April 2021 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.

Various Days — California Invasive Species Action Week Youth Art Contest. Students in grades 2-12 are invited to submit artwork on the theme, “Be an Invasive Species Detective!” All types of media are encouraged! Submit entries electronically by May 5, 2021. Find complete information at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives/action-week/poster-contest. Winners will be announced during California Invasive Species Action Week in June. Please send any questions to invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Nature Bowl 2021: Family Challenge Edition. Hosted by CDFW’s North Central Region, the 2021 Nature Bowl has been reformatted into a virtual nature challenge to all California families with school-age students. Spring is here, and it’s time for rejuvenation, emerging from winter hibernation and getting outside for a healthy dose of nature. Your challenge is to work together as a family to compete in five nature-themed activities – and possibly win cool nature-related prizes. Nature Bowl runs through May 14, 2021. For more information and materials, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/nature-bowl or contact Genelle Treaster at genelle.treaster@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Scavenger Hunt, sunrise to sunset through April 11, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis (95618). Learn about the Yolo Bypass wetlands and wildlife in this family-friendly, self-guided scavenger hunt around the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. Participants will solve clues as they journey to the scavenger hunt stations shown on the provided map. Visit at least five stations and submit the scavenger hunt form to be entered to win exciting prizes. See if you can visit all 10 stations! The Scavenger Hunt is free, though a $10 donation per family to support Yolo Basin Foundation’s environmental education programs is suggested. For more information, materials and instructions, please visit yolobasin.org/scavengerhunt.

Various Days — Vernal Pool Speaker Series, 7 p.m., April 1, 13 and 27. Vernal pools are home to a variety of rare and endemic plants and animals. These talks, presented via Zoom, will cover the natural history and ecology of vernal pools of the Central Valley, plant and animal species conservation, and the history of Grasslands Regional Park. For the schedule of talks and to register for these free events, please visit yolobasin.org/grpspeakerseries.

1 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Lower American River Conservancy Program Proposal Solicitation Notice Release. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov/programs/lower-american-river.

1 — Recreational Groundfish Season Opens, for all boat-based anglers in the San Francisco Management Area (Point Arena, Mendocino County to Pigeon Point, San Mateo County), San Francisco Bay and the Central Management Area (Pigeon Point, San Mateo County to Point Conception, Santa Barbara County). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish.  

1 — California Grunion Season Closes. Season closes at midnight the night of March 31. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/grunion.

1 — San Francisco Bay Surfperch Season Closes. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/fishing-map/sf-bay.

3 — Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Opens from Pigeon Point to U.S./Mexico Border. For more information, please visit the Ocean Salmon webpage at 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 — Vernal Pool Virtual Tour, 9 to 10 a.m. Explore the crucial, incredible habitats of vernal pools with Yolo Basin Foundation staff and volunteers through a virtual experience at Grasslands Regional Park. Discover how vernal pools are naturally created, how they can be restored and how they provide unique habitat. Zoom in more closely to view amazing wildflowers and small creatures that call the vernal pools home. Registration is free and limited to 60 devices per virtual tour. For more information and to sign up, please visit yolobasin.org/virtualwetlandtours.

6-9 — 11th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference and 2021 IEP Annual Workshop. The 11th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference and the 2021 Interagency Ecological Program Annual Workshop will be a combined virtual event this year. The conference acts as a forum for presenting scientific analyses and results relevant to management of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The goal of the conference is to provide new information and syntheses to the broad community of scientists, engineers, resources managers and stakeholders working on Bay-Delta issues. The conference theme is “Building Resilience through Diversity in Science.” Attendance is free with registration. To register for the event, please visit baydeltascienceconference.org. For more information on the conference, please visit deltacouncil.ca.gov/delta-science-program/11th-biennial-bay-delta-science-conference.

8 — Advanced Hunter Education Webinar: Archery Turkey Hunting, 6 to 7 p.m. This webinar will cover many aspects of a successful turkey hunt with a bow. Join us as we share information on how to bag a wild turkey using archery equipment. Register at www.register-ed.com/programs/california/162-advanced-hunter-education.

10 — Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Virtual Tour, 10 to 11 a.m. Join Yolo Basin Foundation staff and docents to explore your local wetlands. Observe wildlife up close with our virtual spotting scope view! Registration is free and limited to 60 devices per virtual tour. For more information and to sign up, please visit yolobasin.org/virtualwetlandtours.

13 — California Fish and Game Commission Tribal Committee Meeting. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov.

14 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov.

15 — 2021-22 Hunting Items on Sale. Hunters can purchase 2021-22 hunting licenses, tags and validations, and apply for the annual Big Game Drawing. Items may be purchased at license agents, online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales or by phone at (800) 565-1458. Sales transactions for the Big Game Drawing applications must be completed before midnight on June 2, 2021. Please contact a local CDFW license sales office for more information.

15 — Deadline to Submit Lobster Trap Loss Affidavits. Commercial lobster fishermen must submit an affidavit reporting trap loss for the 2020-2021 season. Forms can be found at nrm.dfg.ca.gov/filehandler.ashx?documentid=141218 and can be returned either by email to lobster@wildlife.ca.gov or by mail to 3883 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123.

22 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Stream Flow Enhancement Program Board Meeting, 10 a.m., via Zoom. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

22 — Advanced Hunter Education Webinar: Applying for Big Game Tags, 6 to 7 p.m. This webinar will cover how to successfully apply for all big game tag applications. Learn how the process works and how to properly apply for your hunt choices. Register at www.register-ed.com/programs/california/162-advanced-hunter-education.

24 — Aquatic WILD Virtual Workshop, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). This one-day workshop for elementary school teachers takes a deep dive into aquatic habitats and their animals! Participants leave with the Aquatic Wild guide to hundreds of fun and engaging lessons and activities, and skills to lead field investigations at their school or on the reserve. This workshop is free, but registration is required. For more details and to register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/aquatic-wild-teacher-workshop-3.

29 — Watershed Scale Thinking: An Evenings at the Estuary Presentation, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Virtual Event. Join Elkhorn Slough Foundation Stewardship Director Dash Dunkell and Digital Mapping expert Kass Green for a discussion on watershed restoration and the brand-new vegetation maps of the Elkhorn Slough and learn how to take meaningful action in your own area. To register for this free event, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/watershed-scale-thinking.

30 — Deadline to Report Spiny Lobster Report Cards. Divers and hoop netters who were issued report cards for spiny lobster must report their data by April 30, 2021. Report card holders who fail to return their Spiny Lobster Report Card or report their harvest online by the deadline will be assessed a $21.60 non-return fee when they purchase a spiny lobster report card for the following season. Divers and hoop netters may report online or mail their report card to the address printed on the report card. To report online, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.

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Media Contact:
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907

Nature Is Calling All California Families: CDFW Announces Nature Bowl 2021

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is inviting families across the state to participate in the fun and educational Nature Bowl 2021: Family Challenge Edition.

Nature Bowl has been an exciting science event for teams of third- through sixth-grade students for more than 35 years. Students usually compete in person at natural resource sites throughout CDFW’s North Central Region.

Last year saw the event cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Nature Bowl has been reformatted for the times as a nature challenge to all California families with school-age students.

Just like the spring before us, it’s time for rejuvenation, time to emerge from winter hibernation, time to get outside and give your family a healthy dose of nature.

Your challenge is to work together as a family to compete in five nature-themed activities – and possibly win cool nature-related prizes.

Activity Challenges:

  • Nature Relay: Take a scavenger hunt safari to see the natural world nearby.*
  • Nature Investigations: Discover native plants, animals in your backyard or neighborhood.
  • Bell Ringers: Invent a fast-paced family game using Nature Bowl 2021 vocabulary.
  • Team Problem Solving: Decipher the events in 12 nature photographs.*
  • Enviromercials: Create a 60-second ad on a current nature topic specific to California.

The Nature Bowl Family Challenge is open from March 15 through May 14, 2021. Contact Genelle Treaster at CDFW’s North Central Region to register and receive your electronic entry package with details, worksheets and resources.

March 2021 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.

1 — California Invasive Species Action Week Youth Art Contest Opens. Students in grades 2-12 are invited to submit artwork on the theme, “Be an Invasive Species Detective!” All types of media are encouraged! Submit entries electronically by May 5, 2021. Find complete information at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives/action-week/poster-contest. Winners will be announced during California Invasive Species Action Week in June. Please send any questions to invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

1 Rockfish Fishery Opens for Boat-based Anglers in the Southern Management Area, Point Conception to the Mexico border. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/groundfish-summary#south.  

2 — Cutting Green Tape Restoration Permitting Workshop, 1 to 4 p.m. CDFW will host an online permitting workshop providing an overview of restoration permitting solutions, including new coordinated Cutting Green Tape permitting strategies. The workshop will cover the Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Act, the new Restoration Management Permit and other restoration permitting options, as well as an overview of options for complying with the California Environmental Quality Act when developing restoration projects. The workshop will also present case studies to explore restoration permitting pathways for different project types. Following the restoration permitting workshop, CDFW’s Landscape Conservation Planning Program will provide an overview of how CDFW’s landscape conservation tools to preserve larger areas of higher habitat quality and to enhance habitat connectivity can be used to further restoration. No registration is required. For more information on accessing the workshop, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/grants.

4 — Free Online Cannabis Permitting Workshop, 9 to 11 a.m. CDFW and state partners are hosting a free online commercial cannabis cultivation permitting workshop for new and existing commercial cannabis cultivators, consultants and other interested parties. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis will provide an overview of the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing program. CDFW will cover permitting, use of the online notification system (epims.wildlife.ca.gov/index.do) and how to reduce environmental impacts. The State Water Board will review the cannabis policy, permitting process and other important information. Other state agencies will also be present. To attend, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/cannabis/permitting and click on the workshop link. No registration is required.

6 — Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Environmental Science Virtual Workshop, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). The reserve presents a hands-on environmental science workshop for elementary school teachers through a combination of virtual lessons and field work. Teachers will learn about the GLOBE monitoring program, engage in inquiry-based lessons and take home new hands-on activities. For the full workshop schedule and to register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/education-program/teacher-development.

16 California Fish and Game Commission Marine Resources Committee Meeting, time to be determined. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2021.

17 — Last Day of California Spiny Lobster Recreational and Commercial Fishing Season Statewide. Recreational lobster report card data can be reported at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/invertebrates/lobster.  

17 — Last Day of Kellet’s Whelk Recreational and Commercial Fishing Season Statewide. For more information on Kellet’s whelk, please visit marinespecies.wildlife.ca.gov/kellet%E2%80%99s-whelk.

17 Public Workshop for the Lower American River Conservancy Program’s 2021 Proposal Solicitation Notice. This will be a virtual workshop using Microsoft Teams. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

20 — Additional Spring Wild Turkey Season Opens for Hunters with Junior Hunting Licenses (extending through March 21). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

24 — Teachers on the Reserve Virtual Workshop, 3:30 to 5 p.m. A virtual introduction for K-12 teachers to the habitats and wildlife at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve. This presentation will deepen participants’ knowledge of the Slough’s ecological and cultural history and introduce virtual ways to explore the reserve. To register for this free event, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/education-program/teacher-development.  

27 — General Spring Wild Turkey Season Opens (extending through May 5). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

31 Pre-applications Due for WCB’s California Riparian Habitat Conservation Program 2021 Call for Concepts. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov/programs/riparian.

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Media Contact:
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916)
322-8907

Special Post-Season Waterfowl Hunt Weekend Reserved for Veterans and Active Military Personnel Feb. 13-14

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will reopen and staff nearly two dozen of the state’s most popular waterfowl hunting areas to welcome veterans and active military personnel for a special hunt weekend Feb. 13 and 14.

The first Veterans and Active Military Waterfowl Hunting Days take place the second weekend in February throughout the Balance of the State, Southern San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California waterfowl zones on both private property and public land for eligible hunters.

Species and daily bag limits are the same as the regular season with the following exceptions: Brant are not open to take and geese are not allowed to be taken in the Balance of State Zone on these days.

In addition to a valid California hunting license, California duck validation, federal duck stamp and Harvest Information Program (HIP) validation, any person participating in these hunts must possess and present upon demand verification of eligibility. Acceptable verification includes: a Veteran ID Card, military ID card for active duty personnel, or a state-issued driver license or ID card with veteran designation. Qualifying veterans are those defined in Section 101, Title 38, of the United States Code. Absence of verification may subject the hunter to citation.

Among those public areas reopening for Veterans and Active Military Waterfowl Hunting Days: The Little Dry Creek Unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area, Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, Delevan National Wildlife Refuge, Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Sutter National Wildlife Refuge, Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Los Banos Wildlife Area, Mendota Wildlife Area, Merced National Wildlife Refuge, San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, North Grasslands Wildlife Area, San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Volta Wildlife Area, Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area and Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.

A wildlife area pass is required to hunt on Type A and Type B state-operated wildlife areas and national wildlife refuges during the hunt weekend. These items are not available for sale at hunter check stations and must be purchased ahead of time. All 2020 Type A and Type B Wildlife Area Season Passes and Type A One and Two-Day Wildlife Area Passes will be accepted during the hunt weekend. A Type A or Type B Season Pass is required to hunt on Type B Wildlife Areas.

As of Feb. 1, overnight camping is once again allowed on state-operated wildlife areas and federal refuges reopening for the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days Feb. 6-7 and the Veterans and Active Military Waterfowl Hunting Days Feb. 13-14. Please check with the individual property for entry procedures, specific details and other regulations.

Waterfowl hunters are strongly encouraged to review the 2020 CDFW Wildlife Area Operational Changes due to COVID-19 webpage prior to visiting any state-operated wildlife area or refuge in order to understand all required health and safety practices in place to help protect visitors and staff. Waterfowl hunters are further advised to check with the individual property they are planning to hunt for specific entry procedures, details and other regulations.

Below are general COVID-19 safety guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus in the outdoors:

  • Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time. 
  • Plan Ahead: The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic. Prior to leaving home, check to ensure your destination is open, if parking is available and what visitor guidelines may be in effect.
  • Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Those camping together should only include people within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties.
  • Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Restrooms may be unavailable or closed. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash.

Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Media Contact:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 215-3858

Photo:
Bill Self of Dublin is an Air Force veteran, retired educator, and lifelong California sportsman. He and his fellow veterans along with active military personnel will enjoy an extra weekend of duck hunting Feb. 13 and 14 during California’s first Veterans and Active Military Waterfowl Hunting Days. Photo courtesy of Edward Lee.

February 2021 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig and turkey hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $12.14 non-refundable application fee is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

Various Days — White Goose Late Season Opens in the Imperial County Special Management Area. Season is open Feb. 1-5, 8-12 and 15-21. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

1 — Deadline to Report on Bear Tag. All bear tag holders are required to report on their tag regardless of whether or not they were successful, unsuccessful or hunted bear. The deadline for reporting on a bear hunt tag is Feb. 1. After the Feb. 1 deadline, the online reporting system will lock hunters out from reporting. Hunters who miss the online reporting window can and should still mail in their tags to the address on the tag. All bear tags postmarked after Feb. 1 will be considered late. Tags can be reported online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.

1 — Falconry Only Season Opens for Rabbits and Varying Hares (extending through March 21). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.

1 — 2021 Commercial Fishing Licenses and Permits Available for Purchase. The 2021 commercial fishing licenses and permits are valid from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/commercial.

6 — White and White-fronted Goose Late Season Opens in the Northeastern Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl

6-7 — Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Colorado River and Balance of State Zones. Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days are intended to provide a safe learning environment for youth who are interested in hunting and to encourage youths and adults to experience the outdoors together. Each year, many wildlife areas and national wildlife refuges open for youth hunt days. Federal regulations require that hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 years of age or older to participate. All hunters must have a valid license and stamps as required by state and federal law. The daily bag and possession limits apply along with all other waterfowl regulations for the 2020-21 waterfowl season. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl

10 California Fish and Game Commission Meeting. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2021.

11 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Lower American River Conservancy Program Advisory Committee Meeting, 9 to 11 a.m., via Microsoft Teams Meeting. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

13 — I Heart Estuaries: Virtual Tidal Trivia Night, 5:30 p.m. Test your knowledge of mud, marsh and migratory birds, and hear a few fun stories from the wetlands in between. This virtual event is family-friendly and questions will involve a variety of nature-themed topics. The event is free, but registration is required. To register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/i-heart-estuaries-tidal-trivia-night-2021.

13-14 — Veterans and Active Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and Balance of State Zones. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl

20 — White and White-fronted Goose Late Season Opens in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

20 — Canada Goose Late Season Opens in the North Coast Special Management Area. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

25 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Meeting, 10 a.m., via Microsoft Teams or teleconference. Members of the public are invited to participate. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

25 — CDFW’s Annual Salmon Information Meeting, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., webinar only. The public is invited to attend CDFW’s annual meeting on the status of California Chinook salmon populations and the outlook for 2021 ocean salmon fisheries. A review of last year’s salmon fisheries and spawning escapement will be presented, along with the outlook for this year’s sport and commercial ocean salmon fisheries. The meeting marks the beginning of a two-month long public process used to establish annual sport and commercial ocean salmon seasons. A list of additional meetings and other opportunities for public comment, as well as meeting materials and the link for the webinar, will be available at wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/salmon/preseason as they become available. For more information, please contact Ian Pritchard at (707) 576-2891 or ian.pritchard@wildlife.ca.gov.

26 — Proposition 1 Grant Program Cutting the Green Tape Workshop, 9 a.m. CDFW will host an online stakeholder workshop to provide an overview of its planned Summer 2021 Proposition 1 Grant round focused on watersheds included in CDFW’s North Coast Salmon Project. This focused solicitation will also pilot a series of efforts under CDFW’s Cutting the Green Tape initiative to increase the pace and scale of restoration. No registration is required. For more information on accessing the workshop, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/grants. Information about CDFW’s North Coast Salmon Project can be found at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/fishes/coho-salmon/north-coast-salmon-project.

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Media Contact:
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 738-9641