October 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 18 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). Naturalists lead walks every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 11 a.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 — General Bear Season Opening in Select Deer Zones. General bear season opens concurrently with general deer season in the A, B, C, D, X8, X9A, X9B, X10 and X12 zones. Current bear hunting regulations, in-season updates and general black bear information can be viewed at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/bear.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadlines for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, deer, bear, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. An $11.88 non-refundable application fee will be charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

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 these guided tours, which run October through February. Registration is available online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour. A one-day Lands Pass must be purchased to attend and instructions are available on the same website. Tours fill fast and registration may be done as much as six weeks in advance. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.

Weekends Beginning Oct. 19 — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 12:30 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Rd., 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. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and associated fee-for-use requirement. For more information on the Lands Pass Program, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands-pass. There is no additional cost for the tour. Tour tickets online: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wildlife-viewing-on-the-gray-lodge-wildlife-area-butte-co-tickets-72324329015?aff=erelexpmlt. Walk-ons welcome. For tours/general information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

2 — California Spiny Lobster Commercial Fishing Season Opens Statewide. For more information regarding lobster and lobster management, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/invertebrates/lobster.

5 — Wetland Wildlife Identification Workshop at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Rd, Gridley (95948). Wetland birds and plants will be the focus of this walking tour, though a variety of wildlife will be present. Information will include identification, behavior, habitat requirements and viewing equipment use. Reservations are required. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and associated fee-for-use requirement. For more information on the Lands Pass Program, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands-pass. For more information on the tour, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

5 — Native Plant Sale, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve, 14715 State Highway 94, Jamul (91935). Join the Earth Discovery Institute (EDI) for the annual Native Plant Sale. This is an opportunity to learn about native plant gardening and to purchase trees, drought tolerant shrubs, and fragrant and flowering pollinator attracting plants. A wide array of plants that are native to Southern California and water wise will be available, and a consortium of gardeners and horticulturists will be on hand to answer questions and help you pick the perfect plants for your property. You can find a plant list on EDI’s website: http://earthdiscovery.org.

5 — General Duck and Goose Season Opens in the Northeastern Waterfowl Zone. For more information about regulations, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

5 — General Deer Season Opens in Zones D19, X1, X2, X3a, X3b, X4, X5a, X5b, X6a, X6b, X7a and X7b. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

5-6 — Early Season Junior Hunt for Quail in the Mojave National Preserve. For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit Upland Game Bird Hunting Regulations.

5-6 — Fall Fish Festival, Taylor Creek Visitor Center, 35 Visitor Center Road, South Lake Tahoe (96150), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., both days. The festival encourages participation by youths and their parents in a variety of educational and entertaining activities. For more information, please visit https://tahoesouth.com/events/fall-fish-fest-kokanee-salmon-festival-at-taylor-creek-visitor-center.

8 — California Fish and Game Commission Tribal Committee Meeting, start time to be determined, Rincon Government Center, One Government Center Lane, Valley Center (92082). For more information, please visit https://fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2019.

8 — Conservation and Mitigation Banking Program Stakeholder Meeting for Northern California, 1 to 4 p.m., Stanford Room, 650 Capitol Mall, Sacramento (95814). A public meeting to provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss their experience using the current Bank Enabling Instrument (BEI) and Conservation Easement (CE) templates, and to discuss other bank topics in a forum with the agencies’ banking staff and decision-makers. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov or contact mitbank@wildlife.ca.gov.

9-10 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, begins at 9 a.m. both days, Rincon Government Center, One Government Center Lane, Valley Center (92082). For more information, please visit https://fgc.ca.gov/Meetings/2019.

9 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, 1 to 3 p.m., “The ecology and conservation of ungulate migrations in the American West,” presented by Arthur Middleton, Ph.D. In recent years, wildlife ecologists have made major strides in understanding how ungulate migrations evolve, why they are important, and what causes them to decline. At the same time, storytellers have been using advances in digital photography and videography to increase interest in wildlife migrations amongst the general public and policymakers. This talk will review major science and policy developments with insights and case studies from the diverse migratory ungulates of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, where Arthur Middleton and his group at UC Berkeley have done much of their work on the topic. Attendance is free. To register or learn more, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.

12 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Teachers on the Reserve Workshop, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). The workshop introduces teachers to the reserve and the education field trip program. The workshop is free and continuing Education Units will be available. 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.

12 — General Bear Season Opens in the Remaining X Zones. General bear season opens for the remaining deer hunting X zones. The general bear season will remain open until Dec. 29, or until CDFW determines that 1,700 bears have been taken. CDFW reminds successful hunters to have their tag validated and a tooth extracted from the skull of their bear. Current bear hunting regulations, in-season updates and general black bear information can be viewed at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/bear.

12 — General Deer Season Opens in Zones D11, D13, D14, D15 and D17. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

12 — Archery-only Pheasant Season Opens and Extends Through Nov. 3. For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit Upland Game Bird Hunting Regulations.

13 — Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve Canyoneer Hike, Grasslands Loop. 3 to 7 p.m., 14715 State Highway 94, Jamul (91935). Canyoneers have special permission to hike this 5600-acre CDFW ecological reserve. View sage scrub and riparian environments and hear about efforts to convert grasslands to native habitat. The ruins of a historic brick-making kiln will also be visited. This is an intermediate 5-mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1,000 feet. For more information, please call (619) 468-9125 or email tracie.nelson@wildlife.ca.gov.

15 — Tour Leader Workshop at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Rd, Gridley (95948). The free workshop will focus on developing leaders in nature study for the Tuesday morning, “Wildlife Ramble” and “Exploring the Wetlands” youth education programs. Reservations are required. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

18 — General Duck and Goose Season Opens in the Colorado River Waterfowl Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

19 — General Season for All Quail Opens in Zone Q1 and Zone Q3 (extending through Jan. 26, 2020). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

19 — General Snipe Season Opens Statewide (extending through Feb. 2, 2020). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

19 — General Chukar Season Opens Statewide (extending through Jan. 26, 2020). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

19 — General Duck and Goose Season Opens in the Balance of State, Southern San Joaquin Valley and Southern California Waterfowl Zones. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

19 — General Deer Season Opens in Zone X9c. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

23 — California Northern Spotted Owl Stakeholder Forum, 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., 5550 Skylane Blvd., Suite A, Santa Rosa (95403). The California Northern Spotted Owl Stakeholder Forum is a meeting that allows agencies, nongovernmental organizations, researchers, landowners, timber companies and other interested parties to share information surrounding northern spotted owl management and conservation efforts in California. Participants may attend in-person or via webinar and reservations are not required. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/timber/nso-forum.  

26 — General Deer Season Opens in Zone D16. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

31  Last Day of Recreational Ocean Salmon Season from Horse Mountain to Pigeon Point. Recreational ocean salmon fishing closes statewide. For more information, please visit the ocean salmon webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon or call the CDFW Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (800) 662-9825.

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Media Contacts:
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

 

 

fingerling release

CDFW Stocks More Than 1.45 Million Fingerling Landlocked Salmon

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently completed its 2019 stocking of fingerling Kokanee and landlocked Chinook Salmon, planting more than 1.45 million of the popular sport fish into inland waters where they will provide recreational angling opportunities in two to three years after growing to catchable size.

This year’s stocking consisted of releasing 792,942 fingerling Kokanee Salmon into 16 waters and 672,734 sterile, fingerling Chinook salmon into eight waters. Additional allotments of the sterile – or “triploid” – Chinook Salmon are scheduled to be released later this fall into northern California’s Lake Oroville, Lake Shasta and Trinity Lake.

The 2- to 4-inch fish are stocked into landlocked, inland waters to provide a diverse fishing experience where natural reproduction is insufficient to provide a high-quality angling experience. Anglers can expect excellent opportunities in these waters in two to three years when these fingerlings reach catchable size. Stocking fingerling-sized fish is a very cost-effective way to maintain these popular, inland recreational fisheries.

After a record Kokanee egg take in 2018, CDFW had an additional number of Kokanee fingerlings available for release this year. These fish were surplus to stocking goals. To provide and enhance recreational opportunities, CDFW released these additional Kokanee into Lake Shasta in Shasta County, where anglers can expect a new fishing opportunity in the next few years. Kokanee Salmon are the landlocked version of the Sockeye Salmon native to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Instead of migrating to the ocean, the landlocked Kokanee often are able to reproduce naturally in feeder streams, inlets and along gravel shoreline in the lakes where they are stocked. Like all Pacific salmon, Kokanee die after spawning.

Monitoring and evaluations of these fisheries are vital to providing a balance between numbers of fish and their average size. Stocking too many fish may provide an abundance of fish, but not produce fish of a desirable size. To evaluate stocking efforts, CDFW has begun marking stocked Kokanee Salmon prior to their release. In 2018, CDFW marked Kokanee that were released into Stampede Reservoir in Sierra County. In 2019, marked Kokanee were released into New Melones Reservoir in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. All fish were marked with an adipose fin clip for easy identification and to distinguish from naturally spawned fish.

To assist in these evaluations, CDFW has partnered with the California Inland Fisheries Foundation, Inc. (CIFFI) and Kokanee Power (KP) to develop an online angler survey. The Kokanee & Inland Chinook Anglers Survey allows anglers to provide catch and effort data from any device with internet connectivity. Anglers are asked to report their effort and catch, both the number kept and released by size class, for each angling day. This data will assist fisheries managers in evaluating management goals for these fisheries.

CDFW would like to thank volunteers from CIFFI and KP for their continued cooperation assisting with the Landlocked Salmon Program. The careful planning, coordination and funding provided by these two organizations have contributed to the success of this program.

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Media Contacts:
Kyle Murphy, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 375-5483

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Chinook Salmon Season to Open July 1 on Portions of Klamath, Trinity Rivers

The recreational Chinook Salmon fishery will open on portions of the Klamath and Trinity rivers on July 1, as per emergency fishing regulations that have been adopted and approved by the California Fish and Game Commission and the state Office of Administrative Law.

The spring Chinook Salmon fishery will be open from July 1 through Aug. 14 on the lower Klamath River (downstream of the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec) and from July 1 through Aug. 31 on the Trinity River (upstream of the confluence of the South Fork). The daily bag limit has been set at one Chinook Salmon (no size restrictions), and the possession limit is set at two Chinook Salmon.

The fall Chinook fishery will open Aug. 15 in the Klamath River and Sept. 1 in the Trinity river. The basin in-river quota is 7,637 adult Chinook Salmon for 2019. Regulations will remain the same as in 2018 with a two-fish daily bag limit, with no more than one fish over 22 inches (such as one adult and one jack). The possession limit remains the same at six fish, with no more than three fish over 22 inches (effectively three daily bag limits).

The in-river recreational adult fall Chinook quota is divided among four sectors in the Klamath River Basin:

KLAMATH RIVER

(1) 3,500 feet downstream of Iron Gate Dam downstream to the Highway 96 bridge – 1,298 fish.

(2) Highway 96 bridge downstream to the mouth of the Klamath River – 3,819 fish.

There is a sub-area closure at the mouth of the Klamath River when 15 percent of the Klamath Basin allocation has been harvested – 1,145 fish harvested below the Highway 101 bridge triggers this closure.

TRINITY RIVER

(3) Old Lewiston Bridge to Highway 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat – 1,260 fish

(4) Denny Road bridge downstream to the confluence with the Klamath River –  1,260 fish.

Please see the 2019-2020 California Freshwater Sportfishing Regulations and 2019-2020 California Supplement Sport Fishing Regulations for more information. Additionally, anglers can obtain information on Klamath Basin regulations and fall Chinook quota updates by calling the Klamath-Trinity fishing hotline at (800) 564-6479.

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Media Contacts:
Dan Troxel, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2378

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

inland salmon catch

Inland Salmon Seasons Approved at Fish and Game Commission Meeting

California’s inland salmon anglers can look forward to a better salmon fishing season than last year. A projected return of 379,600 spawning Sacramento River fall-run Chinook Salmon to Central Valley rivers has allowed fishery managers to return to a two salmon daily limit with four salmon in possession. This is a welcome increase over last year’s regulations, which restricted anglers to one salmon per day and two in possession.

The Klamath River fall Chinook Salmon ocean abundance forecast of 274,200 adults allows anglers a daily limit of two Chinook salmon, no more than one of which may be greater than 22 inches, and a possession limit of six, of which only three may be greater than 22 inches.

“It is excellent that the predicted Central Valley returns are high enough to offer anglers the opportunity to take two salmon daily and four in possession,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fisheries Branch Chief Kevin Shaffer. “Klamath River fall Chinook Salmon returns are predicted to be above average, and that should provide good angling opportunity.”

State and federal fisheries managers crafted conservative ocean seasons to return even more Sacramento fall-run Chinook Salmon back to the spawning grounds than normal this fall. This is required under the federal Fisheries Management Plan because long-term stock abundance has fallen below minimum management goals after several recent years when spawning salmon returns were too low. Inland fishing seasons adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission reflect this ongoing effort to rebuild stocks while providing angling opportunity.

The following bag, possession limits and seasons were adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission at its meeting earlier this week.

Central Valley Rivers:

Daily limit of two fish per day and a possession limit of four fish. On the American and Feather rivers, the general season opener is July 16. On the Sacramento River below Deschutes Road Bridge to the Red Bluff Diversion Dam, the season opens Aug. 1 and closes Dec. 16. From below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam to the Carquinez Bridge, the season opens July 16 and closes Dec. 16. Chinook Salmon fishing opportunity was expanded on the Mokelumne and Feather River. On the Feather River, the season change will extend fishing opportunity by additional two weeks. On the Mokelumne River, almost 10 miles of additional habitat is open to salmon fishing.

Klamath River Basin:

Daily limit of two Chinook Salmon, no more than one of which may be greater than 22 inches, and a possession limit of six, of which only three may be greater than 22 inches. The Klamath River adult fall run Chinook Salmon quota is 7,637 adults and the season opens Aug. 15 and closes Dec. 31, while the Trinity River opens to salmon fishing on Sept. 1 and closes Dec. 31. Seasons and areas with defined sub-quotas are subject to closure once the quota is reached in each subsection.

The 2019-2020 sport seasons, dates, locations, bag limits and gear restrictions will be published in the 2019-2020 Sport Fishing Regulations Supplement, which will be posted on the CDFW website in May. Additional season information can be found on CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage or by calling CDFW’s ocean salmon hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the Klamath-Trinity River hotline at (800) 564-6479.

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Media Contacts:
Kevin Shaffer, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916)-327-8840 

Wade Sinnen, CDFW Northern Region, (707) 822-5119 
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (208) 220-1160

Feather River Smolt Release to Help Biologists Study Salmon Life Cycle

On May 8, CDFW released about 1 million fall run Chinook Salmon smolts into the Feather River at the Boyd’s Pump Launch facility. This experimental in-river release will provide fisheries biologists an important opportunity to study how fish respond under specific environmental conditions, as compared to fish released at other points in the river system.

Anglers have expressed concern that striped bass predation is high during this time period on the Feather River. While predation is always a threat to the young salmon, it is only one of the challenges they face throughout their complicated life cycle. The good news is that current high river flows favor increased downriver salmon survival.

“It’s critical that a portion of the population survives the treacherous journey downriver, eventually returning to pass their genes to their offspring,” said Jay Rowan, CDFW supervising fisheries biologist. “The traits those survivors pass on will help the species adapt to current conditions and better prepare them for long-term challenges such as climate change.”

Central Valley rivers like the Sacramento, Feather, American and Mokelumne have been modified through the addition of dams, river channelization and flow control. To maximize returns and allow for naturally occurring genetic variation, hatcheries in each river system have begun to utilize a variety of release strategies including trucking a portion of the fish downstream, utilizing ocean net pens and varying release sites to improve overall salmon resiliency and survival.

More than 30 million Chinook Salmon smolts are released from hatcheries throughout California’s Central Valley each year. This upcoming release of 1 million smolts on the Feather River is only one of almost 100 different releases taking place this spring up and down Central Valley rivers, San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay and into coastal net pens. Each release has a different intent and goals for contributions to ocean and inland fisheries, returns to the river and returns to the hatchery.

Feather River Hatchery alone will release 7 million fall run Chinook Salmon in 2019. In addition to the 1 million that will be released this week, another million will be trucked to Fort Baker in the San Francisco Bay and 5 million will be trucked to acclimation net pens in the San Pablo Bay.

Survival prospects for all releases are very good. This year’s large snow pack and high river flows are a far cry from the drought years with low clear water conditions that foster higher levels of predation, disease and other stressors. Survival out of the system should contribute to improved harvest opportunities in the near future.

Last month, CDFW released 600 spring run Chinook Salmon smolts into the Feather River. The fish were implanted with acoustic tags before their release, and preliminary data indicates that this group is showing a significantly higher survival rate as they travel downriver than fish that were released during low water years.

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Media Contacts:
Colin Purdy, CDFW North Central Region, (916) 358-2943
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8911