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North Coast Ocean Salmon Season Could Be A Long One

The Pacific Fishery Management Council announced a trio of preliminary management plans for ocean salmon fishing along the North Coast just south of the Oregon border. Check out the plans here. 

The Eureka Times-Standard broke down the three potential alternatives:

The three alternatives currently on the table: May 25-September 8https://twitter.com/PacificCouncil/status/1106284804767657987, or May 25-September 4, or May 25-September 2.

All three scenarios are the same, two fish per day, seven days a week, Chinook only, 20-inch minimum size. From Horse Mountain to Point Arena, which includes Shelter Cove and Fort Bragg, the three alternatives are: April 13 to Oct. 31; or April 13 to Oct. 31; or April 13 to May 31 and June 22 to Sept. 30.

All three scenarios are the same, two fish per day, seven days a week, Chinook only, 20-inch minimum size.

 

Tickets On Sale For Golden Gate Salmon Association Fundraiser

The following press release is courtesy of the Golden Gate Salmon Association: 

San Francisco  —  The Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA) will host its 9th Annual Sonoma County Dinner at the Friedman Event Center, 4676 Mayette Ave. in Santa Rosa on April 12. Doors open at 5:30pm. It will be a great night featuring hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dinner, and silent and open auctions.  Everyone will get chances to win quality raffle and door prizes such as Seeker rods, Costa sunglasses, Patagonia gear, a YETI cooler filled with tackle, plus much more!

This dinner is the opportunity to support and raise funds for GGSA while comparing fish stories with folks we share the water.  We’ll toast the next morning when sport anglers get a chance to catch that first California king salmon of the year on opening day of salmon season in northern parts of the state.

“We’re expecting a good salmon season this year so if you have any plans to buy gear or a trip, save your money and come to this dinner because there will be great deals on both, and you’ll be supporting healthy future salmon runs,” said dinner chairman Mike Aughney.

“We’ve been working for months to get the best raffle and auction prizes and all of our fellow fishermen and women to come.  You’ll want to be there too,” said GGSA event planner Cat Kaiser.

Tickets are limited and are available by calling 855-251-GGSA (4472) or by visiting www.goldengatesalmon.org.com   Tickets are $85 per person, and will NOT be sold at the door.

Table Sponsor packages are $850 and include reserved VIP seating for eight and $160 worth of raffle tickets, or $935 for reserved seating for ten with $200 worth of raffle tickets

Auction lots include: top of the line outdoor gear, fishing trips from your favorite local charter boat captains, guided fly fishing adventures, ladies gift sets and several vacation packages- including a salmon fishing getaway to the Queen Charlotte Lodge in Canada, wine lots, rock n roll memorabilia, and other fun items.

This year’s sponsors include: North Coast Brewing and Queen Charlotte Lodge.

GGSA’s mission is to restore California salmon for their economic, recreational, commercial, environmental, cultural and health values.  GGSA serves the sport and commercial anglers, businesses, conservationists and foodies that rely on salmon as a long-term, nutritious, sustainable resource.

Currently, California’s salmon industry is valued at $1.4 billion in annual economic activity in a normal season. The industry employs tens of thousands of people from Santa Barbara to northern Oregon. This is a huge economic bloc made up of commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen (fresh and salt water), fish processors, marinas, coastal communities, equipment manufacturers, tackle shops and marine stores, the hotel and food industry, tribes, and the salmon fishing industry at large.  Salmon are the keystone species that reflect the health of both their fresh and salt water environment.

Wild Sheep Foundation Honored By Boone and Crockett

L-R) Kevin Hurley (WSF), Clay Brewer (WSF), Tim Brady (B&C President), Gray Thornton (WSF), Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, Tom Price (B&C), and Brett Jefferson (WSF) at the Boone and Crockett Club’s 84th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Denver, March 6.

The following press release is courtesy of Boone and Crockett: 

MISSOULA, Mont. (March 11, 2019) – The Wild Sheep Foundation is the recipient of the Boone and Crockett Club’s prestigious Conservation and Stewardship Award for 2019. The award is given annually to the organization or entity that best exemplifies excellence in conservation, and wildlife and land stewardship – core values of the Boone and Crockett Club and its founder, Theodore Roosevelt.

“When Roosevelt formed the Club in 1887 to save our big game species from the path of destruction they were on, Club members at the time quickly realized something of great importance,” said Boone and Crockett Club President Timothy C. Brady. “They recognized that if big game population were to recover and thrive, it would take the formation of other groups dedicated to the future of individual species. The Wild Sheep Foundation is one of those groups.”

The Club’s Conservation and Stewardship Award was established in 2015. This year’s award was presented to the Wild Sheep Foundation President and CEO Gray N. Thornton, who accepted the award on behalf of the Foundation and its members at a B&C dinner this past week during the 84th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Denver, Colorado.

Also in attendance at the dinner and for the Award presentation was Acting Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt.

Thornton commented, “The Wild Sheep Foundation’s work is part of the legacy of the founders of the Boone and Crockett Club, who were largely the founders of wildlife conservation. We have always been proud to be part of that history and are deeply honored to be recognized for our part in it.”

Past Award honorees include:
2015 – The Starkey Project, Experimental Forest and Range (Ore.), U.S. Forest Service
2016 – Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (Texas)
2017 – Bob Munson and Charlie Decker (founders), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
2018 – Wildlife Management Institute and Dr. Steve Williams (president)

Recipients are selected based on the demonstration of these criteria:

Exemplifies the core values of the Boone and Crockett Club
Demonstrates responsible and professional natural resource management
Champions fair chase hunting and habitat management that supports huntable populations of big game animals
Builds public/private conservation partnerships

“In 1977, when the Wild Sheep Foundation was formed, its estimated there were only 25,000 bighorn sheep roaming North America,” Brady explained. “Today there are more than 85,000 which is a testament to the remarkable contribution made by WSF. As history shows time and time again, it’s sportsmen who step up and do the work necessary to conserve habitat and wildlife. We can’t tell this story enough.”

Concerned About Trout Regulations? CDFW To Host Public Forums

CDFW photo

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

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will host a series of statewide meetings to inform the public and seek input on the proposed new statewide changes for trout fishing regulations.

“The California Fish and Game Commission directed our department to make the regulations and seasons more simple and easy to understand, while continuing to protect and manage the state’s trout resources,” said Roger Bloom, CDFW Inland Fisheries Program Manager. “We look forward to explaining how these new changes came about, and how they could be implemented.”

The meetings will focus on the following key areas:

  • Objectives of the new regulation framework and species management goals
  • Parameters of the regulation standardization and consolidation process
  • Review of specific proposed changes to regulations

CDFW personnel will be available at information stations to answer questions and listen to stakeholder interests, needs and ideas. All stakeholder input will be taken into consideration as a regulation simplification package is developed for formal public review through the California Fish and Game Commission.

Meetings will be held on the following dates:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
6-8 p.m.
Talman Pavilion, Tricounty Fairgrounds1234 Fair St., Bishop

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
6-8 p.m.
Redding Library Community Room, 1100 Parkview Ave., Redding

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
6-8 p.m.
Betty Rodriguez Regional Library, 3040 N. Cedar Ave., Fresno

Saturday, April 6, 2019
Noon-2 p.m.
Bass Pro Shops, 7777 Victoria Gardens Lane, Rancho Cucamonga

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
6-8 p.m.
Colonial Heights Library Community Room, 4799 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
6-8 p.m.
Truckee-Tahoe Airport Community Room, 10356 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee

More information is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/inland/trout-plan. Meetings are in-person only and no conference line or webcast will be available.

Wildlife Conservation Board Grants $8 Million For Habitat Improvement

California mountain lion on the western side of Portal Ridge, in Los Angeles County. (CDFW)

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

At its March 7 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $8 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 21 approved projects will benefit fish and wildlife — including some endangered species — while others will provide public 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.

Funding for these projects comes from a combination of sources including the Habitat Conservation Fund and bond measures approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources.

Upland coastal sage and cactus scrub habitat — breeding & foraging habitat for the western spadefoot toad. — in Crystal Cove State Park in Orange County. Across the water, Catalina Island.

Funded projects include:

Land soon to be part of CDFW’s Battle Creek Wildlife Area. It has terrestrial and aquatic habitats supporting salmonid species, and habitat linkages and connectivity near Anderson in Shasta County.

  • A $680,000 acquisition in fee of approximately 32 acres of land as an expansion to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Battle Creek Wildlife Area for the protection of terrestrial and aquatic habitats supporting salmonid species, to enhance habitat linkages and connectivity, and to provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities near Anderson in Shasta County.
  • A $440,000 grant to CDFW for a cooperative project with California State Parks to improve the parking lot, provide an ADA-accessible viewing platform, and install a new ADA-accessible toilet at North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve, eight miles north of the Oroville, in Butte County.

Desert spring near Lake Isabella.

  • $1.3 million for two grants to The Trust for Public Land to acquire approximately 1,415 acres of land for the protection of threatened and endangered species, preservation of desert springs with year-round surface water and a riparian corridor, and provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities near Lake Isabella in Kern County.
  • Two grants for a total of $480,000 to the Transition Habitat Conservancy to acquire in fee approximately 120 acres of land from two separate owners for the protection of deer and mountain lion habitat, to maintain a migration corridor for the deer herd, and to provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities in the hills northwest of Portal Ridge, in Los Angeles County.
  • A $757,000 grant to the Natural Communities Coalition for a cooperative project with CDFW, Orange County Parks and California State Parks in Crystal Cove State Park and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park – both in Orange County. The project will construct 16 seasonal pools and restore approximately 15 acres of adjacent upland coastal sage and cactus scrub habitat that will provide breeding and foraging habitat for the western spadefoot toad.

For more information about the WCB please visit https://www.wcb.ca.gov.

450 Pounds Of ‘Black Market’ Pot Seized In Trinity County

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

Last month, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), assisted by the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department, served a search warrant at a private parcel in the Hayfork area of Trinity County.

The warrant was based on evidence of black market marijuana sales, environmental crimes and other criminal activity. CDFW also verified that the private property and parties involved were not licensed by the state to commercially grow and/or produce cannabis products.

Officers seized five firearms, 455 pounds of processed marijuana, 1,540 grams of Butane Honey Oil (BHO) and equipment for a BHO lab. Along with this, wildlife officers found evidence of black market marijuana being shipped across state lines.

“There is no doubt that black market marijuana operations prevent California’s legal cannabis market from thriving and encourage other criminal behavior,” said David Bess, Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “Shutting down an operation of this nature is one of the many tasks that wildlife officers encounter when protecting California’s natural resources.”

The Trinity County District Attorney’s office is reviewing five felony charges against the two suspects.

CDFW reminds cannabis cultivators to obtain state licenses and local authorization for commercial cultivation. Following these recommended actions can help cultivators avoid common pitfalls that may lead to enforcement actions. Learn more at wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis.

CDFW would like to remind the public to report environmental crimes such as water pollution, water diversions and poaching to the CalTIP hotline by calling (888) 334-2258 or by texting “CALTIP” followed by a space and whatever the desired message, to 847411 (tip411).

Federal Proposal On The Table To Delist Lower 48 Gray Wolves

From our Northwest Sportsman magazine:

Federal wildlife overseers are proposing to delist gray wolves in the western two-thirds of Washington and Oregon and elsewhere across the Lower 48.

A WDFW IMAGE SHOWS A TEANAWAY PACK MEMBER IN CENTRAL WASHINGTON SHORTLY AFTER COMING TO AND WEARING A TELEMETRY COLLAR. (WDFW)

The news was reported by the Associated Press this morning.

“Today, Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will soon propose a rule to delist the gray wolf in the Lower 48 states and return management of the species back to the states and tribes,” confirmed a USFWS spokesperson.

Bernhardt is in Denver for the 84th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference.

The official termed the recovery of gray wolves — which began with the formation of packs in Northwest Montana in the 1980s and then federal reintroductions in Central Idaho and Yellowstone in the 1990s — “one of our nation’s great conservation successes, with the wolf joining other cherished species, such as the bald eagle, that have been brought back from the brink with the help of the (Endangered Species Act).”

Yes, a success, but also a flashpoint, and surely this latest attempt will lead to more court challenges, like those that derailed 2013’s proposal.

That one followed on 2011’s successful delisting in the eastern two-thirds of Washington and Oregon, as well as all of Idaho and Montana.

Despite the fears of wolf advocates and highly litigious organizations, wolf populations have grown best largely in the state-managed areas.

Last June, federal officials again began reviewing the status of wolves outside the Northern Rockies recovery zone, with the goal of putting it out for public comment by the end of 2018.

That didn’t quite happen, but now it appears that it has.

“Once the proposed rule has published in the Federal Register, the public will have an opportunity to comment,” the USFWS spokesperson said via email.

If it goes through, among the notable impacts would be that WDFW and ODFW would have a more level playing field for dealing with wolf depredations. They can lethally remove members of livestock-attacking packs in far Eastern Washington and Oregon, but west of a line that snakes across both regions they can’t.

Still, it wouldn’t be an immediate free-fire zone, as both states stress nonlethal conflict avoidance tactics in trying to prevent depredations in the first place.

We’ve reached out to WDFW for a comment, but in the past, the agency has encouraged USFWS to delist wolves in the rest of Washington and asked a state US House lawmaker to spur the feds as well.

“We’re reviewing the delisting proposal from USFWS and we empathize with concerns from colleagues in states such as California and Colorado where wolves have not yet recovered,” said Chase Gunnell, spokesman for Seattle’s Conservation Northwest. “However, given the quality of Washington’s Wolf Plan and investments in collaborative wolf management work here, we do not expect federal delisting to have a significant impact on wolves in our state. Wolf recovery is progressing well in Washington and our wolves will remain a state endangered species until state recovery goals are met.”

Today’s news comes as WDFW has also begun its own status review of the species, which is state-listed as endangered.

“The department will review all relevant data pertaining to the population status and factors affecting existence of wolves in Washington. Based on the information collected and reviewed, the department will make recommendations to maintain the species current listing status as endangered or reclassify species to sensitive or threatened or other status,” an agency statement says.

A bill in the state legislature also prompts WDFW to wrap up the review by the end of December, though it was amended to remove the possibility of considering delisting in the eastern third of the state as well as made “null and void” if funding for the work wasn’t included in the budget.

 

 

Wink, Wink! Rare Hoodwinker Sunfish Hits The Santa Barbara Shore

Yes, that strange alien-looking sea critter washed ashore near Santa Barbara. Here’s more from NPR:

The more common Mola mola ocean sunfish is known to swim in the Santa Barbara Channel. The hoodwinker has only been found in the Southern Hemisphere, aside from just one known example that washed up in the Netherlands in 1889.

Thomas Turner, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, heard from a colleague last week about what they thought was a dead Mola mola that had washed up at UCSB’s Coal Oil Point Reserve.

“I went down there with my family, my young 4-year-old son and my wife, as soon as I got off work to just check it out because I wanted him to get to see a Mola mola up close,” Turner told NPR.

 

Cannabis Workshops Set For NorCal Counties

CDFW photo

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

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) are presenting at two free cannabis permitting workshops in March 2019.

The workshops, being held in Clearlake and Laytonville, are ideal for cannabis cultivators, consultants and anyone interested in the topic.

CDFA will provide an overview of the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing program and review the requirements for a cannabis farming license. CDFW will cover notifications in the permitting process, Lake and Streambed Alteration agreements and how to limit environmental impacts. SWRCB will review policy and permitting, and other important information. Computers will be available for applicants to apply for permits.

Attendees will have time to talk with state agency staff about individual projects after the presentations.

The free workshops are slated for the following dates and times. In the coming months, additional workshops will be scheduled throughout the state.

Wed., March 13
3 to 7 p.m. (presentations begin at 3:30 p.m.)
Clearlake City Hall – the Council Chambers
14050 Olympic Drive
Clearlake

Tues., March 26
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations begin at 10:30 a.m.)
Harwood Hall
44400 Willis Avenue
Laytonville

CDFW encourages cannabis cultivators to obtain all necessary state licenses and county permits, as well as implement best management practices to reduce environmental impacts. Following these recommended actions can help cultivators avoid common pitfalls that may lead to enforcement actions.

To learn more about CDFW’s role in cannabis cultivation, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/cannabis or email AskCannabis@wildlife.ca.gov.

To report environmental crimes or a black market grow, please call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text “CALTIP” followed by a space and whatever the desired message, to 847411 (tip411).

CDFW Now Accepting Fisheries Habitat Restoration Project Proposals

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting proposals for projects under its Fiscal Year 2019-20 Fisheries Habitat Restoration Proposal Solicitation Notice (PSN). The PSN and online grant application can be found online atwww.wildlife.ca.gov/grants/frgp/solicitation.

Applications must be submitted online by Friday, April 16, 2019 at 3 p.m.

The PSN invites restoration projects that meet the funding requirements of the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (focusing on recovery of state-listed salmon and steelhead along the coast and in the Central Valley) and the Forest Legacy Program (focusing on the restoration of watersheds affected by historic forest practices). Eligible applicants include public agencies, recognized tribes and qualified nonprofit organizations. Funded projects could include habitat restoration, water conservation, education, monitoring and restoration planning.

While the amount of available funding is not known at this time, in FY 2018-19 the program was able to provide more than $15 million in funding for eligible projects. Funding for FY 2019-20 grants is expected to be awarded to approved projects in early 2020.

CDFW will also hold a series of public workshops to assist applicants in understanding the requirements of the PSN. Applicants are encouraged to attend a workshop even if they have submitted proposals in the past. Workshops will be held in Fortuna, Sacramento, Petaluma, San Luis Obispo, Los Alamitos, Monterey and Camarillo on various dates in March. For details and meeting contact information, please see PSN Workshop Letter.

For information or questions about the PSN or application process, please contact Tim Chorey, CDFW Fisheries Restoration Grant Program Coordinator, at (916) 327-8842.

4-H Club Training Helped Young Girls Lost In Humboldt County Woods

A remarkable survival story took place in Humboldt County over the last few days, with two sisters, aged 5 and 8. finding themselves lost in the woods for almost two full days. Here’s CNN with some details:

Caroline Carrico, 5 and Leia Carrico, 8 were found Sunday less than two miles from their home in Humboldt County, according to County Sheriff William Honsal.

The girls had last been seen at their home Friday afternoon and Honsal described their discovery close to Richardson Grove State Park about 10:30 a.m. local time Sunday as “a miracle.”
“This was rugged territory, this is an extreme environment and how they were out there for 44 hours is pretty amazing but it shows a resilience of people that actually grew up in this community. These girls definitely have a survival story to tell,” he said during a news conference Sunday.
Reports say the girls’ experience participating with their local 4-H Club ‘s outdoor survival training probably saved their lives. Thankfully, they’re home safe now.

Here’s a look at the two HEROES who located Leia and Caroline. We are so thankful for Delbert Chumley and Abram Hill from Piercy Volunteer Fire for assisting in this 44-hour search. We are so grateful for the support provided by all of our assisting agencies and over 210 searchers!

We received several requests from community members to help in the ground search this weekend. For those of you who asked, please consider joining our Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Posse so that you too can help on our next search. This is a volunteer posse that is deployed to all of our local (and many out of the area) search and rescue operations. Find out how to join here: http://www.humboldtsar.com

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