Category Archives: Habitat Conservation

2017 Invasive Species Youth Art Contest Kicks Off with “Don’t Let it Loose” Theme

Young artists and future biologists are invited to enter this year’s California Invasive Species Art Contest, sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). This year’s theme is “Don’t Let it Loose!”

Youths in grades 2 through 12 are eligible to enter. Entries should depict invasive species that might be released into California’s waters, parks and wildlands, along with appropriate messaging such as (but not limited to) the following:2017 CISAW Youth Poster Contest Announcement Flier

  • Releasing invasive species into the wild can harm the environment and California’s native plants and animals
  • Description(s) of one or more species that are commonly released into waters, parks or wildlands
  • Explanations or illustrations showing other ways to rehome unwanted pets or plants

All types of media are welcome and encouraged – drawings, paintings, animations, comic strips, videos, public service announcements, etc. Submissions must be received no later than May 5, 2017, and may be submitted by email or regular mail.

Winners will be chosen in three age divisions: grades 2-4, 5-8 and 9-12. Winners from each division will receive awards and have their posters displayed on CDFW’s Invasive Species Action Week webpage. The submission judged to be the best overall will also receive the “Invasive Species Program Choice” Award.

The entry form and a pdf of the contest announcement flyer can be found online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/CISAW.

The contest is sponsored by CDFW’s Invasive Species Program as part of the 2017 California Invasive Species Action Week, June 3-11. The goal of the Action Week is to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and encourage public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

Many people don’t realize the potential implications of very simple acts. For example, the release of non-native crayfish used as fishing bait has likely resulted in the decline of California’s native crayfish and impacted other species dependent on the habitat. The dumping of aquarium plants can ultimately end up destroying the quality of our waterways and lands. Red-eared sliders, aquarium fish, and Nerodia watersnakes are other examples of released species that can become invasive and negatively impact native species.

California Invasive Species Action Week activities around the state will include presentations on aquatic and terrestrial invasives, guided outings to observe and assess infested areas, invasive species removal efforts, habitat restoration projects and the announcement of the winners of the youth poster contest. Opportunities for youths and adults to participate or volunteer will be available across the state through participating agencies, organizations and volunteer groups, with information and details to be provided on the Action Week webpage.

More information about CDFW’s Invasive Species Program, including examples of invasive species currently affecting California’s wild lands, can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives.

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Media Contacts:
Rachael Klopfenstein, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 651-3122
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

CDFW Awards $15 Million for Fisheries Habitat Restoration and Forest Legacy Projects

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 43 projects that will receive funding for the restoration, enhancement and protection of anadromous salmonid habitat in California watersheds, as well as forest legacy restoration.

The grants, which total $15,297,743, are distributed through CDFW’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP). They include approximately $2 million allocated for timber legacy restoration projects and approximately $13.3 million for anadromous salmonid restoration projects. FRGP monies come from a combination of state sources and the federal Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.

“Restoring the ecological function of critical fish habitat remains an ongoing priority,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “Our successes happen when the entire restoration community works together, and we are so fortunate to have stakeholders in California committed to this goal.”

In response to the February 2016 FRGP solicitation, CDFW received 116 proposals requesting more than $36 million in funding in total. All proposals underwent an initial administrative review. Those that passed were then evaluated through a technical review process that included reviews by CDFW and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists.

The 43 approved projects will further the objectives of state and federal recovery plans, including removing barriers to fish migration, restoring riparian habitat, monitoring of listed populations and creating a more resilient and sustainably managed water resources system (e.g., water supply, water quality and habitat) that can better withstand drought conditions. These projects further the goals of California’s Water Action Plan and CDFW’s recently approved State Wildlife Action Plan, as well as addressing limiting factors specified in state and federal recovery plans.

The list of approved projects is available on the FRGP website.

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Media Contacts:
Patty Forbes, Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 327-8842
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Feb. 23 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $10 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California, including the Salton Sea. Some of the 16 funded projects will benefit fish and wildlife – including some endangered species – while others will provide public access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, landowners and the local community. The state funds for all these projects come from bond measures approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Funded projects include:

  • A $900,000 grant to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to construct a boat launch facility on Trout Lake, renovate the entrance road and replace a bridge over the Little Shasta River on CDFW’s Shasta Valley Wildlife Area, approximately eight miles east of the City of Yreka in Siskiyou County.
  • A $1.4 million grant to the County of Yolo to re-construct the boat launch facility on the CDFW Knights Landing Public Access property, in Knights Landing in Yolo County.
  • A $2.4 million grant to the California Rangeland Trust for a cooperative project with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to acquire conservation easements over approximately 12,710 acres of land to protect open space and a natural landscape consisting of native oak woodlands, chaparral, annual grasslands and watersheds that are beneficial to Tule elk and other wildlife, and promote the preservation of habitat linkages and corridors between existing protected lands near the community of Pozo, in San Luis Obispo County.
  • A $1 million grant to the City of Santa Clarita to acquire fee title to approximately 200 acres of land to protect upland coastal scrub, oak woodland, coastal watersheds and important habitat linkages, south of Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County.
  • A $426,000 grant to Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy for a cooperative project with Department of Water Resources to restore approximately 97 acres of riparian habitat for threatened and endangered species. The property is on Endangered Habitats Conservancy property along the San Diego River in the El Monte Valley, two miles east of Lakeside in San Diego County.

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

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Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-2420

Anglers Can Retain Canary Rockfish in 2017

Starting in 2017, anglers will be allowed to retain canary rockfish for the first time in more than a decade. Canary rockfish was declared overfished in 2000, but the population rebuilt to healthy levels quicker than anticipated based on a combination of conservation efforts and restrictive management.

“We are pleased to offer new opportunities based on the improved stock status of canary rockfish.” said Marci Yaremko, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) state/federal fisheries program manager. “Sweeping changes were made to help rebuild the stock – prohibiting retention, shortening fishing seasons, closing deep-water fishing areas and encouraging widespread use of descending devices to improve survival for released fish. These sacrifices are finally paying off.”

The California Fish and Game Commission adopted changes to the state’s recreational groundfish fishing regulations in December, including allowing retention of canary rockfish. The new regulations are effective as of Feb. 7.

The open season dates and allowable fishing depths for each of the recreational Groundfish Management areas are as follows:

  • Northern – Open May 1 through Oct. 31 in 30 fathoms (180 feet) or less; Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 with no depth restriction
  • Mendocino – Open May 1 through Oct. 31 in 20 fathoms (120 feet) or less; Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 with no depth restriction
  • San Francisco – Open April 15 through Dec. 31 in 40 fathoms (240 feet) or less
  • Central – Open April 1 through Dec. 31 in 50 fathoms (300 feet) or less
  • Southern – Open March 1 through Dec. 31 in 60 fathoms (360 feet) or less

The 20 fathom depth restriction is described by the general depth contour. The 30, 40, 50 and 60 fathom depth contours are defined by straight lines connecting the waypoints as adopted in federal regulations (50 CFR Part 660, Subpart G).

New statewide changes include:

  • A new sub-bag limit of one canary rockfish within the 10-fish Rockfish, Cabezon and Greenling (RCG) Complex bag limit
  • A decrease in the sub-bag limit of black rockfish from five to three within the 10-fish RCG Complex bag limit
  • Elimination of the sub-bag limit of bocaccio within the 10-fish RCG Complex bag limit
  • A decrease in the lingcod bag limit from three to two fish
  • Allowance of petrale sole and starry flounder to be retained year round at all depths

Take and possession of bronzespotted rockfish, cowcod and yelloweye rockfish will remain prohibited statewide.

For more detailed information about recreational groundfish regulations and to stay informed of in-season changes, please call the Recreational Groundfish Hotline at (831) 649-2801 or check CDFW’s Marine Region Groundfish Central website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish .

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Media Contacts:
Joanna Grebel, CDFW Marine Region, (831) 601-2279

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

CDFW to Host Prop. 1 Grant Workshops in Southern California

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will conduct four public workshops throughout Southern California for its Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs. CDFW is collaborating with the Wildlife Conservation Board, the Coastal Conservancy and several local conservancies to encourage a wide variety of project proposals within the region.

Each three-hour workshop will provide information about the various grants available and provide an opportunity for local stakeholders to ask questions. The San Diego and Calexico workshops will also include information specific to cross-border creek and watershed restoration opportunities.

The workshops will be held on the following dates:

Tuesday, Feb. 21
1-4 p.m.
San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board
2375 Northside Dr.
San Diego, CA  92108

Wednesday, Feb. 22 (CDFW will be the only agency presenting)
4-8 p.m.
Camarena Memorial Library
850 Encinas Ave.
Calexico, CA  92231

Thursday, Feb. 23
1-4 p.m.
Riverside County Administrative Center
4080 Lemon St., fifth floor, Conference Room D
Riverside, CA  92501

Friday, Feb. 24
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
California State Parks Channel Coast District Office
911 San Pedro St.
Ventura, CA  93001-3744

To RSVP or if you have questions, please email watershedgrants@wildlife.ca.gov.

These projects are being conducted ahead of CDFW’s Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Program solicitation, anticipated for release in spring 2017. CDFW will also conduct a public meeting to introduce and discuss the draft version of this solicitation prior to its release. Please see CDFW’s Proposition 1 webpage for more grant program information.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 445-1285
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988