Tag Archives: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

CDFW Schedules Additional Public Meetings on Lands Pass Program

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has scheduled two additional public meetings regarding possible changes to its Lands Pass Program. The meetings will be held in Butte and San Diego counties on the following dates:

Monday, April 13
Butte County Library, Gridley Branch
299 Spruce St.
Gridley (95948)
directions

Wednesday, April 15
City of Carlsbad, Faraday Center
1635 Faraday Ave.
Carlsbad (92008)
directions

Both meetings will be in an “open house” format; doors will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. and participants may arrive at any time during that window. CDFW staff will provide information about the current Lands Pass Program and discuss possible changes to the program that are under evaluation by CDFW. Staff will also explain the process for amending regulations and how the public can participate in the review process. Posters and written materials will be available and CDFW staff will answer questions.

Currently, visitors to CDFW wildlife areas and ecological reserves in this program must purchase a day or annual pass prior to visiting the properties. Purchases are made online, from license vendors or from CDFW offices in advance (no passes are sold on-site at the properties). Exemptions from this requirement include visitors who bring a valid hunting or fishing license, children under the age of 16 and participants in organized school or youth group field trips.

The first public meeting on this subject was held in March in Yolo County. If additional meetings are scheduled, they will be posted on the CDFW Public Meetings and Notices webpage (www.wildlife.ca.gov/notices).

For more information about the current Lands Pass Program, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass.

Questions about these meetings may be directed to CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Julie Horenstein at julie.horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov or (916) 324-3772.

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Media Contacts:
Julie Horenstein, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 324-3772
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

2015 Big Game Digest Now Available Online

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has posted the 2015 Big Game Digest to its website. The 64-page document can be downloaded online for free at www.dfg.ca.gov/publications/digest/.

2015 California Big Game Hunting DigestThe popular guide includes season, quota and harvest information for deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep, as well as tag drawing information, bear and wild pig hunting information and big game hunting regulations for the 2015-16 seasons.

Printed copies of the Big Game Digest will automatically be mailed in late April to hunters who purchased a big game tag or applied for the Big Game Drawing in California in 2014.

“As printing costs continue to rise, more funding for big game conservation will be available if the department reduces printing and mailing costs,” said Dan Yparraguirre, CDFW’s Deputy Director of Wildlife and Fisheries. “Making the Big Game Digest available online also means that hunters can access this information sooner.”

Hunting licenses, tags and drawing applications will be available on April 15. Purchases may be made through the Online License Service, at any CDFW License Sales Office or License Agent, or by telephone at (800) 565-1458. The deadline to apply for the Big Game Drawing is midnight on June 2.

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Media Contact:
Stuart Itoga, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3642
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

April 2015 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 your group, school or organization through the diverse wetlands of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. General information includes wildlife identification, behavior patterns and conservation efforts. Your experience can be catered to include requested information, along a half-mile walking route. The minimum group size is 18 people. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

Weekends — Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve. Docent-led walks are scheduled every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and main overlook are fully accessible. Day use fee is $4.32 per person, ages 16 and older. Groups of 10 or more should schedule a separate tour. For more information, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html.

Every Monday (except holidays) — Volunteer Stewardship Field Crew Mondays at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve,1700 Elkhorn Road, Royal Oaks (95076), 10 a.m. to noon. Help preserve natural habitat by collecting seeds, planting, and helping to maintain trails and weeding introduced species. For more information, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html or email www.elkhornslough.org.

1 — Recreational Groundfish season opens for All Boat-based Anglers in the Central Groundfish Management Area (Pigeon Point, San Mateo County to Point Conception, Santa Barbara County) on April 1, 2015. For more information, please visit the Groundfish Central webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/groundfishcentral.

2 — San Diego Area Contingency Plan (ACP) Meeting, 10 a.m., U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services Carlsbad office, 2177 Salk Avenue, Suite 250, Carlsbad (92008). Topics will include the status of the ACP revision, recent Sensitive Site Strategy deployments and pollution-response cases. The public is invited to provide ideas for improving the existing area plan. For more information, please contact Kris Wiese at (760) 681-6473 or at kris.wiese@wildlife.ca.gov.

4 — Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Opens from Horse Mountain to the U.S./Mexico Border. For more information, please visit the Ocean Salmon webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429.

4-5 — Spring Turkey Hunt, Little Dry Creek Unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area (95920). The Little Dry Creek Unit is located in southwestern Butte County. Three general parties and one junior/adult party will be drawn through the Upland Game Bird Program Hunt Opportunities. Entry is by special draw only and the deadline for hunt applications was March 18, 2015. For more information, please call (530) 982-2169.

7 — California Fish and Game Commission, Tribal Committee Meeting, Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa (95405), 1 p.m. For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2015/index.aspx.

8-9 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa (95405), 9 a.m. on April 8 and 8 a.m. on April 9. For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2015/index.aspx.

11 — Bolsa Chica Wetland Earth Day Festival, Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, 3482 Warner Ave, Huntington Beach (92648),10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival features educational activity booths, a jump tent and guided nature tours. The free event is co-sponsored by CDFW, the Bolsa Chica Conservancy, Amigos de Bolsa Chica and the Bolsa Chica Land Trust. For more information, please email molly@bolsachica.org.

11 — Trout Fest 2015 at the Moccasin Creek Hatchery, 15300 Highway 49, Moccasin (95347) at the junction of Highway 49 and Highway 120. Trout Fest introduces youths to the basics of trout fishing, as they learn how to tie basic fishing knots, rig a pole, cast, and how to handle, clean and cook trout. Equipment is provided and no outside gear is allowed. Fishing is for those 15 and under. For more information, please call (559) 765-4824, email troutfest@wildlife.ca.gov or visit www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/hatcheries/moccasin/.

11-12 — Spring Turkey Hunt, Howard Slough Unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area (95920). The Howard Slough Unit is located in eastern Glenn County. Three general parties and one junior/adult will be drawn through the Upland Game Bird Program Hunt Opportunities. Entry is by special draw only and the deadline for hunt applications was March 25, 2015. For more information, please call (530) 982-2169.

15 — Recreational Groundfish Season Opens for All Boat-based Anglers in the San Francisco Groundfish Management Area (Point Arena, Mendocino County to Pigeon Point, San Mateo County) on April 15, 2015. For more information, please visit the Groundfish Central webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/groundfishcentral.

18 — Gray Lodge Clean-up and Field Day, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). All are encouraged to participate in various light-duty cleanup projects. The day will be informative and improve the quality of our wildlife habitat. There will be a brief meeting after the field projects to provide an opportunity for comment on the public hunt programs and associated habitat. For more information, please contact Dan Haugh at (916) 871-9000 or dhaugh@calwaterfowl.org.

18-19 — Spring Turkey Hunt, Little Dry Creek Unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area (95920). The Little Dry Creek Unit is located in southwestern Butte County. Three general parties (two persons maximum per party) and one junior/adult party will be drawn through the Upland Game Bird Program Hunt Opportunities. Entry is by special draw only and the deadline for hunt applications was March 25, 2015. For more information, please call (530) 982-2169.

19 — Day at the Docks, Fishermen’s Landing, San Diego (92106), 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. The 36th annual Port of San Diego’s Day at the Docks is the west coast’s largest public celebration of sport fishing. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/DayAtTheDocks.

25-26 — Spring Turkey Hunt, Howard Slough Unit of the Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area (95920). The Howard Slough Unit is located in eastern Glenn County. Three general parties (two persons maximum per party) and one junior/adult party will be drawn through the Upland Game Bird Program Hunt Opportunities. Entry is by special draw only and the deadline for hunt applications is April 8, 2015. For more information, please call the Wildlife Area office at (530) 982-2169.

30 — 2014-2015 Full Season Spiny Lobster Report Cards Due. For more information, please visit https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=72059&inline=1.

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

 

You Can Help Something Wild When You File!

There’s still time to help endangered species on your California income tax return, if you haven’t yet filed it. Near the end of Form 540 there is a section called Voluntary Contributions where you can donate one dollar or more to the Rare and Endangered Species Fund (line 403) and/or the California Sea Otter Fund (line 410). If you itemize deductions, the amount you donate this year will be tax-deductible next year.

With more than 200 species of plants and 80 species of California’s animals listed as rare, threatened or endangered, a great deal of work is needed to recover them. Donations on Line 403 help pay for essential California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) research and recovery efforts for these plants and animals, and critical efforts to restore and conserve their habitat.

Tiburon mariposa lily, California tiger salamander, giant garter snake, yellow-billed cuckoo and island fox are among the species CDFW is currently working on to ensure they survive well into the future.

California’s southern sea otter population remains below 3,000, so Enhydra lutris is still a fully protected species under state law and listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Donations to the California Sea Otter Fund on line 410 support research by CDFW scientists, who are currently studying 15 years of sea otter mortality information and recently discovered viruses not previously known in this species. These studies should help us better understand the causes of mortality and contribute to population recovery efforts.

If someone else prepares your state tax return, please let him or her know you want to donate to the California Sea Otter Fund on line 410 or the Rare and Endangered Species Protection Program on line 403. If you use Turbo Tax, when you’re near the end of your tax return it should ask if you want to make a voluntary contribution to a special fund. Click “Yes” and go to lines 403 and 410.

CDFW scientists work with their counterparts in other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and the private sector to achieve important recovery milestones to conserve vulnerable species, thanks to California taxpayers like you. More information about how CDFW uses funds in the Rare and Endangered Species Protection and Sea Otter programs is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Tax-Donation and www.facebook.com/SeaOtterFundCDFW.

Media Contacts:
Laird Henkel, CDFW Sea Otter Program, (831) 469-1726
Esther Burkett, CDFW Nongame Wildlife Program, (916) 531-1594
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

Euthanasia Drugs Reach the Wrong Animals

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has confirmed that several turkey vultures have been poisoned from the veterinary euthanasia drug pentobarbital in Marin County.

Six turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) were brought to the WildCare Wildlife Hospital in San Rafael between July and October 2014. All the birds were comatose and barely breathing, presenting a medical mystery to the wildlife hospital staff.

With immediate and intensive medical intervention all of the birds recovered, and digestive samples were sent to a laboratory to determine what made them sick. CDFW confirmed pentobarbital exposure in all birds tested, but the source of the exposure remains unknown.

Pentobarbital is a drug used by veterinarians to euthanize companion animals, livestock and horses. If the remains of animals euthanized with pentobarbital are not properly disposed of after death, scavenging wildlife – such as turkey vultures and eagles – can be poisoned. Veterinarians and animal owners are responsible for disposing of animal remains properly by legal methods such as cremation or deep burial.

Turkey vultures are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and California Fish and Game Code. Improperly disposed-of euthanized remains are a danger to all scavenging wildlife.

Members of the veterinary and livestock communities are asked to share this information with colleagues in an effort to prevent further incidents.

WildCare also asks the public to pay attention to grounded turkey vultures and other raptors and scavengers.

Pentobarbital-poisoned birds appear to be dead. They have no reflex response and breathing can barely be detected. The birds appear intact, without wounds or obvious trauma. Anyone finding a comatose vulture should call WildCare’s 24-hour Hotline at (415) 456-SAVE (7283) immediately.

Read more about one pentobarbital-poisoned turkey vulture patient and the astonishing medical intervention required to save its life at http://www.wildcarebayarea.org/vulture. WildCare also has numerous photos and videos of the animals in care, as well as release footage.

Media Contacts:
Alison Hermance, WildCare, (415) 453-1000, ext. 24, alisonhermance@wildcarebayarea.org
Stella McMillin, CDFW Wildlife Investigations Lab, (916) 358-2954
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

Help Endangered Species With Your Tax Return

Would you like to help protect California’s rare, threatened and endangered species? The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites you to do that by making a voluntary contribution to the Rare and Endangered Species Protection Program and/or the

two sea otters floating on their backs, touching forepaws, with caption "Will U Be My Valentine?"
California Sea Otter Fund Valentine. Joe Robertson photo used with permission.

California Sea Otter Fund on your California income tax return. Just enter the dollar amount you wish to donate on lines 403 and/or 410 of your tax return (form 540). If you itemize deductions, you can deduct the amount you donate on next year’s return.

“Donations to these funds have helped CDFW study species that are in trouble, determine what they need to thrive and develop ways to improve their health and populations,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “Californians continue to show they understand and care about threatened and endangered species, and the need to protect their habitat.”

One of CDFW’s tax donation funds facilitates recovery of the southern sea otter, which is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and as a Fully Protected Species under state law. A 2014 survey indicated there are fewer than 3,000 sea otters in California waters – a fraction of their historic numbers. This small population is vulnerable to oil spills, environmental pollution, predation by white sharks and other threats.

Donations to the California Sea Otter Fund support research by CDFW scientists, who are currently studying 15 years of sea otter mortality information and recently discovered viruses not previously known in sea otters. These studies should provide a better understanding of mortality causes and contribute to population recovery efforts.

Donations to the Rare and Endangered Species Protection Program support numerous conservation projects for California’s rare, threatened and endangered species, including:

a dark gray salamander on wet dirt
Santa Cruz Long-Toed Salamander. David Laabs photo.
  • Santa Cruz long-toed salamander: Known to exist in only a few locations in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. CDFW works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation District to create and enhance habitat for this species on preserves that have been set aside for its conservation.

    Small island fox pup held in gloved hands
    Island fox pup. Deana Clifford photo
  • Island fox: Small foxes that live on the Channel Islands off of Southern California. CDFW has worked with public and private partners to increase the number of foxes on all of the islands from a few hundred to more than 5,800 foxes.
  • Yellow-billed cuckoo: Rare and secretive birds that have declined markedly with the destruction of riparian habitat in California. CDFW is working with multiple partners to survey and monitor them and to implement recovery actions.

    Brown and orange giant garter snake
    Female orange giant garter snake. Eric Hansen photo
  • Giant garter snake: A highly aquatic snake whose marsh habitat in the Central Valley has likely been further reduced in some areas by drought. CDFW has been working with the multiple partners to ensure water is delivered to important areas for the species’ survival.

    Tan and brown giant garter snake
    Female, standard brown giant garter snake. Eric Hansen photo
  • California tiger salamander: The vernal pools that this species typically breeds in have also likely been impacted by the drought in some areas. CDFW is working with multiple partners to coordinate studies of these colorful salamanders and to protect their habitat.

    a dark gray salamander on wet dirt
    Santa Cruz Long-Toed Salamander. David Laabs photo.

CDFW biologists have been able to achieve important recovery milestones to conserve vulnerable species, thanks to California taxpayers like you. More information about how CDFW uses funds in the Rare and Endangered Species Protection and Sea Otter programs is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Tax-Donation and www.facebook.com/SeaOtterFundCDFW.

If someone else prepares your state tax return, please let him or her know you want to donate to the California Sea Otter Fund on line 410 or the Rare and Endangered Species Protection Program on line 403. If you use Turbo Tax, when you’re near the end of your tax return it should ask if you want to make a voluntary contribution to a special fund. Click “Yes” and go to lines 403 and 410.

The state has listed more than 200 species of plants and 80 species of animals as rare, threatened or endangered. Money raised through the tax donation program helps pay for essential CDFW research and recovery efforts for these plants and animals, and critical efforts to restore and conserve their habitat.

Media Contacts:
Laird Henkel, Sea Otter Program, (831) 469-1726
Esther Burkett, CDFW Nongame Wildlife Program, (916) 531-1594
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

CDFW Researchers are Monitoring Band-tailed Pigeon Mortality

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is closely monitoring the population of band-tailed pigeons for mortality this winter. Band-tailed pigeons are California’s only native pigeon. They spend their winter from central to Southern California primarily inhabiting oak woodland and conifer forests. In late winter into early spring, band-tailed pigeons will migrate north into northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Band-tailed pigeons are a different species than rock pigeons (also called city, urban or barn pigeons), which were introduced into North America from Europe.

Large flocks of band-tailed pigeons, sometimes up to 200 birds, have been observed in numerous coastal locations from the San Francisco Bay Area south into Santa Barbara County and in the San Bernardino Mountains. Increased mortality has been reported in several of these areas since mid-December. CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Laboratory has evaluated carcasses from these locations and determined the cause of mortality to be Avian Trichomonosis.

Avian Trichomonosis is a disease caused by a single-celled microscopic protozoan parasite, typically Trichomonas gallinae, which only infects birds. The parasite lives in the mouth and throat of infected birds, causing caseous (“cheese-like”) lesions in the birds’ mouth or esophagus. The lesions eventually block the passage of food, causing the bird to become weak and emaciated. Infected birds die from starvation or suffocation if the lesions block the airway. Non-native rock pigeons are thought to be the source of infection for native bird species.

The CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Lab is asking residents to be on the lookout for band-tailed pigeons this winter and to report any sick or dead pigeons. This information helps CDFW  determine how many pigeons die during these mortality events and consequently, how these events may impact the overall population. Mortality can be reported using the following link: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Investigations/Monitoring/Mortality-Report or by phone at (916) 358-2790.

If sick birds are observed, please contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center for advice.  The list of CDFW licensed centers can be found at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/WIL/rehab/facilities.html.

Additionally, residents can help reduce transmission of the disease by removing artificial sources of food and water (bird baths and fountains). Bird feeders and artificial water sources may increase disease transmission between individual band-tailed pigeons, and possibly other bird species, because it brings the birds into closer contact than is normal.

Media Contacts:
Krysta Rogers, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 358-1662
Levi Souza, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3709
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its November 20 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $26 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 16 funded projects will provide benefits to fish and wildlife – including some endangered species – while others will provide the public with access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, land owners and the local community. The funds for all these projects come from bond initiatives approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Some of the funded projects include:

  • A $5 million grant to Western Rivers Conservancy for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy, Wyss Foundation, the Yurok Tribe and the New Market Tax Credit Program to acquire approximately 6,479 acres of land for the protection of a mixed conifer forest property that includes riparian corridors, salmonid streams, coastal watershed and habitat linkages near the town of Klamath, traversing both Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.
  • A $450,000 grant to Ducks Unlimited, Inc. for a cooperative project with the State Water Quality Control Board, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Caltrans to restore and enhance salt marsh, riparian forest and tidal sloughs on approximately 356 acres of formal tidal habitat on 2.5 miles of the Salt River channel, three miles northwest of Ferndale and one mile from the mouth of the Eel River in Humboldt County.
  • A $9 million grant to the Pacific Forest Trust for a cooperative project with the California Department of Transportation to acquire a forest conservation easement over approximately 12,644 acres of land to protect working forest lands, forest reserve areas, watersheds, fisheries and habitat linkages covering a significant portion of the upper watershed of the McCloud River, near the town of McCloud, traversing both Siskiyou and Shasta Counties. The upper McCloud River is considered by the Regional Water Quality Control Board as one of the most pristine rivers in northern California, providing important fisheries habitat and quality drinking water for much of California.
  • A $2 million grant to Reclamation District 2035 (RD 2035) for a cooperative project with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Water Resources and the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency to construct a new screened water intake for RD 2035, the largest remaining unscreened intake on the Sacramento River north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This proposed project is located five miles east of Woodland on privately owned land on the west bank of the Sacramento River levee, approximately one-half mile north of Interstate 5, in Yolo County.
  • A $1.2 million grant to the National Forest Foundation for a cooperative project with the U.S. Forest Service, Alcoa, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens, Oakwood School and Los Angeles Conservation Corp to restore and enhance riparian and chaparral habitats within the Big Tujunga Canyon in Angeles National Forest, immediately east of the City of Los Angeles in Los Angeles County.
  • A $650,000 grant to the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains for a cooperative project with Caltrans, Los Angeles County, a private landowner, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to enhance an existing undercrossing to allow wildlife to cross Highway 101, approximately nine miles east of Thousand Oaks in Los Angeles County.
  • A $3.3 million grant to the Imperial Irrigation District for a cooperative project with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Water Resources to construct approximately 640 acres of shallow saline water habitat identified as part of the Salton Sea Species Conservation Habitat Project, at the mouth of the New River approximately ten miles west of Calipatria in Imperial County.

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

CDFW Resumes Trout Planting in Kern and Tulare County Waterways

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has started planting catchable rainbow trout in Kern and Tulare County rivers and lakes last month after water temperatures cooled enough to ensure success.

The first fish from the Kern River Hatchery were put into the Kern River above Kernville and more fish will be planted from the hatchery as water temperatures continue to drop. Ming, River Walk, Truxton and other lakes around Bakersfield have also been stocked with catchable-sized rainbow trout, with others to follow.

“The lower water levels and higher temperatures in the Kern River forced us to stop planting fish over the summer,” said hatchery supervisor Greg Kollenborn. “In the last month we have planted about 20,000 fish into local rivers and lakes.”

The Kern River is not only a viable trout stream, but it also supplies the water for the hatchery.  As winter approaches, the water temperature in the river is now cold enough to support the trout held in the hatchery. Kern River Hatchery typically releases about 175,000  trout every year.

Hatchery officials anticipate that water temperatures will remain cool enough to maintain a normal stocking schedule throughout the remainder of the year.

The complete statewide planting schedule can be found here.

Media Contact:
Greg Kollenborn, CDFW Central Region Hatcheries, (559) 903-6917
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Final Poacher Sentenced from 2013 Abalone Sting Operation

After almost a year of court procedures, the last of 18 abalone poachers arrested in a 2013 sting has been sentenced. All 18 suspects were found guilty or pled no contest to the charges.

On Aug. 29, 2013, California wildlife officers simultaneously served 13 search/arrest warrants throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento on 18 suspected abalone poachers. The last of the 18, Dung Tri Bui of San Leandro, was recently found guilty in Mendocino County Superior Court after a week long jury trial. Bui was convicted of three misdemeanor counts, including take of abalone for commercial use, conspiracy to take abalone for commercial purposes and take of abalone greater than the daily limit. He was sentenced to 36 months summary probation, $15,000 fine and a lifetime ban on fishing (including the take of abalone). Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Daniel Madow presented the case.

In total, $139,883 in fines and 11 fishing license revocations were handed out to the 18 subjects. All of the subjects received summary probation ranging from one to three years. All seized dive gear was ordered forfeited by the court. Mendocino DDAs Heidi Larson and Tim Stoen and support staff also spent a tremendous amount of time on these cases along with numerous staff from the Sacramento District Attorney’s office.

“We had excellent support from the respective District Attorney’s offices for taking these crimes seriously and prosecuting the poachers to the full extent of the law,” said Asst. Chief Brian Naslund of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division. “The gear forfeiture, fines and lifetime fishing license revocations for California’s worst poaching offenders will hopefully put them out of the poaching business permanently.”

Poachers Charges Revoked Fine Probation
SF Bay Area
Khoa Dang Nguyen 5521.5 Life fish/hunt $15,000 36 months
Chinh Quan Le 5521.5 Life fish/hunt $15,000 36 months
Hung Vo 5521.5 Lifetime fishing $15,000 24 months
Toi Van Nguyen 5521.5 Life fish/hunt $15,000 24 months
Dung Tri Bui 5521.5, PC 182, 29.15[c] Lifetime fishing $15,000 36 months
Hai Van Ha 5521.5, PC 182, Lifetime abalone $1,353.50 24 months
Duoc Van Nguyen 5521.5, PC 182 Lifetime abalone $1,353.50 24 months
Andy Phan 2000/29.15 [c] Lifetime abalone $1,537 24 months
Charlie Le PC 182 No $1,420 24 months
Nhan Trung Le PC 182, 2000/29.15[c] No $1,888 24 months
Suong Hung Tran 29.15[c] No $1,771 24 months
Chuyen Van Bui 1052[f] No $1,303 24 months
Diep van Nguyen 2000/29.15[c] No $1,537 12 months
Khoa Ngoc Nguyen 29.16[b] No $1,420 12 months
Sacramento
Dung Van Nguyen 5521.5, PC 115 (a) (F) Lifetime fishing $15,000 32 mo State prison
Tho Thanh Phan 5521.5 Lifetime fishing $15,000 24 months
Hiep Ho 5521.5 Lifetime fishing $20,000 26 months
Hung Van Le 2000, 29.16(a) No $1,303 24 months

PC 115 Forgery of government documents
PC 182 Conspiracy to commit a crime
F&G Code 5521.5 Unlawful to take abalone for commercial purposes
F&G Code 2000 Unlawful possession of California’s fish and wildlife
F&G Code 1052 Unlawful use of another’s hunting/fishing license
Title 14 – 29.15 abalone overlimit
Title 14 – 29.16 abalone report card violations

The original press release announcing the bust can be found at
https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/cdfw-officers-arrest-13-poaching-suspects-in-oakland-and-sacramento/.

The case was investigated by the CDFW Special Operations Unit, a specialized team of wildlife officers tasked with investigating illegal black market sales of California’s fish and wildlife resources.

Media Contact:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944