DFG 2011-2012 Hunting Digest Available Only Online

Media Contact:
Bernadette Fees, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8925
The 2011-2012 California Hunting Digest, Upland Game and Waterfowl issue will be available online only this year, the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced today. It will not be available in print.
“The Digest is a valued magazine,” said Bernadette Fees, DFG’s assistant deputy director for education and outreach. “We are proud of its popularity with California’s sportsmen and women.”
By publishing the digest online, DFG saves taxpayers thousands of dollars in printing and distribution costs. Publishing online is also beneficial to the environment and is in step with DFG’s initiative on Going Green (reducing DFG’s carbon footprint). It also allows California’s hunters to access the information on their home computers and on smart phones and tablets while away from home or work.
“This year’s online magazine will be formatted for easier viewing, and efforts will continue to produce future issues using the best publishing technology and most economical methods available,” Fees added. The magazine can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/publications/digest/.
The award-winning magazine is published biannually, and provides information on hunting opportunities, regulations and licensing, as well as on wildlife conservation. The Digest’s big game issue is produced every spring and the waterfowl and upland game issue is produced each fall.
For more information on DFG’s Going Green, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/Climate_and_Energy/Going_Green/.

Department of Fish and Game and the Humane Society Offer Reward for Mountain Lion Poachers

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan,DFGCommunications, (916) 322-8944
Pat Foy,DFGLaw Enforcement, (916) 508-7095
Jennifer Fearing, Humane Society (916) 992-3667

Photograph of a mountain lion in the wild.

SACRAMENTO- A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of poachers who killed a mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains last month.

The Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG)CAL-TIP line is offering a $2,500 reward and the Humane Society of theUnited Statesand the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust is matching that amount.

The lion was discovered onSept. 11, 2011afterDFGand the National Park Service received a call of a dead mountain lion in theSanta MonicaMountains.DFGgame wardens determined that the lion did not die of natural causes and opened an investigation.

Mountain lions are designated as a “specially protected mammal” inCalifornia, and it is illegal to hunt or trap them.

DFGand the National Park Service are seeking information related to the lion death and the parties responsible. Anyone with any information regarding this case should call the theDFGCal-Tip hotline at 1-888-334-2258.

Redondo Beach Lobster Poachers Get Pinched

Media Contacts:
Patrick Foy, Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-2084
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944

California Game Wardens made several poaching cases in Redondo Beach recently, including one with suspects in possession of 132 lobsters.

two orange spiny lobsters on ocean floor of California coast
California spiny lobsters. DFG photo by Derek Stein.

“We are focusing our patrols on the worst abusers of our lobster resource to protect it for responsible users,” said Assistant Chief Paul Hamdorf of the California Department of Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division. “We are successfully using a team patrol concept and will continue to seek out those who intentionally violate fishing and hunting laws.”

With lobster season open and under way, wardens throughout Southern California are making numerous lobster poaching cases, but nowhere has the poaching pressure been greater than Redondo Beach.

On Sept. 29, two nights prior to the lobster season opener, Wardens Michele Budish and Kory Collins observed five men poaching lobsters from the King Harbor Jetty. They observed the men for approximately four hours and ultimately contacted them at 2 a.m. as they drove away in their pickup. The five men possessed 132 lobsters, many of them were shorter than the size limit. All five subjects were arrested for gross overlimit of lobster and possession of lobster for commercial sale. They were booked into Redondo Beach Police Department jail, their gear was seized as evidence, and their vehicle was towed. Arrested during the case were Ramon Gonzalo Montes, 28, Omar De Leon Aguilar, 26, and Juan Manuel De Leon Haro, 34, all from Los Angeles and Augustin Granados, 67, and Ruben Flores, Jr.,38, both of South Gate. Budish and Collins returned to the King Harbor Jetty the same night and made four more lobster poaching cases totaling 13 additional poached lobsters before the morning sun came up. All lobsters from the night’s cases were photographed as evidence and successfully returned to the ocean.

Recreational lobster fishing season opened Oct. 1, 2011 and extends to Mar. 21, 2012. Lobster fishing regulations are found on page 57 of the Ocean Sportfishing Regulations and are available at: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/sportfishing_regs2011.asp.

Lobster report cards are required for all anglers fishing for lobsters. The report card must be filled out prior to fishing for lobster, a common violation that has generated numerous warnings since the season opened, but will transition to citations soon. Data from the lobster report cards helps biologists closely monitor the health of the population.

Lobster seasons and size limits are set to allow lobsters the opportunity to reproduce prior to being old enough to retain by anglers, which takes about five to six years.

Correct Dates for North Coast Black Brant Hunting Season

Media Contacts:
David Lancaster, DFG Northern Region, (707) 445-6497
Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420

Lone black brant, flying low over water and grassy shoreline
Black brant in flight. Chris Nicolai/USFWS photo.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) reminds hunters the north coast black brant hunting season is open from Nov. 7, 2011 through Dec. 6, 2011. An error in the California Waterfowl Association’s 2011-12 Waterfowl Hunter’s Pocket Guide shows the season beginning and ending a day earlier.

A brief list of season dates and bag limits are on the 2011-2012 Waterfowl Hunting Season Summary at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/11-12-waterfowl-sum.html. The complete, detailed regulations are on the Fish and Game Commission website at www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/current/waterfowlregs.aspx#502d5D1.

The 20 to 30-inch black brants appear similar to the Canada goose but are smaller and shorter-necked, lacking the white cheek patch of the latter. Black brants breed in coastal Alaska and the Canadian Arctic in summers, then spend winters along both coasts of the U.S., and as far south as Mexico. They feed primarily on eelgrass and

about 20 black brant standing on sand and grass shoreline
Black brant flock. Chris Nicolai/USFWS photo.

other marine plants, so seldom stray far from salt water. The greatest threat to the species is loss of winter habitat to development.

Again, the correct season dates for the Northern Brant Management Area are Nov. 7, 2011 through Dec. 6, 2011.

Wildlife Watchers, Other Visitors Reminded to Buy Passes Before Visiting Wildlife Areas and Reserves

Media Contacts:
Brad Burkholder, DFG Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-1829
Julie Horenstein, DFG Wildlife Branch, (916) 324-3772
Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8911
Californians who enjoy visiting the state’s wildlife areas and ecological reserves are reminded that day-use and annual passes are no longer sold at on-site checkpoints. As of Monday, Oct. 3, visitors to these areas must make an advance purchase of a $4.32 daily lands pass or a $22.68 annual lands pass, either online at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing or at one of the California Department of Fish and Game’s 1,500 license agents or license sales offices. (Please note that daily passes purchased online cannot be printed immediately and require mail delivery. If those items are needed immediately, they should be purchased directly from a license agent or at a DFG counter.)
The areas that require day-use or annual passes for non-hunting visitors include Gray Lodge, Grizzly Island, Los Banos, San Jacinto and Imperial Wildlife Areas, and Elkhorn Slough and Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserves. 
The only exception is the Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve, which will continue to sell daily and annual passes at its Visitors Center.
Visitors who have a valid California hunting or fishing license may obtain an entry permit by presenting their license at the area, and are not required to purchase a pre-paid daily or annual pass. However, hunters are reminded that license sales at the checkpoints have also been discontinued, and all licenses and stamps must be purchased ahead of time (also online or from an agent or sales office).

California Department of Fish and Wildlife News