CDFW to Sell Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Answer Questions from the Public and More at Annual Sportsmen’s Show

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is returning to the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) at Cal Expo in Sacramento Jan. 16-19. This is the largest hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation show of its kind in northern California.

Wildlife officers, fisheries and wildlife scientists, hunter education instructors, license agents, and other CDFW staff will be available during the show to answer questions and provide information regarding fishing and hunting opportunities throughout the state. CDFW’s license sales booth will be located in the Pavilion Building (adjoining spaces 3700 and 3822) and licenses, tags, report cards and warden stamps will be available for purchase. Customers may pay by credit card or check.

A new addition to ISE this year is the Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) experience, an interactive journey through the show to encourage the public to learn more about hunting, fishing and the shooting sports. Participants will be led to R3 stakeholder booths by map to take part in various hunting, fishing and shooting sport activities at each stop. This pilot effort is led by CDFW’s R3 team and will be housed in the main CDFW booth, where participants will end their R3 journey, take a quick survey and receive an outreach bag.

Additional CDFW booths and highlights include:

  • Hunter Education Program — Located in the Youth Fair Expo Center, wildlife officers and hunter education instructors will be available to answer questions and provide information about basic, advanced and bowhunter education. Interactive training materials, including a free laser-shot hunting simulator, will also be available.
  • K-9 Teams — CDFW K-9 wardens and their wildlife officer handlers will be available for questions and interactions. Look for them at CDFW booths.
  • Wildlife Officer Recruitment — CDFW’s Law Enforcement trailer will be on display outside of the Pavilion Building, featuring a display of taxidermy and a free enclosed laser-shot hunting simulator. Wildlife officers will be on hand to answer questions about employment opportunities.
  • CDFW Youth Fair Exhibit — Explore the salmon life cycle and try your luck on the Salmon Survival Spin. Play a round of salmon bingo, learn to cast or view the Mobile Fish Exhibit.
  • Keep Me Wild Booth — Information about black bears will be available at the Youth Fair. Youths can make a bear track and help a black bear find the way to its cave. CDFW also has information about how to vacation safely in bear country.
  • Online Harvest Reporting — Tag holders can view their online profile and complete all tags that require reporting. The tag holder will receive a report confirmation number that should be written in the space provided on the report card. The harvest report card will not have to be mailed in physically. CDFW encourages all tag holders to use this online service to meet their harvest reporting requirements.
  • Outdoor California — Free copies of CDFW’s award-winning magazine will be available (as supplies last) at the main booth.
  • Youth Essay Contest — CDFW and the California Wildlife Officer Foundation will be awarding this year’s contest winner, 16-year-old Blake Iverson of King City, a lifetime hunting license with a bird hunting privilege package for his outstanding essay emphasizing the theme, “What can CDFW do to get more people involved in hunting? And what can you do, personally, to get more people involved in hunting?” Iverson and the second- and third-place contest winners will be honored on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 11:30 a.m. at the Western Bass Aquarium Demo Tank in the Pavilion Building. Stop by to congratulate them and get information on how to become the next youth contest winner.
  • What to Do if You Encounter Them — CDFW staff will provide advice in two hour-long discussions about how to coexist safely with bears. The talks will be held at the Outdoor Product Showcase Theater in Building A on Thursday, Jan. 16 and Sunday, Jan. 19 at 2:30 p.m.

The Cal Expo State Fairgrounds are located at 1600 Exposition Blvd. in Sacramento. ISE show hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $16 for adults (tickets may be purchased in advance online). Youths age 15 and under are free. There is a $10 charge to park on the grounds.

For additional information and schedules, and to purchase tickets, please visit www.sportsexpos.com/attend/sacramento.

painting of ruffed grouse

Indiana Artist Wins California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest for Third Year in a Row

A painting of a ruffed grouse has been chosen by a panel of judges as the winning entry in the 2019-2020 California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest. The painting was created by Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind.

Sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the annual contest determined the official design for this year’s California Upland Game Bird Stamp. Klinefelter also captured the top spots in the 2018-19 and 2017-18 Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contests, as well as the 2009-10 California Duck Stamp Contest.

Artists submitted an original depiction of ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus). These medium-bodied forest dwellers are the only member of the genus Bonasa, and have a range extending across North America. In California, they inhabit riparian and conifer forests in the northwestern portion of the state. Ruffed grouse have intricately barred or variegated plumage in shades of brown and gray, depending on environmental variables, with a conspicuous neck “ruff” and dark tail banding which they use to attract mates. Their most notable courtship ritual, however, is their “drum display” – a low-frequency booming sound created by beating their wings against their bodies.

Contest entries were judged recently by a panel of experts selected for their knowledge in the fields of ornithology, conservation, art and printing. Designs were judged on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy, and suitability for reproduction as a stamp and print.

The judges praised the composition and fine detail of the painting, specifically noting the accuracy of the feathers. They cited the excellent coloration with “good barring on the belly and speckle on the back” that blends nicely with the autumnal aspen forest in the background. The panel also appreciated the in-flight depiction which allowed a full display of the grouse’s intricate plumage, something Klinefelter found challenging yet rewarding.

“Ruffed grouse are agile fliers and I thought painting them in flight would make a good picture,” he said. “The plumage blends well with the background – they have cryptic coloration.” He went on to say that while he has only seen ruffed grouse in captivity, he enjoyed imagining them in their native California habitat.

Broderick Crawford of Clayton, Ga., placed second. Mark Thone of Shakopee, Minn., placed third. Buck Spencer of Junction City, Ore. received honorable mention.

An upland game bird validation is required for hunting migratory and resident upland game birds in California. The validation replaces the stamp through CDFW’s Automated License Data System, but the stamp is still produced and available to hunters upon request. Monies generated from upland game bird validation sales are dedicated solely to upland game bird-related conservation projects, hunting opportunities, and outreach and education. CDFW annually sells about 170,000 upland game bird validations and distributes approximately 17,000 stamps.

Any individual who purchases an upland game bird validation may request their free collectable stamp by visiting wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/collector-stamps. An order form is also available on the website for collectors who do not purchase a hunting license or upland game bird validation, or for hunters who wish to purchase additional collectible stamps.

Media Contacts:
Matt Meshriy, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 322-6709

Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Sierra Nevada Bighorn at Pine Creek.

January 2020 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. 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 — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, waterfowl, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. An $11.88 non-refundable application fee 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 guided tours, which run October through February. 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. To register or for more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.

Saturdays — Swan Tours. CDFW will offer free swan tours near Marysville on Saturdays through January. Co-hosted by local rice farmers, the naturalist-led tours will focus on tundra swans in one of the premier locations for viewing swans in California. Tours will be held on Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. The driving tours also involve walking a short distance and carpooling is encouraged. Pre-registration is required at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/swan-tours and up to 30 people can register for each tour.  For more information, please call (916) 358-2869 or email interpretiveservices@wildlife.ca.gov.

Weekends — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948), 12:30 p.m. The 90-minute walking tour covers slightly more than a half mile through this premier birding spot that highlights migratory waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. No reservations are necessary for groups of fewer than 20 people. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and its associated 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, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

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

11 — The Highs and Lows of Elkhorn Slough: King Tide Photography Tour, 9:30 a.m. to noon, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Participants can witness one of the highest tides of the year and help scientists document the “King Tide” phenomenon. Reserve naturalists discuss the impacts of sea level rise on the slough and its surrounding coastlines while touring designated “King Tide” sites. Participants should bring cameras to record the tides at each site. The event is free but registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/annual-king-tide-walk-2.

12 — Canada Goose Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

16 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee, time to be determined, Aquarium of the Pacific, Pacific Visions Conference Room, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA (90802). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2020/index.aspx.

17 — California Fish and Game Commission Tribal Committee, time and location to be determined, Los Angeles area. For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2020/index.aspx.

17 — Duck Season, White Geese and White-fronted Goose Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

25 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Docent Training, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville, (95076). Participants will learn how to join the reserve’s volunteer docent team and aid in the conservation of coastal estuaries. Over a span of five Saturdays (beginning Jan. 25 and concluding on Feb. 22), participants will learn about local natural history while developing strategies for engaging the public. Docent-led tours are offered on weekends throughout the year. Scheduling is flexible and based on individual availability. For more information or to register for training, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/reserve-docent-training.

26 — Goose Season Closes in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

26 — Duck and Goose Season Closes in the Colorado River Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

27 — Falconry Only Season Opens for Rabbits and Varying Hares (extending through March 15). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.

28 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, 10:30 a.m. to noon, “Wildfires and Water Quality.” Caltrans’ Lorna McFarlane will speak about Caltrans’ collaborative efforts to reduce the frequency and severity of catastrophic wildfires, as well as their negative effects on the landscape and surface water quality. Attendance is free. To register or learn more, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.

31 — Duck Season Closes in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

31 — Duck and Goose Season Closes in the Southern San Joaquin and Southern California Zones. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

31 — Deer Tag Reporting Deadline. Deer tag holders must submit a harvest report for any 2019 deer tag by the Jan. 31, 2020 deadline. All tag holders must report even if they did not hunt, or they hunted unsuccessfully. Tag holders who do not report by this deadline will be charged a $21.60 non-reporting penalty fee when purchasing a 2020 deer tag drawing application or deer tag. To report your harvest online, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/hunting#9941260-tag-reporting or call (916) 928-5805.

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

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

Dungeness crabs

CDFW Director Delays Commercial Dungeness Crab Season South of Sonoma/Mendocino County Line

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham has issued a declaration delaying the Nov. 22, 2019 start date for the California Dungeness crab fishery south of the Sonoma/Mendocino county line. Under the authority of Section 8276.1(c)(1) of the Fish and Game Code, the Director may restrict take of commercial Dungeness crab after making a preliminary determination that there is a significant risk of marine life entanglement due to fishing gear. The opening of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in this area will be delayed until Dec. 15, 2019. Pursuant to Fish and Game Code, section 8283, traps may be set and baited 18 hours in advance of the opening date. A pre-soak period can commence at 6 a.m. on Dec. 14, 2019.

Before taking this action, the Director considered all recommendations and information provided within the public notice period that ended at 4:45 p.m. on Nov. 22. No vessel may take, possess or land crab in an area closed for a significant entanglement risk. Fishing gear may not be deployed in any area closed to fishing.

CDFW would like to acknowledge the commitment by the commercial fishing fleet and various stakeholders to help inform management of this important commercial fishery. CDFW understands the crab fishery’s value to coastal communities and is committed to ensuring a robust fishery while taking appropriate steps to minimize marine life entanglements to the extent practicable.

CDFW is committed to continuing to evaluate information as it is available in real-time to ensure that restrictions on the fishery are lifted as expeditiously as possible. CDFW will convene a meeting of the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group in early December to evaluate risk factors and determine if the fishery can be opened prior to Dec. 15.

Throughout the course of the crab season, CDFW will engage regularly with the Working Group to review scientific information and advise efforts to minimize the risk of whale and sea turtle entanglements while maximizing fishing opportunity. Based on that process, CDFW may take additional management actions in response to future risk assessments. For more information related to the risk assessment process or this delay, please visit CDFW’s Whale Safe Fisheries webpage.

For more information on Dungeness crab, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab.

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Media Contacts:
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

Ryan Bartling, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 576-2877

Trees and lake at Boden Canyon Ecological Reserve

December 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 15 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 onsite). Groups of five or more should please notify staff that they are coming and groups of 10 or more can request a separate tour. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/elkhorn-slough-er.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, waterfowl, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. An $11.88 non-refundable application fee is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

Various Days — Hatchery Education Program Classroom Visit. For teachers of K-12 students in the Santa Rosa, Healdsburg and Sebastopol areas, staff will make an hour-long classroom visit to teach students about the Warm Springs Fish Hatchery and environmental ethics. Lessons meet the California Science Standards and are tailored to fit each grade level. Visits are free. For more information, please email burch.owens@wildlife.ca.gov.

Saturdays — Swan Tours. CDFW will offer free swan tours near Marysville on Saturdays through January. Co-hosted by local rice farmers, the naturalist-led tours will focus on tundra swans in one of the premier locations for viewing swans in California. Tours will be held on Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. The driving tours also involve walking a short distance and carpooling is encouraged. Pre-registration is required at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/swan-tours and up to 30 people can register for each tour.  For more information, please call (916) 358-2869 or email interpretiveservices@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 has begun for those wishing to participate in guided tours, which run through February. A one-day Lands Pass must be purchased in advance (instructions are on the registration website). Tours fill quickly and registration may be done as much as six weeks in advance. To register or for more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.

Weekends — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 12:30 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). The 90-minute walking tour covers slightly more than a half mile through this premier birding spot that highlights migratory waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. No reservations are necessary for groups of less than 20 people. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and its associated fee-for-use requirement (wildlife.ca.gov/lands-pass). There is no additional cost for the tour. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

3 — Recreational Dungeness Crab Regulations Scoping Webinar, 6 p.m. An informational webinar regarding potential regulation changes for the recreational Dungeness crab fishery to improve accountability and reduce marine life entanglement risk. Potential measures include pot limits, catch reporting, surface gear restrictions, service interval requirements, marking requirements and changes to in-season management. Additional details will be made available on CDFW’s Whale Safe Fisheries webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/whale-safe-fisheries. For more information, and to be added to the interested parties list, please contact whalesafefisheries@wildlife.ca.gov.

5 — Volunteer Information Night, 5 to 6:30 p.m., Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Learn about volunteer opportunities in research, education and stewardship at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve. The Reserve’s Volunteer Coordinator will share background on the volunteer program and highlight the numerous ways to get involved. The event is free and drop-ins are welcome. For more information, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/volunteer-information-night-2.

7 — Sacramento Fishing in the City Trout Fishing Clinic, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Hagan Community Park, 2197 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova (95670). A “learn to fish” clinic teaching fishing techniques, ethics and safety while fishing. Staff also provide information about current ecological issues and ideas on how to help conserve our state’s natural resources. The clinics and the use of rods are provided free of charge. Ages 5 to 15 only. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing-in-the-city/sac.

7 — Fishing with Santa Youth Fishing Event, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Whittier Narrows Regional Park, Legg Lake, 823 Lexington-Gallatin Road, South El Monte (91733). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing-in-the-city/la.

7 — Public Planting Day, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hester Marsh, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Volunteers can join Elkhorn Slough Reserve’s stewardship team as it places 20,000 salt marsh plants in the soil at a new restoration site. The Hester Marsh restoration project is restoring 60 acres of new salt marsh habitat adjacent to the Elkhorn Slough. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/public-planting-day.

9 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, 1 to 3 p.m., “Integrating the California Biodiversity Initiative into California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Efforts.” CDFW’s Dr. Kim Tenggardjaja, Dr. Melanie Gogol-Prokurat and Martha Volkoff will provide an overview of the California Biodiversity Initiative and the history of its development, detailing current efforts to implement the Initiative at CDFW. Attendance is free. To register or learn more, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.

11-12 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, time to be determined, Natural Resources Building, Auditorium, First Floor, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2019.

13 — Passing on the Tradition Youth Essay Contest Deadline. CDFW and the California Wildlife Officer Foundation are co-sponsoring the annual “Passing on the Tradition” essay contest for young hunters. The grand prize winner will receive a lifetime hunting license with a bird hunting privilege package valued at up to $1,250. This year’s contest challenges kids to answer the questions, “What can CDFW do to get more people involved in hunting? And what can you do, personally, to get more people involved in hunting?” The contest is open to all junior hunting license holders, as well as youths under 18 who have earned a hunter education certificate. Essays should be no more than 500 words, double spaced. Entries should be submitted via email to Capt. Robert Pelzman at robert.pelzman@wildlife.ca.gov no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. Applicants must provide their date of birth, place of residence, contact telephone number and email address.

14 — Sacramento Fishing in the City Trout Fishing Clinic, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Auburn Regional Park, 3770 Richardson Drive, Auburn (95602). A “learn to fish” clinic teaching fishing techniques, ethics and safety while fishing. Staff also provide information about current ecological issues and ideas on how to help conserve our state’s natural resources. The clinics and the use of rods are provided free of charge. Ages 5 to 15 only. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing-in-the-city/sac.

21 — General Season for Band-tailed Pigeons in the Southern Hunt Zone Opens (extending through Dec. 29). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

23 — Archery Only Pheasant Season Opens (extending through Jan. 19, 2020). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

29 — Black Bear Season Ends Statewide (or earlier if CDFW determines that 1,700 black bears have been reported taken). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/bear. Successful hunters should have their tag validated and a tooth pulled from the skull of their bear. All hunters are required to submit a report on their bear tag, whether they hunted for bear or not. Tags can be mailed to the address on the tag, or reported online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.

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