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.
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.