Category Archives: Events

November 2017 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

DATE — EVENT

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 catered to include requested information. The minimum group size is 18 people. This wildlife area is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and its fee-for-use requirement. For more information on the Lands Pass Program, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass.  For more information on the tours and the land pass, please call (530) 846-7505 or email Lori.Dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Lands Passes Required on Certain Additional CDFW Properties. Each visitor to a CDFW lands pass property who is 16 years of age or older must carry a lands pass while on the property. Visitors who are carrying a valid California hunting or fishing license in their own name are exempt from this requirement. School and organized youth group field trips are also exempt. The Lands Pass Program has existed on a limited number of CDFW properties since the 1990s. Additional properties are implementing this requirement beginning Nov. 1, another one on Nov. 15 (the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve), and additional properties will require a lands pass beginning in January 2018. A daily lands pass costs $4.32 and an annual lands pass costs $24.33. Revenue from lands passes helps support CDFW wildlife areas and ecological reserves. For more information, including which CDFW properties require a lands pass and purchasing instructions, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. For more information on the program, please contact Julie Horenstein at Julie.Horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov.

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 is required to participate in these guided tours, which run through February during the sandhill cranes’ fall and winter stay in California’s Central Valley. Beginning Nov. 13, a CDFW Lands Pass or a current hunting or fishing license in possession is required to participate for those 16 or older. For more information on he Lands Pass Program, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. For more information about the tours, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, 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.

1 – Recreational Red Abalone Season Closed. CDFW reminds abalone anglers that the law requires them to return their abalone cards to CDFW or report their harvest data online by Jan. 31, 2018 even if they did not try to take abalone. The cards provide critical information needed to help CDFW monitor the abalone fishery. Cards may be mailed to CDFW, 32330 North Harbor Drive, Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554 or dropped off at the office. Data may also be submitted online from Nov. 1 until Jan. 31, 2018 at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lishing#758846-harvest-reporting.

4 — First Day of Recreational Dungeness Crab Season. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/marine/calendar.

4 — Imperial County White Geese Season Opens (extends through Jan. 28). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

4 — Southern San Joaquin Valley Scaup Zone, Colorado River Scaup Zone, Southern California Scaup Zone and Balance of the State Scaup Zone Open (extends through Jan. 24). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

7 — North Coast All Canada Geese Zone Opens (extends through Jan 28). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

8 — Northern Brant Special Management Area Black Brant Season Opens (extends through Dec. 14). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

8 — California Fish and Game Commission Coastal Fishing Communities Public Meeting, 6 to 8 p.m., Middlebury Institute of International Studies, McGowan Building, 411 Pacific Street, Monterey (93940). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2017.

8 — Draft Environmental Impact Review (EIR) for the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve Public Meeting, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Burton Chase Park Community Center, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey (90292). As the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act, CDFW is coordinating the preparation of an EIR for the proposed Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project. CDFW is soliciting comments on the Draft EIR, and will review all substantive comments received during the review period and provide written responses in a final EIR. The final EIR will be made available to the public and will provide a basis for decision-making by permitting authorities. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/5/ballona-eir.

9 — Balance of State Brant Special Management Area Brant Season Opens (extends through Dec. 15). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

9 — California Fish and Game Commission Marine Resources Committee Meeting, 8:30 a.m., Marina Branch Public Library, 190 Seaside Circle Marina (93933). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2017.

10 — Deadline to Submit Public Review Comments for Delta Conservation Framework Draft. For more information about the public review process, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/watersheds/dcf.

11 — Pheasant, Fall Wild Turkey and Late Season Dove Open. General pheasant season opens statewide and extends through Dec. 24; fall wild turkey season opens statewide and extends through Dec. 10; and late season dove hunting season opens statewide and extends through Dec. 25. For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

11 — Stanislaus River Salmon Festival, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 17968 Covered Bridge Road, Knights Ferry (95361). For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/srsfest or call (209) 403-1046.

12 — Last Day of Recreational Ocean Salmon Season from Horse Mountain to Point Arena. For more information, please visit the Ocean Salmon webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429.

15 — First Day of Commercial Dungeness Crab Season, South of Mendocino County (scheduled). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/marine/calendar.

15 — 2018 Sport Fishing Licenses Available. The 2018 sport fishing licenses become available where licenses are sold. For more information or to purchase a license online, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing.

30 — Wildlife Conservation Board Meeting, 10 a.m., 1416 Ninth Street, Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, Sacramento (95814). For more information, please visit www.wcb.ca.gov or call (916) 445-0137.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“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

 

New Regulations for Recreational Lobster Fishing Take Effect for 2017 Opener

As the popular recreational California Spiny Lobster fishing season prepares to open on Saturday, Sept. 30, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds divers and hoop netters of new regulations that will be in effect for the 2017-2018 season. The California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) adopted commercial and recreational lobster fishing regulations at its April 2016 meeting to support the implementation of the California Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan. A summary of the new recreational lobster fishing regulations is provided below. All other recreational lobster fishing regulations, unless listed below, remain unchanged and remain in effect:

The 2017-2018 recreational lobster fishing season will open at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. The start time of the recreational lobster fishing season has changed from 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m. for safety purposes. Open season: From 6 a.m. on the Saturday preceding the first Wednesday in October through the first Wednesday after March 15 (CCR Title 14, section 29.90 (a)).

Hoop net buoys south of Point Arguello (Santa Barbara County) must now be marked for identification and enforcement purposes. Hoop nets used south of Point Arguello shall be marked with a surface buoy. The surface buoy shall be legibly marked to identify the operator’s GO ID number as stated on the operator’s sport fishing license or lobster report card (shared hoop nets can be marked with multiple GO ID numbers, or GO ID numbers can be switched out by using any sort of removable tag on or attached to the buoy, so long as the GO ID numbers are all legible). Hoop nets deployed by persons on shore or manmade structures connected to the shore are not required to be marked with a surface buoy (CCR Title 14, section 29.80 (b)(3)). Hoop nets deployed from Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels must be marked with the boat’s Fish and Game Vessel ID number, and hoop nets provided by licensed guides to clients must be marked with the guide’s license number.

Divers may be in possession of spearfishing equipment while diving for crustaceans (including lobsters). Language on the possession of a hooked device while taking lobster has changed to provide clarification for both recreational divers and enforcement. Diving for crustaceans: In all ocean waters, except as provided in section 29.05, skin and SCUBA divers may take crustaceans by the use of the hands only. Divers may not possess any hooked device while diving or attempting to dive. Divers may be in possession of spearfishing equipment as long as possession of such equipment is otherwise lawful and is not being used to aid in the take of crustaceans (CCR Title 14, section 29.80 (g)).

Measuring requirements have been clarified in order to allow for measuring lobster aboard a boat. The change will allow hoop netters to bring spiny lobster aboard a vessel where they can be measured safely. All lobsters shall be measured immediately and any undersize lobster shall be released immediately into the water. Divers shall measure lobsters while in the water and shall not remove undersized lobsters from the water. Hoop netters may measure lobsters out of the water, but no undersize lobster may be placed in any type of receiver, kept on the person or retained in any person’s possession or under his or her direct control (CCR Title 14, section 29.90 (c)).

For additional information and a list of frequently asked questions about this program, please visit CDFW’s California Spiny Lobster webpage.

Media Contacts:
Tom Mason, CDFW Marine Region, (562) 417-2791
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 201-2958

Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day by Getting Outdoors

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are joining to celebrate California’s long-standing outdoor heritage and the contributions made to wildlife conservation by hunters and anglers on National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Saturday, Sept. 23 is National Hunting and Fishing Day and California hunting and fishing seasons are in full swing. Currently deer, bear, grouse, early mountain quail, rabbit, and tree squirrel seasons are underway across the state. The high country streams, rivers and lakes are in peak form. This is prime time.

Together, CDFW and BLM are proud to promote the excellent hunting and fishing opportunities available on public lands. BLM-managed public lands in California offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities including hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, boating and backcountry exploring. Millions of acres of public land are available for hunting and thousands of miles of rivers and streams are available for fishing in California. CDFW is responsible for over 1 million acres of fish and wildlife habitat, managed through 749 properties throughout the state. These properties provide habitat for a rich diversity of fish, wildlife and plant species.

Hunters and anglers are advised to check area closures and local restrictions before heading out. Fire season is here and several large wildfires are burning currently, which may close some areas to hunting and fishing. Additionally, the severe winter damaged roads, which may account for other closures or restricted access. Information on area closures is available at wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/area-alerts.

While current target shooting restrictions are in place on some BLM-managed public lands, hunting in those areas is open with a valid hunting license. For updates on BLM restrictions visit: blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/california/fire-restrictions.

For the 2016 season, a record 84 percent of deer tag holders complied with California’s new mandatory deer tag reporting requirement. CDFW thanks all those who reported and hopes for increased participation following the 2017 season. The reports are vital to estimating deer populations and setting tag quotas for the coming hunting season.

California is phasing-in the use of non-lead ammunition for hunting. Lead ammunition is permitted in 2017 for hunting deer in California outside of the California condor range, state wildlife areas or ecological reserves where non-lead ammunition is required. Learn more about California’s phase-in of nonlead ammunition for hunting by visiting wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Nonlead-Ammunition.

Hunters and anglers are often referred to as the original conservationists. CDFW and BLM value the many contributions they make to fish and wildlife conservation efforts in the Golden State.

For more information about California’s hunting and fishing seasons, licenses and tags, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov.

For more information about BLM lands and outdoor activities, please visit www.blm.gov/california.

Media Contacts:
Samantha Storms, BLM Communications, (916) 978-4615
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824