Category Archives: Public Participation

Registration Is Open for Sandhill Crane Tours: New Requirement in Late Fall

The online registration period is now open for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) popular Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve near Lodi in San Joaquin County.

Online registration is required to participate in these late-afternoon guided tours, which start in October and run through February. The tours take place the first through third Saturdays and Sundays of each month for five months during the cranes’ fall and winter stay in California’s Central Valley. Online registration is available up to eight weeks in advance. Registration opened in mid-August for October tour dates and in mid-September for November dates. More information about the tours is available at

After Nov. 13, 2017, those 16 and older attending the tours will be required to purchase and possess a CDFW lands pass in order to participate. Visitors carrying a valid hunting or fishing license will be exempt from this new requirement. Signs will be posted at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve notifying visitors of the need for a lands pass, and tour docents will be checking for lands passes or licenses at the start of each tour.  A daily lands pass costs $4.32 and an annual lands pass costs $24.33.  Lands passes may be purchased online at, by phone at (800) 565-1458, and in-person wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold (locations at Lands pass fees will be used for the management of this and other CDFW lands. For more information about lands passes, please visit

The Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, northeast of Lodi, is a popular spot for viewing the Pacific Flyway’s greater and lesser sandhill cranes returning to California’s Central Valley. The reserve is also known as the Isenberg Crane Reserve, named after former Congressman Phil Isenberg, who was instrumental in conserving the land.

The Woodbridge Ecological Reserve is also accessible to the public at any time for self-guided tours. A series of informative interpretive panels at the reserve’s south unit at 11154 W. Woodbridge Road in Lodi offers good visitor support. Staying until sundown is recommended for witnessing the sights and sounds associated with “fly-over” and the cranes’ return to their evening roosting spots.

CDFW is also proud to co-sponsor the Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival scheduled for Nov. 3-5. Information about festival tours and activities is available at

Media Contacts:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communication, (916) 322-8908
David Moore, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 766-8380

CDFW Offering Free Tundra Swan Tours This Fall and Winter

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will offer free swan tours near Marysville on Saturdays beginning in November and extending through mid-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. Ducks, geese, shorebirds, herons, egrets and raptors are commonly seen in this area, which contains 23,000 acres of rice fields.

Tours will be held on Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. The driving tours will also involve walking a short distance.

Pre-registration is required at Up to 30 people can register for each tour. The tours are part of CDFW’s wildlife viewing services program, which includes similar outdoors opportunities at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, and Isenberg Crane Reserve.

For more information, please call (916) 358-2869 or email

Media Contacts:
Bruce Forman, CDFW Interpretive Services, (916) 358-2353
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

Second of Two Free Fishing Days in 2017 to be Held on Sept. 2

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) encourages all Californians to give fishing a try for free on Saturday, Sept. 2.

CDFW annually offers two Free Fishing Days, typically around the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends (the first of the two Free Fishing Days in 2017 was held July 1). On these two days, people can fish without having to buy a sport-fishing license. Free Fishing Days also provide an easy opportunity for licensed anglers to introduce non-angling friends and children to fishing and the outdoors.

All fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements and fishing hours and stream closures, remain in effect. Every angler must have an appropriate report card if they are fishing for steelhead, sturgeon, spiny lobster or abalone anywhere in the state, or for salmon on the Smith River.

CDFW reminds anglers that recreational salmon fishing in the Klamath-Trinity river system remains closed this season due to very low predicted adult returns.

Anglers residing in urban areas also have opportunities to fish close to home. Trout from CDFW hatcheries are stocked in urban waters when the water is cold and adequate to sustain trout. Some CDFW regions also offer Fishing in the City, a program that allows children to learn to fish for catfish and trout in major metropolitan areas. For more information on the Fishing in the City program, please visit

For more information on Free Fishing Days, please visit, and a video on Free Fishing Days can be viewed at  All anglers should also check the rules and regulations at for the waters they plan to fish because wildlife officers will be on duty to enforce them. In addition, information on CDFW trout and inland salmon stocking is available at and a fishing guide can be viewed at

Media Contacts:
Jay Rowan, CDFW North Central Region, (916) 358-2883
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

CDFW Accepting Applications for Wildlife Officer Cadet through Sept. 30

Do you have what it takes to be a California wildlife officer? The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division (LED) is currently accepting applications for Wildlife Officer Cadet. CDFW is particularly interested in recruiting applicants with a love of the outdoors and a passion for fish and wildlife conservation.

All prospective candidates are encouraged to extensively review materials on the LED website ( before contacting CDFW with questions.

If you are interested in becoming a Wildlife Officer Cadet, please apply online at by Sept. 30, 2017.

CDFW wildlife officers are fully sworn California peace officers with a fundamental duty to serve and protect the public. They have the authority to enforce all California laws, including the Vehicle Code, Penal Code, Health and Safety drug laws and more. The primary mission of a wildlife officer is to enforce wildlife resource laws; to protect California waterways and habitat from destruction, pollution and litter; provide the public with hunting and fishing information; and to promote and coordinate hunter education and safe weapons handling.

Wildlife officers patrol the mountains, valleys, deserts, creeks, streams, rivers and ocean. They frequently work alone and cover both rural and urban areas. California’s diverse ecosystem spans 159,000 square miles divided into 58 counties, with a human population in excess of 39 million. The state has 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers. Wildlife officers patrol utilizing trucks, ATVs, personal watercraft, boats, snowmobiles and airplanes, making contact with Californians in the great outdoors. Wildlife officers work undercover, conduct surveillances and complete in-depth investigations, including writing and serving search warrants. CDFW LED has numerous specialized teams and assignments including K-9, wildlife trafficking, marijuana eradication, marine patrol and oil spill prevention and response.

Annually, wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations for violations of the law.

Successful applicants for Warden Cadet will attend a Peace Officer Standards of Training (POST) certified law enforcement training academy, conducted by CDFW at Butte College, near Chico in northern California. Following the academy, probationary wildlife officers will work with a seasoned field training officer for several weeks, where they learn to apply their training in practical circumstances.

Media Contact:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-9982

September 2017 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar


Various Days — Bat Talk and Walk at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, various times, 45211 County Road 32B (Chiles Road), Davis (95618). Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is home to approximately 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats. From mid-June to mid-September, the Yolo Basin Foundation provides a program for people to learn about bats and watch the colony fly. Reservations are required. To register, please visit For more information, please email

Various Days — Guided Wetland Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). A wildlife naturalist will lead a group, school or organization on a half-mile route through diverse wetlands. General information includes wildlife identification, behavior patterns and conservation efforts. Tours can be customized to include requested information. The minimum group size is 18 people and reservations are required. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, deer, bear, 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

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

1 — Applications Available for Waterfowl Hunting Reservations. Beginning Sept. 1, waterfowl hunters can submit applications for reservations to hunt on state-operated wildlife areas for the 2017/18 hunting season. Applications may be submitted at CDFW license sales offices, license agents or online at For more information, please visit

1 —Recreational Pacific Halibut Season Open for All Boat-based Anglers in California. For more information, please call the National Marine Fisheries Service hotline at (800) 662-9825 or visit the Pacific Halibut webpage at

1 — Mourning Dove and White-winged Dove Season Opens Statewide. First half of split season opens, extending through Sept. 15. For more information, please visit

6 — CDFW Instream Flow Assessment Activities Stakeholder Meeting for Butte Creek in Butte County, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Arc Pavilion, 2040 Park Ave., Chico (95928). CDFW staff will present study results and draft stream flow requirements. For more information, please email or, or call (916) 445-8560 or (916) 445-1277.

6-8 — CDFW Fisheries Restoration Grant Program Peer Review Committee Meeting, Ramada Plaza, 685 Manzanita Court, Chico (95926). The extended meeting will begin at 9 a.m. on Sept. 6, and at 8 a.m. on both Sept. 7 and Sept. 8. The meeting is designed to review proposals submitted through the Fisheries Habitat Restoration 2017 solicitation. For more information, please contact Matt Wells at (916) 445-1285 or at

8-9 — Friant Interactive Nature Site Volunteer Days, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Friant Interactive Nature Site, 17443 N Friant Road, Friant (93626). Volunteers will perform general trail maintenance, including raking, pruning, planting and weeding, along the Small Fry Children’s and San Joaquin River Parkway trails. Parking will be available in a lot located on the corner of Friant Road and Flemming Road. Participants should meet CDFW staff at the picnic area located along the Parkway Trail to sign in. Volunteers under 18 must bring a signed parent permission slip. For more information, please email or call (559) 243-4014, extension 245.

9 — Sooty (Blue) and Ruffed Grouse General Season Opens. Season extends through Oct. 9. For more information, please visit

9 — Grasslands Wildlife Areas Public Outreach Meeting, 9 a.m., Grassland Environmental Education Center, 18110 W. Henry Miller Road, Los Banos (93635). CDFW will host a public meeting regarding Central Region Type A and B wildlife areas. CDFW will take comments and recommendations and provide updates on habitat conditions, availability of water for wetlands and possible impacts to hunter access on these public lands. For more information, please visit

9— White-tailed Ptarmigan General and Archery Season Opens Statewide. White-tailed ptarmigan general and archery season opens statewide Sept. 9 and extends through Sept. 17.  For more information, please visit

9 —Tree Squirrel General Season Opens. Season extends through Jan. 31. For more information, please visit

9 — Mountain Quail Season Opens in Zone Q1. Season extends through Oct. 20.  For more information, please visit

13 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee Meeting, 10 a.m., California Tower, 3737 Main Street, Highgrove Room 200, Riverside (92501). For more information, please visit

16 — Band-tailed Pigeon Season in the North Zone Opens. Season extends through Sept. 24. For more information, please visit

16 — General Deer Season Opens in Majority of General Zones.  General deer season opens in zones B1-B3, B5, B6, C1-C4, D6, and D7 (deer hunting is already underway in the A and B4 zones). Hunters should check for area closures/restrictions before heading out to their hunting destination. Information on closures is available at Tag reporting is required as the reports are vital to estimating populations and tag quotas. Please visit for information on reporting. Tag holders may also submit reports by mail at CDFW Wildlife Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94299-0002. For general information on deer zones, please visit–hunts.

18 — Feather River Fish Hatchery Ladder Opening, 5 Table Mountain Boulevard, Oroville (95965). The ladder will open and salmon spawning is expected to begin later that week and continue through approximately mid-November. Steelhead spawning takes place in late December through approximately February. The hatchery is open from sunrise to sunset. For more information, please call (530) 538-2222 or visit

23 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Open House, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). This event is free to the public. For more information, please contact Virginia Guhin at (831)728-2822 or visit

23 — 23nd Annual Oroville Salmon Festival, Feather River Fish Hatchery, 5 Table Mountain Blvd., Oroville (95965), from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and in downtown Oroville from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature tours to view salmon spawning, informational booths, educational displays and vendor booths. For more information, please visit

23-24 —Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days for the Northeastern Waterfowl Zone. To participate in these youth waterfowl hunts federal regulations require that hunters must be 17 years of age or younger at the time of the hunts and must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 years of age or older. Hunters who possess a California junior hunting license are not required to purchase a California Duck Validation; however a federal duck stamp is still required for any waterfowl hunter who is 16 years of age or older. The Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days are applicable to all lands, including private lands, state wildlife areas and federal national wildlife refuges. For more information, please contact the area you wish to hunt or Melanie Weaver at

30 — Quail Season Opens in Zone Q2 (all quail).  Season extends through Jan. 28. For more information, please visit

30 — Large Canada Geese Season Balance of State Waterfowl Zone Opens. Season extends through Oct. 4. For more information, please visit

30 — California Spiny Lobster Recreational Fishing Season Opens Statewide. The season opens at 6 a.m., a new starting time, which was recently adopted to improve safety. For more information on other new regulations associated with the new California Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan, please visit For general information regarding lobster and lobster management, please visit

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