April 2021 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.

Various Days — California Invasive Species Action Week Youth Art Contest. Students in grades 2-12 are invited to submit artwork on the theme, “Be an Invasive Species Detective!” All types of media are encouraged! Submit entries electronically by May 5, 2021. Find complete information at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives/action-week/poster-contest. Winners will be announced during California Invasive Species Action Week in June. Please send any questions to invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Nature Bowl 2021: Family Challenge Edition. Hosted by CDFW’s North Central Region, the 2021 Nature Bowl has been reformatted into a virtual nature challenge to all California families with school-age students. Spring is here, and it’s time for rejuvenation, emerging from winter hibernation and getting outside for a healthy dose of nature. Your challenge is to work together as a family to compete in five nature-themed activities – and possibly win cool nature-related prizes. Nature Bowl runs through May 14, 2021. For more information and materials, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/nature-bowl or contact Genelle Treaster at genelle.treaster@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Scavenger Hunt, sunrise to sunset through April 11, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis (95618). Learn about the Yolo Bypass wetlands and wildlife in this family-friendly, self-guided scavenger hunt around the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. Participants will solve clues as they journey to the scavenger hunt stations shown on the provided map. Visit at least five stations and submit the scavenger hunt form to be entered to win exciting prizes. See if you can visit all 10 stations! The Scavenger Hunt is free, though a $10 donation per family to support Yolo Basin Foundation’s environmental education programs is suggested. For more information, materials and instructions, please visit yolobasin.org/scavengerhunt.

Various Days — Vernal Pool Speaker Series, 7 p.m., April 1, 13 and 27. Vernal pools are home to a variety of rare and endemic plants and animals. These talks, presented via Zoom, will cover the natural history and ecology of vernal pools of the Central Valley, plant and animal species conservation, and the history of Grasslands Regional Park. For the schedule of talks and to register for these free events, please visit yolobasin.org/grpspeakerseries.

1 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Lower American River Conservancy Program Proposal Solicitation Notice Release. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov/programs/lower-american-river.

1 — 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), San Francisco Bay and the Central Management Area (Pigeon Point, San Mateo County to Point Conception, Santa Barbara County). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish.  

1 — California Grunion Season Closes. Season closes at midnight the night of March 31. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/grunion.

1 — San Francisco Bay Surfperch Season Closes. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/fishing-map/sf-bay.

3 — Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Opens from Pigeon Point to U.S./Mexico Border. For more information, please visit the Ocean Salmon webpage at wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon or call either the CDFW Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (800) 662-9825.

3 — Vernal Pool Virtual Tour, 9 to 10 a.m. Explore the crucial, incredible habitats of vernal pools with Yolo Basin Foundation staff and volunteers through a virtual experience at Grasslands Regional Park. Discover how vernal pools are naturally created, how they can be restored and how they provide unique habitat. Zoom in more closely to view amazing wildflowers and small creatures that call the vernal pools home. Registration is free and limited to 60 devices per virtual tour. For more information and to sign up, please visit yolobasin.org/virtualwetlandtours.

6-9 — 11th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference and 2021 IEP Annual Workshop. The 11th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference and the 2021 Interagency Ecological Program Annual Workshop will be a combined virtual event this year. The conference acts as a forum for presenting scientific analyses and results relevant to management of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The goal of the conference is to provide new information and syntheses to the broad community of scientists, engineers, resources managers and stakeholders working on Bay-Delta issues. The conference theme is “Building Resilience through Diversity in Science.” Attendance is free with registration. To register for the event, please visit baydeltascienceconference.org. For more information on the conference, please visit deltacouncil.ca.gov/delta-science-program/11th-biennial-bay-delta-science-conference.

8 — Advanced Hunter Education Webinar: Archery Turkey Hunting, 6 to 7 p.m. This webinar will cover many aspects of a successful turkey hunt with a bow. Join us as we share information on how to bag a wild turkey using archery equipment. Register at www.register-ed.com/programs/california/162-advanced-hunter-education.

10 — Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Virtual Tour, 10 to 11 a.m. Join Yolo Basin Foundation staff and docents to explore your local wetlands. Observe wildlife up close with our virtual spotting scope view! Registration is free and limited to 60 devices per virtual tour. For more information and to sign up, please visit yolobasin.org/virtualwetlandtours.

13 — California Fish and Game Commission Tribal Committee Meeting. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov.

14 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov.

15 — 2021-22 Hunting Items on Sale. Hunters can purchase 2021-22 hunting licenses, tags and validations, and apply for the annual Big Game Drawing. Items may be purchased at 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, 2021. Please contact a local CDFW license sales office for more information.

15 — Deadline to Submit Lobster Trap Loss Affidavits. Commercial lobster fishermen must submit an affidavit reporting trap loss for the 2020-2021 season. Forms can be found at nrm.dfg.ca.gov/filehandler.ashx?documentid=141218 and can be returned either by email to lobster@wildlife.ca.gov or by mail to 3883 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123.

22 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Stream Flow Enhancement Program Board Meeting, 10 a.m., via Zoom. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

22 — Advanced Hunter Education Webinar: Applying for Big Game Tags, 6 to 7 p.m. This webinar will cover how to successfully apply for all big game tag applications. Learn how the process works and how to properly apply for your hunt choices. Register at www.register-ed.com/programs/california/162-advanced-hunter-education.

24 — Aquatic WILD Virtual Workshop, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). This one-day workshop for elementary school teachers takes a deep dive into aquatic habitats and their animals! Participants leave with the Aquatic Wild guide to hundreds of fun and engaging lessons and activities, and skills to lead field investigations at their school or on the reserve. This workshop is free, but registration is required. For more details and to register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/aquatic-wild-teacher-workshop-3.

29 — Watershed Scale Thinking: An Evenings at the Estuary Presentation, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Virtual Event. Join Elkhorn Slough Foundation Stewardship Director Dash Dunkell and Digital Mapping expert Kass Green for a discussion on watershed restoration and the brand-new vegetation maps of the Elkhorn Slough and learn how to take meaningful action in your own area. To register for this free event, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/watershed-scale-thinking.

30 — Deadline to Report Spiny Lobster Report Cards. Divers and hoop netters who were issued report cards for spiny lobster must report their data by April 30, 2021. 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. Divers and hoop netters may report online or mail their report card to the address printed on the report card. To report online, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.

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Media Contact:
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907

Recreational Ocean Salmon Fishery Season Curtailed on Much of the California Coast

California’s recreational salmon fishery will open in ocean waters on Saturday, April 3 in the Monterey management area, from Pigeon Point (37° 11’ 00” N. latitude) south to the U.S./Mexico border, with a minimum size limit of 24 inches. All other areas of the California coast will remain closed until further notice. The remaining 2021 season dates and associated regulations will be finalized next month.

Although the San Francisco and the Fort Bragg management areas were originally scheduled to open in April, on the advice of salmon fishery representatives, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) made the decision to delay the openers in these areas to limit ocean fishery impacts due to poor stock forecasts. Both Klamath River fall Chinook and Sacramento River fall Chinook have reduced ocean abundance forecasts for the 2021 season compared to long term averages, and the PFMC is taking steps to ensure that enough salmon will return to rivers this fall to meet spawner abundance goals.

Traditionally, fishing in the Monterey management area is better early in the season, prompting recreational fishing representatives to prioritize its opening ahead of areas to the north. Although seasons for the San Francisco, Fort Bragg and Klamath management areas are not yet known, the season alternatives that are currently under consideration prioritize opportunity later in the summer, when catch rates are typically better.

Final season dates will be decided during the virtual PFMC meeting to be held April 6-9 and 12-15. The public is invited to comment on the PFMC’s season proposals at that meeting or at a virtual public hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23. Details on how to attend the PFMC meeting, public hearing, and ways to provide public comment can be found on the PFMC website at www.pcouncil.org

Anglers are advised to check for updated information when planning a salmon fishing trip. Season dates, bag/possession limit information and gear restrictions can be found on CDFW’s ocean salmon web page at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon or by calling the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429. Public notification of any in-season change to conform state regulations to federal regulations is made through the National Marine Fisheries Service ocean salmon hotline at (800) 662-9825.

Media Contacts:            

Kandice Morgenstern, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 484-6901

Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478

Chinook Salmon

CDFW to Host Virtual Public Meeting on Ocean Salmon Fisheries

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites the public to attend its upcoming annual Salmon Information Meeting. The meeting will feature the outlook for this year’s sport and commercial ocean salmon fisheries, in addition to a review of last year’s salmon fisheries and spawning escapement.

The meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. via webinar.

Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input on potential fishing seasons to a panel of California salmon scientists, managers and fishery representatives who will be directly involved in the upcoming Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) meetings in March and April.

The 2021 Salmon Information Meeting marks the beginning of a two-month long public process used to develop annual sport and commercial ocean salmon fishing regulations. The process involves collaborative negotiations with west coast states, federal agencies, tribal comanagers, and stakeholders interested in salmon fishery management and conservation. Public input will help California representatives develop a range of recommended season alternatives during the March 2-5 and 8-11, 2021 PFMC meeting. The PFMC will finalize the recommended season dates at its April 6-9 and 12-15, 2021 meeting.

Salmon Information Meeting details and instructions for attendance are available on CDFW’s Ocean Salmon web page, along with a calendar of events and other opportunities for public engagement in the 2021 preseason process. A summary of key information and meeting outcomes will be posted on the Marine Management News blogsite after the meeting.

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Media Contacts
Ian Pritchard, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 576-2891
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (208) 220-1169

February 2021 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig and turkey hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $12.14 non-refundable application fee is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

Various Days — White Goose Late Season Opens in the Imperial County Special Management Area. Season is open Feb. 1-5, 8-12 and 15-21. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

1 — Deadline to Report on Bear Tag. All bear tag holders are required to report on their tag regardless of whether or not they were successful, unsuccessful or hunted bear. The deadline for reporting on a bear hunt tag is Feb. 1. After the Feb. 1 deadline, the online reporting system will lock hunters out from reporting. Hunters who miss the online reporting window can and should still mail in their tags to the address on the tag. All bear tags postmarked after Feb. 1 will be considered late. Tags can be reported online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.

1 — Falconry Only Season Opens for Rabbits and Varying Hares (extending through March 21). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.

1 — 2021 Commercial Fishing Licenses and Permits Available for Purchase. The 2021 commercial fishing licenses and permits are valid from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/commercial.

6 — White and White-fronted Goose Late Season Opens in the Northeastern Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl

6-7 — Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Colorado River and Balance of State Zones. Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days are intended to provide a safe learning environment for youth who are interested in hunting and to encourage youths and adults to experience the outdoors together. Each year, many wildlife areas and national wildlife refuges open for youth hunt days. Federal regulations require that hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 years of age or older to participate. All hunters must have a valid license and stamps as required by state and federal law. The daily bag and possession limits apply along with all other waterfowl regulations for the 2020-21 waterfowl season. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl

10 California Fish and Game Commission Meeting. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2021.

11 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Lower American River Conservancy Program Advisory Committee Meeting, 9 to 11 a.m., via Microsoft Teams Meeting. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

13 — I Heart Estuaries: Virtual Tidal Trivia Night, 5:30 p.m. Test your knowledge of mud, marsh and migratory birds, and hear a few fun stories from the wetlands in between. This virtual event is family-friendly and questions will involve a variety of nature-themed topics. The event is free, but registration is required. To register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/i-heart-estuaries-tidal-trivia-night-2021.

13-14 — Veterans and Active Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and Balance of State Zones. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl

20 — White and White-fronted Goose Late Season Opens in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

20 — Canada Goose Late Season Opens in the North Coast Special Management Area. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

25 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Meeting, 10 a.m., via Microsoft Teams or teleconference. Members of the public are invited to participate. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

25 — CDFW’s Annual Salmon Information Meeting, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., webinar only. The public is invited to attend CDFW’s annual meeting on the status of California Chinook salmon populations and the outlook for 2021 ocean salmon fisheries. A review of last year’s salmon fisheries and spawning escapement will be presented, along with the outlook for this year’s sport and commercial ocean salmon fisheries. The meeting marks the beginning of a two-month long public process used to establish annual sport and commercial ocean salmon seasons. A list of additional meetings and other opportunities for public comment, as well as meeting materials and the link for the webinar, will be available at wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/salmon/preseason as they become available. For more information, please contact Ian Pritchard at (707) 576-2891 or ian.pritchard@wildlife.ca.gov.

26 — Proposition 1 Grant Program Cutting the Green Tape Workshop, 9 a.m. CDFW will host an online stakeholder workshop to provide an overview of its planned Summer 2021 Proposition 1 Grant round focused on watersheds included in CDFW’s North Coast Salmon Project. This focused solicitation will also pilot a series of efforts under CDFW’s Cutting the Green Tape initiative to increase the pace and scale of restoration. No registration is required. For more information on accessing the workshop, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/grants. Information about CDFW’s North Coast Salmon Project can be found at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/fishes/coho-salmon/north-coast-salmon-project.

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Media Contact:
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 738-9641

Chinook Salmon

CDFW Awards $10.7 Million for Fisheries Habitat Restoration Program Projects

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 27 projects that will receive funding for the restoration, enhancement and protection of anadromous salmonid habitat in California watersheds.

The grants, which total $10.7 million, were awarded through CDFW’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP). Established in 1981, FRGP has included funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund since 2000. The federal fund was established by Congress in 2000 to reverse the declines of Pacific salmon and steelhead throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

“The ongoing momentum to restore California’s habitat for these historic species hasn’t stopped as we face a global pandemic and devastating wildfires,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “Awarding these projects highlights the resilience, passion and vision for salmon recovery by our state’s restoration community, for which we are grateful.”

In response to the 2020 Fisheries Habitat Restoration Grant Solicitation, CDFW received 80 proposals requesting more than $40.6 million in funding. As part of the competitive grant program, proposals underwent a rigorous technical review by CDFW and NOAA scientists.

The 27 approved projects will further the objectives of state and federal fisheries recovery plans, including removing barriers to fish migration, restoring riparian habitat, monitoring of listed populations, and creating a more resilient and sustainably managed water resources system (e.g., water supply, water quality and habitat) that can better withstand drought conditions. These projects further the goals of California’s Water Action Plan and CDFW’s State Wildlife Action Plan, as well as addressing limiting factors specified in state and federal recovery plans.

The list of approved projects is available on the FRGP website.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 216-7848
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 804-1714