Four California Organizations Among 2020 George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund Grantees

vamos a pescar logoFour California non-profit organizations have been awarded funds to provide fishing programs for Hispanic youth and families.

A total of $33,383 was awarded by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) through the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund to support projects in California. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will match the grant funds through the Sport Fish Restoration Program, effectively bringing the total amount of funding to $66,767.

To be eligible for funding, proposals were required to encourage family participation (both genders and multiple generations), appeal to participants who live in metropolitan communities, be ethnically inclusive (open to families of all races and ethnicities), and provide hands-on experiences and conservation activities.

Latinos are California’s largest ethnic population, with almost 15 million people of Hispanic heritage. Yet only a fraction of California’s anglers are Hispanic. CDFW and RBFF are finding new ways to educate and engage Hispanic communities in fishing and boating activities. These grants were made available for programs that support this cause.

Projects approved for funding include:

  • Daniel Hernandez Youth Foundation. The foundation will partner with local and state organizations, cities, and communities in the Los Angeles area to provide undeserved and minority youth with opportunities to learn the fundamentals of fishing, emphasizing good sportsmanship, conservation education, marine sciences, safety, community outreach, family togetherness and fun.
  • Outdoor Outreach. In partnership with Latino Outdoors and Encuentros Leadership, Outdoor Outreach will provide multi-generational fishing and kayaking outings, reaching Latino/Hispanic youth and family members in San Diego. The program will connect families to recurring positive experiences and bonding opportunities through fishing and kayaking, and inspire the next generation of conservation leaders through cultural connection to the environment.
  • Sycamore Junior High School (Anaheim Union High School District Foundation). Students at Sycamore Junior High School will explore fish biology, learn about fish ecosystems, and how to become active stewards of their local resources and habitats. They will also work hands-on with a variety of fishing gear, learning knot tying and rigging for a variety of fishing situations. Students will then go deep sea fishing in the local waters of Southern California.
  • Reel Guppy Outdoors. By offering family-oriented fishing activities in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, Reel Guppy Outdoors will instill an appreciation for California’s natural resources by developing teamwork, confidence, self-motivation, an understanding of ecosystems and responsible angling for sustainable fisheries.

Grant funding was made available through the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund, which supports RBFF’s Hispanic initiative, Vamos A Pescar™. The Education Fund allows state agencies to provide sub-grants to local 501(c)(3) organizations with project ideas that support efforts to keep future generations educated about the joys of fishing and boating, and the importance of conservation. With the help of donations from companies and organizations, the Education Fund has continued to grow and expand nationally.

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Media Contacts:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Two men with ocean salmon catch

CDFW to Host Public Meeting on Ocean Salmon Fisheries

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites the public to attend its upcoming annual Salmon Information Meeting. The meeting will feature the outlook for this year’s sport and commercial ocean salmon fisheries, in addition to a review of last year’s salmon fisheries and spawning escapement.

The meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Blvd. in Santa Rosa.

Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input on potential fishing seasons to a panel of California salmon scientists, managers and representatives who will be directly involved in the upcoming Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) meetings in March and April.

The 2020 Salmon Information Meeting marks the beginning of a two-month long public process used to develop annual sport and commercial ocean salmon fishing recommendations. The process involves collaborative negotiations with west coast states, federal and tribal agencies, and stakeholders interested in salmon fishery management and conservation. Public input will help California representatives develop a range of recommended season alternatives during the March 3-9 PFMC meeting in Rohnert Park. The PFMC will finalize the recommended season dates at its April 4-10 meeting in Vancouver, Wash.

A list of additional meetings and other opportunities for public engagement in the season-setting process is available on CDFW’s ocean salmon web page, wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon/preseason.

The meeting agenda and handouts, including presentations, will be posted online as soon as they become available.

Persons with disabilities needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the public meetings or other CDFW activities are invited to contact the Accessibility Coordinator at (916) 653-9089 or send an email request to eeo@wildlife.ca.gov.

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Media Contacts:
Pete McHugh, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 576-2870

Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8933

Angler holding north coast salmon

Fishing Report Cards Due Soon

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds anglers that Jan. 31, 2020 is the due date for turning in steelhead, sturgeon and north coast salmon report card data.

Information collected from sport fishing report cards provides CDFW biologists with important data necessary to monitor and manage California’s diverse recreational fisheries, including preparing recommendations for sport fishing seasons and limits that allow for sustainable levels of take. This science-based management helps to ensure healthy populations of fish for future generations.

Anglers are required to return their report cards even if they lost their report card, they did not fish or they did not catch any fish. Cards should be reviewed carefully for accuracy prior to submission.

There are two ways to meet the mandatory angler reporting requirement. Online reporting through the CDFW website is easy, fast and free, and includes instant confirmation that the report has been received and accepted.

Sport fishing report cards may also be returned by mail to the addresses listed below:

  • North Coast Salmon Report Cards
    CDFW – Klamath River Project
    5341 Ericson Way
    Arcata, CA 95521-9269
  • Steelhead Report Cards
    CDFW – Steelhead Report Card
    P.O. Box 944209
    Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
  • Sturgeon Report Cards
    CDFW – Sturgeon Report Card
    P.O. Box 944209
    Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

The Jan. 31, 2020 deadline does not apply to spiny lobster report cards. Spiny lobster report cards are due by Apr. 30, 2020, following the last day of spiny lobster season on March 18.

Please note that license sales agents cannot accept report cards. More information about report cards is available at wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing.

Media Contacts:
Xao Yang, CDFW License and Revenue Branch, (916) 928-5841

Tim Daly, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

juvenile coho salmon

Nominations Now Being Accepted for Fisheries Restoration Grant Program Peer Review Committee

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP) is seeking nominations to fill two vacancies on the FRGP Peer Review Committee (PRC). The current vacancies include one seat for a representative  of the public water agency industry and one seat for an academic or research scientist.

Pursuant to the Public Resources Code, section 6217.1, the 14 representatives of the PRC are appointed by the director of CDFW to provide advice, oversight and recommendations for grant funding under the FRGP.

Seven of the PRC’s 14 representatives are recommended by the California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead Trout. Three representatives are County Supervisors from coastal counties recommended by California State Association of Counties.

The remaining four PRC seats represent the following interests: one representative from the agriculture industry, one representative from the timber industry, one representative of public water agency interests and one academic or research scientist with expertise in anadromous fisheries restoration.

All representatives must reside in or represent interests in coastal and Central Valley counties in which native salmon and steelhead exist.

CDFW will accept nominations from the general public for the public water agency industry and academic or research scientist representatives through Jan. 29, 2020. The appointed representatives serve four-year terms, and these appointments extend until January 2024, starting no sooner than the PRC meeting to be held in the winter of 2020.

To nominate a representative for any of the above open seats, please send a nomination letter to:

Timothy Chorey, FRGP Coordinator
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Watershed Restoration Grants Branch
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
frgp@wildlife.ca.gov

Nomination letters must include the resume of the candidate and verification that they represent coastal or Central Valley counties in which salmon and steelhead exist. For more information, please contact Timothy Chorey at (916) 327-8842 or frgp@wildlife.ca,gov.

Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grant Branch, (916) 445-1285

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

Invasive Snails Found in Santa Ana River and Bear Creek

Anglers, Residents and Visitors Urged to Help Prevent Further Spread

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has confirmed the presence of New Zealand mudsnail (NZMS) within San Bernardino County. The invasive snails were found in both the Santa Ana River and designated wild trout stream of Bear Creek within the greater Santa Ana River Watershed.

Despite their small size, NZMS is a highly problematic aquatic species. At only 4 to 6 millimeters in length on average, dense populations of NZMS can displace and outcompete native species, sometimes by consuming up to half the food resources in a waterway that native insects and fishes would eat. The snails have been linked to reducing populations of aquatic insects, including mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, chironomids and other insect groups upon which trout and other organisms depend.

CDFW urges anglers, boaters, visitors and locals to “clean, drain and dry” all recreational items and fishing gear, which generally means anything that has gotten wet. It is important to leave any stream water, debris and organic plant matter at a recreational site in order to prevent the further spread of the snails. Once NZMS is established in a new habitat, it is impossible to eradicate it without damaging other components of the ecosystem. Boaters, anglers and others who may visit any body of water, within or outside of infested areas, are asked to decontaminate their equipment and follow the “clean, drain and dry” best practices for all equipment and clothing used in a waterway:

  • If you wade, freeze waders, wading boots and other gear overnight (at least six hours, though 24 hours is recommended).
  • After leaving the water, inspect waders, boots, float tubes, paddleboards, kayaks or any gear used in the water. Leave all water and debris at the site that you exited.
  • Additionally, remove any visible snails with a stiff brush, clean off soils and organic material, and follow this by rinsing at the site, preferably with high-pressure hot water.
  • It is critical to completely dry out gear for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Never transport live fish or other aquatic plants or animals from one body of water to another.
  • An informational flier on the “clean, drain and dry” directive is available for download on CDFW’s website.

The Santa Ana River is the largest river completely in Southern California. Its flow begins in the San Bernardino mountains and concludes at the ocean in Huntington Beach. Bear Creek begins at Big Bear Lake and connects with the Santa Ana River in the mountains. The Santa Ana River watershed has a drainage basin size of 2,650 square miles, is home to 4.5 million people, and is popular among recreationalists and fishermen.

To date, NZMS has been identified in over 17 bodies of waters in the coastal Southern California counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, and Orange, including Lower Santa Ana River. NZMS-positive lakes and streams in the Eastern Sierra are in Inyo and Mono counties – Diaz Lake (Inyo), Pleasant Valley Reservoir (Inyo), Tinnemaha Reservoir (Inyo), Lone Pine Creek (Inyo), Lower Bishop Creek (Inyo), Bishop Creek (Inyo), Bishop Creek Canal (Inyo) and Los Angeles Aqueduct (Inyo); Owens River (Mono and Inyo); Upper Owens River (Mono), Hot Creek (Mono), Rush Creek below Grant Lake Dam (Mono) and Crowley Lake (Mono).

CDFW has launched public outreach and education efforts to discuss NZMS in San Bernardino County with local water districts, federal and state agencies, non-profit fisheries partners and fly fishing clubs. Greater outreach efforts will occur in the next few months and into the spring, including posting NZMS signage at Bear Creek angler survey boxes and at other water access points along the Santa Ana River.

For more information on NZMS , please visit the Invasive Species page on CDFW’s website. The U.S. Geological Survey’s website also features an interactive map showing the current distribution of NZMS  in California and throughout the U.S.

Media Contacts:
Jennifer E. Hemmert, CDFW Inland Deserts Region, (951) 634-8793
Tim Daly, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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