Category Archives: Environmental Science

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

 

CDFW Shuts Down Illegal Marijuana Grows in Lake County

Wildlife officers at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) shut down two illegal marijuana grows on private property in Lake County.

A record check on both properties showed no state license to grow cannabis, no county cultivation permit, no CDFW Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreement had been filed nor were there any steps taken to secure any of these licenses or permits on the two commercial-size operations.

“Illegal marijuana grows of this nature are known for stealing water and causing great environmental harm to California’s fish and wildlife,” said David Bess, Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “CDFW supports cultivators who comply with applicable state and local laws and take action to prevent environmental impacts.”

On May 21, CDFW officers served a search warrant in Lower Lake with approximately 6,000 outdoor marijuana plants. Four suspects were arrested. On May 29, wildlife officers served another search warrant in Upper Lake with approximately 400 outdoor marijuana plants. One suspect was arrested and a stolen firearm was recovered.

Combined Fish and Game Code violations include illegal water diversions, pesticide and petroleum products placed near streams and garbage placed near waterways. Charges for all suspects will be filed with the county District Attorney’s office for consideration.

CDFW would like to remind the public to report environmental crimes such as water pollution, water diversions and poaching to the CalTIP hotline by calling (888) 334-2258 or by texting “CALTIP” followed by a space and the desired message, to 847411 (tip411).

Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891

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

CDFW Awards $48.5 Million for Ecosystem and Watershed Restoration, Protection and Scientific Study Projects

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 38 projects to receive funding for multi-benefit ecosystem restoration and protection projects under its Proposition 1 and Proposition 68 grant programs.

The awards, totaling $48.5 million, were made under two separate solicitations for projects focused in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and watersheds statewide.

CDFW participated in a joint solicitation in 2018 with the Delta Science Program and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for scientific studies projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Through this effort, CDFW awarded 11 projects a total of $7.3 million through its Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Proposition 1 Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program.

CDFW conducted a second solicitation in 2018 with funding available from both Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Proposition 1 and Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Proposition 68 funding, resulting in the award of $41.2 million to 27 projects statewide, outside of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Of the $41.2 million, approximately $23.9 million was awarded through the Proposition 1 Watershed Restoration Grant Program. Approximately $17.3 million was awarded through the Proposition 68 grant program which includes three separate focuses: Rivers and Streams, Southern California Steelhead and Habitat Improvement Projects.

“This year represents new opportunities for important projects getting off the ground, including long-planned efforts to support recovery of critical species and respond to new ecological challenges,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We look forward to continuing statewide restoration and protection efforts of our state’s watersheds.”

The awarded projects represent priorities outlined in the two solicitations, as well as the California Water Action Plan, State Wildlife Action Plan, Sacramento Valley Salmon Resiliency Strategy, Delta Plan, California EcoRestore, Safeguarding California Plan, the California Biodiversity Initiative and the fulfillment of CDFW’s mission. This year marks CDFW’s first allocation of Proposition 68 funding and the fifth of 10 planned annual allocations of Proposition 1 funding.

Projects approved for funding through the Proposition 1 Watershed Restoration Grant Program and Proposition 68 grant programs include:

Acquisition Projects:

  • Van Arken Community Forest Project ($1,861,312 to Sanctuary Forest)
  • Scott Ranch Acquisition, Napa County ($1,000,000 to Land Trust of Napa County)
  • Acquisition and Monitoring Program for Critical Fish and Wildlife Habitat in and Around the Angelo Coast Range Reserve, Upper South Fork Eel River ($806,022 to Angelo Coast Range Reserve, University of California, Berkeley)
  • Arcata Community Forest (Jacoby Creek Tract) Expansion – Swaner 114 acres ($760,300 to City of Arcata)
  • Sierra Valley Mountain Meadow Conservation Project ($648,077 to Feather River Land Trust)
  • Mendocino Pygmy Forest Protection Project ($347,843 to Mendocino Land Trust)

Implementation Projects:

  • Santa Ana Bridge Replacement – a Component of the Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project ($13,426,938 to Ventura County Watershed Protection District)
  • Rim Fire Watershed Health Improvement Project ($3,641,211 to Tuolumne River Trust)
  • Oroville Wildlife Area Flood Stage Reduction and Restoration Project ($3,139,136 to Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency)
  • Hotelling Gulch Aquatic Restoration ($2,038,942 to Salmon River Restoration Council)
  • Oroville Wildlife Area Flood Stage Reduction and Restoration Project – New Vegetation Plantings ($1,716,847 to Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency)
  • Jameson Creek Fish Passage Improvement and Restoration Project ($1,704,990 to City of Fortuna)
  • Big Canyon Habitat Restoration and Adaptation Project, Phase II ($1,196,444 to Newport Bay Conservancy)
  • Martin Slough Enhancement ($1,106,982 to California State Coastal Conservancy)
  • Post-Fire Restoration of Coast Range Headwaters for Multiple Benefits at Pepperwood Preserve ($838,135 to Pepperwood Foundation)
  • Lagunitas Creek Floodplain Restoration for Coho Recovery, Phase II ($593,040 to Salmon Protection and Watershed Network)

Planning Projects:

  • Bellota Fish Screen and Passage Improvement Project ($1,952,559 to Stockton East Water District)
  • Harvey Diversion Fish Passage Restoration 100% Designs ($1,019,271 to California Trout)
  • Cannibal Island Restoration Intermediate Designs ($802,886 to California Trout)
    Lower San Luis Obispo Creek Fish Passage Design and Habitat Improvement Project ($459,798 to Central Coast Salmon Enhancement)
  • Wildlife Corridor at Liberty Canyon ($400,000 to National Wildlife Federation)
  • Restoring the Deer Creek Headwaters at Childs Meadow ($374,588 to Point Blue Conservation Science)
  • Elk Creek Restoration Feasibility Study ($347,204 to Smith River Alliance)
    Rowdy Creek and Dominie Creek Fish Passage Improvement Planning Project ($273,146 to Tolowa Dee-ni Nation)
  • Advancing Restoration Strategies for Hydrologic Connectivity in Williams Creek ($268,862 to Humboldt County Resource Conservation District)
  • Scott Creek Lagoon and Marsh Restoration ($237,690 to Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission)
  • Restoration planning at the Sespe Cienega in Fillmore ($237,570 to Santa Clara River Conservancy)

Projects approved for funding through the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program include:

Scientific Studies:

  • Reconnecting Delta food webs: evaluating the influence of tidal marsh restoration on energy flow and prey availability for native fishes ($1,107,041 to State Water Contractors)
  • Quantifying genetic and epigenetic variation in Delta smelt that may enable adaptation to future environments ($934,616 to University of California, Davis)
  • Effects of Multiple Environmental Stressors on Ecological Performance of Early Life Stage Sturgeon ($957,427 to University of California, Davis)
  • Monitoring and Modeling Pathogen Exposure in Salmon Migrating to the Delta ($847,041 to University of California, Santa Cruz)
  • Delta Wetlands and Resilience: blue carbon and marsh accretion ($819,998 to San Francisco Estuary Institute)
  • Enhancing predictive capability for phytoplankton response to natural and operational induced variability of phytoplankton blooming in the Delta. ($784,970 to San Francisco State University)
  • Quantifying Biogeochemical Processes through Transport Modeling: Pilot Application in the Cache Slough Complex ($570,602 to University of California, Davis)
  • Developing an eDNA metabarcoding protocol to improve fish and mussel monitoring in the San Francisco Estuary ($419,742 to University of California, Davis)
  • The role of wetlands in pelagic food webs: metagenomics reveals how wetland plant detritus may promote zooplankton growth and survival ($399,171 to University of California, Davis)
  • Trade-offs and Co-benefits of Landscape Change Scenarios on Human and Bird Communities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta ($248,077 to Point Blue Conservation Science)
  • Developing a new molecular isotopic tool to examine Delta food webs ($211,907 to University of California, Santa Cruz)

General information about CDFW’s Prop. 1 and Prop. 68 Restoration Grant Programs, as well as a schedule of locations and dates for workshops, once available, can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/grants.

Funding for these projects comes from Prop. 1 and Prop. 68 bond funds, a portion of which are allocated annually through the California State Budget Act. More information about Prop. 1 and Prop. 68 is on the California Natural Resources Agency website.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grant Branch, (916) 445-1285
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988