State Groundfish Regulations Remain in Effect for Ocean Anglers

Media Contacts:
NOAA Fisheries Groundfish Branch, (206) 526-6140
Tony Warrington, DFG Law Enforcement Divison, (916) 826-9416
Marci Yaremko, DFG Marine Region, (858) 442-3004
Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8988

Due to a delay in the federal rulemaking process, the California Fish and Game Commission was unable to conform state recreational groundfish regulations in a timely manner. New federal regulations now result in a conflict between state and federal regulations for recreational groundfish fishing, so that some rules differ for state (0 to 3 nautical miles from shore) and federal waters (3-200 nautical miles from shore) off the California coast beginning Wednesday, May 11, 2011.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and the Fish and Game Commission are working to amend the state regulations to align them with the 2011 federal regulations by early June 2011. Until then, DFG reminds California anglers to follow existing state regulations.

Immediate actual conflict with state Title 14 regulations beginning May 11, 2011:

  1. Lingcod size limit and the allowable alternate fillet length (statewide) – State regulations continue to specify that the limit is two fish at 24 inches with a 16-inch fillet size limit.
  2. Cabezon (statewide) – State regulations will continue to allow only a two-fish sub-bag limit on cabezon.
  3. Cabezon and greenling gears (statewide) – State regulations will continue to follow the general gear provisions only.

New actual conflict arises on Saturday, May 14, 2011:

  1. Season opening date in the Northern and Mendocino Groundfish Management Areas (from the California/Oregon border south to Pt. Arena) – State regulations will continue to be in effect, opening the fishery in these areas on Sunday, May 15.

New actual conflict arises on Wednesday, June 1, 2011:

  1. Season opening date in the San Francisco Area (from Pt. Arena to Pigeon Pt.) – State regulations will continue to be in effect, opening the fishery in these areas on June 13.

DFG will provide information to the public on its website as soon as the Commission takes action and new state groundfish fishing regulations become effective.


Popular Natural Resource Volunteer Program Now Recruiting in Bay Area

Media Contacts:
Lt. Joshua Nicholas, DFG Bay-Delta Region, (707) 944-5562
Kyle Orr, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8958

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is now recruiting applicants for its Natural Resource Volunteer Program (NRVP) in the San Francisco Bay Area. The newly established Bay Area program will initially be accepting 30 volunteers.  

Originally established in 2002 as a senior volunteer program inSouthern California, the NRVP currently includes more than 100 volunteers of all ages in Orange County, Los Angeles,S acramento and Redding. The NRVP trains volunteers to provide conservation and enforcement education to the public, along with providing critical biological, enforcement and administrative staff support to DFG. Volunteers assist with a variety of tasks such as responding to human-wildlife incident calls, instructing at NRVP academies, representing DFG at community education and outreach events, patrolling DFG lands, ecological reserves, coastal and inland fishing areas, and disseminating information to the public.

Volunteers have no law enforcement authority but are trained to be educational ambassadors for the department and often play a vital role in assisting wardens and biologists with mission-critical work. Last month alone, volunteers in the Sacramento area contributed 160 hours to assist DFG employees in rescuing sturgeon, salmon, steelhead and striped bass that were stranded by receding floodwaters in Yolo and Sutter counties. 

Bay Area program applicants will go through a selection process which includes initial screening, an interview and a background check. Selected individuals will attend an 80-hour NRVP Conservation Academy beginning June 22 in Cotati to prepare them for a monthly service commitment of at least 24 hours. After completing the academy, volunteers work with a trained volunteer mentor during a six-month probationary period.

Applicants should be teachable, accountable, have basic computer and writing skills, a desire to work in a team environment and a willingness to talk about conservation principles to the public in the field and in a classroom setting.

Further information and the application are available at Applications should be sent to the DFG Bay Delta Region Office, 7329 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558 no later than May 27, 2011. Please contact Lt. Josh Nicholas at (707) 944-5562 with any questions.

Special Permits for Deer and Pig Hunting Required in Western Merced County

Media Contacts
Loni Hext, Los Banos Wildlife Area, (209) 826-0463
Kyle Orr, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8958

Applications are now being accepted for a limited number of deer and pig hunt permits valid for western Merced County. The number of deer hunters will be limited on properties managed by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) in the area on opening weekend of the Zone A deer season. The affected areas are the Upper Cottonwood Creek, Lower Cottonwood Creek and the San Luis Reservoir wildlife areas. Only 55 permits will be issued for each day.

Reservations are required for Aug.13-14, the first two days of the general Zone A deer season. Reservations will be selected via a computerized drawing. Persons applying to hunt opening weekend at these areas will be allowed to apply for a one-day hunt on one area only. Successful applicants will receive special permits in the mail stating what area and which day the hunter may hunt.

The area will be closed to all persons not holding the special permit except that each permit holder may be accompanied by one observer. The observer may not possess a weapon.

This year the 2011 Zone A Deer/Pig Application Form is required to apply for these hunts. The primary hunter (party leader) will provide their name, mailing address, phone numbers, 2011-12 hunting license number or “Get Outdoors” identification number (GO ID), and which area and hunt day they prefer. Applicants may not apply for both days or for multiple areas. Junior license holders must apply with an adult hunter. Up to three persons may apply as one party by including all the required information on the 2011 Zone A Deer/Pig Application Form. Only official applications will be accepted.  An individual’s name may appear in the drawing only once and multiple applications received will be rejected.

The application form can be submitted online to or mailed to toDFG’s Los Banos office at 18110 W. Henry Miller Ave., Los Banos, CA 93635. Application forms must be received before4:30 p.m. on July 5. The drawing will be held July 6 at11 a.m. at the Los Banos office and is open to the public. Only successful applicants will be notified by mail within five working days of the lottery.

The 2011 Zone A Deer/Pig Application Form may be obtained by calling DFG’s Los Banos office at (209) 826-0463 between 8 a.m.and 4:30 p.m. and is also available online at .

A valid 2011-2012 hunting license is required of all persons applying for the drawing. Individuals who want to hunt deer are required to possess a valid Zone A deer tag. Those who are drawn and also want to hunt wild pig are required to have a valid wild pig tag. Those wishing to hunt both deer and wild pig are required to have both tags. Pig hunters will be restricted to one wild pig during the hunt period.

2011 Duck Stamp to be Chosen in Public Judging Event at State Capitol

Media Contact: Shannon Roberts, DFG Communications, (916) 323-1478

The winning design for California’s 2011 Duck Stamp will be selected at a judging event on May 19 on the West Steps of the Capitol. Sixteen talented artists from around the country submitted their original art for consideration for the stamp. In past years, California waterfowl hunters were required to purchase the stamp and affix it to their licenses. This year, the implementation of a new licensing system means that hunters no longer need to carry a physical state duck stamp in the field, but the stamps will still be produced and will be sent to licensed duck hunters, upon request, after July 1.

The contest, sponsored by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) was open to all artists. Entrants were required to paint, draw or sketch the duck species chosen by the California Fish and Game Commission, which, this year, was the Barrow’s Goldeneye.

This year’s contest rules did not require submissions to feature both a male and female Goldeneye within the painting, but allowed entries to feature the species in an array of groupings at the artist’s discretion.

The contest entries will be on display under tents in front of the State Capitol, beginning at 11 a.m. The judging will run from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The judges’ panel, which will consist of experts in the fields of ornithology, conservation, art and printing, will choose first-, second- and third-place winners, along with an honorable mention. All winners will be on display at the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association’s annual show in Sacramento at the Double Tree Hotel in July.

All proceeds generated from stamp sales go directly to waterfowl conservation projects throughout California.

For more information about the California Duck Stamp program, please visit the DFG website at

DFG Offers Tips on Staying Safe in Bear Country

Media Contacts:
Marc Kenyon, DFG Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3515
Kyle Orr, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8958

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) reminds campers, anglers and hikers enjoying the outdoors to take precautions to limit black bear encounters. A key element to safe camping and recreating in bear country is to limit food odors that attract bears.

“Bears are constantly in search of easily obtainable food sources,” said Marc Kenyon, DFG statewide bear program coordinator. “A bear’s fate is almost always sealed once it associates human activity with potential food. It’s always unfortunate when a bear has to be killed because people either haven’t learned how to appropriately store food and trash, or simply don’t care.”

California’s growing black bear population is now estimated at more than 40,000. Black bears are located in most of the state where suitable habitat exists and bear/human encounters are not isolated to wilderness settings. For example, last year black bears stirred up trouble in one of California’s premier tourist destinations, as DFG staff logged more than 5,200 hours handling black bear nuisance issues in the Lake Tahoe region alone.

DFG wardens and biologists also responded to numerous wildlife feeding issues across the state, and bears obtaining human food is cited in the majority of public safety incidents involving bears. Access to human food or garbage, whether it is overflowing from a campground or residential dumpster or in the form of snacks in a tent, is the primary culprit in attracting bears. When wild animals are allowed to feed on human food and garbage, they lose their natural ways – often resulting in death for the animal.

Feeding wildlife or allowing wildlife access to human food provides false food sources, habituates animals to humans and can change animal behavior from foraging for food in the wild to relying on human food sources in or near urban areas, which can lead to bears breaking into cars or houses to seek out food.

DFG’s Keep Me Wild campaign was developed in part to address the increasing number of conflicts between black bears and people. The campaign provides important tips for living and recreating safely in bear habitat, and advice on what to do if you encounter one of these wild animals. Please visit for more information.

Bear Country Precautions:

  • Keep a close watch on children and teach them what to do if they encounter a bear.
  • While hiking, make noise to avoid a surprise encounter with a bear.
  • Never keep food in your tent.
  • Store food and toiletries in bear-proof containers or in an airtight container in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Keep a clean camp by cleaning up and storing food and garbage immediately after meals.
  • Use bear-proof garbage cans whenever possible or store your garbage in a secure location with your food.
  • Don’t bury or burn excess food; bears will still be attracted to the residual smell.
  • Garbage should be packed out of camp if no trash receptacles are available.
  • Never approach a bear or pick up a bear cub.
  • Do not attempt to attract a bear to your location; observe the animal and take pictures from afar.
  • If you encounter a bear, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to appear as large as possible.
  • If attacked, fight back.
  • If a bear harms a person in any way, immediately call 911.