Category Archives: Conservation Education

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.

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

 

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.

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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.

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

 

CDFW Recognizes California Invasive Species Action Week

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The sixth annual California Invasive Species Action Week runs from Saturday, June 1 through Sunday, June 9. Sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the Action Week is a statewide event that promotes public participation in the fight against invasive species that harm our environment and native species.

Numerous agencies, non-profit organizations and volunteer groups across the state have teamed up to host events this year. The week’s opportunities range from a raft trip in Humboldt County, to an identification workshop at Lake Tahoe, to online webinars, to invasive plant removals. To view the Schedule of Events and Map, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/cisaw.

Want to stop the spread of invasive species year-round? Citizens can also contribute to a healthy environment by taking small, everyday actions, including selecting native plants for landscaping, not releasing unwanted pets into the wild, reporting invasive species findings, and taking precautions to clean, drain and dry gear after recreating in waterbodies.

This year’s winners of the CISAW Youth Art Contest have also been announced. The contest was open to students in grades 2-12, focused on the theme “Say No to Nutria.” Contest winners will be displayed at the State Capitol, on the third floor of the Capitol Annex, from June 3 to June 14.

Congratulations to our Youth Art Contest Winners!

Invasive Species Program Choice Award:

  • Cara Lee, Woodside Priory School, Menlo Park

Grades 2-4:

  • 1st: Mrs. DeMoss’ Fourth Grade Class, Charleston Elementary, Los Banos
  • 2nd: Jude Dellinger, Sutter Peak Charter School, Orangevale
  • 3rd: Sydney Jane Camera, Phoenix Charter Academy, Palo Cedro

Grades 5-8:

  • 1st: Edison Jun, Capital Innovations Academy, Sacramento
  • 2nd: Claire Gonzales, Washington Middle School, Salinas
  • 3rd: Isabella Grant, El Portal Middle School, Escalon

Grades 9-12:

  • 1st: Shreya Dhanala, Folsom High School, Folsom

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

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Media Contacts:
Elizabeth Brusati, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 651-7866

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

New Native Trout Challenge Kicks Off in 12 Western States

Deep in the West, under a secret rock in a cool stream, lies a prize worth finding. Anglers of all skill levels are invited to participate in the Western Native Trout Challenge and put the lure of the West on their bucket list. In addition to earning bragging rights and Western Native Trout Challengeprizes at the Expert, Advanced and Master Levels, participants will help the Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) conserve 21 species of native trout.

The 12 states where these native trout can be found are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The state fish and wildlife agencies in each of the 12 states are partnering on the effort, along with the U.S. Forest Service, the federal Bureau of Land Management and Trout Unlimited.

“California’s Heritage Trout challenge takes anglers on an amazing fishing journey across the state,” said Kevin Shaffer, Fisheries Branch Chief for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.We’re pleased to partner on this new Western Native Trout Challenge that encourages an experience across the western states, which will promote a love of fishing, our western streams and rivers, and these amazing native fishes.”

Native trout are the embodiment of the West. The wild rivers, alpine lakes and trickling arroyos — the fiber of Western geography — are the habitat for the redband, the cutthroat and the Gila.

The Western Native Trout Challenge invites anglers to help celebrate this legacy by catching native trout and char in each of the 12 Western states, at their own pace. There are three levels of achievement. Participants who catch six trout species across four states will earn “Expert Caster” rewards. Those who catch 12 trout species across eight states will earn “Advanced Caster” rewards. And those who catch 18 species across all 12 states will not only enjoy the adventure of a lifetime, but will also be designated as a “Master Caster” with rewards to match.

Anglers can get details on which fish to catch and where to find them by registering online at WesternNativeTroutChallenge.org. Registration is $25 per adult and is free for those 17 and under. The vast majority (92%) of the fee will go toward helping conserve native trout populations for future generations to also enjoy.

“We’re thrilled to be launching this fun way to support native trout conservation across the West,” said WNTI Coordinator Therese Thompson. “For every $25 program registration fee, $23 will go directly back to conservation projects that are helping native trout populations thrive. We want anglers to learn about these unique species and where they can go to catch them. In addition, catching the selected species helps conserve them by promoting angling and fishing license sales for native trout species, which also supports conservation efforts. It’s a wonderful way to help conserve these beautiful species, in beautiful places, at your own pace.”

The Western Native Trout Challenge is complementing a similar effort in some states. Anglers can participate in the Western Native Trout Challenge at the same time they participate in state specific programs, including the Arizona Trout Challenge, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Nevada Native Fish-Slam, Utah Cutthroat Slam and the Wyoming Cutt-slam.

Learn more, and register at WesternNativeTroutChallenge.org.

Follow the action on:

  • Twitter: @WNativeTrout
  • Instagram: @WesternNativeTrout
  • Facebook: /westernnativetrout

The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) is a program of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) and a nationally recognized partnership under the National Fish Habitat Partnership program that works cooperatively across 12 Western states to conserve 21 native trout and char species across their historic range. Since its inception in 2006, WNTI has directed more than $29 million in federal, public and private funds to serve 139 priority native trout conservation projects. WNTI and partners have removed 87 barriers to fish passage, reconnected or improved 1,130 miles of native trout habitat and put in place 30 protective fish barriers to conserve important native trout populations.

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

Lydia Saldaña, WAFWA, (817) 851-5729