Category Archives: Public Participation

California Fish and Game Commission Adopts Master Plan for Fisheries, Endorses Ocean Litter Strategy, Announces Prosecutor of the Year and Approves Duck Stamp Projects at June Meeting

At its June 2018 meeting in Sacramento, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources.

The Commission voted unanimously to adopt the 2018 Master Plan for Fisheries: A Guide for Implementation of the Marine Life Management Act. The plan advances comprehensive marine ecosystem management using the best available science, meeting stock sustainability and ecosystem objectives, integrating Marine Protected Areas into fisheries management, engaging stakeholders, collaborating with partners, advancing socioeconomic and community objectives, and adapting to climate change.

With a unanimous vote, the Commission endorsed the California Ocean Protection Council’s 2018 California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy. The document provides a holistic, collaborative strategy for addressing ocean litter in California, with a focus on reducing land-based litter at its source.

The Commission honored Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada with the 2017 Prosecutor of the Year Award for his skill and commitment in prosecuting a wide variety of fish, wildlife and environmental crime cases.

The Commission approved a list of proposed Duck Stamp projects for fiscal year 2018-19.  These projects are aimed at protecting, preserving, restoring, enhancing, and developing migratory waterfowl breeding and wintering habitat, and conducting waterfowl resource assessments and other waterfowl related research.

The Commission adopted the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) recommendation to issue zero sage grouse hunting permits for all four hunting zones.

CDFW provided an update to the Commission on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal neurologic disease of deer and elk that has been detected in 24 states. The disease has not been detected in California, where CDFW actively tests animals and is in the process of creating a CWD action plan. To prevent the accidental importation of CWD into California, state law prohibits hunters from importing carcasses from out-of-state with a skull or backbone still attached.

The Commission denied a petition to repeal hunting of American badger and gray fox and denied a petition to increase the striped bass daily bag limit to three and reduce minimum size to 12 inches in anadromous coastal rivers and ocean waters south of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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 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.

Media Contact:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

 

Minnesota Artist Wins 2018-19 California Duck Stamp Art Contest

A painting by Mark Thone of Shakopee, Minn., has been chosen as the winner of the 2018-19 California Duck Stamp Art Contest. The painting, which depicts five black brant, a species of goose, in flight over an estuary containing eel grass, will be the official design for the 2018-19 stamp.

“It is interesting that a guy from the Midwest has such an interest in black brant, but they are so unique, and they were the subject of one of my first duck stamp contest entries in another state,” said Thone, a professional artist. “With this painting I wanted to show them in an estuary in a typical California setting that reflects their connection to eel grass, which they eat.”

2018-19 Duck Stamp second place with ribbon

Following the contest held Tuesday in Davis, the judges praised the anatomical accuracy of Thone’s painting, with one also noting that the birds “filled the frame” of the painting in a fashion that will highlight the species on the stamp.

Artists from around the country submitted entries for the contest, sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Erik Fleet of Julian placed second, Roberta “Roby” Baer of Redding placed third and Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind. received honorable mention.

2018-19 duck stamp contest third place with ribbone

The top four paintings will be displayed at the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association’s 48th Annual Classic Wildlife Art Festival, which is scheduled July 21-22 in Sacramento.

Since 1971, the California Duck Stamp Program’s annual contest has attracted top wildlife artists from around the country. The contest is traditionally open to artists from all 50 states in order to ensure a wide pool of submissions. All proceeds generated from stamp sales go directly to waterfowl conservation projects throughout California.

2018 Duck Stamp honorable mention with ribbon

In the past, hunters were required to purchase and affix the stamp to their hunting licenses. Today, hunters are no longer required to carry the stamps because California’s modern licensing system prints proof of additional fees paid directly onto the license. However, CDFW still produces the stamps, which can be requested on CDFW’s website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/collector-stamps.

The species for the 2019-20 California Duck Stamp Art Contest will be the northern pintail.

Media Contacts:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958
Melanie Weaver, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3717

Give the Gift of the Outdoors for Father’s Day

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift this year? How about giving the gift of the outdoors? A California hunting or fishing license is a great way to show appreciation for dad or grandpa and make wonderful memories for many months to come.

As the third largest state in the nation, California provides many opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the state’s famed wilderness. Half of the land is publicly owned, giving hunters and anglers access to millions of acres of public land. With more than 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,172 lakes and reservoirs, and 1,100 miles of coastline that is home to hundreds of native fish and shellfish species, possibilities abound for outdoor adventure!

“The gift of fishing and hunting licenses provides endless opportunities to enjoy California’s unmatched wild places with family and friends,” said Charlton H. Bonham, director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

Hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased at more than 1,400 license agents throughout the state as well as CDFW license sales offices. Licenses can also be purchased and printed online via CDFW’s website. If purchasing a fishing license as a gift and the purchaser does not have all of the licensee’s information, a gift license voucher will be issued. This voucher can then be redeemed at any license agent location, but it cannot be redeemed online. Hunting license gift vouchers are not available. To purchase a license online or find a local sales agent or CDFW sales office, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing.

A 2018-19 California resident hunting license costs $48.34 and is valid from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. A 2018 California resident sportfishing license is $48.34 and is valid Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018. Lifetime fishing licenses are also available.

Dad can also enjoy the outdoors without leaving the comfort of home with a subscription to Outdoor California magazine. This bi-monthly magazine offers stunning photography and insightful articles about the state’s native wildlife and habitat, and chronicles the ongoing battle against fish and wildlife crimes. A subscription costs $15 for six issues. Those wishing to subscribe can fill out the form, print and mail with a check to the address listed on the form, or subscribe online via CDFW’s licensing sales website.

An honorary donation to support California’s wildlife officers in their fight to protect California’s natural resources would also make a great Father’s Day gift. Consider purchasing a 2018 California Warden Stamp. The funds raised go toward the purchase of new equipment, specialized training and enforcement programs. The stamps can be purchased online.

###

Media Contacts:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

CDFW Reminds the Public to Leave Young Wildlife Alone

Spring and early summer is the peak time for much of California’s wildlife to bear their young. With this in mind, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is asking well-intentioned members of the public to leave young wildlife alone.

It may be hard to resist scooping up a young wild animal that looks vulnerable and abandoned, but intervention may cause more harm than good. Young animals removed from their natural environment typically do not survive. Those that do make it may not develop the skills necessary to survive on their own in natural habitat. When this happens, the only alternative is a life of captivity in artificial conditions.

“It is a common mistake to believe a young animal, especially a fawn, has been abandoned when found alone,” said Nicole Carion, CDFW’s statewide wildlife rehabilitation coordinator. “But even if the mother has not been observed in the area for a long period of time, chances are she is off foraging, or is nearby, waiting for you to leave.”

Such behavior is common across many species. A female mountain lion may spend as much as 50 percent of her time away from her kittens.

Fledglings, or young partially feathered birds, found alone and hopping along the ground in the spring or summer, are actually trying to learn to fly. Though it is tempting to pick them up, what they really need is space and time to master flying. The best course of action is not to draw attention to them, advises Carion. You can help by keeping pets away until the bird has left the area.

If a young animal is in distress, or you are unsure, contact a wildlife rehabilitation facility and speak to personnel for advice.

Most wildlife rehabilitators are only allowed to possess small mammals and birds. Although some wildlife rehabilitators are allowed to accept fawns, injured or sick adult deer should be reported directly to CDFW for public safety reasons. Injured, orphaned or sick bears, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, wild pigs or mountain lions should also be reported to CDFW directly.

Anyone who removes a young animal from the wild is required to notify CDFW or take the animal to a state and federally permitted wildlife rehabilitator within 48 hours. These animals may need specialized care and feeding that is best done by trained wildlife care specialists.

It is important to note that wild animals – even young ones – can cause serious injury with their sharp claws, hooves and teeth, especially when injured and scared. They may also carry ticks, fleas and lice, and can transmit diseases to humans, including rabies and tularemia.

To learn more about how to live and recreate responsibly where wildlife is near, please visit CDFW’s Keep Me Wild website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/keepmewild.

###

Media Contacts:
Nicole Carion
, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (530) 357-3986
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933

Annual California Invasive Species Action Week Benefits Environment and Native Species

The fifth annual California Invasive Species Action Week is scheduled Saturday, June 2, through Sunday, June 10. Action Week is a statewide event that promotes public participation in the fight against invasive species that harm our environment, agriculture and native species.

Numerous state agencies, non-profit organizations and other organizations across the state are teaming up to host events this year. Opportunities include educational booths in Humboldt County, online webinars, invasive species removals in the Delta and the San Francisco Bay, and trapping crayfish in the Santa Monica Mountains. To view the schedule of events and a map compiled by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/CISAW.

Citizens can also stop the spread of invasive species year-round. People can contribute to a healthy environment by taking small, everyday actions that include cleaning, draining and drying boating gear after use, selecting native plants for landscaping, not releasing unwanted pets into the wild and reporting invasive species findings.

Members of the public are encouraged to help CDFW biologists monitor and prevent the spread of existing invasive species populations. For example, please visit the CDFW Nutria Discovery webpage to learn how you can help CDFW eradicate this destructive South American rodent from California’s wetlands.

For more information about Action Week, please contact invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:
Rachael Klopfenstein, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 651-3122
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958