Category Archives: Youth

Grand Opening of San Joaquin River Parkway Trail in Fresno County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and partners are pleased to announce the opening of a new link of the San Joaquin River Parkway Trail, part of the Friant Interactive Nature Site (FINS), and new outdoor educational facilities at the San Joaquin Fish Hatchery. The trail stretches nearly a mile from the community of Friant to Lost Lake Recreation Area in Fresno County.

FINS was constructed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources and the San Joaquin River Conservancy.

“We accomplish a lot when we all work together,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “To me, this new link of the trail signifies our connection to the outdoors. It connects the public to nature, providing environmental educational opportunities that we can all be proud of for generations to come. Thank you to the partners and volunteers for their work on this important part of the trail.”

FINS includes a new parking lot located on Friant Road to serve school buses and other visitors, an outdoor classroom, trailhead facilities, interpretive exhibits and the following:

  • Small Fry Children’s Trail and “Stormy Creek” — A play area and educational introduction to ecosystems, encouraging children to learn about the life of a trout while enjoying nature. “Stormy Creek” demonstrates a bio-swale, which is a landscaped area designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water before entering a river system like the San Joaquin River.
  • San Joaquin Hatchery— conveniently located for tourists, visitors and Friant residents, offers free visitation and public viewing of the life stages of a trout.
  • Salmon Conservation and Research Facility — Construction is slated to begin within the next year on a state-of-the-art $23.7 million fisheries facility that will produce spring-run Chinook salmon for reintroduction to the San Joaquin River.

Funding for the $3.38 million project was provided by the San Joaquin River Conservancy with approval of the California Wildlife Conservation Board, using state bond funds from the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Fund of 2006 (Proposition 84) and the Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2002 (Proposition 40).

###

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 715-9072

Fall Apprentice Pheasant Hunts Announced

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting applications for apprentice pheasant hunts in 17 counties throughout the state.

The hunts, which will be held on various dates throughout November and December, are specially designed to provide an educational and memorable experience for new hunters, youth hunters, women hunters, mobility-impaired hunters and families.

These CDFW-sponsored opportunities are available at the following locations:

  • Fresno County (Mendota Wildlife Area)
  • Imperial County (Imperial Wildlife Area)
  • Kern County (Bakersfield and Stockdale Ranch)
  • Los Angeles County (Peace Valley)
  • Madera County (Chowchilla and Hensley Lake)
  • Merced County (O’Neill Forebay Wildlife Area and Merced)
  • Napa County (Napa-Sonoma Wildlife Area)
  • Plumas County (Green Gulch Ranch)
  • Riverside County (Robinson Farms and San Jacinto Wildlife Area)
  • San Bernardino County (Camp Cady Wildlife Area)
  • San Diego County (Oak Grove)
  • San Joaquin County (White Slough Wildlife Area)
  • San Luis Obispo County (Santa Margarita and Ray Azbill)
  • Siskiyou County (Shasta Valley Wildlife Area)
  • Solano County (Grizzly Island Wildlife Area)
  • Tehama County (Sacramento River Bend Area)
  • Yolo County (Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area)

More details – including hunt dates, types of hunts offered and how many hunters each event will accommodate – can be found online at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/dfgspecialhunts/default.aspx.

These apprentice hunts are provided by CDFW’s Upland Game Bird Special Hunt Program, in cooperation with many volunteer organizations. They provide a high-quality, educational experience that builds upon the lessons taught in hunter education classes.

They also provide additional public hunting opportunities for upland game birds on both public and private lands.

Applicants are reminded that nonlead ammunition is required for hunting pheasant in California, unless the hunt is taking place at a licensed game bird club. Before venturing out to hunt, please review the new nonlead requirements at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/nonlead-ammunition.

For more information about the application process, please call (916) 445-3452.

# # #

Media Contact:
Karen Fothergill, CDFW Upland Game Program, (916) 716-1461

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

2016 Youth Essay Contest Offers Shot at Lifetime Hunting License

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and California Wildlife Officers Foundation are again co-sponsoring the annual “Passing on the Tradition” essay contest for young hunters.

The California Wildlife Officers Foundation will recognize one grand prize winner with a lifetime California hunting license, valued at more than $600. Second and third place winners will also be selected and prize packages will be awarded.14705659448_049b713a4f_o

This year’s contest invites entrants to share their favorite hunting memory.

“Young hunters learn important lessons about ethics, sportsmanship and conservation every time they venture into the field with their mentors, and they’re creating memories that will last a lifetime,” said CDFW Hunter Education Program Administrator Capt. Robert Pelzman. “We are looking forward to hearing about the experiences that have made the greatest impressions on them.”

The contest is open to all junior hunting license holders, as well as youths under 18 who have earned a hunter education certificate. Entrants should submit an essay of 500 words or less, describing a past hunting experience (either their own or observing a mentor) that was particularly memorable or special.

Entries should be submitted via email to Lt. John Nores at john.nores@wildlife.ca.gov and must be received on or before Friday, Dec. 16, 2016 at 5 p.m. Applicants must provide their date of birth and a contact telephone number.

Essays will be reviewed and scored by CDFW wildlife officers and other CDFW representatives. The winners will be notified by telephone.

For additional information, please contact Lt. John Nores at (408) 591-5174.

AWARD CEREMONY: The grand prize will be awarded during a special ceremony at the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) show in Sacramento on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 at 1:30 p.m.  The contest winner must be present with a parent or guardian.

To find information about becoming a Hunter Education Instructor to help “Pass on the Tradition” to others, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunter-education.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Lt. John Nores, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (408) 591-5174
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days Approach for the 2016-2017 Season

As in years past, California’s young hunters will have one weekend to hunt in the Northeastern Zone before the general waterfowl seasons open around the state. The Youth Waterfowl Days in the Northeastern Zone for the 2016-2017 season fall on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25.

Beginning with the 2016-2017 waterfowl season, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raised the age to participate in Youth Waterfowl Days to include licensed youth hunters who are 17 years of age or younger at the time of the hunt. All youth hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult who is 18 years of age or older.

In the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Colorado River and Balance of the State zones, Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days will be Feb. 4 and Feb. 5, 2017.

Youth Waterfowl Days are allowed on state wildlife areas, federal refuges and private lands. Federal refuges and state wildlife areas in the Northeastern Zone (with the exception of Willow Creek) will be open for youth hunting on those days. Hunters and chaperones should contact specific areas for details on hunt opportunities.

Youth Waterfowl Days are held in addition to the regular waterfowl seasons and must be held outside any regular duck season, regardless of location. Federal regulations require any waterfowl hunter that is 16 years of age or older to possess a federal duck stamp.

The complete regulations can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

###

Media Contacts:
Melanie Weaver, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3717
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Sandhill Crane Tours Showcase Birds with New Classification

Morning Stretch_Yarbrough_IMG_0081

 

The sandhill crane is making its annual migration to the Central Valley – this time with a new name.

Previously known as Grus canadensis, genetic work has led scientists to reclassify the bird as Antigone canadensis (named after Oedipus’ daughter and half-sister in Greek mythology).

“Antigone is most associated with loyal devotion to family, and this brand fits well with observing cranes. Monogamy is displayed among mated pairs, and parents and juveniles are viewable together, moving about in family units of three or four,” said CDFW Interpretive Supervisor David Moore. “This season, the docents have a new name to interpret for our sandhill crane viewers.”

CDFW provides the public a chance to see an annual bird migration and learn the latest on the sandhill crane – including the name change. The Sandhill Crane Wetland Tour Program offers weekend tours October through February at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve outside of Lodi.

The late-afternoon tours, which begin Oct. 1, are offered on the first through third Saturdays and Sundays of each month for the five-month duration of the cranes’ fall/winter season stay in the valley. Tours consist of viewing sandhill cranes and other unique wintering waterfowl, hearing a presentation on sandhill cranes and their habitat, and viewing the cranes’ impressive, nightly behaviors at a location that is only open to the public during tour hours.

Online pre-registration is required and may be done up to eight weeks prior to the tour date. Registration is now open for October dates and will soon open for November tour dates. More information may be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.

The cranes are a great draw to the Lodi area and CDFW Interpretive Services staff has provided important messages of conservation to more than 20,000 visitors on the docent-led tours over the last two decades.

The reserve is readily accessible at any time for self-guided tours. A series of informative interpretive panels at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, South Unit on Woodbridge Road provides visitors with a wealth of information about the cranes and their habitat. Staying until sundown is recommended for witnessing sights and sounds of the “fly-over” as groups of cranes return to roosting spots for the evening.

CDFW is also a co-sponsor the Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival, slated for Nov. 4-6, 2016. Information about festival tours and activities is available at www.cranefestival.com/index.php.

Media Contacts:

David Moore, CDFW Interpretive Services, (707) 766-8380

Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 715-9072