All posts by Chris Cocoles

Feather River Fish Hatchery Opening This Week

CDFW photo

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

The fish ladder at Feather River Hatchery in Oroville will open Friday, Sept. 14, signaling the start of the spawning season on the Feather River.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) hatchery workers will open the gates in the ladder about 8 a.m. and will take more than 3 million spring-run eggs and 12 million fall-run eggs over the next two months in order to produce Chinook salmon for release next spring.

The hatchery is open from sunrise to sunset. Visitors can observe the salmon through the viewing windows and from the observation deck located at the base of the fish barrier dam. At the main side of the hatchery, visitors can observe CDFW technicians performing the spawning process. Thousands of schoolchildren tour the Feather River Hatchery each year. For more information about spawning schedules and educational opportunities at the Feather River Hatchery, please call (530) 538-2222 or visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries/feather-river. For information about hatchery tours, please call (530) 534-2306.

For more information about California’s fish hatcheries, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries.

CDFW Awards $27.8 Million In Funding For Various Projects

 

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of 24 projects to receive funding from its Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Prop. 1) Restoration Grant Programs.

The awards, totaling $27.8 million, were made under CDFW’s 2018 Prop. 1 Restoration Grant Programs Resiliency, Recovery and Response Proposal Solicitation Notice.

Of the $27.8 million, approximately $23.9 million was awarded through the Watershed Restoration Grant Program to projects of statewide importance outside of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and approximately $3.9 million awarded through the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program to projects that directly benefit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The awarded projects represent priorities outlined in the 2018 Solicitation, as well as the California Water Action Plan. The 2018 solicitation included a specific focus on large-scale wildfire response and Central Valley salmon resilience and recovery.

“CDFW has maintained an adaptive priority-setting approach each year under our Prop. 1 grant program, and we are pleased to fund a number of projects this year that support fire recovery as well as continuing restoration actions,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “We are proud to have funded over 100 on-the-ground projects in the four years since the implementation of Prop. 1. These are projects that will continue to deliver benefits to our fish and wildlife, and the habitats where they thrive.”

Projects approved for funding through the Watershed Restoration Grant Program include:

Implementation Projects 

  • Restoring Ecosystem Function in the Upper Salt River Watershed ($1,131,333 to Humboldt County Resource Conservation District
  • Upper Truckee River and Marsh Restoration Project ($1,700,066 to California Tahoe Conservancy)
  • Martis Wildlife Area Restoration Project ($3,280,656 to Truckee River Watershed Council)
  • El Capitan Creek Fish Passage Restoration Implementation ($1,179,473 to California Department of Parks and Recreation)
  • Rubber Dam No. 1 System Fish Passage Improvements Project ($5,000,0000 to Alameda County Water District)
  • East Creek Restoration Project ($316,803 to Plumas Corporation)
  • Reidy Creek Restoration and Beautification Project ($380,873 to The Escondido Creek Conservancy)
  • The Road to Recovery: Redwood Complex Fire Restoration – Implementation ($656,902 to Mendocino County)
  • Post Fire Forest Management and Sediment Reduction for Coho Recovery ($1,423,107 to Sonoma Resource Conservation District)
  • Grasslands Floodplain Restoration Implementation Project ($1,342,718 to American Rivers)
  • Robin’s Nest Fire Recovery and Habitat Restoration Project ($301,600 to Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority)
  • West Stanislaus Irrigation District Fish Screen Project ($2,250,000 to West Stanislaus Irrigation District)
  • San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Removal and Tidal Marsh Restoration Project, Phase II ($2,200,000 to California State Coastal Conservancy)
  • Multi-benefit Floodplain Restoration at Dos Rios Ranch and Steenstrup Slough ($1,588,911 to River Partners)

Planning Projects 

  • San Ysidro Creek Debris Basin Capacity Improvement Project ($139,744 to Santa Barbara County Flood Control and Water Conservation District)
  • Cold Springs Debris Basin Capacity Improvement Project ($139,744 to Santa Barbara County Flood Control & Water Conservation District)
  • Romero Creek Debris Basin Capacity Improvement Project ($139,744 to Santa Barbara County Flood Control and Water Conservation District)
  • Mapping, Assessment and Planning for Recovery and Resiliency in Fire-Damaged Watersheds in the Thomas Fire and Whittier Fire Recovery Zones ($382,223 to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden)
  • The Road to Recovery: Redwood Complex Fire Restoration – Planning ($88,382 to Mendocino County)
  • Dos Pueblos Creek Restoration Designs ($222,104 to Earth Island Institute)

Projects approved for funding through the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program include: 

Scientific Studies

  • Eyes and Ears: Using Lens and Otolith Isotopes to Quantify Critical Rearing Habitats for Salmon Viability ($838,279 to University of California, Davis)
  • Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Freshwater and Estuarine Invertebrates: Implications for Managed Species, Their Communities, and Human Health Risks ($612,115 to Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board)
  • Pathogen Screening and Health Status of Outmigrating Chinook Salmon in the California Delta ($733,884 to University of California, Davis)
  • High Resolution Temporal and Spatial Mapping of Mercury in Surface Waters of the San Francisco Bay Delta ($1,708,808 to University of California, Merced)

General information about CDFW’s Prop. 1 Restoration Grant Programs, as well as a schedule of locations and dates for workshops, once available, can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/grants.

Funding for these projects comes from Prop. 1 bond funds, a portion of which are allocated annually through the California State Budget Act. More information about Prop. 1 is on the California Natural Resources Agency website.

Restoring The Massive Yolo Bypass Basin Helps Habitat

There is lot of activity in the Yolo Bypass Basin these days. When that means critical habitat restoration is occurring in one of the state’s most important systems, all of California benefits. Above, a February 2017 photo overlooking the flooded Yolo Causeway, a 3.2-mile long elevated highway that crosses the Yolo Bypass floodplain, connecting Davis and West Sacramento. Credit: Steve Martarano/USFWS

The following is courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Southwest Region: 

By Steve Martarano

There’s a buzz of activity in the Yolo Bypass surrounding crucial habitat restoration projects.

One project is essentially finished; another is under construction and four others are deep into the planning process.

There is almost too much activity in the Yolo Bypass Basin these days to keep track. But when that means critical habitat restoration is occurring to help fish in one of the state’s most important systems, all of California benefits.

The Yolo Bypass is a critical part of the state’s flood control system, receiving flood waters from major waterways including the American, Sacramento, and Feather rivers. When flooded, the bypass becomes one of the largest seasonal floodplains in the Delta, and a migration corridor for dozens of native fish species including Chinook salmon, steelhead, and green sturgeon.

State Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists conduct fish rescue operations by hand at Wallace Weir in July 2018. The project includes a fish rescue facility that would return fish back to the Sacramento River. Credit: Steve Martarano/USFWS

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Some of those corridors have become difficult for fish to navigate over the years, however, working on corrections has led to a key collaborative effort between several state agencies led by the California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation.

“It’s been fantastic seeing all the progress in the Yolo Bypass, as we move forward, getting construction crews in there,” said Ben Nelson, of Reclamation’s Bay-Delta office. “These projects are important for fish passage so that sturgeon and salmonids make it through the Bypass.”

During the construction of the Fremont Weir Modification Project, this structure was modernized to widen the channel to improve fish passage to upstream fish habitat. Credit: Steve Martarano/USFWS

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The latest piece of that migration corridor to begin construction is the Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project.

The project complies with the 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service’s Biological Opinion on the Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project, which identified the importance of fish passage and floodplain rearing habitat in the Yolo Bypass, requiring the cooperative completion of several projects that accomplish these goals.

These Yolo Bypass projects may also potentially improve downstream habitat for Delta smelt, said Heather Swinney, a fish and wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“These projects work to complement both NMFS’ and our biological opinions so that Yolo Bypass actions flow downstream to areas where smelt are known to occur,” Swinney said. “Restoration objectives under the biological opinions are intended to improve rearing and food web production for Delta smelt and salmon.”

Heavy equipment was used to widen the existing structure within the channel to allow for improved fish passage at Fremont Weir. Credit: Steve Martarano/USFWS

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Fremont Weir is located near Woodland and West Sacramento in the northern Yolo Bypass area and is a 1.8-mile long concrete structure that will overtop during rain events and allow flow into the Yolo Bypass. Fish become stranded whenever the Sacramento River recedes because an existing fish ladder is too narrow and doesn’t provide adequate depth for fish to pass through the weir. In its current state, the ladder impedes anadromous fish from returning to their spawning grounds. Work began last May and is scheduled to wrap up by the end of the year.

The Fremont Weir will improve fish passage conditions in the channel that extends from the existing fish ladder downstream to an existing deep pond by removing one agricultural road crossing and replacing another with a structure that allows for fish passage through the Tule Canal and continued agricultural utility.

The Wallace Weir structure replaced a seasonal earthen dam with a permanent, operable structure that would provide year-round operational control. Credit: Steve Martarano/USFWS

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The Wallace Weir project is just a couple of “minor fine tunes” away from completion, said DWR’s Maninder Bahia, the project manager who has overseen all of the Yolo Bypass projects the past nine years. Construction began at Wallace Weir in 2016, and centers around a water control structure on the Knights Landing Ridge Cut where it enters the west side of the Yolo Bypass. The original dam, which washes away during high flow events, was replaced with a permanent structure that will prevent migration of salmon and sturgeon into the Colusa Basin Drain.

Wallace Weir also includes a facility to allow for efficient trapping and relocation of fish to the Sacramento River, which is currently accomplished by hand during low-water periods by California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Completing that facility is the final piece to Wallace Weir, Bahia said.

Other planned projects in the Yolo Bypass include:

Agricultural Road Crossing 4 Fish Passage Project

A road crossing that spans Tule Canal just south of where the Sacramento Bypass connects with the Yolo Bypass, it has also been identified as a fish passage impediment. The crossing provides the ability to impound water for agricultural and waterfowl purposes. Water Resources is in the process of developing early conceptual options to improve fish passage through the Tule Canal in the Yolo Bypass and construction is scheduled to begin in 2019.

Lower Putah Creek Restoration Project

The project will create a new creek channel that will improve fish passage and native fish habitat where Putah Creek joins and flows through the Yolo Bypass, including seasonally flooded wetlands. The project will connect Putah Creek with previously restored tidal channels along the Toe Drain and widen and enhance those channels to create tidal habitat and provide better passage for salmon. The project will also improve fish passage to and from spawning grounds on upper Putah Creek by installing a structure that will better control the seasonal timing and magnitude of creek flows. Planning for this project is at the conceptual design level and is scheduled for construction in 2020.

Lisbon Weir Fish Passage Project

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2019 to modify Lisbon Weir, which is considered a key upgrade for adult migrating fish. Lisbon Weir delays migration in the Yolo Bypass. When the bypass is not flooded, salmon can only pass this rock weir when flood tides open a small section of flap gate or when a strong high tide overtops the weir. This project would improve fish passage throughout the tidal cycle while maintaining a reliable agricultural diversion. Planning for this project is at the conceptual design level.

Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage

The wide-ranging Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project would primarily consist of a new Fremont Weir headworks structure (structure at the head or diversion point of a waterway), a new outlet channel, and downstream channel improvements. Each of these facilities is a potential outlet channel that will be chosen from the east, center, and west alternatives in the Yolo Bypass. Each channel alignment would terminate downstream into the existing Tule Pond to improve fish passage and increase floodplain fisheries rearing habitat in Yolo Bypass and the lower Sacramento River basin. The project is currently in the alternatives development phase. A public draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report was released in December 2017 and a final statement/report is expected later this year. Anticipated construction is scheduled for 2020 or 2021.

 

Lake Jennings A Great Holiday Fishing Option

Photos courtesy of Lake Jennings

 

The following press release is courtesy of Lake Jennings in the San Diego area:

  • It’s finally LABOR DAY WEEKEND! FridaySaturday and Sunday, 8/31-9/2the lake will be open 6:00 a.m. to midnight with full size lanterns required after 8:00 p.m.  We will also be open on Labor Day, Monday, 9/3, from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Labor Day marks the end of our night fishing season. But mark your calendars for October 6th! The lake will be open until 10:00 p.m. for New Moon Fishing!
  • The lake will be stocked with our final stocking of the season, 1,000 lbs. of catfish this week! The grand total for the season was a whopping 10,000 lbs!
  • Anglers are finding lots of catfish in Eagle Cove and Half Moon Cove biting on mackerel and nightcrawlers. One angler last weekend even reeled in a nice 16+ lb. cat in Eagle Point on mackerel.
  • Bass have been caught all over the eastern portion of the lake from Cloister Cove to Sentry Point. Try using Senkos and nightcrawlers. Anglers were blowing it up on shad all around the dock!
  • We’re also seeing those cute bluegill and redear panfish biting on mealworms and wax worms over off Eagle Point and in Half Moon Cove.
  • Enjoy a fun-filled day at the lake this Labor Day cruising around the lake, fishing the coves, or picnicking with friends!
  • Kayaks are available for rent and feature multiple rod holders and water tight compartments. Children can kayak if their parent or legal guardian is also kayaking and they can physically operate the kayak themselves. Are your kiddos not quite ready for that? Paddle boating is a great option for crusing on the lake and fun for the whole family.
  • Come visit us at the campground. Pets are allowed at the campground as long as they are on a 6 foot (or shorter) leash. The fresh air and outdoor excitement are sure to keep them going.
  • Lake Jennings is a drinking water reservoir and remember, no body contact is permitted.
  • For camping reservations just give us a call (619) 390-1623 or visit www.lakejennings.org to make your reservations. Come spend a few days with us!

Boaters: Help Prevent The Spread Of Invasive Species

Invasive species like quagga musssels can be prevented with smart boat care. (CDFW)

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: 

Quagga and zebra mussels are invasive freshwater mussels native to Europe and Asia. They multiply quickly, encrust watercraft and infrastructure, alter water quality and the aquatic food web and ultimately impact native and sport fish communities. These mussels spread from one waterbody to another by attaching to watercraft, equipment and nearly anything that has been in an infested waterbody.

Invisible to the naked eye, microscopic juveniles are spread from infested waterbodies by water that is entrapped in boat engines, bilges, live-wells and buckets. Quagga mussels have infested 33 waterways in Southern California and zebra mussels have infested two waterways in San Benito County.

To prevent the spread of these mussels and other aquatic invasive species, people launching vessels at any waterbody are subject to watercraft inspections and are strongly encouraged to clean, drain and dry their motorized and non-motorized boats, including personal watercraft, and any equipment that contacts the water before and after use.

“As the summer boating season comes to an end, boaters are reminded to clean, drain, and dry their watercraft and equipment after every use to limit the spread of invasive species and help conserve California’s irreplaceable plant, fish and wildlife resources,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Habitat Conservation Planning Branch Chief Rick Macedo said.

Take the following steps both before traveling to and before leaving a waterbody to prevent spreading invasive mussels, improve the efficiency of your inspection experience and safeguard California waterways:

  • CLEAN — inspect exposed surfaces and remove all plants and organisms,
  • DRAIN — all water, including water contained in lower outboard units, live-wells and bait buckets, and
  • DRY — allow the watercraft to thoroughly dry between launches. Watercraft should be kept dry for at least five days in warm weather and up to 30 days in cool weather.

CDFW has developed a brief video demonstrating the ease of implementing the clean, drain and dry prevention method. In addition, a detailed guide to cleaning vessels of invasive mussels is available on the CDFW’s webpage. Additional information is available on the Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) website.

Travelers are also advised to be prepared for inspections at California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Border Protection Stations. Over the past 10 years, more than 1.45 million watercraft entering California have been inspected at the Border Protection Stations. Inspections, which can also be conducted by CDFW and California State Parks, include a check of boats and personal watercraft, as well as trailers and all onboard items. Contaminated vessels and equipment are subject to decontamination, rejection, quarantine or impoundment.

Quagga and zebra mussels can attach to and damage virtually any submerged surface. They can:

  • Ruin a boat engine by blocking the cooling system and causing it to overheat
  • Jam a boat’s steering equipment, putting occupants and others at risk
  • Require frequent scraping and repainting of boat hulls
  • Colonize all underwater substrates such as boat ramps, docks, lines and other underwater surfaces, causing them to require constant cleaning
  • Impose large expenses to owners

A multi-agency effort that includes CDFW, DBW, CDFA and the California Department of Water Resources has been leading an outreach campaign to alert the public to the quagga and zebra mussel threats. A toll-free hotline, (866) 440-9530, is available for those seeking information on quagga or zebra mussels.

Archery Hunter Mauled By Wounded Bear He Arrowed

An archery bear hunter’s encounter with a bruin he hit didn’t go so well in Riverside County.  Here’s more from the Los Angeles Times’ Hannah Fry:

Three people were hunting together Friday at about 7 p.m. when one of the hunters shot a bear with an arrow. When the man approached the wounded bear, it attacked him, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Capt. Patrick Foy said Tuesday.

The man suffered severe injuries to his upper torso, face and arms and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The bear eventually died from its wound.

CDFW, State Water Resources Board To Host Cannabis Permitting Workshops

The following press is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) will be hosting cannabis permitting workshops in Fortuna, Redway and Ukiah in late August and early September. Workshops are open to cannabis cultivators, consultants and anyone with an interest in the topic. There is no cost to attend.

Each workshop will include presentations by CDFW and SWRCB about the requirements for and process of obtaining proper permits for cannabis grows. Workshop attendees will have ample time to talk with agency staff about individual projects. Representatives from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, CAL FIRE  and county permitting and planning departments will also be available to answer questions.

The workshops will be held on the following dates:

Wednesday, Aug. 29
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.)
River Lodge Conference Center
1800 Riverwalk Drive
Fortuna

Thursday, Aug. 30
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.)
Mateel Community Center
59 Rusk Lane
Redway

Wednesday, Sept. 5
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.)
Ukiah Valley Conference Center
200 S School St.
Ukiah

For more information, please visit CDFW’s cannabis program webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/cannabis and the SWRCB cannabis program webpage at www.waterboards.ca.gov/cannabis.

First Dove Season Approaching

CDFW photo

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The first of two opening days of California’s dove hunting season is fast approaching. This year’s season for mourning dove, white-winged dove, spotted dove and ringed turtle dove will run from Saturday, Sept. 1 through Saturday, Sept. 15 statewide, followed by a second hunt period, Saturday, Nov. 10 through Monday, Dec. 24.

Mourning dove and white-winged dove have a daily bag limit if 15, up to 10 of which may be white-winged dove. The possession limit is triple the daily bag limit. There are no limits on spotted dove and ringed turtle dove. Hunting for Eurasian collared dove is legal year-round and there is no limit.

Please note that as of July 1, 2015, nonlead ammunition is required when hunting upland game birds on all California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) lands. Please plan accordingly. For more information please see the CDFW nonlead ammunition page.

dove identification guide can be found on the CDFW website, along with a map of upland game fields in Imperial County, the state’s hub for dove hunting.

Following two years of increased precipitation in northern California, abundant forage and water availability has provided mourning doves with the basics for a productive nesting season. Early banding data show high numbers of hatch year birds reported around the state. Mourning doves are generally short-lived and can respond with high reproductive success given ideal habitat conditions. This, paired with a Saturday opening day, should draw many hopeful dove hunters to the fields.

Dove hunting is a great starting point for new hunters. There is very little equipment required and just about any place open for hunting will have mourning doves. Minimum requirements are a valid hunting license with upland game bird stamp (junior license holders are not required to have an upland game bird stamp) and Harvest Information Program (HIP) validation, good footwear, a shotgun, shotgun shells and plenty of water. Hunters should be careful not to underestimate the amount of fluids needed, especially during the first half of the season or when hunting in desert areas.

Many dove hunters like to position themselves in a known flyway for doves. Flyways can run to and from roost sites, water, food sources or gravel. Doves are usually taken by pass shooting along flyways, but hunters may also be successful jump shooting. Dove movement is most frequent in the early mornings and late evenings when they are flying from and to their roost sites (this is when the majority of hunters go into the field). Late morning to early afternoon can be better for jump shooting. Hunters should scout out dove activity in the area a few times just prior to hunting.

Important laws and regulations to be aware of include the following:

  • Shoot time for doves is one half hour before sunrise to sunset.
  • All hunters, including junior hunting license holders,  are required to carry their hunting license with them.
  • Hunters must have written permission from the landowner prior to hunting on private land.
  • Bag limits apply to each hunter and no one can take more than one legal limit.
  • It is illegal to shoot within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling.
  • It is illegal to shoot from or across a public roadway.
  • It is illegal to hunt within 200 yards of an artificial water source for wildlife.

It is the responsibility of every hunter to know and follow all laws, including identifying game species.

Safety is the most important part of any hunting adventure. Although wearing hunter orange (blaze) is not required by law, it may be required in specific areas. Wearing a minimum of a hunter orange hat is recommended, especially when sitting or when hunting in deep vegetation. Safety glasses are a simple way to protect the eyes and are available in many shades for hunting in all types of lighting situations.

The weather throughout the state on Sept. 1 is expected to be hot and dry. CDFW urges hunters to drink plenty of fluids, wear sun protection and have a plan in case of an accident.

Full dove hunting regulations can be found on CDFW’s website.

Fish And Game Commission Announces Abalone Fishery Closure

The following press releases are courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Commission meets, orders closure of abalone fishery:

At its August 2018 meeting in Fortuna, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from the meeting.FGC logo

Commission President Eric Sklar, Commissioner Jacque Hostler-Carmesin and Commissioner Peter Silva were present. Commission Vice President Anthony Williams and Commissioner Russell Burns were absent.

In response to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) findings of declining density and poor ocean conditions, in December 2017, the Commission adopted regulations to close the recreational abalone fishery for the 2018 season. Unfortunately, ocean conditions are not improving for California’s red abalone, and populations continue to decline due to severe starvation conditions. Consequently, on Aug. 22, the Commission voted unanimously to authorize publication of notice of intent to amend regulations to extend the fishery closure sunset date for the recreational red abalone fishery another two years (through April 2021). They will take action on whether or not to extend the closure the season at their December meeting.

On Aug. 23, The Commission voted unanimously to list the Humboldt marten as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act.

The Commission also received an update from CDFW regarding cutting-edge rehabilitation techniques being utilized on wildlife severely burned in wildfires. Typically wildlife finds ways to flee from wildfire and CDFW does not anticipate large scale population declines associated with the fires. However, some animals have been deemed suitable for rehabilitation and have been taken in for treatment. Thus far, three bears and one mountain lion have been treated for burns with sterilized tilapia skin. CDFW released a time-lapse video of one of the bears undergoing the treatment.

The full Commission summary and supporting information can be found at www.fgc.ca.gov. An archived video will soon be available.

The California Fish and Game Commission was the first wildlife conservation agency in the United States, predating even the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. There is often confusion about the distinction between CDFW and the Commission. In the most basic terms, CDFW implements and enforces the regulations set by the Commission, as well as provides biological data and expertise to inform the Commission’s decision-making process.

Free Fishing Day returns on Sept. 1

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is encouraging all Californians to give fishing a try for free on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018.

CDFW annually offers two Free Fishing Days, typically around the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends (the first in 2018 was held July 7). On these two designated days, people can fish without having to buy a sport fishing license. Free Fishing Days also provide an easy opportunity for licensed anglers to introduce non-angling friends and children to fishing and the outdoors.

All fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements and fishing hours and stream closures, remain in effect. Every angler must have an appropriate report card if they are fishing for steelhead, sturgeon or spiny lobster anywhere in the state, or for salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity river systems.

Anglers residing in urban areas also have opportunities to fish close to home. Some CDFW regions also offer Fishing in the City, a program that allows children to learn to fish in major metropolitan areas. For more information on the Fishing in the City program, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing-in-the-city.

All anglers should also check the rules and regulations at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regulations for the waters they plan to fish because wildlife officers will be on duty to enforce them. In addition, information on fish planting is available at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/fishplants and a fishing guide can be viewed at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/guide.

For more information on Free Fishing Days, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing/free-fishing-days.

 

Farmers Versus Fish Fight Heats Up

California’s water wars are enduring salvos from all the way to the White House and the Department of the Interior, Sacramento attracted a farmers-inspired protest earlier this week. No word if salmon will take a break from their spawning runs up the Sacramento and Feather Rivers to counter-protest as water allocation from the Delta accelerates.

Here’s more from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Central Valley farmers and their elected leaders converged on Sacramento on Tuesday to accuse the state of engineering a water grab that puts the fate of fish above their fields and jeopardizes a thriving agricultural economy.

The allegations came at a meeting of the powerful State Water Resources Control Board, which recently unveiled a far-reaching plan to shore up the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the West Coast’s largest estuary and a source of water for much of California.

The plan calls for irrigation districts as well as some urban water suppliers, including San Francisco, to reduce their draws on rivers that feed the delta in an effort to boost inflows into the depleted estuary and help wildlife.

The Modesto Bee was also on hand and checked in on the environmental side of the issue:

An hour before Monday’s rally, a coalition of delta protection and environmental groups held an event to criticize the water board’s plan for not guaranteeing enough river flows for salmon and steelhead trout. About 25 people attended the quiet affair.

Noah Oppenheim, director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Associations, said the number of coastal salmon fishing outfits has dropped over 40 years from 4,500 to 450.

With an average of 20 percent natural flow in the Tuolumne, corporate farming operations have grown fat by holding a tight grip on water rights to the detriment of the fishing industry, Oppenheim fumed.

“It’s time they go on a diet,” Oppenheim said. “It’s us versus you and we will win.”