December 2020 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 — Nimbus Fish Hatchery Free Public Webinars, 9 to 9:45 a.m., Dec. 3, 10 and 17 via Zoom. These free public webinars will be broadcast live from Nimbus Hatchery staff for all ages to enjoy. Because the Visitor Center is currently closed, we are offering everyone the opportunity to connect with wildlife and our hatchery experts. Information on each webinar and a link to register (required) will be posted to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nimbushatchery. For additional information, please contact stephanie.ambrosia@wildlife.ca.gov or call (916) 358-2884.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Hunting Opportunities. There are still opportunities available for pig, waterfowl and upland game hunting through February. An $11.25 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

Saturdays — Swan Tours, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Yuba County north of Marysville in privately owned rice fields. Led by CDFW naturalists, this is an excursion into a prime Pacific Flyway overwintering grounds. Tours focus on the majestic and ancient tundra swan, but participants are sure to see an assortment of geese, ducks, shorebirds and raptors. Sign up on Eventbrite. Tours have been modified to meet health and safety guidelines. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/swan-tours or email genelle.treaster@wildlife.ca.gov.

5 — Weaving Yesterdays: A Live History Series Virtual Event, 1 to 1:30 p.m. Reserve naturalists and historians will host a Facebook Live series exploring the cultural heritage of Elkhorn Slough. At 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month, participants will hear the backstory of a new location around the area. Please visit facebook.com/events/916213552118672 to view the series and find recordings of previous installments.

8 California Wildlife Conservation Board Special Meeting, 10 a.m., via Microsoft Teams or teleconference. Public comment will be accepted per the agenda. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

9-10 California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Dec. 9 and 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 10. 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.

10 — Woven in Time: The Cultural Heritage and Historical Ecology of Elkhorn Slough Virtual Event, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Explore the Elkhorn Slough’s rich history with Stewardship Coordinator Andrea Woolfolk. After the lecture, celebrate with us at a live virtual ribbon cutting for a new historical ecology exhibit. For more information and to view live, please visit facebook.com/events/2519752044989001.

11 — Lower American River Conservancy Program Virtual American River Parkway Tour, 1 to 3 p.m. This virtual tour of the American River Parkway will explore current conditions of the Parkway and highlight current and potential natural and community investment sites. Information will be available at wcb.ca.gov/programs/lower-american-river.

13 — The Ups and Downs of King Tides Virtual Event, 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Witness the highest and lowest tides of the year virtually and find out how scientists use the king tides phenomenon to model sea level rise impacts on California’s coast. This two-part presentation will feature Elkhorn Slough Reserve naturalists speaking from the reserve at the highest tide of the year (8:30 a.m.) and the lowest (4 p.m.). For more information and to view live, please visit facebook.com/events/657171038289554.

16 — Earliest Possible Date for Opening of Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery North of the Sonoma-Mendocino County Line (Northern Management Area). After a delay from Dec. 1 due to crab quality, Dec. 16 is the earliest possible date the season could open. However, the opening date may be further delayed in some or all of this area due to elevated marine life entanglement risk or poor meat quality. Should there be additional changes to the season opening date due to entanglement risk, information will be made available at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/whale-safe-fisheries and sent out through the CDFW Whale Safe Fisheries email listserv. More information on the crab fishery and season updates due to crab quality can be found at wildlife.ca.gov/crab.

19 — General Season for Band-tailed Pigeons in the Southern Hunt Zone Opens (extending through Dec. 27). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

27 — Black Bear Season Ends Statewide (or earlier if CDFW determines that 1,700 black bears have been reported taken). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/bear. Successful hunters must have their tag validated. 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.

28 — Archery Only Pheasant Season Opens (extending through Jan. 24, 2021). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

31 — Recreational Groundfish Fishery for Boat-based Anglers Closes. Species include rockfish, cabezon, kelp and rock greenlings, lingcod, leopard shark, soupfin shark and spiny dogfish, and other federally managed groundfish. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/groundfish-summary.

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

Kern County Fish Hatchery to Close Temporarily for Repairs

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is announcing the temporary closure on Dec. 1 of the Kern River Hatchery in Kern County. The purpose of the closure is to complete much needed repairs so that, once reopened, the hatchery can serve as a recreational resource for visitors and produce Kern River rainbow trout for the sport fishing community.

“The Kern River Hatchery is the oldest state-owned and operated fish facility in Central California,” said CDFW Fisheries Program Manager Gerald Hatler. “It is an integral part of the community. Completing these repairs will ultimately allow us to develop a native fishery and operate a hatchery that serves Californians in a way that we haven’t realized at this facility before.”

The hatchery will be closed for an undetermined amount of time while CDFW secures additional funding and completes the repairs. The most needed repair will be replacement of a pipeline that is more than 50 years old and no longer adequately provides a reliable water supply for fish production. Several additional repairs and improvements will be made related to achieving an adequate water supply and a fully functioning facility.

The public can email kernriverupdates@wildlife.ca.gov to provide feedback, ask questions or to be included in future updates.

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Media Contacts:
Ken Paglia, CDFW Communications, (916) 825-7120
Gerald Hatler, CDFW Fisheries Program Manager, (559) 341-1814

ocean salmon

Lower Trinity River Adult Chinook Salmon Quota Met

Based upon California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) projections of the recreational fall Chinook salmon catch on the Trinity River, recreational anglers will meet the Lower Trinity River adult fall Chinook salmon quota below the Denny Road Bridge at Hawkins Bar for the 2020 season as of 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20.

This triggers the closure of the adult Chinook salmon fishery on the Trinity River from the Denny Road Bridge at Hawkins Bar to the confluence with the Klamath River. This reach will remain open for harvest of jack (two-year-old) Chinook salmon (less than or equal to 23 inches). All adult Chinook salmon caught must be immediately released and reported on the angler’s report card.

Adult Chinook salmon harvest is now closed in all sectors of the Klamath River basin.

Anglers may monitor the quota status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling the information hotline at (800) 564-6479.

For more information regarding Klamath River fishing regulations, please consult the 2020-2021 California Freshwater and Supplemental Sport Fishing Regulations at wildlife.ca.gov/regulations.

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Media Contacts:
Dan Troxel, CDFW Klamath River Project, (707) 822-0330
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 215-3858

CDFW Offers Vamos A Pescar™ Grants to Promote Equitable Access to Fishing

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting grant applications for fishing programs, classes and activities that educate and engage diverse, metro-centric communities. This grant program is part of CDFW’s ongoing angler recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) effort to increase fishing participation statewide.

To be eligible for funding, programs must be:

  • Ethnically inclusive: Events will be open to families of all races/ethnicities with Spanish-English bilingual instruction, materials and outreach.
  • Family-focused: Program will encourage participation across multiple generations and genders.
  • Metro-centric: Program will encourage focus in California metro areas.
  • Focused on multiple opportunities: Program will provide multiple opportunities for the same audience to participate in fishing activities.
  • Virtual learning compatible: Program will use both in-person and virtual platforms in conjunction with one another, as required by current local and state health and safety standards at the time of each event. When virtual delivery cannot be utilized, COVID-19 prevention measures must be followed and incorporated into events.

Program should also promote good stewardship toward the state’s aquatic resources and include information on angler-funded (i.e. Sport Fish Restoration Act) conservation projects.

The funds are made available from the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund. The fund supports the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Hispanic initiative, Vamos A Pescar™. To further the reach and facilitate partnerships at the local level, funds are provided for state agencies to match and sub grant to local 501(c)(3) organizations. With the help of donations from companies and organizations, this fund has continued to grow and expand nationally to keep future generations educated about the joys of fishing and boating and the importance of conservation.

Interested 501 (c)(3) organizations should review the RBFF George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Grant Guidelines, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife blank grant agreement template and then complete both the California Department of Fish and Wildlife grant application and the RBFF George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ application. Completed application packets containing both applications should be sent via email to jennifer.benedet@wildlife.ca.gov no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020.

Proposals will be ranked by CDFW staff and submitted to RBFF for review by their advisory board. The advisory board will choose the final grant recipients by Jan. 19, 2021 and CDFW will notify recipients soon thereafter. Final decisions on the program are subject to the availability of state matching funds.

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

Angler casting a line on the water

2021 Fishing Licenses and Related Items Now Available for Sale

New This Year: Anglers Can Choose to Auto-Renew Sport Fishing Licenses

California anglers can now purchase 2021 fishing licenses and related items directly through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website or authorized license agents. (Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, license sales counters at CDFW offices remain temporarily closed to the public.)

The cost of a 2021 annual resident fishing license has been set at $52.66, while a one-day license will cost $17.02.

For the first time, anglers have the option to sign up for auto-renewal of their annual sport fishing licenses, report cards and validations.

“More than a million anglers purchase annual licenses to fish California waters and for many of them, this will be a welcome feature,” said Josh Morgan, chief of CDFW’s License and Revenue Branch. “Signing up for auto-renewal helps ensure that you won’t end up on the water with an expired license.”

Anglers must enroll in the auto-renewal program through CDFW’s online sales website. License agents cannot enroll customers in the auto-renewal program, but customers who make purchases in person from license agents can go online later and enroll themselves.

Not all CDFW products for sale are eligible for auto-renewal at this time, although the feature will be expanded to other items in the future. For more information and a complete list of items available for auto-renewal, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions about auto-renewal on CDFW’s website.

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Media Contact:
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 804-1714