Category Archives: Uncategorized

Western Portion of Knoxville Wildlife Area Reopens to Public Access

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced that the western portion of the Knoxville Wildlife Area in northeastern Napa County has reopened to public access.

The portion of the Knoxville Wildlife Area west of the Berryessa-Knoxville Road has reopened to all authorized public use. The portion of the Knoxville Wildlife Area east of the Berryessa-Knoxville Road will remain closed to public use due to the County Fire, which has burned more than 6,000 acres of the wildlife area. It is unknown when the eastern portion of the wildlife area will reopen to the public. The entire wildlife area is being evaluated to determine when and if additional closures or reopenings will occur.

Media Contact:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

CDFW’s Bay Delta Region Headquarters Moving from Napa to Fairfield in June

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Bay Delta Region is relocating its headquarters — including its License Sales Office — from Napa to Fairfield in June.

CDFW’s License Sales Office along the Silverado Trail in Napa will close permanently on Wednesday, June 13 at 4:30 p.m. CDFW’s new License Sales Office in Fairfield will open to the public Friday, June 15 at 8 a.m. Licenses can also be purchased anytime online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales.

The new address is 2825 Cordelia Road, Suite 100, Fairfield, CA 94534. The public service hours will remain the same, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with license sales ending at 4:30 p.m. The main office phone number will change to (707) 428-2002 beginning June 15.

While CDFW will continue to maintain some operations at the Napa location, including the Silverado Fisheries Base, which raises trout and inland salmon, all public operations will cease June 13. Public services such as the sale of fishing and hunting licenses, bear and deer tag validations, and commercial fishing license sales and service will only be available at the new Fairfield regional headquarters location starting June 15. Bear tooth extractions may be available at other CDFW office locations by appointment only. Please contact the Fairfield office in advance.

“The Napa Valley has been a wonderful, scenic home base for our Bay Delta Regional Office for some 40 years,” said Bay Delta Regional Manager Gregg Erickson. “The move to Fairfield, however, will benefit a majority of our customers and employees by creating an office location that is easily accessible to all. Our new, modern offices will allow us to provide a better customer service experience and a better workplace that our dedicated employees richly deserve.”

About 40 CDFW employees will relocate to the newly constructed office space in Fairfield from Napa and other locations in the region. These employees work in a variety of CDFW branches, divisions and programs, including Administration, License and Revenue, Cannabis, Habitat Conservation, Fisheries Management and Wildlife Management.

CDFW’s Bay Delta Region encompasses 12 counties in northern California and is one of seven CDFW regions in the state.

Media Contacts:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Javier Gloria, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5587

CDFW photo of the Napa regional headquarters by Peter Tira.

Fish and Game Commission Adopts Emergency Regulations to Increase Purple Sea Urchin Bag Limit in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties

At its April 2018 meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) adopted emergency regulations to increase the daily bag limit for purple sea urchins taken while skin or SCUBA diving off Mendocino and Sonoma counties only. Purple sea urchins fall under the general invertebrate bag limit of 35 per day, but the emergency regulations now in effect will allow a daily bag limit of 20 gallons with no limit on possession. The emergency regulation will remain in effect for 180 days (until Nov. 6, 2018) unless extended by the Commission. Upon expiration, the bag limit will return to 35. A recent explosion in purple sea urchin populations off northern California has prompted requests for increased daily bag limits as an option to reduce purple urchin numbers.  The increase in purple urchin populations is one of several extreme environmental conditions contributing to a widespread collapse of northern California kelp forests.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is collaborating with commercial divers, academic researchers and stakeholders to clear purple sea urchins in select test plots in order to study the effectiveness of clearing on restoring the bull kelp ecosystem. CDFW and its partners are working on permits and procedures to conduct controlled experiments to evaluate smashing compared to collecting purple sea urchins in these test plots.

CDFW reminds recreational participants that the new recreational limit allows urchin collection while skin or SCUBA diving by hand, and that there are regulations against waste of fish.  Recreational harvesters of urchin must put harvested urchins to use.  Smashing and disposing of sea urchins in the trash is still illegal.

Besides collecting purple urchins to extract gonads for eating, the urchins can make a good addition to compost material.

Media Contacts:
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

Trout Plants Mean California Fishing Opportunities Abound Over the Holidays

The winter holidays are a great time for families and individuals to enjoy recreational trout fishing, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) trout hatcheries plan to provide plenty of opportunities for anglers of all ages over the next two weeks. Specific plants of catchable trout are scheduled at 79 waters in 25 counties between now and Jan. 5.

CDFW trout hatcheries stock many inland waters throughout the year, in support of the angling public. As always, CDFW’s trout stocking schedule can be found online, as well as California’s map-based Fishing Guide.

Please see the list below for a county-by-county breakdown of stocking locations. Happy Holidays and best wishes for excellent fishing in 2018!

Alameda County

  • Horseshoe Lake
  • Lakeshore Park Pond
  • Shadow Cliff Lake
  • Temescal Lake

Contra Costa County

  • Lafayette Reservoir
  • Los Vaqueros Reservoir
  • Contra Loma Reservoir
  • Heather Farms Pond

El Dorado County

  • Folsom Lake

Fresno County

  • Fresno City Woodward Park Lake

Inyo County

  • Diaz Lake
  • Owens River, below Tinnemeha
  • Owens River, Section II
  • Pleasant Valley Reservoir

Kern County

  • Ming Lake
  • Hart Park
  • Riverwalk
  • Truxton Lake
  • Kern River below Lake Isabella

Lake County

  • Blue Lake Upper

Los Angeles County

  • Alondra Park Lake
  • Echo Park Lake
  • El Dorado Park Lakes
  • Legg Lakes
  • Lincoln Park Lake
  • MacArthur Park Lake
  • Santa Fe Reservoir
  • Belvedere Lake
  • Downey Wilderness Park Lake
  • Hollenbeck Park Lake
  • Hansen Dam Lake
  • Kenneth Hahn Lake
  • La Mirada Lake

Madera County

  • Bass Lake
  • Sycamore Island
  • Eastman Lake
  • Hensley Lake

Marin County

  • Bon Tempe Lake

Merced County

  • Yosemite Lake

Nevada County

  • Rollins Reservoir

Orange County

  • Carr Park Lake
  • Centennial Lake
  • Eisenhower Lake
  • Greer Park Lake
  • Huntington Park Lake
  • Mile Square Park Lake
  • Tri-City Lake
  • Yorba Linda Regional Park Lake

Placer County

  • Halsey Forebay
  • Folsom Lake
  • Rollins Reservoir

Riverside County

  • Little Lake
  • Perris Lake
  • Rancho Jurupa Park Pond

Sacramento County

  • Elk Grove Park Pond
  • Hagen Park Pond
  • Folsom Lake (Granite Bay boat ramp)
  • Howe Community Park Pond
  • North Natomas Park Pond
  • Granit Park Pond
  • Rancho Seco Lake

San Bernardino County

  • Cucamonga Guasti Park Lake
  • Glen Helen Park Lake
  • Seccombe Lake
  • Yucaipa Lake
  • Silverwood Lake

San Diego County

  • Cuyamaca Lake
  • Chollas Lake
  • Lindo Lake
  • Murray Lake

Shasta County

  • Baum Lake
  • Shasta Lake

Solano County

  • Lake Chabot

Sonoma County

  • Ralphine Lake

Stanislaus County

  • Woodward Reservoir
  • Modesto Reservoir

Tulare County

  • Success Reservoir
  • Lake Kaweah

Ventura County

  • Casitas Lake
  • Rancho Simi Park Lake
  • Reseda Lake

Yuba County

  • Collins Lake

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Media Contacts:
Dr. Mark Clifford, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 764-2526 

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 804-1714

New Laws Enhance Poaching Penalties to Better Protect Wildlife

As many big game hunting seasons progress into the fall, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers have a new tool to deter poaching and punish violators for serious poaching crimes.

Legislation sponsored by the wildlife conservation community approved enhancements of penalties for the illegal take of trophy-class animals. Under Fish and Game Code (FGC) section 12013.3 penalties are significantly enhanced for any person convicted of poaching deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and wild turkey with certain characteristics that would define them as trophy game animal.

In addition to the legislation that enhanced poaching penalties, the California Fish and Game Commission developed regulations to define those trophy characteristics. Commissioners worked with the CDFW and several outdoors, conservation and hunting organizations to define the characteristics in California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 14, section 748.6. The legislation and regulation package went into full effect on July 1, 2017.

In summary, “…the punishment for a person who knowingly violated and has been convicted of [take out of season, spotlighting, baiting, waste of meat, or take without a tag]… where the violation involved a trophy… deer, elk, antelope, or bighorn sheep shall be a fine of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) nor more than forty thousand dollars ($40,000), and where the violation involved a wild turkey, a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both that fine and imprisonment.”

“The first case adjudicated after the trophy law took effect exemplifies the potential benefits this enhancement law could have on wildlife protection,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division.

On July 5, 2017, Garrett Thomas Peacock, 22, of Yuba City, was sentenced to two years’ probation with a restriction from hunting during that time and ordered to pay $5,150 in fines and penalties. The case began months prior when wildlife officers, acting upon an anonymous CalTIP (Californians Turn in Poacher and Polluters), contacted Peacock during a follow-up investigation. The investigation revealed that Peacock unlawfully killed a trophy class “buck” deer without permission in an orchard on private property in Maxwell in Colusa County. Peacock did not possess the required deer tag at the time of the killing. Officers recovered photographic evidence, deer antlers, numerous packages of meat and a deer tag purchased after the fact from Peacock.

“Unlawfully targeting animals for their trophy qualities is an egregious violation,” said Chief Bess.  “Under the enhanced penalties of this law, the punishment will more closely match the severity of these types of poaching crimes.”

Anyone with information about unlawful fishing, hunting or pollution is encouraged to contact CalTIP, CDFW’s confidential secret witness program that encourages the public to provide wildlife officers with factual information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters. The CalTIP number, (888) 334-2258, is printed on the back of every hunting and fishing license. Tips can also be relayed by text to 847411 (tip411). Text messages allow for a two-way conversation with wildlife officers, while preserving the anonymity of the tipster. Texts should begin with the word “CALTIP,” followed by a space and the message. There is also an app for smartphones that works similarly. For more information on the program and the CalTIP app, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip.

Media Contact:
Captain Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-6692