All posts by Chris Cocoles

Coyote Attack On Cal State L.A. Campus




A coyote bit a 5-year-old boy on the campus of Cal State Los Angeles, leading to a pursuit of the animal and shots fired on Thursday night. 

Here’s CBS2 in Los Angeles (which also posted the video above):

The shooting happened around 8:15 p.m., the Los Angeles Police Dept. said. LAPD is assisting in the investigation.

A 5-year-old boy who was walking on the campus with his mother was bitten by a coyote around 6:40 p.m.

A short time later, what’s believed to be the same coyote made an aggressive move towards a female student, who then reported it to police.

Officers said the coyote was hit but ran off.

The good news was the boy who was bit will be OK, but despite the mostly urban setting of the campus located near the intersection of the 710 and 10 freeways east of downtown, there could be more animals on campus.


Raptor Poaching Suspect Arrested In Lassen County

Photo by California Department of Fish and Wildlife.


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

California wildlife officers have uncovered what is likely the largest raptor poaching case in known California history, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced.

Wildlife officers assigned to Lassen County received an anonymous tip from someone who reportedly witnessed a man killing a hawk near the town of Standish. The local wildlife officer conducted surveillance, then visited the private property and discovered nine dead raptors, which was enough evidence to obtain a search warrant. He returned on March 11 with additional officers and a CDFW K-9. A search of the 80-acre property led to the discovery of an extraordinary number of raptor carcasses, other dead birds and wildlife and spent rifle casings indicating more than 140 potential state and/or federal violations.

Processing evidence
Processing evidence: Wildlife officers collected over 140 carcasses of mostly raptors, but other birds and mammals as well.

In addition to the original nine birds, they found 126 dead raptors, all in various states of decay. Most of the birds were red tail hawks, but at least one dead owl was found, as well as an uncommon migratory ferruginous hawk. Officers also located two dead bobcats, one taxidermied mountain lion and other nongame birds, all suspected to be unlawfully taken.

Property owner Richard Parker, 67, was booked into Lassen County jail on multiple charges including take of birds of prey, take of migratory nongame birds as designated by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, take of other nongame birds, and possession of wildlife unlawfully taken. Additional charges may be added as the investigation proceeds.

wildlife officers conducting investigation
Wildlife officers conducting investigation: Most of the dead birds were located at the bottom of roosting trees or manmade objects such as telephone poles.

Staff at CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Laboratory in Rancho Cordova are working to positively identify the species of all of the birds.

As the top bird predators in the food chain, raptors serve an important role in the ecosystem by controlling rodent and small mammal populations. However, they are also particularly susceptible to environmental stressors such as drought and habitat loss. For these reasons, biologists refer to them as an indicator species.

Standish is located near Honey Lake and the Honey Lake Wildlife Area, with habitat that supports a rich diversity and quantity of wildlife. The sheer number of birds poached on the 80-acre property will undoubtedly affect the raptor population in the immediate area.

“Poaching crimes of this egregious nature against raptors is unprecedented in California,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “The local raptor population may take years to recover from these killings.”

Each potential violation is a misdemeanor poaching crime at the state level, with maximum penalties of six months in jail and up to a $5,000 fine per each raptor. An unlawfully taken mountain lion could result in up to a $10,000 penalty. Each potential federal crime could result in additional penalties.

Happy 115th Birthday, USFWS Refuge System

Klamath Basin Refuges photo by USFWS




The following press release is courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Refuge System Marks 115 Proud Years

Snow Geese Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Snow geese take flight at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware.  Photo: Benjamin Hoffman

Get outdoors and celebrate your wildlife heritage. On Wednesday, March 14, the National Wildlife Refuge System marks its 115th anniversary.

National wildlife refuges, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, protect thousands of species and provide access to world-class recreation, from fishing and hunting to wildlife watching and nature photography.

President Teddy Roosevelt created the first wildlife refuge on March 14, 1903, when he protected brown pelicans at Pelican Island, Florida, from slaughter by market hunters.

Today’s Refuge System includes 566 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts, and covers about 150 million acres of land. The Refuge System also includes five marine national monuments. There’s at least one national wildlife refuge in every state and one within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas.

By providing hard-to-beat opportunities for fishinghuntinghikingbirdingcanoeing and nature photography, refuges also generate income for local communities. They pump $2.4 billion into the national economy and support more than 35,000 jobs, according to the Service’s Banking on Nature report. More than 53 million people visit refuges every year.

No matter where you live or travel, you can enjoy nature at a refuge near you. Use our zip code finder to locate a national wildlife refuge or wetland management district near you.

Some things you can do on wildlife refuges:

The Bay Area Has A Mountain Lion Problem

California Department of Fish and Wildlife



My sister lives in San Mateo, not too far but really close to a lot of wilderness areas, a few years back I was hanging out at her house with my dog and her dog and watching TV when I heard some pretty loud commotion in the backyard, along with the whining barks of a dog next door. Everyone else was out at the time and when they came back I was convinced a mountain lion had scampered through their yard and into the neighbor’s yard. Of course, I was probably wrong, but years later it doesn’t so far-fetched anymore.

As the San Jose Mercury News reports, several Bay Area communities – and admittedly in areas where it seems like mountain lion sightings seem more feasible – are enduring a big cat issue. 

Here’s reporter Patrick May with a few communities on cougar watch:

On the Prowl in Pescadero

Residents in and around this sleepy coastal burg have been on edge in recent days as county officials are warning the public there may be an aggressive mountain lion in the area. Over the weekend, a resident in the 5000 block of Pescadero Creek Road let their small pet outside the home around 9 p.m. Saturday. A short time later, the resident reportedly heard the pet yelp and it has not been seen since.

County officials said that while they can’t positively confirm that it was a lion that snatched that particular pet there have been reports recently of an aggressive lion in the same area that has killed livestock. Officials cautioned residents to keep a sharp eye on their pets and any livestock in their care, especially late at night and early in the morning. …

Fear Near Sonoma’s “Little Slice of Heaven” 

In the getting-too-close-for-comfort department, the large cats have been reported in the vicinity of the historic Penngrove Elementary School where the bench out front bears this carved message: “A Little Slice of Heaven.”

Residents in this bucolic hamlet of 2,500 wedged in between Cotati and Petaluma have been calling authorities in the past few days to report what they believe is a mountain lion in their neighborhood. The fact that some sheep deaths have also been reported has fueled fears for some in the rural area.

Officials from Sonoma County Animal Services and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were called out but investigators could not confirm whether a mountain lion was, in fact, roaming the local ranches. That did not calm the nerves of locals who reportedly saw the large cats near the grade school and then passed on reports over the social-media site Nextdoor. …

Possible Pumas Among the Eichlers

A mountain lion was spotted the other day in Eichler Highlands in San Mateo County, one of the most architecturally historic pockets of the entire Bay Area. Officials with the county said that the cat was seen at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the 1800 block of Randall Road. Officials said the animal was not aggressive and that it ran away when it saw people nearby.

A subsequent search of the area turned up no sign of the cat. The Highlands subdivision constitutes the largest contiguous Eichler development anywhere, with more than 700 of the renowned homes built over an 11-year period from 1955 to 1965. If the mountain lion is still around, it’s been prowling through a neighborhood with chock full of classic examples of the work of all the main  Eichler architects: Anshen & Allen, Jones & Emmons, and Claude Oakland.

Stay safe in mountain lion country, everyone.

Look Ma: Both Hands

Via the Orange County Register, check out the above video of a crazy but effective way to score some tuna for fish tacos, sashimi or a big fillet for the grill.

Here’s more from the paper:

Lawrance Quigley, a 52-year-old Dana Point resident, was doing his ritual surf check when he saw a crowd gather near the rocks by the jetty. He hopped out of the car and whipped out his cellphone to capture the moment on video.

“Got your fishing license?” a man is heard joking in Quigley’s video.

“It’s pretty odd,” said Quigley, who owns the fishing clothing line Fishworks. “The funny thing is, he missed it and the fish came back, like a dog.”

At first, Quigley thought it was a yellow fin tuna, which would have made the sight even stranger considering the cold water temperatures dipping into the 50s. Yellow fin typically only show up in warmer waters.

But upon closer inspection of still shots, Quigley said, he now believes it was a blue fin tuna, which can tolerate colder waters. He estimated the fish was about 25 to 30 pounds.

At an angler trade show in Long Beach over the weekend, Quigley said, he was peppered with questions — people asking, “Dude, was that for real?”

“It’s definitely a strange, odd thing,” he said.

Get Your Cycling Gear Check

The following press release is courtesy of ECOHS Communications:

Header image


From crushing the commute to a long day on the bike, there is something in here for just about everyone.

Sportful | Giara Over Short – $89

Technical over short that will adapt to almost any riding style. Clean styling in a technical over short that offers versatile simplicity. Four-way stretch construction, low-profile pockets, and a rear stretch-mesh insert make this a great choice whatever your bike. DWR fabric treatment helps repel dust and dirt from gravel riding, lightweight mesh inserts and internal fabric structure help with moisture management on faster rides, and style details also work when you step off the bike.

State Bicycles | Bernard – $449

The Bernard stands out with its classic hi-gloss black frame, polished crome parts, and gum-wall tires. Classic, sporty, and stylish, this will be your go to for around-town pedaling.

ABUS | Bordo Alarm Lock – $170

With the Bordo Alarm, ABUS is bringing the world’s first alarmed folding bike lock into the market. With well-tested electronics, this alarm provide a precise 3D movement sensor that triggers a 100-decibel alarm should an attack be attempted and thus deters thieves.

DZR Shoes – Jetlag Nero – $89

The smoothest way to hop on and off your bike is with DZR’s line of flat pedal urban bike sneakers. Smart and stylish, these shoes easily transition from bike to street without skipping a step.

Showers Pass | WP Socks – $35

Three comfortable, waterproof layers make the Showers Pass WP sock the ideal choice for active lifestyles.  The socks’ exterior layer is a wear-resistant knit that feels as comfortable as your favorite pair of wool socks and the outer layer wicks away all moisture and features an anti-bacterial lining. These layers combine to create a sock you can rely on to keep you comfortable and dry, no matter what weather you’re riding through.

ABUS | Hyban Helmet – $69

Nothing compares to the feel of a summer breeze rushing past as you pedal by on your bike.  The ABUS Hyban helmet offers 18 huge air vents keep you cool and comfortable while a wide range of color options let every rider find a look that suits their individual style. Additional features of this premium helmet include an integrated LED light, rain cover, and magnetic chin strap closure for the utmost safety and comfort.

Showers Pass | IMBA – $199

The IMBA is the perfect lightweight hardshell for your commuting & mountain bike needs. It features breathable performance fabric, ventilation, and reinforced shoulders that incorporate style, comfort, and design from the trail to the coffee shop.

Showers Pass | Crosspoint Waterproof Knit Gloves – $45

The Crosspoint Glove is the perfect glove for doing outdoor activities in wet and rainy weather. It features a fully waterproof lining, a wear resistant knit exterior, a seamless waterproof breathable Artex membrane, and a Coolmax FX moisture-wicking antibacterial knit lining to keep unwanted odor away. In addition, an integrated silicone layer on the palm has been applied to allow a firm grip on objects in damp environments.

Mission Workshop | Division Pant – $225

The Division pant is the ultimate Stretch Chino. It  is high-performance, water-resistant, and is perfect for any activity.  The tailored fit and feel of the Division is made from a fabric that is built to last and is commuter ready.?

Mission Workshop | The Rake – $365

The Rhake is built to hold everything you need for work, play, and the occasional overnight. Purpose built pockets are large enough to hold all of your accessories and the weatherproof 22-liter main compartment can grow or shrink as needed to hold gear and clothing. A two-layer weatherproof construction is designed to keep your gear warm and dry through spring.


Fishing Nonprofits Will Receive Funding For Hispanic Program

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

Six California non-profit organizations have been awarded funds to provide fishing programs for Hispanic youth and families.

A total of $53,207 in grants was awarded by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) through the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will match the grant funds, effectively bringing the total amount of funding to $106,414.

To be eligible for funding, proposals were required to encourage family participation (both genders and multiple generations), appeal to participants who live in metropolitan communities, be ethnically inclusive (open to families of all races and ethnicities) and provide hands-on experiences and conservation activities.

Latinos are California’s largest ethnic population, with almost 15 million people of Hispanic heritage. Yet only a fraction of California’s anglers are Hispanic. CDFW and RBFF are finding new ways to educate and engage Hispanic communities in fishing and boating activities. These grants were made available for programs that support this cause.

Projects approved for funding include:

Captain Rollo’s Kids at Sea

Friends of Rollo will hold three marine-awareness fishing trips for children who might not otherwise have such opportunities to witness the beauty and splendor of being on the ocean. Youth are provided on-the-water fishing and ocean conservation education where they learn about coastal ecosystems. Friends of Rollo focuses on serving disadvantaged, physically challenged and at-risk youth.

Coastal Watershed Council

The Coastal Watershed Council will partner with community centers and conservation organizations to reintroduce the San Lorenzo River and the fish that call it home to neighboring communities through the sport of fly fishing. The Coastal Watershed Council will engage Latino families who live near the river and invite them to participate in the Día de Pescar, a fly fishing clinic along the river. The council will also teach after school program participants how to fly fish.

Daniel Hernandez Youth Foundation

The Daniel Hernandez Youth Foundation will partner with local and state organizations, cities and communities to provide outdoor activities for underserved and minority youth. Kids are paired with volunteers to learn basic fishing skills and marine and conservation sciences in classroom and outdoor settings. The foundation will also coordinate free youth fishing events open to the public at various inner-city lakes throughout the year.

Hispanic Access Foundation

The Hispanic Access Foundation will hold four fishing outings for families in Los Angeles and San Diego during Latino Conservation Week and Hispanic Heritage Month. In each city, fishing events will provide an educational outing to a nearby fishing spot to participate in a hands-on fishing and aquatic stewardship educational experience.

Trout Unlimited South Coast

Trout Unlimited South Coast will provide fishing days and guidance with development of fishing skills on the natural bottom sections of the Los Angeles River. The events will focus on the concepts behind fishing, the equipment necessary for a successful fishing adventure and actual hands-on river fishing experience.

Tuolumne River Trust

The Tuolumne River Trust will coordinate several activities designed to educate, excite and motivate participants by exposing families to a variety of fishing techniques and locations. The trust will also hold a youth fishing activity station at the first annual Modesto Recreation Festival.

Grant funding was made available through the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar Education Fund, which supports RBFF’s Hispanic initiative, Vamos A Pescar™. The Education Fund allows state agencies to provide sub-grants to local 501(c)(3) organizations with project ideas that support efforts to keep future generations educated about the joys of fishing and boating and the importance of conservation. With the help of donations from companies and organizations, the Education Fund has continued to grow and expand nationally.

New Plan Announced As Cali Salmon Struggle

Winter-run Chinook salmon eggs photo by Laura Mahoney/USFWS.



Have you heard? Salmon are struggling in California waters.  A UC Davis study released earlier this year that endangered winter-run Chinook were straying off course from their expected spawning waters in the Sacramento River, a sign of at least peculiar behavior.

On Thursday, federal fisheries officials announced a $100-million  conservation plan as concerns about extinction escalate.  Here’s Ryan Sabalow of the Sacramento Bee:

During the worst of California’s five-year drought, thousands of eggs and newly spawned salmon baked to death along a short stretch of the Sacramento River below Shasta Dam.

The winter-run Chinook, already hanging by a thread, nearly went extinct.

Hoping to avoid a repeat of that dire scenario, fisheries officials announced Thursday the launch of a plan — nearly 20 years and $100 million in the making — they say would expand the spawning range of the fish to include a cold-water stream called Battle Creek. The idea is that the stream could keep the fragile winter-run alive as California’s rivers get hotter because of a warming climate. …

… On Thursday, fisheries managers said that over the coming weeks they were going to release around 200,000 young winter-run Chinook raised at a hatchery to Battle Creek, which feeds into the Sacramento River below the dam near Anderson in Shasta County.

Thanks to cold springs that keep the stream flowing all summer long, Battle Creek long has been considered a possible sanctuary for the winter-run, which spawn in the blast-furnace heat of the Sacramento Valley’s summers.

“We see this an area that can be resilient to climate change,” said Howard Brown, the Sacramento River basin chief for the National Marine Fisheries Service.

At the end of their three-year life cycle, adult Chinook instinctively return from the ocean to the stream or river where they were hatched to spawn and die. Battle Creek was one of their traditional spawning grounds, but small hydroelectric dams and other barriers blocked the fish from using its icy waters.

It has taken nearly 20 years and close to $100 million to remove barriers and install fish ladders and screens to open up enough of Battle Creek’s northern fork for regulators to try introducing the fish to the creek in the hopes of building a self sustaining population.

The Golden Gate Salmon Association’s president, John McManus, commented on the ambitious plan:

“I think everyone agrees that we need at least one backup population of winter run salmon in addition to the one that’s teetering on the brink of extinction in the upper Sacramento River.  Reintroducing winter run to Battle Creek is a good step towards stabilizing this unique run of salmon and hopefully rebuilding their numbers to where they can get out of the ICU unit of the Endangered Species Act,” McManus said in a statement.

“Salmon fishermen used to have good fishing right outside the Golden Gate in February years ago before winter run salmon were decimated by changes to their habitat in the upper Sacramento River.  Maybe someday we’ll see this again.”



Fishing Tackle Takes Quite A Journey To California


Remember that when you lose some of your fishing gear when out at sea, you just never know where it might turn up.

The San Francisco Chronicle had a neat report earlier this week about a piece of equipment that quite a journey to the Northern California coast. Here’s longtime Chronicle outdoors reporter Tom Stienstra:

When Sorensen and Vais first sighted the piece of fishing equipment, washed up on a beach, they knew this was a one-of-a-kind moment.

“About halfway on the trip, I found an obviously handmade fishing gaff,” Sorensen said. “It was cool looking. Even though we were backpacking, I added it to the load. When I got home, I decided to try to track down the owner.”

Using the hand-carved name “Semesa Nukuse” as the clue, Sorensen said he eventually traced the item to a family in a village in the Fiji Islands.

Through Facebook, Sorensen located a relative and learned that Semesa was a fisherman who used the gaff, a large hook on a wooden handle, to land fish too large to hoist in otherwise. The relative wrote Sorensen that, during the years that the gaff hook had floated to California, Semesa had died.

After all, he said, when you consider the unlikely journey from Fiji to California — and now back — it’s the right thing to do.


BUFF Introduces New UVX Mask and Balaclava To Protect Anglers





BUFF UVX Mask and UVX Balaclava

Provide Heads-Up Protection

Santa Rosa, CA (March 8, 2018) – Time to face the truth: outdoor recreation isn’t always kind on the complexion. From whipping winds, to solar harshness, to hostile insects — nature guards its resources with some pretty tough sentries. Add to this the keen perception of the critters we seek to hunt, catch or photograph, and it’s clear that anglers and hunters need topside protection beyond hats and glasses.

Buff, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of ORIGINAL BUFF, SA, the original creators of versatile multi-functional performance headwear, addresses these concerns with a trio of head- and neck-protecting items that’ll ensure your comfort on the water and in the woods.


BUFF UVX Balaclava shown in Pelagic White Camo

UVX Mask — Covering your neck and shoulders and fitting over the back of the head, the UVX Mask is made with ultra-lightweight fabric and contouring two-way stretch. Providing a comfortable fit with a streamlined look, the mask wicks away moisture and dries quickly. Laser-cut breathing holes allow a free flow of air for optimal respiration without fogging your sunglasses, while UPF 50+ protection, wind resistance and thermal protection round out the benefits.

UVX Balaclava — For even greater coverage, Buff takes all the great features of the UVX Mask and extends the protection to reach over your entire head. Combining superior UV protection with the quick-dry advantage of moisture-wicking material and the comfort of enhanced two-way stretch and recovery, this versatile balaclava allows a full range of motion without skimping on its primary duty.

UVX Insect Shield® Balaclava — Take the impressive UVX Balaclava, bolster it with Insect Shield treatment and you have a full range of protection that’ll make sure those flies, gnats and mosquitoes don’t crash your party.

BUFF UVX Balaclava shown in Pelagic White Camo

Between full uses, both the UVX Mask and UVX Balaclavas can be worn with the face guard up or down, or with the head covering down. This versatility ensures total comfort and adaptability for everything from talking on your Smartphone, to sipping the morning coffee or nibbling on those energy snacks.

“There’s nothing more frustrating than investing the time and effort into establishing the ideal position for your fishing or hunting objective; only to find the insects and/or elements too distracting to focus on your pursuit,” said Kevin Walker, Buff, Inc. Marketing Manager. “We know how important it is for anglers and hunters to maximize their time on the water or in the woods, so we’ve created highly functional masks and balaclavas from advanced materials to provide anglers and hunters the ultimate protection.”

So where do you need such items? Scarce are the days when you don’t need head and neck protection; but for anglers, consider the scorching reflection of the ocean’s surface and the merciless lashing of windy days. Coastal anglers, you know what happens when you venture close to the mangroves and salt marshes — mosquito assault, horsefly bombardment, sand gnat sneak attack. And how about our northern outings? Black flies ever ruin your pike trip? No more.

And don’t overlook the sight-fishing relevance. From bass to bones, reds to tarpon; the ability block peripheral light by pulling your Balaclava over your BUFF® 10-4 Tech Cap and snugging the edges around your sunglasses can be a difference-maker.

Consider also the benefit of locking sunglasses and/or prescription glasses on your head. Sure, any of the many cord/lanyard options will do the same thing, but these accessories can create awkward, if not downright inconvenient fit issues when you’re wearing a mask or balaclava. With temple stems secured beneath the protective fabric, your glasses stay put; no matter which way you turn, or how fast the boat is moving.

Hunters will appreciate the UVX Mask and UVX Balaclavas for spring turkey hunts, early season deer stands; and even those weeks of planting food plots and working trail cameras. Nature photographers — you’re also on the invitation list. Never again will windburn, sunburn or buzzing bugs cause you to miss that stellar shot.