Category Archives: Youth

2018 Invasive Species Youth Art Contest Kicks Off with “Pledge to Not Spread” Theme

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites young artists and future biologists to enter the 2018 California Invasive Species Youth Art Contest. This year’s theme is “Pledge to Not Spread!”

  • Youths in grades two through 12 are eligible to enter the annual contest and all types of media are welcome and encouraged – drawings, paintings, animations, comic strips, videos, public service announcements, etc. Entries should depict what Californians could do to stop the spread of invasive species, along with appropriate messaging (for example, a written pledge to not release pets).
  • A public service announcement or poster explaining the risk of a particular species.
  • Instructions for cleaning hiking boots, boat or fishing gear.

Winners will be chosen in three divisions: grades 2-4, 5-8 and 9-12. Winners from each division will receive awards and have their artwork displayed on CDFW’s Invasive Species Action Week webpage. The submission judged best overall will receive the “Invasive Species Program Choice” Award.

The deadline for submissions is May 4, and they may be sent by either email or regular mail. The entry form and the contest announcement flyer can be viewed at www.wildlife.ca.gov/cisaw.

The art contest is sponsored by CDFW’s Invasive Species Program as part of the fifth annual California Invasive Species Action Week (CISAW) June 2-10. The goal of CISAW is to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and encourage public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.

With the art contest theme, CDFW plans to spread awareness about the potential for invasive species introductions through everyday activities such as hiking, fishing and traveling, as well as through the dumping unwanted plants or animals. For example, New Zealand mudsnails spread on fishing boots and gear have impacted native fish and invertebrate populations in many streams in California and the western United States. The release of non-native crayfish used as fishing bait has likely resulted in the decline of California’s native crayfish and impacted other species dependent on the habitat. Simple actions, such as cleaning, draining and drying your gear, are effective ways to combat the spread of invasive species.

CISAW activities across the state will include invasive species presentations and exhibits, invasive plant removal efforts, habitat restoration projects and the announcement of the youth art contest winners. Opportunities for youths and adults to participate or volunteer will be available through participating agencies, organizations and volunteer groups, with information and details to be provided on the CISAW webpage.

More information about CDFW’s Invasive Species Program, including examples of invasive species currently affecting California’s wildlands, is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives.

Media Contacts:
Rachael Klopfenstein, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 651-3122
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

CDFW to Sell Fishing and Hunting Licenses and More at Del Mar Fred Hall Show

San Diego area anglers and hunters can purchase their 2018 licenses, tags and Warden Stamps directly from California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff at the annual Fred Hall Show this coming weekend at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The show will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 22 and Friday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25, the show runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“This show is a great opportunity for Southern California outdoor enthusiasts to talk directly with local CDFW personnel and have their individual questions answered,” said CDFW South Coast Region Manager Ed Pert. “Our biologists and law enforcement officers will be available all weekend to meet with the public.”

Licenses, tags and report cards will also be available for purchase, as well as the new 2018 CDFW Warden Stamp ($5). Warden Stamp sales help fund CDFW’s K-9 program and support purchases of enforcement equipment.

Attendees can learn how to become a wildlife officer by speaking directly with CDFW officers, including statewide recruiting officer Lt. Chris Stoots, at the law enforcement trailer. The trailer features fish and wildlife mounts and a free laser shot game. Attendees can also learn about historic fish-stocking procedures as a restored 1925 Dodge truck used by CDFW for transporting hatchery fish will be on display, along with a modern fish-transporting truck.

Also featured will be information on CDFW’s Fishing in the City and hatchery programs and a free youth fishing pond stocked with rainbow trout provided by the CDFW Mojave River Hatchery. Those who fish at the pond will receive a fishing passport book and official fishing passport stamps. CDFW Fishing in the City staff will teach casting skills to young anglers at a stocked bass tank, and bass-fishing professionals will provide tips and demonstrate their fishing skills.

Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 62 years and older, or $10 for military with ID (available only at the ticket window). Children under age 15 are free.

For more information, please visit www.fredhall.com.

Six California Organizations Among 2018 George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund Grantees

Six California non-profit organizations have been awarded funds to provide fishing programs for Hispanic youth and families.

A total of $53,207 in grants was awarded by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) through the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will match the grant funds, effectively bringing the total amount of funding to $106,414.

To be eligible for funding, proposals were required to encourage family participation (both genders and multiple generations), appeal to participants who live in metropolitan communities, be ethnically inclusive (open to families of all races and ethnicities) and provide hands-on experiences and conservation activities.

Latinos are California’s largest ethnic population, with almost 15 million people of Hispanic heritage. Yet only a fraction of California’s anglers are Hispanic. CDFW and RBFF are finding new ways to educate and engage Hispanic communities in fishing and boating activities. These grants were made available for programs that support this cause.

Projects approved for funding include:

Captain Rollo’s Kids at Sea

Friends of Rollo will hold three marine-awareness fishing trips for children who might not otherwise have such opportunities to witness the beauty and splendor of being on the ocean. Youth are provided on-the-water fishing and ocean conservation education where they learn about coastal ecosystems. Friends of Rollo focuses on serving disadvantaged, physically challenged and at-risk youth.

Coastal Watershed Council

The Coastal Watershed Council will partner with community centers and conservation organizations to reintroduce the San Lorenzo River and the fish that call it home to neighboring communities through the sport of fly fishing. The Coastal Watershed Council will engage Latino families who live near the river and invite them to participate in the Día de Pescar, a fly fishing clinic along the river. The council will also teach after school program participants how to fly fish.

Daniel Hernandez Youth Foundation

The Daniel Hernandez Youth Foundation will partner with local and state organizations, cities and communities to provide outdoor activities for underserved and minority youth. Kids are paired with volunteers to learn basic fishing skills and marine and conservation sciences in classroom and outdoor settings. The foundation will also coordinate free youth fishing events open to the public at various inner-city lakes throughout the year.

Hispanic Access Foundation

The Hispanic Access Foundation will hold four fishing outings for families in Los Angeles and San Diego during Latino Conservation Week and Hispanic Heritage Month. In each city, fishing events will provide an educational outing to a nearby fishing spot to participate in a hands-on fishing and aquatic stewardship educational experience.

Trout Unlimited South Coast

Trout Unlimited South Coast will provide fishing days and guidance with development of fishing skills on the natural bottom sections of the Los Angeles River. The events will focus on the concepts behind fishing, the equipment necessary for a successful fishing adventure and actual hands-on river fishing experience.

Tuolumne River Trust

The Tuolumne River Trust will coordinate several activities designed to educate, excite and motivate participants by exposing families to a variety of fishing techniques and locations. The trust will also hold a youth fishing activity station at the first annual Modesto Recreation Festival.

Grant funding was made available through the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund, which supports RBFF’s Hispanic initiative, Vamos A Pescar™. The Education Fund allows state agencies to provide sub-grants to local 501(c)(3) organizations with project ideas that support efforts to keep future generations educated about the joys of fishing and boating and the importance of conservation. With the help of donations from companies and organizations, the Education Fund has continued to grow and expand nationally.

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Media Contact:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

 

Applications Now Available for 2018 Joice Island Pig Hunts

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering wild pig hunting opportunities in March and April at the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area in Solano County.

CDFW will be holding the limited-entry, permit-only hunts to control a small population of wild pigs on the Joice Island Unit of the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area. Joice Island is a 2,150-acre wetland area consisting of thick cattails, tules, brush and standing water.

Three hunters will be drawn for eight consecutive weekends for a total of 24 hunters. The first hunt weekend, March 3-4, will be reserved for apprentice hunters holding junior licenses, ages 12 to 17. The following seven weekends – March 10-11, March 17-18, March 24-25, March 31-April 1, April 7-8, April 14-15 and April 21-22 – will be open to both adult license holders and junior license holders. There is no charge to apply.

To apply for both the apprentice and general hunts, please visit CDFW’s Apprentice Hunts webpage and either log in or create a new account. Once you navigate the drop-down menus, apply for the weekend of your choice. Applications must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Permits with maps and additional information will be emailed to successful applicants.

Permit holders may bring one non-hunting partner. Junior license holders receiving a permit must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older. Hunters may only use shotguns with nonlead slugs or archery equipment. Dogs and bicycles will not be allowed.

CDFW reserves the right to cancel any of these hunts and close the area to the public without prior notification in the event of unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.

For more information, please contact CDFW at (707) 425-3828.

Media Contacts:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908
Orlando Rocha, CDFW Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, (707) 425-3828
Larry Wyckoff, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5542

Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days to be Held Feb. 3-4

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days will be held the weekend of Feb. 3-4, providing young licensed hunters an extra weekend to hunt after the regular season ends. Each year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) opens many of its wildlife areas for these youth hunt days, as allowed under federal regulations.

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The majority of state areas will be open throughout all California Waterfowl Hunting Zones with the exception of the Northeastern Waterfowl Zone, which held a youth hunt days prior to the start of the regular waterfowl season. In the Central Valley, Yolo, Little Dry Creek and Gray Lodge wildlife areas in addition to Delevan, Colusa and Sacramento national wildlife refuges are scheduled to be open for both hunt days while Sutter National Wildlife Refuge is open only on Sunday. The Howard Slough and Llano Seco units of Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area and Joice Island will be closed.

While many areas will have openings for hunters to sign in and immediately go out and hunt, some areas are filled by reservation. Each of these hunt areas are part of the CDFW reservation system which takes applications 17 days in advance and issues reservations by random drawing. Gray Lodge, Yolo, Grizzly Island and Mendota did not fill by reservation and spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, youth hunters can take advantage of spaces made available at other wildlife areas when reservation holders do not show up.

Federal regulations require that hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 years of age or older to participate. All youth hunters must have a valid junior hunting license and Harvest Information Program Stamp. A Federal Duck Stamp is required for hunters 16 years of age and older. The daily bag and possession limits apply along with all other waterfowl regulations for the 2017-18 waterfowl season. The regulations can be found online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

“This is a great opportunity for young hunters to have the fields and marshes to themselves, learn skills and techniques from their mentors and share a wonderful experience,” said Melanie Weaver, an environmental scientist with the CDFW Waterfowl Program.

The upcoming Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days will be the last youth opportunity for the 2017-18 season. The Northeastern California Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt days were held Sept. 23-24, and Sacramento and Delevan national wildlife refuges have held special junior hunts throughout the season where all blinds were reserved for young hunters.

While the time period for making reservations is over for this season, CDFW encourages youth hunters to utilize the reservations system for the 2018-19 season. Reservations are available for many state-operated wildlife areas and are issued by random drawings. You can apply for waterfowl reservation drawings through the Online License Service, at any CDFW License Agent or CDFW License Sales Office. The fee is $1.34 per hunt choice. The deadline to apply is 17 days before each hunt.

Media Contacts:
Melanie Weaver, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3717
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908