trout in hand

Anglers Invited to Participate in Inland Trout Fishing Regulation Simplification Process

The California Fish and Game Commission will be hosting a special Wildlife Resources Committee meeting in Sacramento to discuss the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) efforts to revise and simplify state trout fishing regulations.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. at the Natural Resources Agency Building, Redwood Room, 14th Floor, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento, 95814.

At this meeting, CDFW will present its final proposed changes to the trout fishing regulations. CDFW staff will be available to discuss in detail the proposed changes and address questions on specific trout waters. Materials for this meeting will be available on the Commission and CDFW websites approximately seven days before the meeting.

CDFW is proposing to revise the current state trout fishing regulations as part of the Statewide Sport Fishing Regulations Revision and Simplification Project. The goals of this project are to reduce the complexity of the regulations, improve regulatory consistency across waters and align the regulations with CDFW’s current recreational fisheries management goals and objectives. CDFW hosted a series of public meetings around the state in the spring of 2019 to provide information and seek input on the proposed changes to the trout fishing regulations. CDFW revised the proposed regulations based on this public input including social, economic and public safety concerns.

CDFW is scheduled to submit the final proposal to the Commission in June 2020. The Commission will consider the proposal and take further public input beginning in June of 2020. Meeting dates and agendas can be found on the Commission’s website.

More information is available at https://wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/inland/trout-plan/regulation-simplification.

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:
Karen Mitchell, CDFW Inland Fisheries Program, (916) 376-1917

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

California Fish and Game Commission Meets in Sacramento

At its December 2019 meeting in Sacramento, the California Fish and Game Commission  took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from the two-day meeting.

The Commission made a listing decision under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) regarding the foothill yellow-legged frog. Due to the level of genetic divergence, geographic isolation, and differing levels of imperilment between populations and threats within these populations, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recommended separating the listing into different clades for the foothill yellow-legged frog. The Commission’s decision was consistent with that recommendation. The Commission listed the Southern Sierra, Central Coast and South Coast clades as endangered under CESA, and the Feather River and Northern Sierra clades as threatened under CESA. The Commission also decided that listing the North Coast clade is not warranted at this time. The Commission is scheduled to adopt findings for the decision at its February 2020 meeting.

The Commission recognized five newly inducted members of the California Waterfowler’s Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees are L. Ryan Broddrick, Dean A. Cortopassi, John M. Eadie, Richard Janson and Mickey W. Saso. The California Waterfowler’s Hall of Fame was established in 2006 to recognize those individuals who have made significant contributions to enhancing waterfowl and their habitats in California.

After hearing from numerous Delta anglers, the Commission voted to postpone adoption of a Delta Fisheries Management Policy and potential amendments to the Commission’s Striped Bass Policy to a future meeting.

Successful and sound management of game populations has allowed for the Commission to authorize publication of notice to amend hunting regulations for big game mammals and waterfowl. Amendments to be considered include additional hunting opportunities in some elk and desert bighorn sheep zones where populations continue to thrive, and new hunting opportunities for veterans and active military personnel for waterfowl hunting.

The Commission authorized publication of notice to amend the regulations for CDFW lands to add properties to the lists of wildlife areas and ecological reserves, and to remove properties from those lists for which CDFW no longer has management authority. This focused regulatory package also proposes authorization of new site-specific public uses, as well as other amendments to address operational or public safety concerns.

The Commission received an annual report from CDFW on management activities of the Statewide Marine Protected Area Program and heard other marine-related items.

The Commission also elected to move the dates of the next meeting to Feb. 20-21, 2020 with marine items being heard on the first day and wildlife items on the second day.

Commission President Eric Sklar, Vice President Jacque Hostler-Carmesin and Commissioner Samantha Murray were present. Commissioners Russell Burns and Peter Silva were absent.

The full Commission agenda for this meeting along with supporting information is available at www.fgc.ca.gov. An archived video will also be available in coming days.

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The California Fish and Game Commission was the first wildlife conservation agency in the United States, predating even the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. There is often confusion about the distinction between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Commission. In the most basic terms, CDFW implements and enforces the regulations set by the Commission, as well as provides biological data and expertise to inform the Commission’s decision-making process.

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

CDFW Director Issues Preliminary Determination to Delay Commercial Dungeness Crab Season South of Mendocino/Sonoma County Line

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham has issued a preliminary determination that the Nov. 15, 2019 start date for the California Dungeness crab fishery south of the Mendocino/Sonoma county line poses a significant risk of marine life entanglement. The anticipated management response is a delay of the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in that area from Nov. 15 to Nov. 23, 2019.

Under the authority of section 8276.1(c)(1) of the Fish and Game Code, the Director may restrict take of commercial Dungeness crab if there is a significant risk of marine life entanglement due to fishing gear. As required in Fish and Game Code, section 8276.1(c)(4), the Director is providing 48 hours’ notice to the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group and other stakeholders.

“In making this determination, we considered the input of the Working Group and its advisors through a structured decision-making process in which diverse interests were represented including fishing, environmental and management agencies,” said Director Bonham.

Before enacting the proposed management measure, Director Bonham will consider any recommendations or new information provided by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Anyone with recommendations and information related to this preliminary determination should submit it to whalesafefisheries@wildlife.ca.gov by that deadline.

In addition to this preliminary determination of delay due to a significant risk of whale entanglements, additional delays are possible due to human health risks or poor crab quality. Through the course of the crab season, CDFW will engage regularly with the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group to review scientific information and monitor and adapt to the risk of whale entanglements. Based on that process, CDFW could take future management actions. For more information related to the preliminary determination of delay please visit CDFW’s Whale Safe Fisheries page.

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