September 2019 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

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 — 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 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 — General Bear Season Opening in Select Deer Zones. General black bear season will open concurrently with the general deer hunting season in deer zones A, B, C, D, X8, X9A, X9B, X10 and X12 and extend through Dec. 29. 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. 12, and extends through Dec. 29. 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.

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 $11 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

First Through Third Saturdays and Sundays of the Month — Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, 7730 W. Woodbridge Road, Lodi (95242). Online registration has begun for those wishing to participate in these guided tours, which run October through February. Registration is available online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour. A one-day Lands Pass must be purchased to attend and instructions are available on the same website. Tours fill fast and registration may be done as much as six weeks in advance. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.

1 — Early season for Mourning Dove, White-winged Dove, Spotted Dove and Ringed Turtle Dove opens. For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

2 — Last Day of Recreational Ocean Salmon Season from the Oregon-California State Line to Horse Mountain. Recreational ocean salmon fishing remains open between Horse Mountain and Pigeon Point. 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.

3  California Fish and Game Commission Teleconference Meeting, 10 a.m. The agenda includes a discussion about appointing a new Executive Director of the Commission. For more information, please visit https://fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2019.

4 & 5  California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, Santa Rosa. The California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group will meet in Santa Rosa. Interested members of the public may observe the discussion in person or listen via a conference line; however, there will not be a designated opportunity for public comment during the meeting. Feedback can be shared directly with the Department via email to whalesafefisheries@wildlife.ca.gov. An agenda will be posted on www.opc.ca.gov/whale-entanglement-working-group. For additional details about the meeting, please contact info@cawhalegroup.com or ryan.bartling@wildlife.ca.gov.

6 & 7  Volunteer Days, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., rain or shine. Come spend a fun day outdoors and help us keep the Friant Interactive Nature Site (FINS) looking great. Please park in the lot at Parker Street and Friant Road. Heading north on Friant Road, turn left on Parker Street and meet at the picnic tables down the trail. If you are under 18, please bring a signed parent permission slip. For more information, contact Deona Mitchell at (559) 243-4017 ext. 245.

7 — California Biodiversity Day, the first official celebration of an annual event created last year to celebrate the state’s exceptional biodiversity and encourage actions to protect it. All Californians are encouraged to get out and explore nature – including state parks, wildlife areas and ecological reserves – as part of a biodiversity open house on September 7-8, 2019. Go to www.wildlife.ca.gov/biodiversity to find more information about that weekend’s biodiversity open house event, including a bioblitz -that will take place in partnership with the California Academy of Sciences and iNaturalist, a popular nature app that helps identify plants and animals around you. iNaturalist is a collaboration between National Geographic and the California Academy of Sciences.

9 — Lower American River Conservancy Program, American River Parkway Tour, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  For more information, please visit https://wcb.ca.gov/programs/lower-american-river.

10 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee Meeting, 8:30 a.m., Justice Joseph A. Rattigan Building, Conference Room 410 (Fourth Floor), 50 D St., Santa Rosa (95404). For more information, please visit https://fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2019.

10 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, 1-3 p.m., Natural Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). Dr. Lisa Micheli presents “Report from a Russian River field station in the heart of the 2017 wildfire zone: Pepperwood’s integrated approach to evaluating and advancing landscape resilience.” In October 2017, more than 90 percent of Pepperwood’s 3,200-acre research reserve burned in the Tubbs Fire, providing an incredible opportunity to leverage nearly a decade of weather, hydrology and ecology data collection to improve our empirical understanding of fire in California’s Coast Ranges. While the organization regroups to rebuild critical facilities lost in the inferno, their ecologists are inventorying the impacts of the fire and scaling up what they are learning to inform resilience strategies across California as a whole. This presentation will highlight some early findings, share how Pepperwood will serve as a living laboratory for fire recovery and habitat restoration and highlight successful collaborations focused on building a knowledge base to support climate and fire resilience strategies in California’s inner Coast Ranges and beyond. Attendance is free. To register and for more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.

14 — Sooty (Blue) and Ruffed Grouse General Season Opens. Season extends through Oct. 14. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

14 — White-tailed Ptarmigan General and Archery Season Opens Statewide. White-tailed ptarmigan general and archery season opens statewide Sept. 14 and extends through Sept. 22. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

14 — Mountain Quail Season Opens in Zone Q1. Season extends through Oct. 18. The general season for Sooty (Blue) Grouse opens (extending through Oct. 14). The general and archery seasons for White-tailed Ptarmigan open (extending through Sept. 22). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

14 —Tree Squirrel General Season Opens. Season extends through Jan. 26, 2020. For more information on small game seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.

16 — Feather River Fish Hatchery Ladder Opening, 5 Table Mountain Blvd., Oroville (95965). The ladder will open and salmon spawning will begin the following week and continue through approximately mid-November. The hatchery is open from sunrise to sunset. For more information, please call (530) 538-2222 or visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries/feather-river.

21 — General Deer Season Opens. General deer season opens in the general zones D6-7, the restricted zones B1-B3 and B5-B6, and the premium zones C1-C4, X9a, X9b and X12. Hunters should check for area closures and restrictions before heading to their destination. Information on closures is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/area-alerts. Tag reporting is required as the reports are vital to estimating populations and tag quotas. Please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin for information on reporting. Tag holders may also submit reports by mail to CDFW Wildlife Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94299-0002. For general information on deer zones, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer#54774-zones–hunts.

21 — Coastal Cleanup Day 2019, 9 a.m. to noon, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Volunteers will remove trash from the road bordering the reserve to keep the habitat clean and safe. Elkhorn Slough Reserve will provide materials and refreshments. All ages are welcome but those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please keep in mind this cleanup is conducted along an active road. For more information, please contact Ariel Hunter at ariel.hunter@wildlife.ca.gov

21 — Band-tailed Pigeon Season in the North Zone Opens. Season extends through September 29. For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

21 & 22 — Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days for Northeastern California Zone. In order to participate, hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 years of age or older. People should contact the wildlife area or national wildlife refuge they wish to hunt for details. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

28 — General Deer Season Opens. General deer season opens in the general zones D3-5, D8 and D10, and the premium zones D9 and X8. Hunters should check for area closures and restrictions before heading out to their hunting destination. Information on closures is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/area-alerts. Tag reporting is required as the reports are vital to estimating populations and tag quotas. Please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin for information on reporting. Tag holders may also submit reports by mail at CDFW Wildlife Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94299-0002. For general information on deer zones, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer#54774-zones–hunts.

28 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Open House and Native Plant Fair, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Activities include guided walking tours, an opportunity to meet scientists, face-painting, and nature-themed arts and crafts. Visitors can also explore and take home a plant during the Native Plant Fair (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). The annual event is free to the public. For more information, please contact Virginia Guhin at (831) 728-2822 or visit www.elkhornslough.org.

28 — Early Season for Large Canada Geese in the Balance of State Zone Opens. Season extends through Oct. 2. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

28 — Quail Season Opens in Zone Q2 (all quail).  Season extends through Jan. 26, 2020. For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

28 — 25th Annual Oroville Salmon Festival, Feather River Fish Hatchery, 5 Table Mountain Blvd., Oroville (95965), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and in downtown Oroville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature tours to view salmon spawning, informational booths, educational displays and vendor booths. For more information, please visit www.salmonfestoroville.org.

28 — General Deer Season Opens. General deer season opens in premium zone X10. Hunters should check for area closures and restrictions before heading to their hunting destination. Information on closures is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/area-alerts.Tag reporting is required as the reports are vital to estimating populations and tag quotas. Please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin for information on reporting. Tag holders may also submit reports by mail to CDFW Wildlife Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94299-0002. For general information on deer zones, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer#54774-zones–hunts.

29 — California Spiny Lobster Recreational Fishing Season Opens Statewide at 6 a.m. For more information regarding lobster and lobster management, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/invertebrates/lobster.

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Media Contacts:
Sarah Guerere, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8974
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

mourning dove

Special Dove Hunting Opportunities Available for 2019 Season

California’s dove hunting season is rapidly approaching, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting applications for dove hunts throughout the state on both public land and private ranches.

Hunters are reminded that nonlead ammunition is now required for hunting doves and taking wildlife anywhere in California with a firearm.

The first half of the split dove season will be open statewide from Sept. 1-15, 2019. The second half will be open statewide from Nov. 9 through Dec. 23, 2019.

For mourning dove and white-winged dove, the daily bag limit is 15, up to 10 of which may be white-winged doves. The possession limit is triple the daily bag limit. There is no limit for spotted dove or ringed dove, but the season dates are the same as for mourning dove and white-winged dove. Eurasian collared-dove is the only dove species that can be hunted year-round, with no bag or possession limit.

Several dove hunting opportunities are available by drawing only throughout California for the upcoming dove season as part of CDFW’s Upland Game and SHARE programs.

Special drawings for public land dove hunting opportunities through the Upland Game Bird Hunting program will be available at the following locations:

  • Merced and Stanislaus counties: North Grasslands Wildlife Area (China Island and Salt Slough units), Los Banos Wildlife Area
  • Sacramento County: Cosumnes River Preserve
  • Fresno County: Pilibos Unit of the Mendota Wildlife Area
  • San Diego County: San Felipe Wildlife Area
  • San Luis Obispo County: North Chimineas Ranch, Carrizo Plains Ecological Reserve

Drawings for limited public access to private lands through the SHARE Program will be available at the following locations:

  • Santa Barbara County: Harrington Farms, Jones Ranch and Sleepy Creek Ranch
  • Tulare County: Hart Ranch

Hunters can apply for these opportunities online, at CDFW license sales offices, through retail license agents or by calling (800) 565-1458.

Additional information can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds/hunts and www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Meshriy, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 322-6709
Victoria Barr, CDFW SHARE Program, (916) 445-4034
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

CDFW Magnifies Efforts to Recruit Hunters and Anglers

In an effort to get more Californians involved in fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is partnering with the recreational fishing and hunting communities, state and federal agencies, and others to address barriers and opportunities to hunting and fishing in the state.

“Our goal is to support and encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy California’s wild places,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “The fishing and hunting opportunities in this state are unparalleled, they belong to all Californians and should be utilized by all of us. This effort is to make sure Californians know that.”

CDFW has formed an executive-level task force, hired a full-time coordinator to head-up the effort, hired a research scientist, and finalized a statewide recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) action plan. A staff-level working group is working to increase hunting and fishing participation by collaborating with diverse stakeholders to transform barriers to participation into opportunities. Some of the barriers CDFW will look at initially are access and opportunity challenges, public perception of fishing and hunting, and license structure and pricing. The effort will also focus on encouraging more adults to take up hunting and fishing for the first time.

Research shows spending time outdoors improves physical, mental and social well-being. Many hunters and anglers say the reason they participate in these activities is to enjoy the quality time with family and friends and to bring home great memories and healthy food.

California is home to some of the nation’s most diverse hunting and fishing opportunities, but participation in these activities has declined significantly since the 1970s and 1980s. Hunters and anglers play a crucial role in managing natural resources by regulating wildlife populations to maintain ecological and biological diversity, participating in wildlife surveys for scientific data collection, and reporting wildlife crimes. Hunters and anglers also help sustain a multi-billion-dollar outdoor recreation industry and provide the primary funding source for state-level fish and wildlife conservation in California. The decline in participation poses an ever-increasing threat to wildlife conservation, the state’s long-standing hunting and fishing heritage, and Californians’ connection to the outdoors in general.

“The fishing and hunting community has rallied around CDFW, and we are now poised to tackle the challenges before us,” Bonham said.

To get involved or learn more about the state’s R3 efforts, please contact Jennifer.Benedet@wildlife.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:
Jen Benedet, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 903-9270
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

SHARE Program to Offer Wild Pig, Bear, Turkey, Quail and Dove Hunts this Fall

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program will provide public access for wild pig, bear, turkey, quail and dove hunts on a property in Tulare County this fall and spring.

This is the first year that SHARE has offered opportunities at Hart Ranch, which includes 975 acres of rolling oak woodland 15 miles northeast of Porterville. The hunts will take place October 2018 through April 2019.

Hunters with a valid California hunting license may apply for these hunts through the Automated License Data System. An $11.62 non-refundable application fee will be charged for each hunt choice. Application deadlines are 17 days before each hunt.

To apply for these hunts, visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales, log in to your account and select “Purchase Licenses.” Then select “2018 – Hunting, 2018 – SHARE Hunts Multi Choice Application” and select specific hunt periods.

The SHARE program offers private landowners liability protection and compensation for providing public access to or through their land for wildlife-dependent recreational activities. The goal of the program is to provide additional hunting, fishing and other recreational access on private lands in California. For more information about SHARE opportunities, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

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Media Contacts:
Victoria Barr, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-4034

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

A Saturday First Dove Season Opener Will Generate Big Numbers

The first of two opening days of California’s dove hunting season is fast approaching. This year’s season for mourning dove, white-winged dove, spotted dove and ringed turtle dove will run from Saturday, Sept. 1 through Saturday, Sept. 15 statewide, followed by a second hunt period, Saturday, Nov. 10 through Monday, Dec. 24.

Mourning dove and white-winged dove have a daily bag limit if 15, up to 10 of which may be white-winged dove. The possession limit is triple the daily bag limit. There are no limits on spotted dove and ringed turtle dove. Hunting for Eurasian collared dove is legal year-round and there is no limit.

Please note that as of July 1, 2015, nonlead ammunition is required when hunting upland game birds on all California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) lands. Please plan accordingly. For more information please see the CDFW nonlead ammunition page.

A dove identification guide can be found on the CDFW website, along with a map of upland game fields in Imperial County, the state’s hub for dove hunting.

Following two years of increased precipitation in northern California, abundant forage and water availability has provided mourning doves with the basics for a productive nesting season. Early banding data show high numbers of hatch year birds reported around the state. Mourning doves are generally short-lived and can respond with high reproductive success given ideal habitat conditions. This, paired with a Saturday opening day, should draw many hopeful dove hunters to the fields.

Dove hunting is a great starting point for new hunters. There is very little equipment required and just about any place open for hunting will have mourning doves. Minimum requirements are a valid hunting license with upland game bird stamp (junior license holders are not required to have an upland game bird stamp) and Harvest Information Program (HIP) validation, good footwear, a shotgun, shotgun shells and plenty of water. Hunters should be careful not to underestimate the amount of fluids needed, especially during the first half of the season or when hunting in desert areas.

Many dove hunters like to position themselves in a known flyway for doves. Flyways can run to and from roost sites, water, food sources or gravel. Doves are usually taken by pass shooting along flyways, but hunters may also be successful jump shooting. Dove movement is most frequent in the early mornings and late evenings when they are flying from and to their roost sites (this is when the majority of hunters go into the field). Late morning to early afternoon can be better for jump shooting. Hunters should scout out dove activity in the area a few times just prior to hunting.

Important laws and regulations to be aware of include the following:

  • Shoot time for doves is one half hour before sunrise to sunset.
  • All hunters, including junior hunting license holders,  are required to carry their hunting license with them.
  • Hunters must have written permission from the landowner prior to hunting on private land.
  • Bag limits apply to each hunter and no one can take more than one legal limit.
  • It is illegal to shoot within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling.
  • It is illegal to shoot from or across a public roadway.

It is the responsibility of every hunter to know and follow all laws, including identifying game species.

Safety is the most important part of any hunting adventure. Although wearing hunter orange (blaze) is not required by law, it may be required in specific areas. Wearing a minimum of a hunter orange hat is recommended, especially when sitting or when hunting in deep vegetation. Safety glasses are a simple way to protect the eyes and are available in many shades for hunting in all types of lighting situations.

The weather throughout the state on Sept. 1 is expected to be hot and dry. CDFW urges hunters to drink plenty of fluids, wear sun protection and have a plan in case of an accident.

Full dove hunting regulations can be found on CDFW’s website.

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Media Contacts:
Karen Fothergill, CDFW Upland Game Program, (916) 716-1461
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988