Category Archives: CDFW Staff

CDFW to Graduate 32 New Wildlife Officers

It is a great day when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) adds graduates of the Wildlife Officer Academy to the ranks of its Law Enforcement Division.

CDFW’s most recent Wildlife Officer Academy class will graduate Friday, Aug. 10, with a final inspection at noon and the formal ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. at the Paradise Performing Arts Center in Paradise. The 32 new wildlife officers will begin the CDFW Field Training Program to put their training into practice under the close supervision of experienced Field Training Officers (FTOs). Two additional cadets paid their way through the Academy as “self-sponsors” in the interest of applying for a wildlife officer position with the CDFW Law Enforcement Division or a different law enforcement agency.

“Both full-time Academy staff and dozens of wildlife officers go to great lengths to prepare our newest wildlife officers to serve and protect the public and the precious resources of this state,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of Law Enforcement.

CDFW’s Wildlife Officer Academy is certified through the California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and offers training consistent with every law enforcement agency in California. Field training with experienced FTOs is also mandated by POST to be sure new wildlife officers can apply the skills they learned during the academy to real life circumstances. The Field Training Program is the final stage of formal training. Upon successful completion, these officers will begin patrolling California to protect the natural resources of this great state.

Wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations annually. These officers primarily work alone, in remote areas, contacting subjects who almost always have some form of weapon, and they do so knowing that backup could be hours away. Wildlife officers have large patrol districts and great responsibilities, and frequently a sole officer will cover an entire county. The average California wildlife officer’s patrol district exceeds 500 square miles.

In 2008, CDFW teamed with Butte College to provide peace officer academy training for prospective wildlife officers. That partnership provided CDFW a state of the art POST-certified academy facility with 43 years of police training history.

The Law Enforcement Division will be accepting applications through Sept. 30, 2018, for the Academy beginning in January 2020. For more information about becoming a wildlife officer and the application timeline, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/enforcement/career.

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Media Contacts:
Capt. Patrick Foy, Law Enforcement Division, (916) 322-8911
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

August 2018 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

Various Days — Bat Talk and Walk at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. Various times, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis (95618). Each year, from June through September, the Yolo Basin Foundation offers “Bat Talk and Walk” tours. The tour begins with a 45-minute indoor presentation on bat natural history, after which attendees are shuttled to the outdoor viewing area to witness firsthand the spectacular aerial performance of the Mexican free-tailed bats. Pre-registration is required at http://yolobasin.org. For more information, please contact Corky Quirk at cquirk@yolobasin.org.

Various Days — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough. Volunteers lead walks every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m, and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 11 a.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 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 — Guided Wetland Tours, By Reservation, 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. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadlines for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, deer, bear, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $10.75 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

4 — Archery-Only and Falconry-Only Tree Squirrel Season Opens (extending through Sept. 7).  For archery-only and falconry-only tree squirrel season and zone descriptions, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/current/mammalregs.aspx#307. To view a map of tree squirrel hunting zones, please visit https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/filehandler.ashx?documentid=109005&inline.

11 — The First General Season for Black Bears Opens In Deer Hunting Zone A on Aug. 11, 2018. 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 extend through Dec. 30, 2018. Deer zones A, B, C, D, X8, X9A, X9B, X10 and X12 have different deer season opening dates depending upon the deer zone. General season for black bears opens in deer hunting zones X-1 through X-7b on Oct. 13, 2018, and extends through Dec. 30, 2018. 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.

11 — Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area Annual Clean-up Day, 7 a.m. to noon, 9256 Highway 162, Butte City (95920). People will participate in cleanup activities on all three units of the wildlife area (the Llano Seco, Little Dry Creek Unit and Howard Slough units) 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 register, please contact the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area office at (530) 982-2169.

18 — Archery-Only Quail, Chukar and Sooty (Blue)/Ruffed Grouse Seasons Open (extending through Sept. 7). For zone maps and other upland game season information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

18 — Falconry-Only Pheasant, Quail, Chukar, Ptarmigtan and Sooty (Blue) Grouse/ Ruffed Grouse Seasons Open (extending through Feb. 28). For zone maps and other upland game season information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

18 — Archery Season for Black Bears Opens in each of the five American black bear hunt zones, Northern California, Central California, Southeastern Sierra, Southern Sierra and Southern California, and will extend through Sept. 9, 2018. 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 either archery or general season is one adult bear per hunting license year. Cubs and females accompanied by cubs may not be taken.

18, 19, 22 — Volunteer Training at Elkhorn Slough, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 18 and Aug. 19, and 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 22, Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Elkhorn Reserve Volunteer and Education will offer training for individuals interested in volunteering with school and youth groups at the reserve. The workshop will prepare volunteers to lead K-12 students in lab and field activities. For more information, please contact Virginia Guhin at (831) 728-2822 or virginia.guhin@wildlife.ca.gov, and to enroll please visit www.elkhornslough.org.

22-23 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. both days, River Lodge Conference Center, 1800 Riverwalk Drive, Fortuna (95540). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2018/index.aspx.

30 — Wildlife Conservation Board Meeting, Resources Building, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). The public is invited to attend. For more information, please visithttps://wcb.ca.gov.

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

July 2018 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

Various Days — Bat Talk and Walk at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. Various times, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis (95618). Each year, from June through September, the Yolo Basin Foundation offers “Bat Talk and Walk” tours. The tour begins with a 45-minute indoor presentation on bat natural history, after which attendees are shuttled to the outdoor viewing area to witness firsthand the spectacular aerial performance of the Mexican free-tailed bats. There are 30 dates scheduled and pre-registration is required at http://yolobasin.org. For more information, please contact Corky Quirk at cquirk@yolobasin.org.

Various Days — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough. Volunteers lead walks every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m, and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 11 a.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 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 — Guided Wetland Tours, By Reservation, 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. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email Lori.Dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Elk, wild pig, deer, bear, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $10.75 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

1 — General season for Rabbits and Varying Hare Opens Statewide (extending through Jan. 27, 2019). For more information on small game seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.

1 — Recreational Pacific Halibut Season Re-opens for All Boat-based Anglers in California. For more information, please call the National Marine Fisheries Service hotline at (800) 662-9825 or visit the Pacific Halibut webpage at  wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/pacific-halibut#31670771-pacific-halibut-regulations.

2  Last Day of Recreational Ocean Salmon Season from Pigeon Point to the U.S./Mexico Border. All recreational ocean salmon fishing south of Pigeon Point will be closed through the remainder of the year. For more information, please visit the ocean salmon webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon or call either the CDFW Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (800) 662-9825.

7 — Free Fishing Day. One of two Free Fishing Days being offered by CDFW in 2018 is scheduled July 7 (the other is Sept. 1). While all fishing regulations – such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures – remain in effect, anyone can fish without purchasing a fishing license on Free Fishing Days. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing/free-fishing-days. 

15 — Recreational Pacific Halibut Season Closes for All Boat-based Anglers in California. The season will reopen from Aug. 1-15, and again from Sept. 1-Oct. 31, if the quota has not been reached. For the latest information on the season status, please call the National Marine Fisheries Service hotline at (800) 662-9825 or visit the Pacific halibut webpage at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/pacific-halibut#31670771-pacific-halibut-regulations/.

17 — California Fish and Game Commission Marine Resources Committee Meeting, time to be determined, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Orange Coast District Office Training Room, 3030 Avenida del Presidente, San Clemente (92672). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2018/index.aspx. 

19-20 — Global Learning to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Elementary School Teacher Workshop, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). A free workshop for second through sixth grade educators focused on environmental education. The GLOBE program brings students, teachers and scientists across the world together to investigate the natural world. Participants will receive new lesson plan ideas, investigative tools and access to the GLOBE database. Teachers can register online at www.elkhornslough.org/education-program/teacher-development or contact Virginia Guhin at Virginia.Guhin@wildlife.ca.gov or (831) 728-2822.

24 — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Elk Hunting Opportunities. A $10.75 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

28 — Kids Fishing Festival, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Snowcreek Ponds, 1254 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes (93546). The event is free for youths 14 and under and no advance registration is required. For more information, please visit http://kidsfishfest.com/ or contact Gaye Mueller at (760) 937-2942.

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

Annual California Invasive Species Action Week Benefits Environment and Native Species

The fifth annual California Invasive Species Action Week is scheduled Saturday, June 2, through Sunday, June 10. Action Week is a statewide event that promotes public participation in the fight against invasive species that harm our environment, agriculture and native species.

Numerous state agencies, non-profit organizations and other organizations across the state are teaming up to host events this year. Opportunities include educational booths in Humboldt County, online webinars, invasive species removals in the Delta and the San Francisco Bay, and trapping crayfish in the Santa Monica Mountains. To view the schedule of events and a map compiled by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/CISAW.

Citizens can also stop the spread of invasive species year-round. People can contribute to a healthy environment by taking small, everyday actions that include cleaning, draining and drying boating gear after use, selecting native plants for landscaping, not releasing unwanted pets into the wild and reporting invasive species findings.

Members of the public are encouraged to help CDFW biologists monitor and prevent the spread of existing invasive species populations. For example, please visit the CDFW Nutria Discovery webpage to learn how you can help CDFW eradicate this destructive South American rodent from California’s wetlands.

For more information about Action Week, please contact invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:
Rachael Klopfenstein, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 651-3122
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

Fillmore Trout Hatchery Temporarily Closed to Public for Scheduled Maintenance

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Fillmore Trout Hatchery in eastern Ventura County will be closed to the public approximately four months beginning May 4, while the facility undergoes maintenance and repairs. All of the rainbow trout normally raised at the Fillmore Trout Hatchery have been moved to the Mojave River Hatchery in San Bernardino County to accommodate the necessary work.

The Mojave River Hatchery underwent extensive maintenance and upgrades in 2017 and is now open to the public. The hatchery is again growing and stocking trout to approved waters in Southern California. With the Mojave River Hatchery back online, trout production and distribution is forecast to improve significantly for Southern California in 2018. It is now the Fillmore Trout Hatchery’s turn for facilities work and the Mojave River Hatchery has adequate room to raise fish for the Fillmore Trout Hatchery for the next few months.

As with the Mojave River Hatchery, the maintenance scheduled for the Fillmore Trout Hatchery will result in increased efficiencies and better trout production. The Fillmore Trout Hatchery has been in service to the public for 78 years. The maintenance and repairs scheduled include improving capability of the aeration tower, pressure washing and epoxy coating of the rearing ponds, plumbing upgrades, water and electrical use efficiencies, enhanced public outreach and educational materials for visitors and grounds work.

During the closure, Fillmore Trout Hatchery staff will perform maintenance and repairs to the raceways, buildings and equipment. Once the repair projects are complete, the hatchery will begin to receive fish and will again open to the public. CDFW estimates reopening in September or October.

For a list of fish plants, please see CDFW’s Fish Planting Schedule.

Media Contacts:
Matt Norris, CDFW Desert Region, (760) 938-2242
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908