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CDFW Warns Anglers and Hunters about Bogus License Sales Websites

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has been made aware of several websites that improperly charge customers extra fees for online fishing and hunting license purchases and collect sensitive personal information as part of their unauthorized transactions.

California hunting and fishing licenses may properly be purchased in only one of four ways:

The ALDS, which is CDFW’s exclusive means of online license sales, was launched in 2011. ALDS can be accessed via CDFW’s website or by clicking the link that is frequently provided in official communications from the department. When making an online purchase, please check the URL of the site you are visiting to ensure you are on the official CDFW website (www.wildlife.ca.gov) or the ALDS website (www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales). These are the only CDFW-affiliated links for hunting and fishing license sales.

Customers should be aware that there are many unofficial websites that attempt to represent the CDFW and/or contain information about hunting and fishing licenses, and Internet search engines may not always list the official CDFW website as the top result.

Please be cautious when providing personal information to any website. While authorized purchases made through independent license sales agents and ALDS are subject to an additional 5 percent handling fee, the fraudulent sales websites offer products for sale with “shipping and handling fees” that are much higher than 5 percent of the base purchase price. To date, it appears that the fraudulent activity has been limited to charging customers unauthorized fees. Licenses that have been mailed to customers after unauthorized transactions may be valid; however, CDFW cannot guarantee that this is or will be true in all cases.

If you believe you may have been defrauded by an unauthorized website or would like to check the validity of a previous purchase, please provide us with information about your experience at ReportFraud@wildlife.ca.gov.

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

More Information:
Frequently Asked Questions

 

CDFW to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Dungeness Crab Trap Gear Retrieval Program

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is developing regulations to implement a retrieval program for lost or abandoned commercial Dungeness crab gear. A public hearing will be held at 10 a.m. on June 25, 2019 at the CDFW Monterey Office at 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Monterey, Calif.

At the initial public hearing in Santa Rosa on April 2, CDFW proposed modifications to the program. A supplemental public comment period began May 10 and will run through June 24, 2019.

Under existing law (Fish and Game Code Section 8276(d)), all commercial Dungeness crab traps must be removed from the water by 11:59 p.m. on the last day of the commercial Dungeness crab season. Under the proposed program, qualified entities (Retrieval Permittees) and their designated agents can retrieve lost or abandoned commercial Dungeness crab gear remaining in the water after the close of the season. Retrieval Permittees must contact the Dungeness crab vessel permitholder and offer to return the gear in exchange for reasonable compensation. If reasonable compensation is not provided, CDFW will reimburse the Retrieval Permittee and levy fees against the vessel permitholder. The program is expected to reduce the amount of lost or abandoned commercial trap gear in ocean waters, which pose entanglement risk to marine life and navigational hazards to other boaters.

Interested individuals are encouraged to review the proposed regulations (www.wildlife.ca.gov/Notices/Regulations/Gear-Retrieval-Program) and to submit written comments prior to the close of the supplemental public comment period (5 p.m. on June 24) or give oral comments at the public hearing on June 25, 2019.

Media Contacts:
Morgan Ivens-Duran, CDFW Marine Region, (831) 649-2811
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

Bear Responsible for Sierra Madre Incident, and Cub, to be Released to the Wild

The adult black bear that scratched a man on his Sierra Madre property on June 10 was protecting her cub and not acting abnormally aggressive, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) investigation has concluded. CDFW is in the process of releasing both the bear and cub back to suitable habitat near the location where they were captured.

The sow strayed onto the man’s property, where the adult bear was challenged by the man’s dog. The sow had a cub nearby. The dog reportedly engaged in a physical confrontation with the sow prompting the man to run into the fray to save his dog. He kicked the sow, which prompted it to scratch him. CDFW biologists concluded the bear acted in defense of itself and its cub, which constitutes normal behavior. The man successfully saved the dog and called 911. The injuries to the man and his dog were not serious and both are expected to fully recover.

A wildlife officer responded to the scene and tranquilized both bears after the man identified them as the ones involved in the incident. Officers collected DNA evidence samples from the man and the sow and sent them to the CDFW Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Sacramento for analysis. Forensics scientists compared the DNA profile of the captured adult bear to those of evidence taken from the man to conclude with a very high level of confidence that the captured bear was the one involved in the incident.

Forensics scientists also compared the bear’s DNA to the DNA evidence collected from a bear attack reported on April 25, also in Sierra Madre. The evidence showed that it was not the same bear.

CDFW reminds Californians that much of the state is bear country, even Los Angeles County, one of the most populated counties in the United States. CDFW encourages the citizens of Sierra Madre and anyone living in and around bear habitat to review tips on how to better coexist with bears and other wildlife at KeepMeWild.org. CDFW also recently published seven things to know about California bear activity right now.

CDFW will share photos of the release on social media when available.

Media Contacts:
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

North State Trout Stocking Schedule Changed to Reduce Potential Impacts to Cascades Frog

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced changes to the summer trout stocking schedule in backcountry waters in its Northern Region as a result of the candidacy of the Cascades Frog (Rana cascadae) for listing as an endangered or threatened species.

The Cascades Frog is found in a variety of habitats such as large lakes, ponds, wet meadows and streams at mid- to high-elevation ranges from the Klamath-Trinity region, along the Cascades Range axis in the vicinity of Mount Shasta, southward to the headwater tributaries of the Feather River.

In 2017, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to approve the candidacy of the Cascades Frog for potential listing under the California Endangered Species Act. During the candidacy review process, CDFW is obligated to protect the species from take, including protection from introduced fish in its native habitats, one of a number of threats to its survival in California.

Consequently, 41 backcountry locations primarily in Siskiyou and Trinity counties now known to support Cascades Frogs will not be stocked with trout in 2019. An additional 19 locations will not be stocked until CDFW can conduct a visual inspection to determine the presence of frogs. If visual inspection detects the presence of Cascades Frog, no stocking will occur.

CDFW will continue to stock trout in 146 locations throughout its Northern Region, which encompasses Del Norte, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counites.

The 41 locations removed from CDFW’s 2019 trout stocking allocations are typically remote, backcountry waters that were planted annually with fingerling rainbow trout by airplane, horses or mules. These waters historically were devoid of trout before humans introduced them.

Not stocking these waters should not negatively affect fishing opportunities in the near future because it takes a substantial amount of time for the fingerlings to grow to catchable size. Most of these waters contain self-sustaining populations of trout that will be available for anglers to catch this year just as in previous years.

The trout originally allocated to these 41 locations will be stocked into other waters to improve angling opportunities. Many of the trout will remain in CDFW’s hatcheries to grow to catchable size for later stocking into more popular and accessible waters.

Check CDFW’s Fish Planting Schedule for the latest waters stocked with trout. CDFW also offers an online, map-based Fishing Guide and mobile app to inform fishing decisions.

The list of Northern Region waters that will not be stocked in 2019 include:

Siskiyou County

  • Aspen Lake
  • Big Blue Lake
  • Blueberry Lake
  • Buckhorn Lake
  • Burney Lake
  • Buzzard Lake
  • Chinquapin Lake
  • Clear Lake
  • Cliff Lake
  • Crater Lake (Big), China Mountain
  • Cuddihy Lake #1
  • Cuddihy Lake #3
  • Deep Lake
  • Dogwood Lake
  • Fisher Lake
  • Granite Lake (Blue)
  • High Lake
  • Hogan Lake
  • Lake of the Island
  • Lipstick Lake
  • Milne Lake
  • Rainy Lake
  • South Sugar Lake
  • Spirit Lake
  • Statue Lake
  • Summit Lake
  • Syphon Lake
  • Wicks Lake
  • Wooley Lake
  • Wright Lake (Lower)

Trinity County

  • Big Bear Lake
  • Deer Lake
  • Diamond Lake
  • Emerald Lake
  • Granite Lake
  • Horseshoe Lake
  • Little Boulder Lake
  • Luella Lake
  • Ward Lake

Media Contacts:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Andrew Jensen, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2378

 

 

 

Seven Things to Know About California Bear Activity Right Now

Reports of wayward black bears are keeping the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) biologists, wildlife officers and other public safety personnel busy across the state this month. Numerous bears have recently been spotted in urban areas, occasionally requiring human intervention to return them back to wild habitat.

Below are some of the most common questions CDFW has received from the public and members of the media regarding these incidents.

(1) Has there been an increase in the number of bears entering residential areas?

There is a definite uptick in bear activity, which occurs every year around this time, all across the state. In most instances, we’re witnessing the dispersal of young male black bears. Young bears typically spend about two years with their mother, after which the mother chases off her young male offspring in the spring to fend for themselves. The behavior itself is not unusual for the time of year.

Nature provides these youngsters with the best chance of survival as they are turned out on their own at a time of year when food and water resources on the landscape are the most available and plentiful.

Black bears typically prefer remote, mountainous areas far away from people. Still, these young, dispersing male bears are learning to survive on their own for the first time and are out seeking new territory to call their own. They sometimes take a wrong turn or end up somewhere they are not supposed to be – in a residential neighborhood or in the middle of town, for instance – at which point CDFW and emergency responders will help return these animals to wild habitat if they can’t make it out on their own.

(2) The bear removed from a tree in downtown Napa last week was an adult weighing more than 200 pounds. What was that bear doing?

California’s black bears of all ages are waking up hungry from their winter downtime and are out actively searching for food. Adult bears may also be out searching for mates. There is more bear activity across the state this time of year and sometimes the adults end up in the wrong place, too.

The Napa bear stuck up a tree in the middle of the city was there because it was where it felt safest after being scared by its surroundings. The bear might have waited out the day and left undetected at night on its own except that it had been spotted and a large crowd had gathered under the tree. Fortunately, CDFW with help from the local fire department was able to tranquilize the bear, safely remove it from the tree, provide a quick health check, and release it to wild habitat once the tranquilizer drugs had worn off.

Even when bears are spotted in populated and residential communities, the bears will typically and happily find their way back to wild habitat on their own without any kind of assistance. Only when a bear becomes stuck in a situation where it can’t escape or is in danger of harming itself or others will CDFW typically intervene to remove the bear and safely return it to wild habitat.

(3) I saw on the news reports about bears in Vacaville and Rohnert Park. Are there really bears in the San Francisco Bay Area?

There are hundreds of thousands of acres of wild habitat in nearby Lake, Solano, Colusa, Sonoma and Napa counties where bears are present. The Knoxville Wildlife Area in Napa County, the lands around Lake Berryessa and the Cache Creek area provide wild habitat for bears and other wildlife. These rugged areas, however, are not that far from population centers in the greater Bay Area where dispersing and foraging bears could accidentally end up.

In some unfortunate cases throughout the state, black bears are being struck and hit by vehicles on the roadways. Drivers need to be particularly alert this time of year as wildlife of all kinds – bears, bobcats, deer, coyotes, foxes, among them – are on the move, out and about, and more active and visible than usual.

(4) Are these bears a public safety threat or a threat to my pets?

Black bears very rarely pose any kind of public safety threat and are not often a threat to domestic dogs and cats. For the most part, they do their very best to stay as far away from people as possible.

 (5) What kind of bears are these?

California is home only to one species of bear – the black bear. Black bears, however, come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, blond and cinnamon.

(6) How can I help the bears?

Bears have a highly specialized sense of smell. The public can help bears stay out of human settlements and stick to their natural diet by properly disposing of leftover food and garbage and securing other attractants such as pet food so these dispersing bears don’t become acclimated to urban environments. CDFW’s Keep Me Wild: Black Bear webpage offers a number of other useful tips to keep the bears wild and safe.

(7) Who should I call to report a bear?

A black bear spotted while out hiking, camping or recreating in wild habitat is not necessarily a cause for alarm. Bears spotted in residential, suburban or urban areas should be reported to the nearest CDFW regional office during normal business hours. After-hours or weekend sightings should be reported first to local police or sheriff officers, who often can respond and secure a scene quickly and then contact CDFW as needed. In any kind of emergency situation, please call 911.