Category Archives: Public Participation

CDFW to Sell Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Answer Questions and More at Sportsmen’s Show

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is returning to the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) at Cal Expo in Sacramento from Jan. 18-21. This is the largest hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation show of its kind in northern California.

Wildlife officers, fisheries and wildlife scientists, hunter education instructors, license agents and many other CDFW staff will be available during the show to answer questions and provide information regarding fishing and hunting opportunities throughout the state. CDFW’s license sales booth will be located in the Pavilion Building (space 3700) and licenses, tags, report cards and warden stamps will be available for purchase. Customers may pay by credit card or check, but not cash.

For the fifth year, CDFW’s top leadership – including Fisheries and Wildlife Division Deputy Director Stafford Lehr, Fisheries Branch Chief Kevin Shaffer, Wildlife Branch Chief Kari Lewis and Chief of Law Enforcement David Bess – will hold a panel discussion about topics of interest to California’s hunters and anglers. The open-forum panel will be held in the California Sportsmen’s Theater in the Pavilion Building at noon on Saturday, Jan 20. Members of the audience are encouraged to ask questions of the panel.

Right afterward, the panel participants will head over to the west side of Building A’s Adventure Theater on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. to hold another question and answer session with hunting attendees. This will take place on stage directly after the youth essay contest winner is awarded (see below for more information).

“Every year, I look forward to this opportunity to interact with hunters and anglers face to face and talk to them about the topics of particular interest and concern to them,” Lehr said. “We always welcome questions from those who share our passion for wildlife conservation.”

Additional CDFW booths and highlights include:

  • Online Harvest Reporting — Tag holders can log onto their online profile to view and complete all tags that require reporting. The tag holder will receive a report confirmation number that should be written in the space provided on the report card. The harvest report card will not have to be mailed in physically. CDFW encourages all tag holders to use this online service to meet their harvest reporting requirements.
  • Wildlife Officer Recruitment — CDFW’s Law Enforcement trailer will be on display outside of the Pavilion Building, featuring an impressive display of taxidermy and a free enclosed laser-shot hunting simulator game. Wildlife officers, including statewide recruiting Lieutenant Specialist Chris Stoots, will be on hand to answer questions about employment opportunities.
  • Meet Your K-9 Team — CDFW K9 wardens and their handlers will be available for a meet-and-greet in the Sporting Dog Pavilion on Saturday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  •  Youth Fishing — Bring your child to the Youth Fair Expo Center to fish for beautiful rainbow trout supplied by CDFW. Each child who participates will go home with a California Fishing Passport book, an official stamp and a fish identification book containing pictures and information about 150 different species of California fish!
  • Learn How to be “Bear Aware” — CDFW staff will demonstrate how to keep a campsite safe from unwanted ursine visitors.
  • 2018 Warden Stamps — At the main booth, CDFW will be offering and promoting this year’s stamp, which features the silhouette of a K-9 warden. Proceeds from the $5 stamp support wildlife officers and K-9 teams and help fund the purchase of necessary law enforcement equipment.
  • Outdoor California — Free copies of CDFW’s award-winning magazine will be available (as supplies last) at the main booth. Yearly subscriptions may also be purchased for $15.
  • Youth Essay Contest — CDFW and the Wildlife Officer Foundation will be awarding this year’s contest winner, 11-year-old Landon Sabol of Morgan Hill, a lifetime hunting license for his outstanding essay emphasizing the theme of “Passing on the Tradition.” Sabol and the second- and third-place contest winners will be honored on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the west side of Building A’s Adventure Theater. Stop by to congratulate them and get information on how to become the next youth contest winner.

The Cal Expo State Fairgrounds are located at 1600 Exposition Blvd. in Sacramento. ISE show hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $16 for adults (door sales are cash only, although tickets may be purchased in advance online). Youths age 15 and under are free. There is a $10 charge to park on the grounds.

For additional information, schedules and to purchase tickets, please visit the ISE webpage at www.sportsexpos.com/attend/sacramento/.

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Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 201-2958
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692

Indiana Wildlife Artist Wins California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest

A painting of a Wilson’s snipe has been chosen by a panel of judges as the winning entry in the 2017-2018 California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest. The painting was created by Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind.

Sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the annual contest is held to determine the official design for the upcoming year’s California Upland Game Bird Stamp.

Artists submitted their own original depiction of a Wilson’s snipe (Gallinago delicate), a charismatic, diminutive migratory game bird. The individual artists determined the setting and details, but entries had to include at least one Wilson’s snipe and be representative of the species’ natural habitat in California if a background was included.

Crawford 2017-2018 upland game second place

The entries were judged Wednesday by a panel of experts selected for their knowledge in the fields of ornithology, conservation, art and printing. Designs were judged on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and suitability for reproduction as a stamp and print.

The judges cited the anatomical accuracy of the representation of the Wilson’s snipe, and one judge praised the impressive “juxtaposition of the fine detail in the foreground with the almost dreamy background.”

Klinefelter created the painting based on his photograph of a Wilson’s snipe – after simplifying the original habitat with the intent of highlighting the bird.

Simons 2017-18 upland game third place

“That is where artistic license comes in,” said Klinefelter, a wildlife artist who also won the 2009-10 California Duck Stamp Contest. “The important thing when you are painting for a stamp is to avoid having your painting cluttered as that can take away from the visual impact of the species.”

Broderick Crawford of Clayton, Ga., placed second, Lawrence Simons of Lebanon, Ore., placed third and Erik Fleet of Julian (San Diego County) received honorable mention.

An upland game bird validation is required for hunting migratory and resident upland game birds in California. The validation replaces the stamp through CDFW’s Automated License Data System, but the stamp is still produced and available to hunters upon request. Money generated from upland game bird validation sales are dedicated solely to upland game bird-related conservation projects, hunting opportunities and outreach and education. CDFW annually sells about 175,000 upland game bird validations and distributes approximately 17,000 stamps.

Fleet 2017-18 upland game contest honorable with ribbon

Examples of recent CDFW projects funded by upland game bird validation sales include:

Estimating Factors That Influence Population Vital Rates and Space Use Patterns of Pheasant in the Central Valley of California. The ring-necked pheasant was introduced and established in North America during the 1800s and has long been a popular game bird for hunters. Although pheasants flourished in California during the 1900s, changes in agricultural and land-use practices in the latter half of the 20th Century reduced the amount and quality of habitat available to wild birds in the state and hunter harvest declined. This project uses telemetry to monitor pheasants and estimate population rates in different regions of the state. This information helps the support and maintenance of wild pheasant populations. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/birds/pheasant.

Habitat Development and Enhancement Projects at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. The project will improve approximately 149 acres of upland nesting and foraging habitat for pheasants, turkeys, doves, quail and other upland wildlife species at CDFW’s Gray Lodge Wildlife Area in Butte County. These improvements will enhance the department’s ability to manage water and increase the recruitment and survival of wildlife. The project will improve items such as nesting and foraging cover, and should result in higher pheasant, turkey, dove and quail populations. As all of the fields are located in the hunt area, the project will provide additional hunter opportunities. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/grants/upland-game-bird/projects.

Any individual who purchases an upland game bird validation may request their free collectable stamp by visiting www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/collector-stamps. An order form is also available on the website for collectors who do not purchase a hunting license or upland game bird validation or for hunters who wish to purchase additional collectible stamps.

Media Contacts:
Matt Meshriy, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 322-6719
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

January 2018 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

DATE — EVENT

Weekends — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948), 12:30 p.m. 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 cancelled in the event of heavy rain. No reservations are necessary for groups of fewer than 20 people. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and its associated fee-for-use requirement. For more information on the Lands Pass Program, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. For more information on the tours, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

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 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, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $10.50 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

Various Days — Lands Passes Required on Certain Additional CDFW Properties.  Each visitor to a CDFW lands pass property who is 16 years of age or older must carry a lands pass while on the property. Visitors who are carrying a valid California hunting or fishing license in their own name are exempt from this requirement. School and organized youth group field trips are also exempt. The Lands Pass Program has existed on a limited number of CDFW properties since the 1990s. Seventeen CDFW properties currently require the lands pass, and another 24 properties will require a lands pass beginning in January 2018. A daily (one-day) lands pass costs $4.32 and an annual lands pass for 2018 is $25.10. Revenue from lands passes helps support CDFW wildlife areas and ecological reserves. For more information, including which CDFW properties require a lands pass and purchasing instructions, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. For more information on the Lands Pass Program, please contact Julie Horenstein at julie.horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Applications for the remaining current wild pig, waterfowl and quail hunts offered through the SHARE program are due on various dates in January. A $10.50 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

1 — Online Harvest Reporting Begins for Steelhead, Sturgeon and North Coast Salmon Report Cards. Anglers who were issued report cards for any of these species and abalone divers must report their harvest or effort by Jan. 31, 2018. Anglers and divers may report online or mail their report cards to the address printed on the report card. To report online, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.

11 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee Meeting, 10 a.m., Justice A. Rattigan State Building , 50 D St., Conference Room 410, Santa Rosa (95404).  For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2018/index.aspx.

14 — Dark Goose Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

18-21 — International Sportsmen’s Expo (ISE), Cal Expo State Fairgrounds, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento (95815). CDFW personnel will be involved in the annual event, which will feature exhibitions, free seminars and other activities. CDFW and the California Wildlife Officers Foundation have once again co-sponsored the annual “Passing on the Tradition” essay contest for young hunters. The California Wildlife Officers Foundation will recognize one grand-prize winner with a lifetime California hunting license that is valued at more than $600. The grand prize will be awarded during a special award ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m. For more information on the ISE, please visit www.sportsexpos.com/attend/sacramento.

19 — Duck Season, Scaup Season and White Goose Split Season Close in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

28 — Waterfowl Season Closes in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Balance of State, Southern California and Colorado River Zones. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

29 — California Elk Plan Draft Public Comment Deadline. CDFW has released a draft of the Statewide Elk Conservation and Management Plan for public review and comment. The plan provides guidance and direction to help set priorities for elk management efforts statewide. All public comments should be submitted by 5 p.m. on Jan. 29. Comments may be submitted online at elkmanagementplan@wildlife.ca.gov, or can be mailed to: California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Branch, Attn: Joe Hobbs, 1812 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA  95811. For more information, please visit https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2017/11/21/california-elk-plan-draft-now-available-for-public-comment.

29 — General Tree Squirrel Season Close Statewide. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.

29 — Falconry Only Season Opens for Rabbits and Varying Hares (extending through March 18). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

30 — Northern Spotted Owl Stakeholder Forum, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Resources Building First Floor Auditorium, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento (95814). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will join CDFW, other agencies, and members of the public to discuss the northern spotted owl. The meeting is open to the public and is also available via webinar. For more information please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/timber or email amanda.culpepper@wildlife.ca.gov.

31 — Deer Tag Reporting Deadline. Deer tag holders must submit a harvest report for any 2017 deer tag by the Jan. 31, 2018 deadline. Tag holders who do not report by this deadline will be charged a $21.60 non-reporting penalty fee when purchasing a 2018 deer tag drawing application or deer tag. Tag holders must submit a harvest report even if they did not hunt, or hunted unsuccessfully. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

31 — Deadline to Return or Report Red Abalone Cards. CDFW reminds abalone anglers that the law requires that they return their abalone cards to CDFW or report their harvest data online by Jan. 31, 2018 even if they did not try to take abalone. Cards may be mailed to CDFW, 32330 North Harbor Drive, Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554 or deposited in the mailbox located on the front railing of the Fort Bragg office. Data may also be submitted online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin. The cards provide important data used by CDFW to monitor the abalone fishery. The red abalone fishery will be closed next year and the California Fish and Game Commission will decide whether to continue the closure toward the end of next year.

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

CDFW Offering Holiday Apprentice Youth Waterfowl Hunt at Grizzly Island Wildlife Area in Solano County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a special apprentice youth waterfowl hunt at the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area in Solano County on Wednesday, Dec. 27 – a rare, midweek hunt for young hunters during their holiday break from school.

The 12 blinds in the Crescent Unit of the wildlife area will be closed and available only to junior hunting license holders (17 and younger) and their adult chaperones. An adult chaperone (18 or older) is required to accompany and supervise junior apprentice hunters. The adult may hunt with the junior hunter and must possess the required 2017-18 California hunting license, the California Duck Validation, Federal Duck Stamp and the free Harvest Information Program (HIP) validation. Junior license holders 16 and older must have a Federal Duck Stamp and the free HIP validation to hunt waterfowl.

All available blinds can accommodate two people – the junior license holder and his or her adult chaperone. Nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required for waterfowl hunting. A minimum of 12 duck decoys are required at all blind sites and chest waders are highly recommended.

To receive a reservation, please call the Grizzly Island headquarters at (707) 425-3828. Applicants will need to provide the following information:

  • Junior licensed hunter’s name
  • Junior hunting license number
  • E-mail address
  • Phone number
  • Name of chaperone

Reservations will be issued to applicants who call on a first-come, first-served basis and others will be placed on a waiting list. There will be 12 reservations issued for the Dec. 27 hunt date.

The Grizzly Island Wildlife Area will also accept junior hunters on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the hunt to use the free roam areas and to fill any no-shows from the reservations. As a reminder, all chaperones who wish to hunt must have either a Type A One-Day Pass, Type A Two-Day Pass or Type A Season Pass, and these must be purchased prior to arriving at the check station through either a License Agent or online at www.wildlife.ca.gov (allow two weeks’ mailing time if ordering online).

West Family Unit

CDFW would also like to encourage use of the West Family Unit, which is a spaced blind unit open during the waterfowl season reserved exclusively for junior license holders. Hunt days are Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the open season. An adult chaperone is required. Five double blinds, including one mobility-impaired blind, and one three-person blind are available. The unit is north of Benicia on Goodyear Road. From Highway 680 take the Marshview Road exit and turn right onto Goodyear Road from the off-ramp and the well-marked hunt area will be on the left.

Post-Season Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

The Grizzly Island Wildlife Area also will be open to junior hunting license holders and their non-hunting adult chaperones on Saturday and Sunday Feb. 3 and 4 during the state’s Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days. Junior hunting license holders can apply for reservations online through CDFW’s Automated License Data System (ALDS). Grizzly Island will also accept junior hunters on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the hunts.

Media Contacts:
Orlando Rocha, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 425-3828
Larry Wyckoff, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5542
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

 

Photo: Brothers Charlie and Clay Brooks show off a heavy strap of mallards taken earlier this season at Grizzly Island. Photo courtesy of Chuck Brooks.

 

Northern California Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Opener Pushed Back to Dec. 31

The director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced an additional 15-day delay for the upcoming commercial Dungeness crab season, based on the results of another round of pre-season quality testing conducted on Dec. 5. The tests continued to show that Dungeness crab are not yet ready for harvesting.

The delay affects Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties). The season in these districts is now scheduled to open on 12:01 a.m. Dec. 31, 2017, to be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2017.

Crab quality tests are conducted regularly to ensure that crab are filled out enough prior to harvesting. Tests follow guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee, which is overseen by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Additional testing will be scheduled to occur by Dec. 22. If quality remains low, an additional delay until Jan. 15, 2018 will be issued by the director. This date is the latest the season can be delayed due to quality testing.

No vessel may take or land crab within Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 during the closure period.  In addition, any vessel that lands crab from ocean waters outside of Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 is prohibited from participating in the crab fishery in Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9, or any other delayed opening areas in Oregon or Washington, for 30 days following the opening of those areas as outline in California’s Fair Start Provision (Fish and Game Code, section 8279.1).

The director’s memo can be found here.

The updated Frequently Asked Questions for the current 2017-18 season addresses questions regarding the Fair Start provision.

For more information on health advisories related to fisheries, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Health-Advisories.

For more information about Dungeness crab fisheries in California, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab.

Media Contacts:
Christy Juhasz, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 576-2887
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937