Tag Archives: License

Salmon Seasons Set for Ocean and Inland Waters

The California Fish and Game Commission adopted recreational ocean and inland salmon season regulations as presented by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) on April 18. Ocean salmon season dates and management measures are set to coincide with the alternatives adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council for federal waters off the California coast. Inland river seasons adopted by the Commission are identical to the 2015 seasons with the exception of a reduction in the allowable harvest of Klamath Basin Chinook salmon.

“Reduced fishing opportunity in the ocean and inland areas are a reflection of lower abundance for some California salmon stocks as compared to recent years, likely as a result of extended drought and generally unfavorable ocean conditions for salmon survival,” said Jennifer Simon, an environmental scientist with CDFW’s Marine Region Salmon Team. “The 2016 seasons are intended to allow limited fishing opportunity on stocks that can support them while providing increased protection for the most vulnerable of stocks.”

An expected ocean abundance of roughly 300,000 Sacramento River fall Chinook (compared to 650,000 last year) will support recreational and commercial opportunities for ocean salmon fisheries off portions of California and Oregon. A projected return of 151,000 spawning adults allows for an inland river recreational harvest of 24,600 adult Chinook.

The Klamath River fall Chinook ocean abundance forecast of 142,200 adults is substantially lower than recent years and the primary reason for ocean fishery constraints. A projected return of 30,909 natural area spawning adults allows for an inland river recreational harvest quota of 1,110 adult Chinook salmon greater than 22 inches. In 2015 the harvest quota was 14,133.

The resulting bag and possession limits and seasons adopted by the Commission are as follows:

Central Valley Rivers:

Daily limit of two fish per day and a possession limit of four fish. On the American and Feather rivers the general season opener is July 16. On the Sacramento River below Deschutes Road Bridge to the Red Bluff Diversion Dam, the season opens Aug. 1 and closes Dec. 16. From below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam to the Carquinez Bridge, the season opens July 16 and closes Dec. 16. Please see the 2016 Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations booklet for openings and closing of specific sections of each river, as well as gear restrictions.

Klamath River:

Daily limit of two fish per day of which only one may be greater than 22 inches, and the possession limit is six fish of which only three may be greater than 22 inches. The Klamath River fall Chinook season opens Aug. 15 and closes Dec. 31, while the Trinity River opens to salmon fishing on Sept. 1 and closes Dec. 31.

Ocean Salmon: 

Ocean salmon recreational fisheries include a daily limit of two adult Chinook salmon with four in possession on land with varying size restrictions depending on the area. Season dates include openings in May, June, July, August and the Labor Day weekend in the Crescent City/Eureka area. Fisheries further south opened on April 2 and will continue through Nov. 13 in the Fort Bragg area, through Oct. 31 in the San Francisco area, through July 15 from Pigeon Point to Point Sur, and through May 31 south of Point Sur. For a more in-depth look at ocean salmon seasons and restrictions, please see  www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon.

Long-running drought conditions, coupled with suboptimal ocean conditions, have raised serious concerns for Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon, which are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and have experienced very low survival as juveniles in 2014 and 2015. Fisheries south of Point Arena, particularly recreational fisheries in the greater Monterey Bay region, continue to experience late-season reductions in 2016 to minimize interactions with winter Chinook.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Simon, CDFW Salmon Team, (707) 576-2878
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Hunter Education Certification Course to be Offered in Bishop

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a hunter education certification class on Saturday, March 26 in Bishop. Outdoor enthusiasts wishing to obtain a hunting license for the 2016-2017 season may take an online course, followed by this certification class. This will be the only certification class offered by CDFW Law Enforcement staff in Inyo County this spring.

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Before taking the certification class, students must have already taken a basic hunter education course online. The online study portion of the course can be completed at their own pace. After completing the online course and receiving a passing test score, a fee may be charged for a completion voucher. Applicants will need to bring this voucher in order to take this follow-up class. To register and take the online portion of the course, please go to http://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunter-Education for acceptable class options.

Once the online course has been completed, students must take a four-hour follow-up cl ass with a certified hunter education instructor. This follow-up class consists of two hours of review, one hour of gun handling and one hour for the final hunter education test. Students must pre-register for the follow up class prior to March 19. You may do so for this class at www.register-ed.com/events/view/78513   Please call Warden Shane Dishion at (760) 920-7593 for more information.

The March 26 class will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bishop Fire Training Center, 960 Poleta Road, Bishop (93514).

CDFW’s basic hunter education classes are offered throughout the state by more than 1,000 certified volunteer instructors, all dedicated to keeping hunting safe, ethical and available to all Californians. A complete list of hunter education classes statewide may be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunter-Education.

Media Contact:
Shane Dishion, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (760) 920-7593
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Fishing, Hunting Report Card Data for Many Species Due Jan. 31

Media Contacts:
Glenn Underwood, CDFW License and Revenue Branch, (916) 928-5841
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds anglers, divers and hunters that Jan. 31, 2016 is the due date for turning in steelhead, sturgeon, abalone and north coast salmon report card data, as well as unfulfilled deer tag report cards (a new requirement for this year).

Information collected from sport fishing report cards provides CDFW biologists with important data necessary to monitor and manage California’s diverse recreational fisheries, including preparing recommendations for sport fishing seasons and limits that allow for sustainable levels of take. This science-based management helps to ensure healthy populations of fish for future generations.

Any person who fails to return or report a salmon, steelhead, sturgeon or abalone report card to the department by the deadline may be restricted from obtaining the same card in a subsequent license year or may be subject to an additional fee for the issuance of the same card in a subsequent license year.

There are two ways to meet the mandatory angler reporting requirement. Online reporting (www.wildlife.ca.gov/reportcards) is easy, fast and free. Online reporting includes instant confirmation that the report has been received and accepted. Please note that license sales agents cannot accept report cards. More information about report cards is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing.

Sport fishing report cards may also be returned by mail to the addresses listed below:

North Coast Salmon Report Cards CDFW – Klamath River Project 5341 Ericson Way Arcata, CA 95521-9269

Abalone Report Cards CDFW – Abalone Report Card 32330 N. Harbor Drive Fort Bragg, CA 95437-5554

Steelhead Report Cards CDFW – Steelhead Report Card P.O. Box 944209 Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Sturgeon Report Cards CDFW – Sturgeon Report Card P.O. Box 944209 Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Anglers and divers are required to report even if the report card was lost or they did not fish. Cards should be reviewed carefully for accuracy before submission.

Also, every purchaser of a deer tag must now report their harvest, even if they were unsuccessful or did not hunt. CDFW uses this data to understand harvest rates and to build population estimates and future hunt quota recommendations for the state’s deer herds. For successful hunters, the report must be made within 30 days of harvesting a deer or by Jan. 31, whichever date is first. Unsuccessful hunters or those who did not hunt must report no harvest or did not hunt, respectively, by Jan. 31. Starting with the upcoming 2016 deer season, tag holders who do not report will be charged a non-reporting fee of $20, which will be added to hunting license purchases beginning with the 2017 season. Harvest reports can be submitted online at  www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/hunting#9941260-tag-reporting or by mail to the address printed on the tag.

Anglers Encouraged to Return Sturgeon Tags for Recognition and Monetary Reward

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has completed its annual sturgeon tagging program, catching and releasing nearly 400 sturgeon in Bay Area waters.  Many of the tags are eligible for a reward if returned to CDFW by anglers.

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The tagging operation is used to help manage California’s green and white sturgeon populations. Information received from anglers about tagged sturgeon complements the details submitted on sturgeon fishing report cards as well as data from party boats, creel surveys, surveys for juvenile sturgeon and various special studies.

CDFW offers monetary rewards for the return of certain marked tags. The tags are smaller than a dime and located behind the rear dorsal fin. Anglers who return a tag will also receive a certificate of appreciation from CDFW. Additional information and the form for returning tags can be found on the CDFW website.

“Protecting the white sturgeon fishery and the sturgeon populations requires research, collaboration, adaptive management and enforcement,” said CDFW Program Manager Marty Gingras. “Angler participation is a vital component of the information-gathering process – we rely on them to help us complete the loop.”

Working in Suisun and San Pablo bays from August through October, crews collected information on 18 green sturgeon, tagged 190 white sturgeon, and collected information on 169 white sturgeon that were either too small or too large to tag. In an ongoing collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and a new collaboration with San Francisco Estuary Institute, USFWS staff was also on board CDFW boats to collect various tissues as part of an age-and-growth study and a study monitoring selenium concentrations in white sturgeon.

The Sacramento-San Joaquin river system is the southernmost spawning grounds for both white sturgeon and green sturgeon.  Sturgeon in California can live more than 100 years and weigh over 500 pounds, but anglers most often catch sturgeon 3-4 feet in length.  The sturgeon fishery in California was once closed for decades due to overfishing. Today, commercial harvest of white sturgeon is not allowed, and recreational harvest of white sturgeon is regulated by size limit, daily bag limit and annual bag limit. Green sturgeon is a threatened species and neither commercial nor recreational harvest of those fish is allowed.

Serialized tags are provided with each sturgeon fishing report card to help enforce the bag limits. To enable law enforcement to cross-reference the tag with a particular card, anglers must permanently fix a tag to each kept white sturgeon until the fish is processed for consumption.

Anglers are required to return their 2015 sturgeon fishing report cards by Jan. 31, 2016.

Media Contact:
Marty Gingras, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (209) 234-3486
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

CDFW Offers Special Opportunities and Reduced-Fee Licenses for Disabled Veterans

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) offer reduced-fee hunting and fishing licenses to both resident and nonresident disabled veterans. CDFW also offers several special hunting opportunities for eligible veterans.

Any honorably discharged, disabled veteran with a 50 percent or greater service-connected disability who wants to fish or hunt in California is eligible.  Disabled veterans can now prequalify to purchase reduced-fee disabled veteran licenses via e-mail.  Once a disabled veteran has pre-qualified, they can purchase low-cost disabled veteran sport fishing and/or hunting licenses, each year, anywhere licenses are sold.  Information on how to prequalify for a disabled veteran license is available on the sport fishing licenses web page, under the “Free and Reduced Fee” tab.

The 2015 Disabled Veteran Sport Fishing License and Disabled Veteran Hunting License cost only $6.95 each when purchased at CDFW license counters.

Special hunting blinds have been constructed to be accessible to people with mobility impairments at some state wildlife areas and ecological reserves, and at some National Wildlife Refuges.

CDFW will try to accommodate any qualified hunter with a disability, but they must have drawn a tag for that hunt. If you have any questions or requests regarding accessibility, please contact CDFW’s Accessibility Coordinator Melissa Carlin at (916) 651-1214.

“If a person with a disability draws a tag, they should contact the hunt coordinator directly so we can accommodate them for that hunt, or find them another opportunity,” said Karen Fothergill, an environmental scientist with CDFW’s Wildlife Branch. “This process allows for more flexibility for offering opportunity that best works for an individual.”

CDFW also works with military installations on wildlife management and provides tags for those installations to issue to military personnel for deer and Tule elk hunting opportunities.

Certification from the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs and proof of completion of a hunter education course is required at the time of application. The first license must be purchased from a CDFW License Sales Office. Subsequent licenses may be purchased from any license agent or online, and at that time, a copy of a previous year’s California Disabled Veteran’s Hunting License will serve as identification.

Fish and Game Code, section 7150, authorizes CDFW to issue Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing Licenses to anglers who meet specific criteria. Additional validations or cards are required for certain species and areas and must be purchased at the regular fee.

The 2016 reduced-fee fishing license applications and reduced-fee hunting license applications are now available online. All California sport fishing licenses are valid Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 each year, and make excellent holiday gifts for veterans. Hunting licenses are valid July 1 through June 30.

Fishing and hunting regulations, as well as more information about licenses, are available on the CDFW website.

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