Category Archives: waterfowl

CDFW Now Accepting Proposals for Ecosystem Restoration and Protection Projects

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting proposals for ecosystem restoration and protection projects under its 2019 Proposal Solicitation Notice. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-2020, a total of $53 million will be made available for these grants, which are funded through Propositions 1 and 68.

Funding will be allocated according to a diverse set of priorities for projects statewide, including:

  • $24 million for the Proposition 1 Watershed Restoration Grant Program;
  • $7 million for the Proposition 1 Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program;
  • $4.4 million for Proposition 68 Rivers and Streams Restoration Grants;
  • $8.8 million for Proposition 68 Southern California Steelhead Grants; and
  • $8.8 million for Proposition 68 Habitat Improvement Grants.

This is the fifth of 10 planned solicitations under CDFW’s Proposition 1 Grant Programs and the first under Proposition 68.

“As we reach the halfway point in funding projects through Prop. 1, we are excited to stand up new programs under Prop. 68 and extend our reach to more areas of critical need,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “With these grant programs, we can sustain ongoing efforts while jump-starting new ones.”

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 at 4 p.m. Proposals must be submitted online at https://watershedgrants.wildlife.ca.gov.

The solicitation, application instructions and other information about the grant programs are available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/watersheds/restoration-grants.

Approved projects will contribute to the objectives of California Water Action Plan and State Wildlife Action Plan, the Delta Plan, California EcoRestore and the fulfillment of CDFW’s mission.

Approved by California voters in November 2014, Proposition 1 provides funds to implement the three broad objectives of the California Water Action Plan: establishing more reliable water supplies, restoring important species and habitat and creating a more resilient, sustainably managed water resources system (water supply, water quality, flood protection and environment) that can better withstand inevitable and unforeseen pressures in the coming decades.

The California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68), approved by California voters in June 2018, provides funds projects that improve a community’s ability to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change; improve and protect coastal and rural economies, agricultural viability, wildlife corridors, or habitat; develop future recreational opportunities; or enhance drought tolerance, landscape resilience and water retention.

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

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

Conditions at Imperial Wildlife Area, Wister Unit, May Impact Hunting Opportunities for Waterfowl Opener

Due to recent natural events, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Imperial Wildlife Area, Wister Unit, has recently experienced water-delivery delays that have resulted in the wildlife area receiving less than the amount of water needed to fully flood the waterfowl area.

This may result in fewer hunt sites than normal being available for the waterfowl opener scheduled Saturday, Oct. 20. CDFW estimates 10 to 20 blinds out of 100 blinds onsite may be unavailable.

An active mud pot, a natural geothermal event, recently caused water-delivery delays and then recent severe thunderstorms affected the wildlife area in Imperial County and surrounding areas, causing widespread flooding and closures to Highway 111 and other surrounding areas. The flooding damaged Imperial Irrigation District water-delivery canals and ditches, as well as some roads at the wildlife area. CDFW has been informed that the District has started repairs to its system but there is no timeline on when the work will be completed.

The Wister Unit will likely be less than completely flooded on the waterfowl opener. For more information on conditions, please contact Rick Francis at (760) 359-0577.

Media Contacts:
Scott Sewell, CDFW Inland Desert Region, (760) 359-0577
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

California Fish and Game Commission Meets in Fresno

At its October 2018 meeting in Fresno yesterday, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from the meeting.

The Commission voted unanimously to adopt the vision statement for co-management among the Commission, California tribes and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The vision statement was a recommendation forwarded to the Commission from the Tribal Committee, which met Tuesday.

In partnership with the California Waterfowl Association, the Commission also recognized six newly inducted members of the California Waterfowler’s Hall of Fame: Dr. Mickey E. Heitmeyer, Jeff Kerry, Peter Ottesen, Thomas Quinn, Mark Gregory Steidlmayer and Peter Stent. Former executive director of the Commission, John Carlson, Jr. who is currently the president of the California Waterfowl Association, made the presentation.

The Commission approved a 90-day extension of the emergency regulations for recreational take of purple sea urchin that increased the bag limit from 35 individuals to 20 gallons in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

The Commission also authorized publication of a notice of intent to amend regulations for recreational take of purple sea urchin under a regular rulemaking, to increase bag limits to 40 gallons in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, and also to potentially apply these regulations in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. The Commission will take action on this proposal at its February meeting in Sacramento.

The Commission took action to adopt regulations to limit incidental take of crabs other than the genus cancer. The action will subject box and king crabs to a 25 lb. possession and landing limit, and sheep crab to a 95,000 lb. annual total allowable catch.

In support of a collaboration among CDFW, the California Ocean Protection Council, and academic partners, the Commission adopted a marine protected area monitoring action plan that, for the first time, provides a statewide approach to monitoring California’s marine protected area network. The action plan incorporates novel scientific approaches and offers important prioritization of long-term monitoring and evaluation metrics.

Commission President Eric Sklar, Commission Vice President Anthony Williams and Commissioners Jacque Hostler-Carmesin and Peter Silva were present. Commissioner Russell Burns was absent.

The full Commission video and audio minutes, supporting information and a schedule of upcoming meetings are available at www.fgc.ca.gov. An archived video will also be available in coming days.

The California Fish and Game Commission was the first wildlife conservation agency in the United States, predating even the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. There is often confusion about the distinction between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Commission. In the most basic terms, CDFW implements and enforces the regulations set by the Commission, as well as provides biological data and expertise to inform the Commission’s decision-making process.

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

Eden Landing Ecological Reserve Announces Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering waterfowl hunting opportunities at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (ELER) in Hayward during the 2018-19 season.

The reserve includes former commercial salt ponds now managed by CDFW as low-salinity water bird habitat and areas restored to full tidal action. Access to ELER for waterfowl hunting will be open for 100 hunters on a first-come, first-served basis for each hunt only on the dates listed below.

Eden Landing waterfowl hunts are unique in that there are no fees charged and hunting is offered on some Tuesday and Thursday dates when many other public waterfowl hunting areas are closed.

2018 Hunt Dates (Check-in at 5 a.m. on each of the following dates)

  • Saturday, Nov. 17
  • Tuesday, Nov. 20
  • Saturday, Dec. 1
  • Thursday, Dec. 6
  • Saturday, Dec. 15
  • Thursday, Dec. 20

2019 Hunt Dates (Check-in at 5:30 a.m. on each of the following dates)

  • Saturday, Jan. 5
  • Thursday, Jan. 10
  • Saturday, Jan. 19
  • Thursday, Jan. 24

All adult hunters must possess a valid California Hunting License, federal duck stamp, state duck and HIP validations. Hunters younger than 18 must have a junior hunting license and, if 16 or older, must also possess a federal duck stamp. Junior hunting license holders must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older (hunter or non-hunter).

Vehicles may only drive on designated levees, must use approved parking areas and are allowed only on the hunt dates specified above. To participate, hunters must check in with CDFW staff and provide the above licenses, stamps and validations. Hunters will also be required to check out upon leaving and allow inspection of game to evaluate hunter success and collect harvest data.

Improvements have been made to ELER, including a boat launch on Mount Eden Creek allowing access to tidal areas on specified hunt days. Boaters are advised to consult local tide charts before launching and should be aware that extensive mud flats may be exposed and even shallow draft vessels can be subject to hidden underwater hazards during low tides, including riprap at the launch.

There is a 25-shell limit in the field. Nonlead ammunition is required for hunting waterfowl and when hunting on all state wildlife areas and ecological reserves.

A small boat, canoe or other floatation device is highly recommended to access ponds and blinds, navigable sloughs, and for game retrieval. A hunting dog is also recommended for retrieving birds. Be aware that water depths can be shallow and pond bottoms are soft. Hunters may request additional information, including area rules, regulations and maps at the time of check-in. Hunters are responsible for avoiding closed areas.

To get to ELER from Interstate 880, exit at Alvarado Boulevard, continue west on Alvarado Boulevard, turn right onto Union City Boulevard, left onto Bettencourt Road (sign for Union Sanitary District), left on Whipple Road, right on Horner Street, then right on Veasy Street. Enter at the yellow gate to the check station.

Formal plans for public access opportunities at the reserve in addition to hunting are being developed as part of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project. More information is available at www.southbayrestoration.org.

 Media Contacts:
John Krause, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (415) 454-8050
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

CDFW Offering Free Tundra Swan Tours This Fall and Winter

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will offer free swan tours near Marysville on Saturdays beginning in November and extending 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. Ducks, geese, ibis, shorebirds, herons, egrets and raptors are also commonly seen in this area, which contains 23,000 acres of rice fields.

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. The tours are part of CDFW’s wildlife viewing services program, which includes outdoors opportunities at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Isenberg Crane Reserve and North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve.

For more information, please call (916) 358-2869 or email interpretiveservices@wildlife.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:
Bruce Forman, CDFW North Central Region, (916) 358-2353
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958