Tag Archives: public lands

Knoxville Wildlife Area Closes Again, Due to Jerusalem Fire

Because of the Jerusalem Fire, Knoxville Wildlife Area is closed as of today, August 10, until further notice. This area was closed for several days last week due to the Rocky Fire, but reopened briefly over the weekend.

Interested members of the public can call (707) 944-5547 for updates on the closure. The message will be revised as more information becomes available.

In addition, the public can monitor the status of the fire at www.fire.ca.gov/general/firemaps.php.

Due to the uncertain nature of the wildfires in the area, it is unknown when the wildlife area will reopen.

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Media Contacts:
Conrad Jones, Knoxville Wildlife Area, (707) 944-5544

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Putah Creek Wildlife Area Closed to All Public Access Due to Wragg Fire

The Putah Creek Wildlife Area in Solano County will be closed until further notice due to impacts from the Wragg Fire. The Wragg Fire has burned 8,051 acres in Napa, Solano and Yolo counties, including the entire Putah Creek Wildlife Area.

The closure affects all public uses including, but not limited to, hunting, fishing, hiking and nature viewing. The closure is intended to allow the landscape and wildlife to recover, minimize erosion, and ensure public safety. As a result of the fire, potential hazards such as loose rocks and falling tree branches exist in the area. CDFW will reassess the Putah Creek Wildlife Area in spring 2016 to determine if it is suitable for public access.

Putah Creek Wildlife Area is located in Solano County just east of Lake Berryessa.

For more information on the Wildlife Area, please visit https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Lands/Places-to-Visit/Putah-Creek-WA.

Media Contacts:
Brian Shelton, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5538
Conrad Jones, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (707) 944-5544
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

CDFW Team Investigates Major Trinity County Marijuana Cultivation Sites

Sept. 6, 2013
Media Contact:
Warden Mark Michilizzi, CDFW Enforcement, (916) 651-2084

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The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) participated in a multiagency narcotics task force that executed 23 search warrants in Trinity County on Aug. 29. All of the warrants were served in the Trinity Pines subdivision in the town of Hayfork.

The parcels were part of a long investigation conducted by the State Marijuana Investigation Team, Bureau of Land Management and Trinity County Narcotics Task Force, relating to illegal cultivation of marijuana for sale. Eight wildlife officers and six CDFW environmental scientists inspected nine of the 23 parcels for environmental crimes.

Violations found by the CDFW team include eight unlawful water diversions, 18 incidents of state water pollution, five violations of littering state waters, and multiple violations of the Clean Water Act and Porter Cologne Water Quality Act.

Some environmental violations involved the terracing of slopes above fish streams and other unpermitted construction that negatively impact stream banks, water quality and riparian zones through loss of natural habitat and uncontrolled water runoff. Large quantities of trash and plastic fertilizer bags were discarded throughout the parcels, creating environmental and wildlife hazards.

“What we observed on these parcels contributes to the cumulative impacts we see downstream including low stream flows, nutrient loading causing algae blooms, poor water quality and ultimately fish kills,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Jane Arnold, who has been working environmental crime investigations associated with illegal marijuana growing operations for several years. “These stream impacts are undermining decades of restoration and fish recovery efforts in the Trinity River watershed, and ultimately affect its wild and scenic character.”

CDFW’s Lt. Jackie Krug added that wardens and environmental scientists have been working together closely for several years to investigate environmental crimes associated with illegal marijuana growing operations. “This detail resulted in similar types of environmental crimes that we often see on these sites,” she said.

DFG Announces Partial Fishing Closure in Oroville Wildlife Area

Media Contacts:
Janice Mackey, DFG Communications, 916-322-8908

Department of Fish and Game (DFG) officials have closed fishing in an

The Thermalito Afterbay Outlet

area around the Thermalito Afterbay outlet structure in the Oroville Wildlife Area (OWA).  

The Thermalito Afterbay outlet structure has always been closed to public access but some anglers have been removing fencing to fish from it. Thus, DFG is closing fishing within 250 feet of the structure through February 2013. The closure is effective immediately.

“Closing this small portion of the OWA to fishing will aid in the protection of species and enhance public safety while curtailing illegal activities such as vandalism and harvesting spring-run Chinook salmon and green sturgeon,” DFG Regional Manager Kent Smith said. “Our hope is that we can reduce the state’s liability while protecting California’s wildlife to the fullest extent.”

The outlet structure is part of the State Water Project and allows for the discharge of water from the Thermalito Afterbay to the Feather River below Lake Oroville. While the structure is fenced off, the fence has been repeatedly vandalized. This is not only a public safety issue, but may contribute to the illegal take of endangered species that congregate in the area.

The 11,869-acre OWA is home to coyotes, badgers, deer, mountain lions, foxes, bobcats, porcupines, ospreys, egrets and woodpeckers. For more information about OWA and angling opportunities there, please visit: www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa/region2/oroville.html

Waterfowl Hunting Delayed on Public Hunting Areas in the Sacramento Valley

Media Contacts:
Shaun Oldenberger, Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3763
Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) must delay opening day of waterfowl season on Type-A state and federal hunting areas in the Sacramento Valley. Due to a delayed rice harvest, opening day will be Oct. 29, one week later than the rest of the Balance of State Zone.

Dry grasses surrounding a pond under overcast sky
Yolo Basin Wildlife Area

The areas affected by this delay in opening day are Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, Little Dry Creek Wildlife Area, Llano Seco Wildlife Area, Howard Slough Wildlife Area, Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Delevan NWR, Sutter NWR and Colusa NWR.

This year’s rice harvest is unusually late because wet weather delayed the spring planting and a mild summer slowed maturation. The harvest is expected to continue into late October this year in the Sacramento Valley.

DFG reached the decision to delay the waterfowl season in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and representatives from the agricultural community in the Sacramento area. The delayed refuge opener is intended to minimize crop depredation consistent with Lea Act requirements and the purpose of some state and federal areas. The Lea Act of 1948 provided funds for the acquisition of federal lands and for the state to acquire matching acreage to attract waterfowl away from adjacent agricultural lands.

Delayed refuge openers were common from the late 1940s to the early 1980s but advancements in farming technology have produced rice crops that mature earlier, minimizing the need for delay. There have been only three delayed refuge openers for waterfowl hunting in the last 26 years, the last of which was during the 2006-07 waterfowl hunting season.

Hunters should familiarize themselves with the regulations on the Fish and Game Commission website at www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/current/waterfowlregs.aspx.