Tag Archives: Northern California

Butte County Receives Local Spill Response Equipment

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) oversaw the delivery of oil spill response equipment and training for Butte County first responders today. Butte County is the fifth inland area awarded the spill equipment grant since OSPR expanded its preparedness activities statewide.

“This grant ensures Butte County is prepared in the event of an oil spill. Oroville is one community in the county with a long history of rail traffic with the potential for impacts to the nearby Feather River and Lake Oroville,” said OSPR’s Local Government Outreach and Grant Coordinator Cindy Murphy.

The Butte County Fire Department received the $30,000 grant that provides 1,000 feet of containment boom, absorbent materials, a mobile trailer, and eight hours of training. The equipment will strengthen oil spill preparedness and response at the Lower Feather River.

Today’s training included a four hour classroom instruction session, followed by four hours of on-water equipment deployment with spill response professionals.

OSPR began offering equipment grants in 2007 and it has since provided over $1 million to more than 40 local government agencies and tribes in California.

Equipment grants are available to any local public agency or tribe in the state. In order to be considered, agencies must be at risk of an oil spill occurring in their jurisdiction. The Response Equipment Grant Program webpage offers more information.

Siskiyou County Receives Equipment and Training for Oil Spill Response

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) oversaw the delivery of oil spill response equipment and training for Siskiyou County first responders today. Siskiyou County is the fourth inland area awarded the spill equipment grant since OSPR expanded its preparedness activities statewide in 2014.

“For 25 years, we’ve protected the coast from oil spills. Now we want to bring the same level of protection to communities that have a long history of rail traffic and potential river impacts,” said OSPR’s Local Government Outreach and Grant Coordinator Scott Lipton. “It’s crucial that we all work together to protect these vital areas.”

Siskiyou County Environmental Health Department received the $30,000 grant that provides 1,000 feet of containment boom, absorbent materials, a mobile trailer and eight hours of training. The equipment will strengthen oil spill preparedness and response at the Upper Sacramento River.

Today’s training included a four -hour classroom instruction session, followed by four hours of on-water equipment deployment with spill response professionals.

“On behalf of Siskiyou County First Responders and the Upper Sacramento River Communities, we are grateful to OSPR and the people of the State to have been awarded this grant which will provide swift water oil response equipment and training to local personnel.  Siskiyou County is home of the head waters of the Sacramento River and its diverse habitat, we are very pleased to have these additional tools to help protect this crucial waterway.”

OSPR began offering equipment grants in 2007 and has since provided nearly $1 million to more than 40 local government agencies and tribes in California.

Equipment grants are available to any local public agency or tribe in the state. In order to be considered, agencies must be at risk of an oil spill occurring in their jurisdiction. The Response Equipment Grant Program webpage offers more information.

Media Contact:
Eric Laughlin, Public Information Officer, (916) 214-3279

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Feb. 24 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $14 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 17 funded projects will benefit 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, landowners and the local community. The state funds for all these projects come from initiatives approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Some of the funded projects include:

A $410,000 grant to the County of Fresno for a project to extend an existing boat launch and provide shade pavilions for boaters in the City of Shaver Lake on privately owned land, approximately 45 miles northeast of the City of Fresno.

$282,720 for the acquisition in fee of approximately 185 acres of land by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the protection of core wildlife linkages and endangered species habitat, located near the community of Jamul in San Diego County.

  • A grant of up to $3.5 million to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) under the California Forest Legacy Program Act of 2007, to assist with the acquisition of three separate conservation easements, totaling approximately 15,620 acres. The easements will protect significant forest, natural, ecological and open space conservation values on lands located near Willits in Mendocino County.
  • A $407,000 grant to the California Rangeland Trust for a cooperative project with the Natural Resource Conservation Services to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 1,547 acres of land for the protection of oak woodlands, deer and mountain lion habitat, watersheds and wildlife corridors located in Bear Valley in Colusa County.
  • A $332,500 grant to the California Rangeland Trust for another cooperative project with the Natural Resource Conservation Services to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 2,507 acres of land for the protection of oak woodlands, deer and mountain lion habitat, watersheds and wildlife corridors located in Bear Valley in Colusa County.
  • A $1 million grant to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for a cooperative project with the California State Coastal Conservancy and the Santa Clara River Trustee Council to remove non-native invasive plants and restore riparian habitat, on TNC’s Hanson property, located two miles southwest of the City of Santa Paula in Ventura County
  • A $3.3 million grant to the San Diego Unified Port District for a cooperative project with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways to replace the Shelter Island Boat Ramp, located on land held and maintained in a public trust by the District within the City of San Diego.

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.
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Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels,

CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-2420

Cache Creek Natural Area Closed Due to Rocky Fire

The Cache Creek Natural Area is closed to all public use and access until further notice due to the Rocky Fire burning in Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties. This closure affects state lands managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), including the Cache Creek Wildlife Area, and public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), including the Cache Creek Wilderness Area within the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. Additional closures are in effect at the Knoxville Wildlife Area managed by CDFW and the Knoxville Recreation Area managed by BLM.

Road closures are also in effect. The Highway 20 corridor is closed from Highway 53 to Highway 16, both directions of Ogulin County Road, and Highway 16 is closed from Highway 20 to County Road 41. Jerusalem Valley Road is closed to all traffic at Spruce Grove Road. CAL FIRE is urging motorists to stay vigilant and adhere to frequently changing evacuations and road closures. Due to significant fire activity, it is unknown when the areas will be safe to reopen.

“Safety is our first priority and we are cooperating with emergency responders who are working hard to get this fire under control,” said Garry Kelley, an environmental program manager with CDFW’s North Central Region. “It is highly unlikely that the Cache Creek Natural Area will open before the Saturday deer hunting opener, and not yet determined if it will open before the season closes on Sept. 20.”

For more information about the closures, please call CDFW’s North Central Region at (916) 358-2900 or Rocky Fire Information Center at (707) 967-4207. The message will be revised as more information becomes available.

For current updates on the Rocky Fire, please visit the CAL FIRE Incident Information website, http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_details_info?incident_id=1161.

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Media Contacts:
Joshua Bush, CDFW North Central Region, (916) 374-9137

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988
Martha Maciel, Bureau of Land Management, (916) 978-4616

Crystal Lake Hatchery to Supply Trout for Waters Normally Stocked by Quarantined Hatcheries

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Crystal Lake Hatchery, operated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), is currently stocking thousands of rainbow trout weekly in Hat Creek and surrounding waters in Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties. Because the recent discovery of whirling disease at Darrah Springs and Mt. Shasta hatcheries triggered a quarantine of fish at those facilities and raised concern about reduced fishing opportunities, more than 1.5 million healthy rainbow trout from Crystal Lake Hatchery will be allocated to these waters to ensure excellent fishing opportunities at a number of northern California locations.

“Because of the quarantine of nearly 3 million trout at two of our hatcheries, we had to re-evaluate and realign our stocking allotments and schedules,” said Linda Radford, CDFW Regional Hatchery Supervisor. “By sharing trout allocations from Crystal Lake and Mad River hatcheries, we can continue to stock all the waters we would normally stock while we are working to eradicate the disease and get back on schedule at Darrah Springs and Mt. Shasta. This is a very good ‘Plan B’ for anglers who are expecting to fish this summer.”

Statewide, CDFW will stock more than 7 million trout in more than 700 waters in 2015. June and July are two of the busiest angling months of the year in northern and central California. This is when many of California’s nearly 2 million fishing license buyers break out their rods and go fishing. Fishing and stocked trout are integral to many family vacations in northern California.

CDFW hatchery workers stock many of northern California’s waters – including the very popular Hat Creek – by hand. Staff often meet anglers as they are working, and serve as the face of the department to fishermen, campers, local business people and tourists.

CDFW Fish and Wildlife Technician Brett Adams works at Crystal Lake Hatchery and drives a small hatchery truck from stream to stream, stocking trout throughout the region. At each stop along the Hat Creek route, he dips a net into the truck’s fish holding tank, scoops up 30 to 50 trout and hand-carries them to the stream to release. Many of the releases are done near campgrounds and at well-known fishing holes and usually draw crowds.

“Anglers really appreciate us stocking trout and providing them the opportunity to catch one for the grill,” Adams said. “At each stop, the people I meet have lots of questions. Recently whirling disease came up for the first time … people are concerned it might affect the hatcheries and waters they love.”

To Adams, realigning some of the stocking is a common sense approach so anglers are not left out due to the whirling disease quarantine. While it is not a perfect solution, it is a good temporary fix to provide anglers fishing opportunity that would otherwise be lost this summer and fall.

Meanwhile, extensive testing is underway at both whirling disease-affected hatcheries to find out how many of the nearly 3 million trout on site are affected and if and when any can be stocked. Whirling disease does not affect humans and the trout are safe to eat.

Crystal Lake Hatchery is located near the town of Burney in eastern Shasta County. The hatchery was completed in 1955 and modernized in 1976. Today it has seven raceways capable of rearing 1.5 million fish annually. Crystal Lake Hatchery stocks approximately 60 waters in Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties. It raises a mix of the following fish:

  • Eagle Lake trout. Known for its resistance to highly alkaline waters, the Eagle Lake trout is a native to nearby Eagle Lake and its Pine Creek tributary. Due to diminishing flows into Pine Creek, a program was started in the 1950s to preserve the species. Once found only in its native waters, the Eagle Lake trout can now be found in many waters throughout the state.
  • Brown trout. Also known as German brown trout, this fish is native to Eastern Europe. Brown trout have been stocked in many state waters for recreational fishing. These days, triploid (sterile) brown trout continue to provide anglers a quality fishing experience.
  • Eastern brook trout. Though commonly called a trout, the brook trout is actually a member of the char family. Originating from the eastern United States, brook trout were imported to California via railroad in the late 1800s. As with brown trout, brook trout provided for anglers are now triploid.