sturgeon tag

Angling for a Big Sturgeon? Keep an Eye Out for a Reward Tag!

Tags, Report Cards are Important Data Collection Tools for Biologists

Every year, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) scientists rely on help from California anglers in order to monitor and manage our White Sturgeon population. White sturgeon anglers who are already familiar with the requirement to purchase an annual Sturgeon Report Card know that by Jan. 31 of the following year, they must return their card (by mail) or report their card information (online). Anglers must report even if no sturgeon were caught or if the angler did not go sturgeon fishing. Card data are extremely valuable, providing fisheries scientists with information about seasonal and geographic catch and harvest along with a measure of fishing effort.

But anglers should also be on the lookout for White Sturgeon carrying a disc tag. Every year between August and October, CDFW fisheries biologists conduct a survey of White Sturgeon. Fish are captured by net, counted and measured. A small plastic disc tag is affixed to White Sturgeon that are between approximately 3-6 feet in length. The tag is placed at the base of the dorsal fin (see photo), and the sturgeon is then released. Information collected from returned disc tags allows CDFW fisheries staff to produce more accurate population metrics.

CDFW currently offers rewards of $50, $100 or $150 per disc tag, although older fish with a $20 tag are sometimes caught. Tags must be physically returned to CDFW to be counted and the reward claimed; photographs cannot be accepted. However, the tags will be returned to the angler upon request. Anglers will also receive a commendation card with information about the fish, along with the specified reward amount.

Anglers can submit reward disc tags by filling out CDFW’s fish tag recovery form and mailing it to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Attn: Sportfish Unit
2109 Arch-Airport Road, Suite 100
Stockton, CA 95206

Please make a note on the form if you would like the tag returned to you.

Anglers can also report Sturgeon Report Card information online or return the cards by mail to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Sturgeon Fishing Report Card
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento CA 94244-2090

CDFW reminds all anglers that no White Sturgeon larger than 68 inches, and no Green Sturgeon of any size, should be removed from the water. CDFW appreciates anglers’ assistance in managing California’s White Sturgeon population.

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Media Contacts:
Jason DuBois, CDFW Bay Delta Region, (209) 234-3668

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

Reward Offered in North State Elk Poaching Case

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Californians Turn in Poachers and Polluters Program (CalTIP) is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the poacher responsible for killing four Roosevelt elk in Humboldt County last December.

On Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, CDFW wildlife officers responded to a poaching report in the Maple Creek area, southeast of Blue Lake. There they discovered four dead Roosevelt cow elk and evidence that they had been killed with a firearm. One elk was pregnant.

CDFW closely manages the state’s Roosevelt elk herds. A limited number of hunting permits are available for this species in Humboldt County and some hunters wait more than a decade to be successful in the drawing. Elk hunting season was not open at the time these animals were shot, and CDFW is asking the public for help with any information that may help bring the poachers to justice.

“This poacher shot these animals and left them for dead,” said CDFW Law Enforcement Division District Capt. AJ Bolton. “The vast majority of hunters are ethical and law-abiding citizens, but this is poaching, plain and simple.”

CDFW extends its thanks to four non-governmental hunting organizations that pledged the reward money to help solve this case. Those organizations are California Bowmen Hunters, California Houndsmen for Conservation, the Oranco Bowmen from Ontario and the Orange Belt Field Archers.

Wildlife officers are continuing their investigation, including processing evidence left at the crime scene. CDFW asks that anyone who has any information regarding this poaching crime to contact the statewide tip hotline, CalTIP, at 1 (888) 334-2258. Tips can also be sent via text to CALTIP, followed by a space and the message to tip411 (847411). CalTIP is a confidential secret witness program that encourages the public to provide CDFW with information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters. CalTIP operates closely but independently from CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division and is funded exclusively from private donations.

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Media Contacts: 
Warden John Fraley, CDFW Law Enforcement, (707) 445-6493
Captain Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-6692

 

Reward Increases for Information Leading to Arrest of Suspect Who Shot at Warden

hof-1Suspect

A multitude of organizations and private donors have contributed to the growing reward fund for information leading to the arrest of a man who shot at a California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) law enforcement officer in August.

Together, the California Wildlife Officers Foundation, the California Waterfowl Association, the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, the Sportfishing Alliance, The Nature Conservancy and private individuals have contributed $20,000 toward the reward fund for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr.

On Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, at approximately 12:40 a.m., a CDFW wildlife officer was patrolling for poachers in Carlotta, Humboldt County. The officer saw a pickup truck with occupants using spotlights in an attempt to poach deer on Redwood House Road near Highway 36. When the officer attempted to conduct an enforcement stop, a person in the rear of the vehicle began shooting at him. A vehicle pursuit ensued with the two suspects crashing the vehicle off-road. The suspects fled on foot into the woods, evading arrest.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Humboldt District Attorney’s Office are the lead investigating agencies concerning the shooting incident. Through their investigation, they determined one of the suspects is 24-year-old Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr. The Sheriff’s Office obtained a $500,000 Ramey Warrant for Hof’s arrest.

Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr. is described as 5’9”, 150 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information in this case (#201604226), particularly the whereabouts of Shawn Eugene Hof, is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

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Media Contact:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-9982

A long, narrow, tube-like tag with a red end, and another with brown, hair-like algae growing on the red end

Reward Offered for Return of Satellite Tags from Federally Protected Green Sturgeon

State and federal fisheries officials are asking for public assistance and offering a $20 reward for the return of each satellite tag from green sturgeon. The satellite tags, which are programmed to release from the fish after a predetermined time, are most likely to be found along the open ocean coastal portions of San Francisco and San Mateo counties, and the shores and waters of San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, Suisun Bay and the Delta.

Biologists use the tags to gather information on the Southern Distinct Population Segment of green sturgeon, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The tag rewards are being offered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), in collaboration with the West Coast Groundfish Observer Program, UC Davis and central California commercial halibut trawl fishermen.

If you see a live fish with a tag attached, do not remove the tag from the fish. Instead, note the tag number and call or email the point of contact printed on the tag. If you find a detached tag, please pick it up for return and contact Kristine Lesyna , CDFW Marine Region, (650) 631-6742, or Ethan Mora, NOAA Fisheries, (831) 420-3663.

More information about the tagging study can be found on the NOAA Fisheries Green Sturgeon Bycatch Project webpage.

Media Contacts:
Kristine Lesyna, CDFW Marine Region, (650) 631-6742
Ethan Mora, NOAA Fisheries, (831) 420-3663
Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191
Jim Milbury, NOAA Fisheries, (562) 980-4006

Reward Offered to Catch Trout Thieves

Media Contact:
Patrick Foy, DFG Law Enforcement, (916) 508-7095

The Californians Turn In Poachers and Polluters program (CalTIP) will give up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of trout thieves. The thieves are responsible for stealing approximately 1,000 trout from the San Joaquin Hatchery last weekend. The toll-free, 24-hour CalTIP hotline is 888-334-2258. The value of the fish and the cost to repair the damage to the hatchery elevate the crime to a felony.

On Aug. 21, between 3 and 4 a.m., someone forced entry into the San Joaquin Trout Hatchery and stole up to 1,000 large trout. They also killed and left another 70 large trout in the process. The trout weighed three-to-four-pounds each and had been growing in the hatchery for three years. DFG wardens have collected evidence at the scene and hope to get additional information from anyone who may have seen someone trying to sell the trout.

Citizens are encouraged to be watchful for anyone attempting to sell trout on the street, outdoors markets, or markets where trout are not normally sold. Physical descriptions, vehicle license plate numbers, time, date and locations would be extremely helpful.

For details on the CalTIP program, please see www.dfg.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip.aspx.