Two men with ocean salmon catch

CDFW to Host 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. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Blvd. in Santa Rosa.

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

The 2020 Salmon Information Meeting marks the beginning of a two-month long public process used to develop annual sport and commercial ocean salmon fishing recommendations. The process involves collaborative negotiations with west coast states, federal and tribal agencies, 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 3-9 PFMC meeting in Rohnert Park. The PFMC will finalize the recommended season dates at its April 4-10 meeting in Vancouver, Wash.

A list of additional meetings and other opportunities for public engagement in the season-setting process is available on CDFW’s ocean salmon web page, wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon/preseason.

The meeting agenda and handouts, including presentations, will be posted online as soon as they become available.

Persons with disabilities needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the public meetings or other CDFW activities are invited to contact the Accessibility Coordinator at (916) 653-9089 or send an email request to eeo@wildlife.ca.gov.

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Media Contacts:
Pete McHugh, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 576-2870

Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8933

juvenile coho salmon

Nominations Now Being Accepted for Fisheries Restoration Grant Program Peer Review Committee

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP) is seeking nominations to fill two vacancies on the FRGP Peer Review Committee (PRC). The current vacancies include one seat for a representative  of the public water agency industry and one seat for an academic or research scientist.

Pursuant to the Public Resources Code, section 6217.1, the 14 representatives of the PRC are appointed by the director of CDFW to provide advice, oversight and recommendations for grant funding under the FRGP.

Seven of the PRC’s 14 representatives are recommended by the California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead Trout. Three representatives are County Supervisors from coastal counties recommended by California State Association of Counties.

The remaining four PRC seats represent the following interests: one representative from the agriculture industry, one representative from the timber industry, one representative of public water agency interests and one academic or research scientist with expertise in anadromous fisheries restoration.

All representatives must reside in or represent interests in coastal and Central Valley counties in which native salmon and steelhead exist.

CDFW will accept nominations from the general public for the public water agency industry and academic or research scientist representatives through Jan. 29, 2020. The appointed representatives serve four-year terms, and these appointments extend until January 2024, starting no sooner than the PRC meeting to be held in the winter of 2020.

To nominate a representative for any of the above open seats, please send a nomination letter to:

Timothy Chorey, FRGP Coordinator
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Watershed Restoration Grants Branch
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
frgp@wildlife.ca.gov

Nomination letters must include the resume of the candidate and verification that they represent coastal or Central Valley counties in which salmon and steelhead exist. For more information, please contact Timothy Chorey at (916) 327-8842 or frgp@wildlife.ca,gov.

Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grant Branch, (916) 445-1285

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

Invasive Snails Found in Santa Ana River and Bear Creek

Anglers, Residents and Visitors Urged to Help Prevent Further Spread

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has confirmed the presence of New Zealand mudsnail (NZMS) within San Bernardino County. The invasive snails were found in both the Santa Ana River and designated wild trout stream of Bear Creek within the greater Santa Ana River Watershed.

Despite their small size, NZMS is a highly problematic aquatic species. At only 4 to 6 millimeters in length on average, dense populations of NZMS can displace and outcompete native species, sometimes by consuming up to half the food resources in a waterway that native insects and fishes would eat. The snails have been linked to reducing populations of aquatic insects, including mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, chironomids and other insect groups upon which trout and other organisms depend.

CDFW urges anglers, boaters, visitors and locals to “clean, drain and dry” all recreational items and fishing gear, which generally means anything that has gotten wet. It is important to leave any stream water, debris and organic plant matter at a recreational site in order to prevent the further spread of the snails. Once NZMS is established in a new habitat, it is impossible to eradicate it without damaging other components of the ecosystem. Boaters, anglers and others who may visit any body of water, within or outside of infested areas, are asked to decontaminate their equipment and follow the “clean, drain and dry” best practices for all equipment and clothing used in a waterway:

  • If you wade, freeze waders, wading boots and other gear overnight (at least six hours, though 24 hours is recommended).
  • After leaving the water, inspect waders, boots, float tubes, paddleboards, kayaks or any gear used in the water. Leave all water and debris at the site that you exited.
  • Additionally, remove any visible snails with a stiff brush, clean off soils and organic material, and follow this by rinsing at the site, preferably with high-pressure hot water.
  • It is critical to completely dry out gear for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Never transport live fish or other aquatic plants or animals from one body of water to another.
  • An informational flier on the “clean, drain and dry” directive is available for download on CDFW’s website.

The Santa Ana River is the largest river completely in Southern California. Its flow begins in the San Bernardino mountains and concludes at the ocean in Huntington Beach. Bear Creek begins at Big Bear Lake and connects with the Santa Ana River in the mountains. The Santa Ana River watershed has a drainage basin size of 2,650 square miles, is home to 4.5 million people, and is popular among recreationalists and fishermen.

To date, NZMS has been identified in over 17 bodies of waters in the coastal Southern California counties of Ventura, Los Angeles, and Orange, including Lower Santa Ana River. NZMS-positive lakes and streams in the Eastern Sierra are in Inyo and Mono counties – Diaz Lake (Inyo), Pleasant Valley Reservoir (Inyo), Tinnemaha Reservoir (Inyo), Lone Pine Creek (Inyo), Lower Bishop Creek (Inyo), Bishop Creek (Inyo), Bishop Creek Canal (Inyo) and Los Angeles Aqueduct (Inyo); Owens River (Mono and Inyo); Upper Owens River (Mono), Hot Creek (Mono), Rush Creek below Grant Lake Dam (Mono) and Crowley Lake (Mono).

CDFW has launched public outreach and education efforts to discuss NZMS in San Bernardino County with local water districts, federal and state agencies, non-profit fisheries partners and fly fishing clubs. Greater outreach efforts will occur in the next few months and into the spring, including posting NZMS signage at Bear Creek angler survey boxes and at other water access points along the Santa Ana River.

For more information on NZMS , please visit the Invasive Species page on CDFW’s website. The U.S. Geological Survey’s website also features an interactive map showing the current distribution of NZMS  in California and throughout the U.S.

Media Contacts:
Jennifer E. Hemmert, CDFW Inland Deserts Region, (951) 634-8793
Tim Daly, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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Little North Fork of the Navarro River, Mendocino County.

CDFW Awards $10.1 Million for Fisheries Habitat Restoration and Forest Legacy Projects

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 31 projects that will receive funding for the restoration, enhancement and protection of anadromous salmonid habitat in California watersheds, as well as forest legacy restoration.

The grants, which total $10.1 million, are distributed through CDFW’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP). They include $256,440 allocated for timber legacy restoration projects and approximately $9.8 million for anadromous salmonid restoration projects. FRGP monies come from a combination of state sources and the federal Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.

“We are excited to further the restoration of river ecosystems critical to California’s salmon and steelhead,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “Several of this year’s projects incorporate process-based restoration to address the root of ecological degradation and benefits all species using the waterway, including salmonids.”

In response to the 2019 Fisheries Habitat Restoration Grant Solicitation, CDFW received 70 proposals requesting more than $38 million in funding. All proposals underwent an initial administrative review. Those that passed were then evaluated through a technical review process that included reviews by CDFW and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists.

The 31 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 web page.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 445-1285
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Landscape photo of Childs Meadow.

CDFW Awards $11.35 Million for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Projects

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of seven projects to restore wetlands that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and provide other ecological co-benefits.

The awards, totaling $11.35 million, were made under CDFW’s 2019 Wetlands Restoration for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program Proposal Solicitation Notice. The seven projects will restore or enhance approximately 1,700 acres of wetlands and mountain meadows and sequester an estimated 67,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide (MTC02e).

The Wetlands Restoration for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program focuses on projects with measurable objectives that will lead to GHG reductions in wetlands and watersheds while providing co-benefits such as enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, protecting and improving water quality and quantity and helping California adapt to climate change. Wetlands have high carbon sequestration rates that can store carbon for decades.

“These projects will significantly benefit climate science and ecosystems representing the coast, the Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We are excited to continue the momentum to restore California’s wetlands while making a demonstrable impact to greenhouse gases.”

To improve efficiency and alignment with program priorities, a new two-phase application process involving a pre-application and final application was implemented for 2019 solicitation.

The following projects are approved for funding:

  • The Light-handed Meadow Restoration in Faith Valley and Log Meadow ($475,675 to American Rivers) will restore and protect 138 acres of mountain meadow at two high-priority sites, Faith Valley in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and Log Meadow in Sequoia National Park. The project will have an estimated GHG benefit of 7,644 MTCO2e.
  • The Hill Slough Restoration Project ($5,577,413 to Ducks Unlimited, Inc.) will restore 603 acres of managed seasonal wetland to tidal wetland and restore 46 acres of existing upland to tidal wetland in the Suisun Marsh. The project will have an estimated GHG benefit of 25,242 MTCO2e.
  • The City of Newman Inland Wetland Restoration Project ($610,000 to the City of Newman) will restore a 10-acre parcel of land owned by the City of Newman, Merced County. The project will provide multiple environmental, economic and public benefits and will have an estimated GHG benefit of 78 MTCO2e.
  • The White Slough Tidal Wetlands Restoration Project ($852,113 to the California State Coastal Conservancy) will restore 40 acres of coastal tidal wetlands on diked historic tidelands in the White Slough Unit of Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Humboldt County. The project will have an estimated GHG benefit of 17,073 MTCO2e.
  • The Upper Truckee River and Marsh Restoration Project ($895,000 to the California Tahoe Conservancy) will restore 13 acres of wetlands in the Upper Truckee River in El Dorado County by grading back to historic topography, removing invasive species and revegetation. The project will have an estimated GHG benefit of 6,545 MTCO2e.
  • The Lower Walnut Creek Restoration Project ($950,000 to Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District) will restore and enhance approximately 183 acres of tidal wetlands and tidal channel, 17 acres of non-tidal pickleweed marsh and 36 acres of adjacent lowland terrestrial ecotones, and create and enhance approximately 60 acres of uplands. The project will have an estimated GHG benefit of 5,690 MTCO2e.
  • The Ocean Ranch Restoration Project ($1,998,282 to the California State Coastal Conservancy) will restore the natural tidal prism and improve connectivity of tidal and freshwater habitats within 571 acres of Ocean Ranch in Humboldt County. The ORRP will have an estimated GHG benefit of 5,223 MTCO2e.

CDFW’s Wetlands Restoration for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program is part of California Climate Investments (CCI), a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities. The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. CCI projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. More information about the CDFW program can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/watersheds/greenhouse-gas-reduction.

For more information about cap-and-trade funding and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, please visit the CCI website at www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 445-1285
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988