Category Archives: Public Lands

CDFW to Hold Public Meeting on North Central Region Type A Wildlife Areas

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold its annual public outreach meeting on April 28 in Gridley regarding North Central Region Type A wildlife areas. CDFW will take comments and recommendations from the public and provide updates on habitat conditions, availability of water for wetlands and possible impacts to hunter access on these public lands.

State wildlife areas to be discussed are the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area and the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area Complex (Little Dry Creek Unit, Howard Slough Unit and Llano Seco Unit). The meeting is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. in the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area’s main office conference room, 3207 Rutherford Road, in Gridley.

CDFW’s North Central Region covers all or part of 17 counties in northern California and is one of seven CDFW regions in the state.

CDFW annually provides an opportunity for licensed hunters to comment and make recommendations on public hunting programs, including anticipated habitat conditions in the hunting areas on wildlife areas, through public meetings and other outreach.

Media Contacts:
Tim Hermansen, Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area, (530) 982-2169
Andy Atkinson, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, (530) 846-7500
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

CDFW Wildlife Officers Arrest Three for Poaching Succulents in Humboldt County

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers have made another arrest this week in their ongoing battle against a rising poaching trend on the north coast of northern California with international connections.

CDFW arrested Taehun Kim, 52, and Taeyun Kim, 46, both of Korea, and Liu Fengxia, 37, of China for poaching over 2,300 Dudleya succulent plants near Trinidad in Humboldt County. Charges include illegal take of the plants and felony conspiracy, among others.

Poachers profit financially from the illegal take of Dudleya by stripping plants from sea cliffs and shipping them overseas to other countries, including Korea, China and Japan, where they are prized by some for decorative purposes. On April 4, wildlife officers intercepted and seized 1,334 of the plants in boxes on their way to be shipped overseas. An additional 1,000 Dudleya were found in the suspects’ hotel room during the service of the search warrant. The overseas market value of the plants is between $40 to $50 per plant, resulting in a conservative value estimate of over $90,000.

The removal of Dudleya can result in environmental degradation of habitat and a destabilization of bluffs and cliffs on the coastline. Illegal harvesting is also alarming because California hosts a number of Dudleya species and subspecies that are rare or at risk of extinction.

CDFW enforcement initially identified this trend earlier this year, in part, after determining that a man was shipping Dudleya out of a Mendocino post office to China.

In recent months near Point Arena, Mendocino County, wildlife officers cited three individuals for a series of misdemeanor violations including illegal take and trespassing. The charges were elevated by the Mendocino District Attorney to felony conspiracy and grand theft, based upon the value of stolen plants.

On Jan. 29, one man was apprehended with approximately 50 succulents, and on March 6, two men were cited after being apprehended with 1,400 succulents. The individual in the January incident pleaded guilty to the illegal take of plants and received a sentence that included three years of probation, a $5,000 fine and 240 hours of community service. The March case is pending.

“We have seen a remarkable amount of concern over this from botanists and the public alike,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of Law Enforcement. “A public tip started this investigation and ultimately uncovered an international conspiracy to poach Dudleya succulents and ship them overseas for profit. A critical part of the Department’s mission is to protect and manage California’s diverse fish, wildlife and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.”

Law enforcement personnel from the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and East Bay Regional Parks, in addition to representatives of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), U.C. Santa Cruz Botany Department and local citizens, assisted with the investigation. CDFW personnel have replanted the seized succulents in the areas where taken whenever possible with assistance from CNPS and U.C. Santa Cruz botany experts.

Anyone who believes they are witness to unlawful poaching or pollution activity is encouraged to call CalTIP, CDFW’s confidential secret witness program, at (888) 334-2258 or send a text to tip411. Both methods allow the public to provide wildlife officers with factual information to assist with investigations. Callers may remain anonymous, if desired, and a reward can result from successful capture and prosecution.

Media Contacts:
Capt. John Lawson, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 804-8195
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692

Construction Set To Begin on New Boat-Launch Facility at Trout Lake

The construction of a new boat-launch facility is scheduled to begin May 15 at Trout Lake in Siskiyou County. This project will make access to Trout Lake easier and safer for anglers and other recreationalists.

In February 2017, the Wildlife Conservation Board awarded the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) $900,000 for improvements to fishing access to Shasta Valley Wildlife Area, located approximately eight miles east of Yreka.

Beginning on May 15, the existing boat launch facility, which is located in the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area, will be closed for three months for construction. Trout Lake will remain open to fishing but access will be temporarily reduced. Access to both the Trout Lake boat-launching facility and the adjacent parking lot (No. 6) will be closed, but anglers and visitors can park in parking lot No. 5 to access Trout Lake. Anglers can use kayaks, canoes and float tubes, but they must be carried in from parking lot No. 5.

The wildlife area attracts approximately 12,000 visitors per year, and Trout Lake is a popular destination for anglers hoping to catch trophy Eagle Lake rainbow trout and largemouth bass. The construction of the new boat-launch facility will include a new concrete boat ramp, a floating dock, an American with Disabilities Act-accessible fishing platform and paved parking. There is also an additional planned phase of construction at the wildlife area to rebuild the main access bridge, including a pedestrian lane, across the Little Shasta River.

This year, Trout Lake will open to fishing on April 28 and will close on Sept. 26. Fishing is only allowed on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. All regular Trout Lake angling rules will apply. Special angling limits at Trout Lake are two trout of any size and one largemouth bass over 22 inches per day.

Angling on Bass Lake, the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area’s other fishing destination, will not be impacted by construction at Trout Lake.

For more information on the wildlife area, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/shasta-valley-wa.

Media Contacts:
Patrick Graham, CDFW Northern Region Lands, (530) 459-3926
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications (916) 322-8958

 

April 2018 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

DATE — EVENT

Weekends — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough. 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 on-site). 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 — 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.

1 — Recreational Groundfish Season Opens for All Boat-based Anglers in the Central Management Area (Pigeon Point, San Mateo County to Point Conception, Santa Barbara County). For more information, please visit the Groundfish Central webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish.

7  Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Opens from Pigeon Point to U.S./Mexico Border. All other areas off the California coast will remain closed during the month of April. For more information, please visit the Ocean Salmon webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon or call the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (800) 662-9825.

7 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Annual Snowy Plover Habitat Restoration Mud Stomp, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Moss Landing Wildlife Viewing Area, 2460 Highway 1, Moss Landing (95039). Carleton Eyster, a biologist with Point Blue Conservation Science, will discuss the snowy plover and how to help improve their habitat. Please wear rubber boots as participants will walk along drying ponds and the footprints they leave will provide camouflage for chicks and eggs. For more information, please contact Virginia Guhin at virginia.guhin@wildlife.ca.gov.

10 — Public Scoping Meeting for Marine Aquaculture Programmatic Environmental Impact Report. 6:30 to 8 p.m., Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa (95403). CDFW is holding scoping meetings to solicit public input regarding the Marine Aquaculture Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR). Scoping assists with identifying the range of actions contained in the PEIR, as well as alternatives, environmental impacts, methods of assessments and mitigation measures to be analyzed. The submission of written comments is encouraged, whether one attends the meeting or not, and comments may be sent to aquaculturepeir@wildlife.ca.gov prior to the deadline posted in the Notice of Preparation, which is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Aquaculture/PEIR.

11 — Public Meeting for Strategic Plan for Trout Management, Strategic Plan for Trout Hatcheries, and Inland Trout Regulation Simplification, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Talman Pavilion, 1234 Fair St., Bishop (93514). CDFW is holding a series of public meetings to discuss topics surrounding the management of trout resources statewide, an effort CDFW is calling the “Trout Renaissance.”  The Strategic Plan for Trout Management will be used as a guiding document by CDFW trout managers statewide and will guide trout hatchery operations. Input from stakeholders regarding trout sportfishing regulations will help guide future steps in simplifying and streamlining the current format and content. CDFW is requesting public comments to help guide the planning processes.  For more information, please contact Roger Bloom at roger.bloom@wildlife.ca.gov.

12 — California Fish and Game Commission Teleconference Meeting, 3 p.m., California Natural Resources Building, Jim Kellogg Conference Room, 1416 Ninth St., Room 1320, Sacramento (95814) or listen to the live webcast at www.cal-span.org. For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2018/index.aspx.

12 — Public Scoping Meeting for Marine Aquaculture Programmatic Environmental Impact Report. 6:30 to. 8 p.m., Port of San Diego, 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego (92101). CDFW is holding scoping meetings to solicit public input regarding the Marine Aquaculture PEIR. Scoping assists with identifying the range of actions contained in the PEIR, as well as alternatives, environmental impacts, methods of assessments and mitigation measures to be analyzed. The submission of written comments is encouraged, whether one attends the meeting or not, and comments may be sent to aquaculturepeir@wildlife.ca.gov prior to the deadline posted in the Notice of Preparation, which is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Aquaculture/PEIR.

12 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, “Areas of Conservation Emphasis (ACE) version 3: A CDFW conservation analysis tool,” 1 to 3 p.m., Natural Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (94814). As part of the Conservation Lecture Series, Melanie Gogol-Prokurat will present ACE, a non-regulatory tool that brings together the best available map-based data in California to depict biodiversity, significant habitats, connectivity, climate change resilience and other datasets for use in conservation planning. Attendance is free. To register and for more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures. 

14 — Earth Day Festival at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, 3842 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach (92649). The free event, sponsored by CDFW, the Bolsa Chica Conservancy and Amigos de Bolsa Chica, will feature educational activities and displays. For more information, please call (714) 846-1114 or email abbey@bolsachica.org.

14-16 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program Workshop, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). The two-day workshop, which is designed for middle and high school teachers, combines informative presentations with data collection in the field. Space is limited to the first 25 teachers who enroll. To register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/education-program/teacher-development/ and for more information, please contact Virginia Guhin at virginia.guhin@wildlife.ca.gov.

15 — Recreational Groundfish Season Opens for All Boat-based Anglers in the San Francisco Management Area (Point Arena, Mendocino County to Pigeon Point, San Mateo County). For more information, please visit the Groundfish Central webpage at  http://www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish.

15 — 2018 Hunting Items On Sale. Hunters can purchase 2018/2019 hunting licenses, tags, validations and apply for the annual Big Game Drawing. Items may be purchased at CDFW license sales offices, license agents, online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales or by phone at (800) 565-1458. Sales transactions for the Big Game Drawing applications must be completed before midnight on June 2. Please contact a local CDFW license sales office for more information.

15 Port of San Diego’s Day at the Docks, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., San Diego Sportfishing Landings, Scott Street and Garrison St., San Diego (92109). Day at the Docks celebrates sport fishing and signals the official start of Southern California’s spring saltwater fishing season. Admission is free. For more information, please visit www.sandiego.org/explore/events/sports/day-at-the-docks.aspx.

18 — Public Meeting for Strategic Plan for Trout Management, Strategic Plan for Trout Hatcheries, and Inland Trout Regulation Simplification, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Tahoe-Truckee Airport Community Room, 10356 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee (96161). CDFW is holding a series of public meetings to discuss topics surrounding the management of trout resources statewide, an effort CDFW is calling the “Trout Renaissance.”  The Strategic Plan for Trout Management will be used as a guiding document by CDFW trout managers statewide and will guide trout hatchery operations. Input from stakeholders regarding trout sportfishing regulations will help guide future steps in simplifying and streamlining the current format and content. CDFW is requesting public comments to help guide the planning processes  For more information, please contact Roger Bloom at roger.bloom@wildlife.ca.gov.

18-19 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, 9 a.m. on April 18 and 8:30 a.m. on April 19, Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort, 1050 Schooner Drive, Ventura (93001). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2018/index.aspx.

26 — Public Meeting for Strategic Plan for Trout Management, Strategic Plan for Trout Hatcheries, and Inland Trout Regulation Simplification, 7 to 8:30 p.m., CDFW Los Alamitos Field Office, 4665 Lampson Ave. #C, Los Alamitos (90720). CDFW is holding a series of public meetings to discuss topics surrounding the management of trout resources statewide, an effort that CDFW is calling the “Trout Renaissance.”  The Strategic Plan for Trout Management will be used as a guiding document by CDFW trout managers statewide and will guide trout hatchery operations. Input from stakeholders regarding trout sportfishing regulations will help guide future steps in simplifying and streamlining the current format and content. CDFW is requesting public comments to help guide the planning processes. For more information, please contact Roger Bloom at roger.bloom@wildlife.ca.gov.

28 Gray Lodge Clean-up and Field Day Plus Annual Public Meeting, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). The morning clean-up and field event is conducted in partnership with California Waterfowl Association (CWA), and will include both habitat and maintenance projects, followed by a lunch sponsored by CWA. All family members are encouraged to participate. At 1:30 p.m., CDFW will hold its annual public outreach meeting regarding the Gray Lodge and Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Areas. The meeting at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area’s Main Office Building is held in accordance with state law (Fish and Game Code, section 1758). For more information, please call (530) 846-7500 or email GLWLA@wildlife.ca.gov.

28 General Eastern Sierra Trout Opener. The general trout season will open one hour before sunrise April 28 in waters in Mono and Inyo counties. This is one of the most popular season openers in the state, with anglers coming from around California to try their luck in the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada. Because of the popularity of this annual event with the angling public, CDFW is striving to stock trout in all accessible waters approved for planting prior to the season opener. Most lakes, rivers and streams have a limit of five trout per day and 10 in possession. However, regulations differ on season opening and closing dates, bag limits, minimum and maximum size limits, and gear restrictions. Anglers are advised to check specific area regulations and opening dates in the 2017/18 California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations booklet at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regulations for regulations specific to each body of water. A helpful document, the Eastern Sierra Back Country Fishing Guide, is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/6.

30 — Deadline to Report Spiny Lobster Report Cards. Divers and hoop netters who were issued report cards for spiny lobster must report their harvest or effort by April 30, 2018. Report card holders who fail to return their Spiny Lobster Report Card or report their harvest online by the deadline will be assessed a $21.60 non-return fee when they purchase a spiny lobster report card for the following season. You may report online or mail your report card to the address printed on the report card. To report online, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.

Media Contact:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

 

Elusive Sierra Nevada Red Fox Captured in Tehama County

A Sierra Nevada red fox was captured in Tehama County last month by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) biologists researching this rare sub-species of red fox.

The 10-pound male fox was captured on national forest land just outside of Lassen Volcanic National Park, near the town of Mineral. The fox was collared and released at the capture location, and CDFW biologists have been impressed by the distances it has regularly been covering despite rough terrain and high elevation.

“The data gathered during the capture and from the tracking collar will provide significant insights into the ecology of these foxes,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Jennifer Carlson. “We have already been surprised by the large area the fox has been using and the distance it has traveled — it has averaged over seven straight-line miles per day in very rugged terrain.”

While Sierra Nevada red fox historically ranged widely in the upper montane subalpine zones of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges in California, in the past century its abundance and distribution has declined dramatically.

A state-listed threatened species since 1980, the Sierra Nevada red fox has been the subject of intensified study by CDFW over the past decade. The primary objective is to capture and affix GPS tracking collars to foxes to better understand the size and characteristics of the elusive red fox’s home range and habitat use, its denning sites and reproductive rates, and its health and disease ecology.

In 2008, CDFW used scat-detector dogs to survey portions of Lassen Volcanic National Park and the adjacent Caribou Wilderness. From 2009 to 2011, CDFW used trail cameras and hair-snaring devices to survey high-elevation habitats in the Cascade Range from Mount Shasta to Lassen Peak. At that point, foxes were detected solely in the Lassen Peak area, and the population is believed to consist of only about 20 individuals. Efforts to capture and collar them from 2013-2016 were unsuccessful, yet CDFW continued to document red foxes on trail cameras and to collect genetic samples from their scats and hair. CDFW hopes to capture and collar as many as four more red foxes this year.

The Sierra Nevada red fox is a distinct subspecies of red fox that occupies high-elevation habitats in California and Oregon. Other red foxes in California include the Sacramento Valley red fox, which occupies portions of the Sacramento Valley, and non-native red foxes that are widespread in low-elevation habitats.

For more information on the Sierra Nevada red fox, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/mammals/sierra-nevada-red-fox.

Media Contacts:
Jennifer Carlson, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2754
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958