunting and fishing information; and to promote and coordinate hunter education, and safe weapons handling.

Wildlife officers patrol the mountains, valleys, deserts, creeks, streams, rivers and ocean. 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 in excess of 39 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, 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 Contact:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-9982

Nicole Kozicki Recognized Nationally as Wildlife Officer of the Year

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is proud to announce that Wildlife Officer Nicole Kozicki has been selected as the Pogue-Elms Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. The award, which was formally presented to her at the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) annual conference on July 10, is considered their highest honor. Kozicki is also the first female recipient of the award.

CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division selected Kozicki as the 2017 Wildlife Officer of the Year, which led to her nomination for the WAFWA award. Kozicki has honorably represented CDFW in the San Francisco Bay Area and its communities for 27 years.

“We are very happy to see Wildlife Officer Kozicki receive the Pogue-Elms award for her extraordinary dedication to the protection of California’s natural resources,” said Assistant Chief Steve Riske, who supervises Kozicki. “Her tireless investigations of poaching, pollution, and environmental crimes are an example to her fellow wildlife officers in California and to others throughout the country. Her reputation brings great credit to herself, CDFW and California.”

Kozicki’s ability to handle complex, large-scale investigations — many of which have involved harm to threatened and endangered species — has earned her a reputation as an expert in the field of environmental crimes. Throughout her career, Kozicki has led hundreds of streambed alteration and pollution cases to successful prosecution. Her tireless pursuit of the truth has resulted in hundreds of acres of mitigated lands being preserved in perpetuity and has generated millions of dollars in fines. Fellow wildlife officers as well as investigators from local, state and federal agencies often seek her investigation expertise.

Among the greatest of Kozicki’s accomplishments is her leadership of an investigation related to illegal development practices that threatened two endangered species – the California tiger salamander and the red-legged frog – at Dublin Ranch in Alameda County. Conducted jointly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the three-year investigation uncovered numerous violations of state and federal law, including egregious grading and illegal stream alterations, habitat destruction and falsification of permitting documents. Kozicki provided testimony in state court for two full weeks. The developer eventually pled no contest to charges of submitting fraudulent documents in an attempt to avoid development requirements.  The terms of the plea agreement between the developer, the California Attorney General’s Office and CDFW included almost $1.1 million in fines and restitution, preservation of 107 acres of land in Contra Costa County (known as the Brown Ranch) in a conservation easement and $300,000 put into an account to manage the property.

“Wildlife Officer Kozicki has an extraordinary capability and reputation for investigating cases that affect not only California’s fish and wildlife, but the very habitat where those fish and wildlife live,” said David Bess, Chief of CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division. “The benefits of her investigations will be measured for generations to come.”

WAFWA represents 23 states and Canadian provinces, spanning from Alaska to Texas and Hawaii to Saskatchewan. WAFWA is a strong advocate of the rights of states and provinces to manage fish and wildlife within their borders. It has also been a key organization in promoting the principles of sound resource management and the building of partnerships at the regional, national and international levels in order to enhance wildlife conservation efforts and the protection of associated habitats in the public interest. Idaho Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Officers Bill Pogue and Conley Elms were killed in the line of duty in 1981, during a poaching investigation. WAFWA created the award in their honor.

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Media Contact:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-9982