March 2020 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, call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). 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. 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, visit wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/elkhorn-slough-er.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Turkey Hunting Opportunities. Spring turkey hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $11.88 non-refundable application fee is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

Various Days through March 7 — Spring Wild Turkey Special Hunts Application Period. The application period for Spring Wild Turkey Special Hunts is open until March 7, 2020. These hunts are specially managed hunting opportunities on private and public lands. For additional information and to apply, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds/hunts.

1 — California Invasive Species Action Week’s Youth Art Contest Opens. Youths in grades 2 to 12 can begin submitting entries for the California Invasive Species Action Week’s Youth Art Contest. This year’s theme is “Be a Habitat Hero.” Create an original piece showing the actions a “Habitat Hero” can take to protect your community by stopping the spread of invasive species. Examples include: a poster encouraging pet owners not to release pets; a public service announcement on a particular species; a video or brochure with instructions for cleaning your boats, boots or gear. Be creative! All types of media are welcome and encouraged: drawings, paintings, animations, comic strips, videos, public service announcements or campaign posters. Submissions must include a completed entry form and be received by May 1. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/cisaw.

1 — Rockfish Fishery Opens for Boat-based Anglers in the Southern Management Area, Point Conception to the Mexico border. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Regulations/Groundfish-Summary#south.

4 — Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot Speaker Series Event, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., “Stewarding the Sierra Nevada Amidst Climate Change,” Natural Resources Building Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). Join Secretary Crowfoot, scientists, business experts and community leaders to discuss how we can protect the well-being of the Sierra Nevada and all Californians who depend on its resources. The event will be live-streamed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/calwater.

4-8 — Fred Hall Show Long Beach, Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach (90802). Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors (62 and older), $15 for military (with valid ID) and free for youths 15 and younger with a paid adult. CDFW will have staff on hand to answer questions from the public. Anglers can also purchase their 2020 licenses, validations and report cards, as well as the 2020 Warden Stamp directly from CDFW staff. Warden stamps sales help fund CDFW’s K-9 program and support purchases of enforcement equipment. For more information, visit www.fredhall.com/long-beach.

5 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee, 1:30 p.m., Natural Resources Building, Redwood Room, 14th Floor, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). The meeting will discuss the 2020 Simplification of Statewide Inland Fishing Regulations proposal. For more information, visit fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2020.

7 & 14 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Teachers on the Reserve Workshop, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). The free one-day workshop, which is offered on two separate Saturdays, introduces teachers to the Elkhorn Slough Reserve and its education fieldtrip program. To register, visit www.elkhornslough.org/education-program/teacher-development. For more information, please contact Virginia Guhin at virginia.guhin@wildlife.ca.gov.

9 — California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group. The California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group will hold a public meeting to provide information about their assessment of marine life entanglement risk, including any Working Group recommendations to the CDFW Director regarding the March 15 risk determination. There will not be a designated opportunity for public comment during the meeting, however feedback can be shared directly with the department via email to whalesafefisheries@wildlife.ca.gov. An agenda will be posted on www.opc.ca.gov/whale-entanglement-working-group. For additional details about the meeting, contact info@cawhalegroup.com or ryan.bartling@wildlife.ca.gov.

13-15 — Central Valley Sportsmen’s Boat & RV Show, Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 South P St., Bakersfield (93307). General admission is $12 with a special $7 admission for seniors on Friday, March 13. Youths 12 and younger are free. CDFW will have staff on hand to answer questions from the public. Anglers can also purchase their 2020 licenses, validations and report cards, as well as the 2020 Warden Stamp directly from CDFW staff. Warden stamps sales help fund CDFW’s K-9 program and support purchases of enforcement equipment. For more information, visit calshows.com.

17 — California Fish and Game Commission Marine Resources Committee, time to be determined, Justice Joseph A. Rattigan Building, Conference Room 410 (4th Floor), 50 D St., Santa Rosa (95404). For more information, visit fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2020.

18 — California Fish and Game Commission Annual Tribal Planning Meeting, time to be determined, Justice Joseph A. Rattigan Building, Conference Room 410 (4th Floor), 50 D St., Santa Rosa (95404). For more information, visit fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2020.

18 — Last Day of California Spiny Lobster Recreational and Commercial Fishing Season, Statewide. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/invertebrates/lobster.

19 — Risk Assessment Mitigation Program and Conservation Plan Meeting, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Bay Model, 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito (94965). CDFW’s Marine Region will be hosting an informational session to update the public on the proposed Risk Assessment and Mitigation (RAMP) Regulations and Conservation Plan currently in development for the commercial Dungeness crab fishery. This meeting will provide an overview of the proposed regulatory changes to help minimize marine life entanglement in the commercial fishery. These regulations will also be the foundation of the Conservation Plan which is required to apply for an Incidental Take Permit under Section 10 of the federal Endangered Species Act. This Conservation Plan will address endangered species interactions in the commercial Dungeness crab fishery through the use of risk minimization measures. For additional information about CDFW’s efforts to minimize marine life entanglement, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/whale-safe-fisheries. For details about the meeting, contact ryan.bartling@wildlife.ca.gov.

21 — Nest Box Survey, Orientation at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). This free orientation meeting is required for participation in a season-long field study. Crews of two or three collect detailed data, used to understand and enhance the local wood duck population and other wildlife. Commitment varies, averaging four hours, twice a month, April through July. Participation is open to the public, ages 18 and over. Due to limited space, please make reservations early. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

21 — Additional Spring Wild Turkey Season Opens for Hunters with Junior Hunting Licenses (extending through March 22). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

23 — Lower American River Conservancy Program Advisory Committee Meeting, 10 a.m. to noon, Effie Yeaw Nature Center Assembly Building, 2850 San Lorenzo Way, Carmichael (95608). Parking fees apply. For more information, visit wcb.ca.gov/programs/lower-american-river.

25 — California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group. The California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group will hold a public meeting to provide information about their assessment of marine life entanglement risk, including any Working Group recommendations to the CDFW Director regarding the April 1 risk determination. There will not be a designated opportunity for public comment during the meeting, however feedback can be shared directly with the department via email to whalesafefisheries@wildlife.ca.gov. An agenda will be posted on www.opc.ca.gov/whale-entanglement-working-group. For additional details about the meeting, contact info@cawhalegroup.com or ryan.bartling@wildlife.ca.gov.

26 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m., “Taking photos of nature for science and conservation: utilizing technology to scale community-collected biodiversity data in California.” The Citizen Science program at the California Academy of Sciences engages tens of thousands of volunteers in California and beyond to document biodiversity, since understanding when and where species occur at scale can only be done through mobilizing people everywhere to make observations of their local nature. In this talk, Rebecca Johnson and Alison Young, Co-Directors of Citizen Science at the Academy, will highlight how they work with partners and communities to do this work and will discuss the resulting science, conservation and stewardship outcomes. Attendance is free. To register or learn more, visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.

26-29 — Fred Hall Show Del Mar, Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar (92014). Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (62 and older), $10 with military identification and free for youths 15 and younger with a paid adult. CDFW will have staff on hand to answer questions from the public. Anglers can also purchase their 2020 licenses, validations and report cards, as well as the 2020 Warden Stamp directly from CDFW staff. Warden stamps sales help fund CDFW’s K-9 program and support purchases of enforcement equipment. For more information, visit www.fredhall.com/san-diego.

28 — General Spring Wild Turkey Season Opens (extending through May 3). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

28 — 7th Annual Sycamore Island Fishing Derby, 7 to 11 a.m., with registration beginning at 6 a.m., Sycamore Island, 39664 Avenue 7-1/2, Madera, (93636). Co-sponsored by Central Sierra Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the San Joaquin River Parkway & Conservation Trust, the San Joaquin River Conservancy and CDFW. The Sycamore Island Fishing Derby is a celebration of the San Joaquin River’s diverse fishing and recreational opportunities. Prizes will be awarded at noon to first and second place for youth (15 years and under) and adults. There is no charge to enter the derby, but participants are required to pay the regular Sycamore Island day use fee of $9 per vehicle and $5 per trailered boat. For more information and online registration, visit www.riverparkway.org.

28-29 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Workshop, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). This free two-day field and classroom workshop for middle and high school teachers focuses on developing lessons on hydrology, meteorology and soil-data collection. To register, visit www.elkhornslough.org/education-program/teacher-development. For more information, please contact Virginia Guhin at virginia.guhin@wildlife.ca.gov.

###

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

Volunteers Needed for Bighorn Sheep Survey

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and Society for Conservation of Bighorn Sheep (SCBS) are seeking volunteers to assist biologists with a bighorn sheep count in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties on Feb. 29 and March 1 (Saturday evening and all day Sunday).

No survey experience is necessary to participate but volunteers must pre-register to attend an orientation on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 6 p.m. at the Angeles National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Arcadia. Space is limited and volunteer spots are likely to be reserved quickly.

Volunteers will hike to designated observation sites in the San Gabriel Mountains early Sunday morning to count and record bighorn sheep. Volunteer groups will be led by a representative from CDFW, USFS or SCBS. Participants must be at least 16 years old and capable of hiking one mile in rugged terrain, although most survey routes are longer. In general, hikes will not be along trails and accessing survey points will involve scrambling over boulders, climbing up steep slopes and/or bush-whacking through chaparral.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring binoculars or spotting scopes in addition to hiking gear. Mountain weather can be unpredictable, and participants should be prepared to spend several hours hiking and additional time making observations in cold and windy weather. Volunteers will need to start hiking early Sunday morning.

Surveys for bighorn sheep in the San Gabriel range have been conducted annually since 1979. The mountain range once held an estimated 740 sheep, which made the San Gabriel population the largest population of desert bighorn sheep in California. The bighorn population declined more than 80 percent through the 1980s but appears to be on the increase with recent estimates yielding approximately 400 animals.

Please sign up online at www.sangabrielbighorn.org. If you do not have access to the internet, you may call (562) 342-2105 and leave a callback number to register.

Media Contacts:

Tim Daly, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Zach Behrens, USFS Communications, (909) 382-2788

Sierra Nevada Bighorn at Pine Creek.

January 2020 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). 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. 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 — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, waterfowl, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. An $11.88 non-refundable application fee is 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 guided tours, which run October through February. 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. To register or for more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.

Saturdays — Swan Tours. CDFW will offer free swan tours near Marysville on Saturdays through 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. Tours will be held on Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. The driving tours also involve walking a short distance and carpooling is encouraged. Pre-registration is required at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/swan-tours and up to 30 people can register for each tour.  For more information, please call (916) 358-2869 or email interpretiveservices@wildlife.ca.gov.

Weekends — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948), 12:30 p.m. 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. No reservations are necessary for groups of fewer than 20 people. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and its associated fee-for-use requirement. For more information on the Lands Pass Program, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. For more information on the tours, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

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

11 — The Highs and Lows of Elkhorn Slough: King Tide Photography Tour, 9:30 a.m. to noon, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Participants can witness one of the highest tides of the year and help scientists document the “King Tide” phenomenon. Reserve naturalists discuss the impacts of sea level rise on the slough and its surrounding coastlines while touring designated “King Tide” sites. Participants should bring cameras to record the tides at each site. The event is free but registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/annual-king-tide-walk-2.

12 — Canada Goose Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

16 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee, time to be determined, Aquarium of the Pacific, Pacific Visions Conference Room, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA (90802). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2020/index.aspx.

17 — California Fish and Game Commission Tribal Committee, time and location to be determined, Los Angeles area. For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2020/index.aspx.

17 — Duck Season, White Geese and White-fronted Goose Season Closes in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

25 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Docent Training, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville, (95076). Participants will learn how to join the reserve’s volunteer docent team and aid in the conservation of coastal estuaries. Over a span of five Saturdays (beginning Jan. 25 and concluding on Feb. 22), participants will learn about local natural history while developing strategies for engaging the public. Docent-led tours are offered on weekends throughout the year. Scheduling is flexible and based on individual availability. For more information or to register for training, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/reserve-docent-training.

26 — Goose Season Closes in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

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

27 — Falconry Only Season Opens for Rabbits and Varying Hares (extending through March 15). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.

28 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, 10:30 a.m. to noon, “Wildfires and Water Quality.” Caltrans’ Lorna McFarlane will speak about Caltrans’ collaborative efforts to reduce the frequency and severity of catastrophic wildfires, as well as their negative effects on the landscape and surface water quality. Attendance is free. To register or learn more, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.

31 — Duck Season Closes in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

31 — Duck and Goose Season Closes in the Southern San Joaquin and Southern California Zones. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

31 — Deer Tag Reporting Deadline. Deer tag holders must submit a harvest report for any 2019 deer tag by the Jan. 31, 2020 deadline. All tag holders must report even if they did not hunt, or they hunted unsuccessfully. Tag holders who do not report by this deadline will be charged a $21.60 non-reporting penalty fee when purchasing a 2020 deer tag drawing application or deer tag. To report your harvest online, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/hunting#9941260-tag-reporting or call (916) 928-5805.

###

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

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

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.

###

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

 

 

Paiute Cutthroat Trout Reintroduced to Native Habitat in High Sierra Wilderness

California’s native Paiute cutthroat trout, the rarest trout in North America, swims once again in its high Sierra home waters for the first time in more than 100 years.

California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham and representatives from the USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Golden Gate Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Little Antelope Pack Station joined biologists to release 30 Paiute cutthroat trout of varying sizes into Silver King Creek in Alpine County, Calif., Sept. 18, 2019.

“You’ve got to celebrate good times. That’s what we’re doing here today,” said CDFW’s Bonham from the banks of Silver King Creek within the remote Carson-Iceberg Wilderness area of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. “If you forget to celebrate, you’re overlooking a remarkable success story – bringing these fish back home and celebrating a better California.”

Not since the early 1900s have genetically pure Paiute cutthroat trout occupied the 11-mile stretch of Silver King Creek between Llewellyn Falls and Snodgrass Creek that represents almost the entirety of the fish’s historic range.

“This is a lifetime achievement for those working to recover the rarest trout in North America,” said Lee Ann Carranza, acting field supervisor for the USFWS Reno office. “This remarkable partnership has allowed Paiute cutthroat trout to be returned to their entire native range without threat from non-natives.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Paiute cutthroat trout was one of the first animals in the nation listed as endangered in 1967 under the federal Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, now known as the Endangered Species Act. In 1975, the species was downlisted to federally threatened to allow for a special rule that would facilitate management of the species by the State of California.

A small native range, habitat degraded by historic sheep and cattle grazing, and competition from and hybridization with non-native trout introduced into Silver King Creek threatened the species with extinction.

Only a fortuitous turn of events saved the species from disappearing altogether. In the early 1900s, Basque sheepherders moved some of the fish outside of their native range, upstream of Llewellyn Falls. The waterfalls served as a barrier to the non-native trout below and safeguarded a genetically pure population of Paiute cutthroat trout above the falls, providing government agencies and advocates the chance to recover the species in the future.

Efforts to save and restore the species have spanned several decades and involved removing non-native fish and restocking Paiute cutthroat trout from source populations.  Recreational fishing was closed within the Silver King Creek drainage in 1934. Later, grazing allotments were administratively closed so habitat could be restored.

At one time, only two small tributaries above Llewellyn Falls held genetically pure Paiute cutthroat trout. CDFW, the Forest Service and USFWS transferred some of these fish to other fishless, protected streams within the Silver King Creek watershed as well as four watersheds outside of the basin to create additional refuge populations to stave off extinction.

The effort to reintroduce Paiute cutthroat trout back into their historic home – the 11-mile main reach of Silver King Creek – began in 1994 when CDFW biologists explored Silver King Canyon and identified a series of waterfalls that served as historic barriers to upstream fish migration, isolating the Paiute cutthroat trout. The barriers could once again insulate Paiute cutthroat trout from encroachment from non-native trout if the non-native trout in Silver King Creek could be removed.

Wildlife officials prevailed over a decade of legal challenges to treat Silver King Creek and its tributaries with rotenone, a natural fish poison, to eliminate non-native trout and prepare Silver King Creek for the eventual return of Paiute cutthroats.

Silver King Creek and its tributaries were chemically treated from 2013 to 2015. State and federal partners monitored the creek for three years following the treatment to make sure all non-native fish were removed. Wildfires, floods and drought over the decades further complicated recovery efforts.

“The commitment of Forest Service, CDFW, USFWS, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Trout Unlimited Golden Gate Chapter and Little Antelope Pack Station to move this project forward in the face of numerous challenges has been incredible,” said Bill Dunkelberger, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest supervisor. “A project of this magnitude that took over several decades could not have been completed without state, federal and other partners working tirelessly together.”

The fish reintroduced into Silver King Creek on the afternoon of Sept. 18 were collected that morning from a source population in Coyote Valley Creek about 2 miles away and transported by mules to the banks of Silver King Creek. The fish were deposited into buckets filled with water from Silver King Creek to acclimate for several minutes before being released among cheers and applause – and a few tears – by biologists and others, some of whom have spent decades working toward the historic homecoming.

Restoring Paiute cutthroat trout to their native Silver King Creek nearly doubles the amount of habitat available to the fish and is considered key to their long-term survival and potential delisting.

Monitoring of the reintroduced fish and additional restocking of Paiute cutthroat trout into Silver King Creek from other refuge populations is planned in future years to aid genetic diversity and introduce different age classes into the creek to help natural reproduction.

Photos and video of the Sept. 18 reintroduction are available here: ftp://ftp.wildlife.ca.gov/OCEO/Paiute%20Cutthroat%20Trout/