Category Archives: Wildlife

General Hunting Seasons for Bear, Elk and Bighorn Opening Soon

Big game hunters throughout California are eagerly anticipating the 2018 general hunting seasons. While deer are by far the most frequently hunted big game species in California, many hunters also enjoy fair chase of bear, elk and bighorn. Some of the seasons for these species are already underway, but the majority will open over the next month. The upcoming general season opening and closing dates vary by zone and can be found by following the links below.

Hunting for wild pigs is growing in popularity and can be done year-round. Most seasons for pronghorn, another California big game species, concluded in August.

Californians enjoy some of the widest ranges of habitat and hunting conditions in the nation. While California has its fair share of privately owned land, there are vast swaths of national forest, timber lands, state wildlife areas and other lands accessible to the public that provide excellent hunting opportunities. CDFW administers public hunts on private lands through its SHARE Program. Other opportunities for access to private lands are available through the Private Lands Management Program.

A valid California hunting license and appropriate tag(s) for each zone and/or species pursued must be obtained before entering the field. There are still many deer tags available for purchase. Hunting license and tags can be purchased online or through a CDFW office or license sales agent.

California hunters are required to complete a hunter education training course, pass a comprehensive equivalency test, or provide a valid hunter’s safety certificate before purchasing a hunting license for the first time in California. Each year approximately 30,000 students complete the state’s hunter education course.

Hunters always have the responsibility to be familiar with state game laws before entering the field. All regulations can be found online.

Given the exceptionally dry conditions this year, it is even more important that everyone does their part to prevent wildfires. One less spark means one less wildfire. Learn more here.

###

Media Contacts:
Brad Burkholder, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-1829
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

CDFW Awards $27.8 Million for Ecosystem and Watershed Restoration and Protection Projects Including Fire Recovery

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 24 projects to receive funding from its Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Prop. 1) Restoration Grant Programs.

The awards, totaling $27.8 million, were made under CDFW’s 2018 Prop. 1 Restoration Grant Programs Resiliency, Recovery and Response Proposal Solicitation Notice.

Of the $27.8 million, approximately $23.9 million was awarded through the Watershed Restoration Grant Program to projects of statewide importance outside of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and approximately $3.9 million awarded through the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program to projects that directly benefit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The awarded projects represent priorities outlined in the 2018 Solicitation, as well as the California Water Action Plan. The 2018 solicitation included a specific focus on large-scale wildfire response and Central Valley salmon resilience and recovery.

“CDFW has maintained an adaptive priority-setting approach each year under our Prop. 1 grant program, and we are pleased to fund a number of projects this year that support fire recovery as well as continuing restoration actions,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “We are proud to have funded over 100 on-the-ground projects in the four years since the implementation of Prop. 1. These are projects that will continue to deliver benefits to our fish and wildlife, and the habitats where they thrive.”

Projects approved for funding through the Watershed Restoration Grant Program include:

Implementation Projects 

  • Restoring Ecosystem Function in the Upper Salt River Watershed ($1,131,333 to Humboldt County Resource Conservation District
  • Upper Truckee River and Marsh Restoration Project ($1,700,066 to California Tahoe Conservancy)
  • Martis Wildlife Area Restoration Project ($3,280,656 to Truckee River Watershed Council)
  • El Capitan Creek Fish Passage Restoration Implementation ($1,179,473 to California Department of Parks and Recreation)
  • Rubber Dam No. 1 System Fish Passage Improvements Project ($5,000,0000 to Alameda County Water District)
  • East Creek Restoration Project ($316,803 to Plumas Corporation)
  • Reidy Creek Restoration and Beautification Project ($380,873 to The Escondido Creek Conservancy)
  • The Road to Recovery: Redwood Complex Fire Restoration – Implementation ($656,902 to Mendocino County)
  • Post Fire Forest Management and Sediment Reduction for Coho Recovery ($1,423,107 to Sonoma Resource Conservation District)
  • Grasslands Floodplain Restoration Implementation Project ($1,342,718 to American Rivers)
  • Robin’s Nest Fire Recovery and Habitat Restoration Project ($301,600 to Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority)
  • West Stanislaus Irrigation District Fish Screen Project ($2,250,000 to West Stanislaus Irrigation District)
  • San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Removal and Tidal Marsh Restoration Project, Phase II ($2,200,000 to California State Coastal Conservancy)
  • Multi-benefit Floodplain Restoration at Dos Rios Ranch and Steenstrup Slough ($1,588,911 to River Partners)

Planning Projects 

  • San Ysidro Creek Debris Basin Capacity Improvement Project ($139,744 to Santa Barbara County Flood Control and Water Conservation District)
  • Cold Springs Debris Basin Capacity Improvement Project ($139,744 to Santa Barbara County Flood Control & Water Conservation District)
  • Romero Creek Debris Basin Capacity Improvement Project ($139,744 to Santa Barbara County Flood Control and Water Conservation District)
  • Mapping, Assessment and Planning for Recovery and Resiliency in Fire-Damaged Watersheds in the Thomas Fire and Whittier Fire Recovery Zones ($382,223 to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden)
  • The Road to Recovery: Redwood Complex Fire Restoration – Planning ($88,382 to Mendocino County)
  • Dos Pueblos Creek Restoration Designs ($222,104 to Earth Island Institute)

Projects approved for funding through the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program include: 

Scientific Studies

  • Eyes and Ears: Using Lens and Otolith Isotopes to Quantify Critical Rearing Habitats for Salmon Viability ($838,279 to University of California, Davis)
  • Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Freshwater and Estuarine Invertebrates: Implications for Managed Species, Their Communities, and Human Health Risks ($612,115 to Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board)
  • Pathogen Screening and Health Status of Outmigrating Chinook Salmon in the California Delta ($733,884 to University of California, Davis)
  • High Resolution Temporal and Spatial Mapping of Mercury in Surface Waters of the San Francisco Bay Delta ($1,708,808 to University of California, Merced)

General information about CDFW’s Prop. 1 Restoration Grant Programs, as well as a schedule of locations and dates for workshops, once available, can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/grants.

Funding for these projects comes from Prop. 1 bond funds, a portion of which are allocated annually through the California State Budget Act. More information about Prop. 1 is on the California Natural Resources Agency website.

# # #

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

Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

Registration Now Open for Fall Sandhill Crane Tours in San Joaquin County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting online reservations for docent-led tours of sandhill cranes and their wetland habitat at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, just west of Lodi in San Joaquin County.

The late-afternoon tours run from Oct. 6 through February 2019. They are offered the first, second and third Saturdays and Sundays of each month for the five-month duration of the cranes’ fall-winter stay. Online registration is required and is available as early as eight weeks prior to tour dates.

Registration began in mid-August for October tour dates. November tour dates will become available starting Sept. 15. Registration and additional information is available at the CDFW Bay Delta Region’s Sandhill Crane Wetland Tour page. Please note that purchase of a one-day Lands Pass for a nominal fee is required with registration.

“We are very pleased to offer public tours at the reserve and to showcase the benefits of the restored wetlands,” said CDFW Bay Delta Region Manager Gregg Erickson. “These natural resources belong to everyone. All of us have a part in taking care of them as well as enjoying them.”

The Woodbridge Ecological Reserve is accessible at any time for self-guided tours. A series of informative, interpretive panels are located at the reserve’s southern unit at 11154 W. Woodbridge Road, Lodi, CA  95242. Staying through sunset is recommended to witness the sights and sounds of “fly-over” as groups of sandhill cranes return to roosting spots for the evening.

CDFW is also proud to co-sponsor the Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival scheduled for Nov. 2-4. Information about festival tours and activities is available at www.cranefestival.com/index.php.

Media Contacts:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
David Moore, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 766-8380

September 2018 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

DATE — EVENT

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, 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 on-site). 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. In September, general bear season will open with general deer season in the following zones: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, all C zones, D3-10 zones, X8, X9a, X9b, X10 and X12. Current bear hunting regulations can be viewed at www.eregulations.com/california/hunting/big-game/bear-hunting/. 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. A $10.75 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) 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 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.

1 — Mourning Dove and White-winged Dove Season Opens Statewide. The first half of the split season opens, extending through Sept. 15. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

3  Last Day of Recreational Ocean Salmon Season from the California/Oregon Border to Horse Mountain. Recreational ocean salmon fishing remains open between Horse Mountain and Pigeon Point. 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. 

8 — Sooty (Blue) and Ruffed Grouse General Season Opens. Season extends through Oct. 8. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds#225035-regulations. 

8 — White-tailed Ptarmigan General and Archery Season Opens Statewide. White-tailed ptarmigan general and archery season opens statewide Sept. 8 and extends through Sept. 16. For more information, pleasevisit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds#225035-regulations.

8 —Tree Squirrel General Season Opens. Season extends through Jan. 27, 2019. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.

8 — Mountain Quail Season Opens in Zone Q1. Season extends through Oct. 19. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds#225035-regulations.

14 — Feather River Fish Hatchery Ladder Opening, 5 Table Mountain Blvd., Oroville (95965). The ladder will open and salmon spawning will begin the following week and continue through approximately mid-November. The hatchery is open from sunrise to sunset. For more information, please call (530) 538-2222 or visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries/feather-river.

15 — Coastal Cleanup Day 2018, 9 a.m. to noon, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Volunteers will remove trash from the road bordering the reserve to keep the habitat clean and safe. Elkhorn Slough Reserve will provide materials and refreshments. All ages are welcome but those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, please contact Ariel Hunter at ariel@elkhornslough.org.

15 — General Deer Season Opens. General deer season opens in the general zones D6-7, the restricted zones B1-B3 and B5-B6, and the premium zones C1-C4, X9a, X9b and X12. Hunters should check for area closures and restrictions before heading to their destination. Information on closures is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/area-alerts. Tag reporting is required as the reports are vital to estimating populations and tag quotas. Please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin for information on reporting. Tag holders may also submit reports by mail to CDFW Wildlife Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94299-0002. For general information on deer zones, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer#54774-zones–hunts.

15 — Band-tailed Pigeon Season in the North Zone Opens. Season extends through Sept. 23. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds#225035-regulations.

20 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee Meeting, time to be determined, Resources Building, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2018/index.aspx.

22 — 24th Annual Oroville Salmon Festival, Feather River Fish Hatchery,5 Table Mountain Blvd., Oroville (95965), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and in downtown Oroville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature tours to view salmon spawning, informational booths, educational displays and vendor booths. For more information, please visit www.salmonfestoroville.org.

22 — General Deer Season Opens. General deer season opens in the general zones D3-5, D8 and D10, and the premium zones D9, and X8. Hunters should check for area closures and restrictions before heading out to their hunting destination. Information on closures is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/area-alerts. Tag reporting is required as the reports are vital to estimating populations and tag quotas. Please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin for information on reporting. Tag holders may also submit reports by mail at CDFW Wildlife Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94299-0002. For general information on deer zones, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer#54774-zones–hunts.

22 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Open House, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Activities include guided walking tours and an opportunity to meet scientists. The annual event is free to the public. For more information, please contact Virginia Guhin at (831) 728-2822 or visit www.elkhornslough.org.

22-23 — Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days for Northeastern California Zone. In order to participate, hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 years of age or older. People should contact the wildlife area or national wildlife refuge they wish to hunt for details. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

25 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, 1 to 3 p.m., Natural Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). Mark Tukman presents “A Living Map for a Changing Landscape — fine-scale vegetation and habitat mapping in Sonoma County. A recently completed fine-scale vegetation map for Sonoma County that highlights recent ad­vances in landscape and habitat assessment will be discussed. The map has many users, including the conservation community, water managers and planners. Attendance is free. To register and for more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.

29 — California Spiny Lobster Recreational Fishing Season Opens Statewide. For more information on regulations associated with the new California Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/new-lobster-fishing-regs. For general information regarding lobster and lobster management, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/invertebrates/lobster.

29 — General Deer Season Opens. General deer season opens in premium zone X10. Hunters should check for area closures and restrictions before heading to their hunting destination. Information on closures is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/area-alerts. Tag reporting is required as the reports are vital to estimating populations and tag quotas. Please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin for information on reporting. Tag holders may also submit reports by mail to CDFW Wildlife Branch, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94299-0002. For general information on deer zones, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer#54774-zones–hunts.

29 — Early Season for Large Canada Geese in the Balance of State Zone. Season extends through Oct. 3. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

29 — Quail Season Opens in Zone Q2 (all quail).  Season extends through Jan. 27, 2019. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds#225035-regulations.

Media Contact:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

CDFW Seeks Applicants for Natural Resource Volunteer Program in Redding Area

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is currently seeking applicants for its Natural Resource Volunteer Program (NRVP) in the Redding area.

Motivated individuals able to convey conservation principles to the public are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be confident and capable of speaking with the public both one-on-one and in group settings. They must also be able to work independently and as a team member to complete tasks. Assignments will be in field, office and classroom environments.

“Our volunteers provide invaluable support to numerous CDFW staff, including biologists, wildlife officers and administrative employees,” said NRVP Coordinator Lt. Liz Gregory. “These are non-sworn, volunteer positons, without law enforcement authority, but their contributions to our daily workload are meaningful and help keep our operations running smoothly.”

NRVP positions are unpaid and require a service commitment of 16 hours per month. Duties may include responding to human/wildlife conflict calls, representing CDFW at community outreach events, working on CDFW lands, disseminating useful information to the public, instructing at NRVP academies and other assignments to assist staff as needed.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, possess a California driver license and produce a California Department of Motor Vehicle driver’s report. The selection process includes an initial screening, an application review, an oral interview and a background check including a Live Scan fingerprint clearance.

Successful applicants will attend the NRVP training academy and receive 40 hours of conservation training. The initial phase of the academy is scheduled Oct. 1-5. Volunteers will work with a trained mentor to implement their new skills during a six-month probationary period.

Applications must be postmarked no later than Aug. 1, 2018. For additional information and to download an application, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/explore/volunteering/nrvp. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Lt. Liz Gregory at (916) 358-2939.

Lt. Liz Gregory, CDFW Northen Enforcement District, Natural Resource Volunteer Program, (916) 358-2939
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958