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Topics - Hojoman

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CA Regulations / Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease
« on: July 29, 2021, 09:47:52 PM »
July 15, 2021

Question: Is a vaccine available for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease virus type 2 (RHDV2), which was confirmed in 2020 in wild rabbit populations in California?

Answer: Yes, although there are no commercially available RHDV2 vaccines in the United States. Under authorization of the state veterinarian at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), vaccines produced in Europe may be imported into California for use in domestic rabbits by licensed veterinarians. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are using imported vaccines to protect California’s most endangered rabbit, the riparian brush rabbit, against RHDV2. Information on RHDV2 in domestic rabbits can be found on CDFA’s website(opens in new tab). To learn more about vaccinating domestic rabbits against RHDV2 contact your veterinarian.

Riparian brush rabbits are found in small patches of remaining riparian forest habitat in the northern portion of the Central Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Because vaccinations require trapping and administering injections to each individual rabbit, it is not feasible to deploy vaccinations for wild rabbit populations except in cases where populations are small and endangered. CDFW has received reports that live rabbits are still observed in areas where we have confirmed the virus is present, giving us hope that some rabbits are surviving infection.

RHDV2 was first observed in wild rabbits in the southwestern U.S. in March 2020 and has rapidly spread to many states. In California, cases of the virus in wild rabbits have been detected in Alameda, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. Cases in domestic rabbits have also been confirmed in Ventura and San Louis Obispo counties. RHDV2 is not related to the novel coronavirus and does not affect humans or domestic animals other than rabbits.

You and others can help by keeping your eyes open and reporting any sick or dead wild rabbits as our wildlife veterinarians monitor the situation. We're asking anyone who lives, works or recreates in wild rabbit habitat to report sightings of sick or dead rabbits to CDFW’s Wildlife Health Laboratory at (916) 358-2790, or file an online mortality report through CDFW’s website.

CDFW’s RHDV2 webpage includes fact sheets and information about the virus, how to report sightings of dead rabbits, ways to prevent human-caused spread of the disease, and a link to the U.S. Department of Agriculture interactive map showing counties where the disease has been confirmed in domestic, feral and/or wild rabbits.

CA Regulations / Avian illness
« on: July 29, 2021, 09:47:33 PM »
July 15, 2021

Question: I’ve been reading articles about the mystery illness affecting birds in the Eastern U.S. We have been seeing birds with the same symptoms around our home in Southern California for months. Crusty eyes, twitchy head movements, disorientation or they do not fly off when approached. Have there been any reported bird deaths in California that could be attributed to the mystery illness?

Answer: While the cause of the illness affecting birds in the eastern U.S. is still being investigated, CDFW’s Wildlife Health Laboratory is closely monitoring two diseases that are known to cause eye disease in wild birds in California. These include avian mycoplasmosis, a bacterial infection, and avian pox, which is a viral infection. Both are transmitted through contact with an infected bird or contaminated surfaces like bird feeders. Avian pox may also be transmitted through a mosquito bite. Avian mycoplasmosis primarily affects house finches and goldfinches and causes swollen, crusty eyes, labored breathing and generalized weakness. A related infection has also been identified in crows. Avian pox causes wart-like growths on the skin often around the eyes and bill. Both infections spread readily at bird feeders and bird baths. If sick birds are seen at feeders, it is recommended the feeders be removed until the outbreak subsides. Thorough, weekly cleaning of bird feeders and bird baths may help reduce transmission. An even better option would be to plant a bird and pollinator friendly garden. Residents can help CDFW monitor for wildlife illness and deaths by submitting a report using CDFW’s online mortality reporting form. Disposable gloves should be worn, and hands should be thoroughly washed after handling of bird feeders and bird baths and when disposing of dead birds.

CA Regulations / Endangered species
« on: July 29, 2021, 09:47:14 PM »
July 15, 2021

Question: I think I saw a threatened or endangered animal! What should I do?

Answer: Congratulations! Witnessing California’s rare and protected species is a special treat. As you observe wildlife, especially sensitive wildlife, please be sure to maintain an appropriate distance from the animal so as not to disturb its normal behavior and keep noise to a minimum. Do not attempt to capture or lure the animal to you. Not only is this illegal for most protected species, but it can also harm individuals by interrupting normal behaviors and activities, such as breeding or foraging. Observations of protected species may be submitted to the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) which tracks all of California’s sensitive plants and animals. One option is to use the Online Field Survey Form to enter your observation, including details such as location and date of observation, descriptions of habitat and behaviors seen, and to upload any photos you took. First time users will need to set up an account, but this is free of charge. Once you have an account you can continue to input additional observations, access past observations and generate reports of your submissions.

July 23, 2021

Dog owners in the Feather River drainage area are reminded to take precautions to protect their pets from Salmon Poisoning Disease. Salmon Poisoning Disease can be contracted by dogs that come into contact with fish from infested waters throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the southern Cascades and northern Sierras to the Feather River drainage.

The disease is caused by a bacteria-like organism, Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which is transmitted by the parasitic flatworm (or “fluke”) Nanophyetes salmincola. The fluke affects both trout and salmon in an area roughly north of a diagonal line from Sausalito to Chico, and on the western slope of the Sierra/Cascade mountain range. CDFW raises fish at three hatcheries where the fluke is present either intermittently or continuously: Darrah Springs, Crystal Lake and Mount Shasta. However, CDFW only stocks fish from these hatcheries into waters where the parasites have been present for decades.

Throughout the Pacific Northwest thousands of dogs are infected every year with Salmon Poisoning Disease after eating raw or cold-smoked fish infected with the parasitic fluke. All fish caught or originating from streams in northern California, Oregon and southern Washington could potentially be infected with disease-carrying flukes harmful to dogs.

If your dog has eaten or is suspected of eating raw fish, watch to see whether signs of the disease appear. If signs of the disease appear, promptly take your dog to a veterinarian. Although this disease is relatively easy to cure if diagnosed in time, it will almost certainly kill a dog if left untreated.

Symptoms are similar to distemper and may include some or all of the following: a rise in body temperature, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness and/or rapid weight loss.

Dog owners are advised to be cautious and to keep salmon, steelhead, trout and other freshwater fish carcasses away from their dogs. The parasite cannot survive in cooked fish, is not harmful to humans and does not affect pets other than canines.

CA Regulations / Eurasian Collared Doves
« on: July 15, 2021, 10:00:18 PM »
July 15, 2021

Question: I am aware that there is a year-round open season on Eurasian collared doves and no limit. Can I hunt them in the middle of summer? How am I supposed to tell the difference between all the doves in flight?

Answer: Let’s start with the first question! Yes, you can hunt Eurasian collared doves all year long. And you’re right, mourning doves, white-winged doves, spotted doves, ring turtle doves and Eurasian collared doves look similar, but hunters are expected to know the difference. Stated more explicitly: wildlife officers expect you to know the difference! Over time, dove hunters need to develop the skills to differentiate between different dove species on the wing. We have a dove identification (PDF)(opens in new tab) graphic that may help get you started. Learning more about dove species can help, too. For example, there are areas of the state where Eurasian collared doves are more prevalent (mostly in the southern half of the state).

We recommend two strategies. First, hunt with a partner who has a significant amount of experience in telling the difference between each type of dove in flight. As you see doves while hunting, ask the experienced hunter to explain what characteristics they are looking at to differentiate the birds from one another. Hunters will look at markings such as the black band across the back of the Eurasian collared dove’s neck. They also pay attention to flight patterns and listen to different sounds generated by the doves’ wings. Second, when you begin hunting doves, we suggest hunting during the mourning dove and white-winged dove season. That way if you make a mistake, you’ll have a reduced chance of inadvertently violating the law. For example, if you hunt dove on Sept. 1, the most popular dove hunting day of the year, you will have some room for error.

Bird identification is a skill in and of itself. Duck hunters are faced with the same requirements yet have many more species to differentiate from. Many duck hunters are known to visit popular waterfowl migratory areas to watch birds even after the season is over for the purpose of improving their identification and calling skills. There’s no reason why dove hunters can’t do the same. With a decent pair of binoculars and an attentive ear, you can more quickly learn the subtle differences between dove species and gain a better understanding of their behaviors. Finally, remember that Eurasian collared dove are a game species, and hunters must possess both a license and an upland game bird validation.

CA Regulations / Steelhead Report Cards
« on: July 15, 2021, 09:59:55 PM »
July 15, 2021

Question: The state collects data from steelhead report cards. I would like to see this data. Is it ever released or summarized for public viewing?

Answer: Some data collected from steelhead report cards is summarized and updated on our website: wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Inland-Fisheries/Steelhead-Report-Card. The website also includes the last legislative report which summarizes data from 2007 through 2014. A legislative report summarizing data from 2015-2019, which includes total report cards sold, amount of revenue accrued and spent, angling data, and benefits of the report card program has been submitted for review and will be made available once approved. Requests for steelhead report card data can also be submitted directly to the Program Coordinator at SHcard@wildlife.ca.gov or through a formal request for public records.

CA Regulations / Taking Mollusks by Hand
« on: July 15, 2021, 09:59:34 PM »
July 15, 2021

Question: When limpets are taken from shore, can gloves be used to protect your hands?

Answer: Yes, gloves can be used to take any number of intertidal invertebrates, including limpets. Limpets are a type of saltwater mollusk. California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 14, Section 29.10(a) permits the take of saltwater mollusks by hand. Nothing in the regulations prohibits gloving the hands. If you think about harvesting California Spiny Lobsters by hand while on SCUBA for example, just try to take a spiny lobster without wearing gloves! Ouch!

CA Regulations / Fishing License
« on: July 15, 2021, 09:59:14 PM »
July 15, 2021

Question: I have a fishing license but my friend doesn’t. When I catch a fish, can my friend help me by netting the fish while I hold the rod?

Answer: No. The California Fish and Game Code defines take in section 86. It states: “Take” means hunt, pursue, catch, capture or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture or kill. If your friend is assisting you with the “catching” of fish, by the letter of the law, he or she would need a license too.

CA Regulations / Sturgeon Report Card
« on: July 13, 2021, 09:08:28 PM »
July 1, 2021

Question: Why does CDFW require a sturgeon report card?

Answer: Among the biggest challenges for biologists working to conserve California’s sturgeon population is acquiring data on the fishery. The Sturgeon Fishing Report Card helps biologists track data on catch and release rates, when and where sturgeon are being caught and harvested, and which species of sturgeon are being caught. It sounds like simple information, but it’s incredibly valuable for estimating population size for conservation purposes. Anglers who return the report card are not only fulfilling reporting requirements, but also serving as stewards of the state’s natural resources. Regulations and reporting requirements can be found in California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 14, section 5.79. Any angler taking sturgeon is required to purchase a Sturgeon Fishing Report Card and to have it in their possession while fishing for sturgeon. Report card information can be submitted online or by mail. Anglers must report even if no sturgeon were caught or if the angler did not go sturgeon fishing. California has populations of both white and green sturgeon. Green sturgeon from the southern population were federally listed as a threatened species in 2006. White sturgeon, and the northern population of green sturgeon, are categorized as a state species of special concern. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Fishes/Sturgeon.

CA Regulations / Deer Entanglement
« on: July 13, 2021, 09:08:06 PM »
July 1, 2021

Question: What happened with that buck near Sacramento that had a hammock caught in its antlers? Was the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) able to help it?

Answer: We have good news to share! In December 2020, we posted a photo on social media of an unfortunate situation where a buck had entangled itself in a hammock in Sacramento County. The buck was attracted to the area by people who were regularly feeding it. It is unlawful to feed deer in California for many different reasons—entanglement in human-made objects being one of them. CDFW personnel, with help from Gold Country Wildlife Rescue’s Ben Nuckolls, responded to help the skittish deer in distress. After several attempts, CDFW Environmental Scientist David Mollel successfully darted the buck, removed the antlers (male deer shed and regrow their antlers every year), ear-tagged and released it to nearby suitable habitat. Wildlife officers addressed the feeding issue directly with the homeowners who were feeding it and spoke with the homeowner’s association to solicit cooperation from the community. Months later, a follow-up visit showed that the homeowners removed the food sources and have been much more careful about placement of items that could entrap a deer like volleyball nets, clothesline, tree swings and hammocks. Mr. Nuckolls recently happened upon the buck and is happy to share that it is healthy and growing a beautiful new set of antlers.

CA Regulations / Bear Sightings
« on: July 13, 2021, 09:07:47 PM »
July 1, 2021

Question: I live in the Bay Area and read about a bear sighting in a residential area of Oakley in Contra Costa County. What should I do if I see a bear?

Answer: If you see a bear in an urban area, we suggest notifying local law enforcement. Your local police or sheriff’s department will be in the best position to respond quickly and secure the area from a public safety standpoint. Local law enforcement can also contact CDFW and animal control authorities for assistance in coordinating a response. That being said, the appropriate response to seeing a bear depends on the situation.

1.    If there’s a threat to public safety, call 911. Seeing a bear walking through an elementary school or heavily populated area with people would warrant a 911 call.

2.    Seeing a bear on the outskirts of town in a less populated area might warrant a call to your local police or sheriff department’s non-emergency number. You might consider programming your local law enforcement non-emergency phone number into your phone.

3.    If there are concerns of human-wildlife conflict, property damage, or to report sightings in the wild or rural setting, you may submit a wildlife incident report online to CDFW via the statewide Wildlife Incident Reporting System.

Note that when bears enter urban areas, they’re usually looking for food. The best way to keep a bear away from your property is to eliminate all attractants like unsecured garbage and pet food. For more tips, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild/Bear and the Human-Wildlife Conflict Program (HWC Toolkit) at wildlife.ca.gov/hwc.

CA Regulations / Sierra Moose
« on: July 13, 2021, 09:07:30 PM »
July 1, 2021

Question: Will moose ever be introduced into the Sierra?

Answer: CDFW would not introduce moose into the Sierra. Moose are pretty sensitive to heat and would not likely be able to survive in the temperatures sustained in the Sierra. Additionally, there probably isn’t an abundant enough forage base to support nutritional requirements of a moose-sized herbivore.

June 30, 2021
Fishing regulations for the spring Chinook fishery in the Klamath River Basin remain in effect following the June meeting of the California Fish and Game Commission.

The Commission did vote to list Upper Klamath and Trinity River spring Chinook salmon as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act. Sport fishing regulatory changes implemented during species candidacy remain in effect. Additional regulatory changes were not made at the meeting and may be forthcoming in the future if warranted.

The spring Chinook salmon fishery on the lower Klamath River (downstream of the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec) and Trinity River (upstream of the confluence of the South Fork Trinity River) will open July 1 and run through Aug. 14 on the Klamath River and through Aug. 31 on the Trinity River. The daily bag limit remains at one Chinook salmon (no size restrictions), and a possession limit set of two Chinook salmon.

The Fish and Game Commission adopted fall Chinook quota and fishery regulations during its May teleconference meeting.  A summary of 2021 regulations are described below.

The fall Chinook fishery in the Klamath River will open Aug. 15, and in the Trinity River, the fall recreational Chinook salmon season begins Sept. 1.

The Klamath Basin’s in-river quota is 1,221 adult fall Chinook salmon for 2021.
Fall Chinook regulations on length have changed since 2019, with the adult size now being greater than 23 inches in total length (previously 22 inches). Bag limits will remain the same as 2020, with a two-fish daily bag limit, with no more than one fish over 23 inches (such as one adult and one jack). The possession limit remains the same at six fish, with no more than three fish over 23 inches (effectively three daily bag limits).

The in-river recreational adult fall Chinook quota is divided among four sectors in the Klamath River basin:


1.  3,500 feet downstream of Iron Gate Dam downstream to the Highway 96 bridge – 208 fish.

2.  Highway 96 bridge downstream to the mouth of the Klamath River – 611 fish.

* There is a sub-area closure at the mouth of the Klamath River when 15 percent of the basin allocation has been harvested – 183 adult fall Chinook salmon harvested below the Highway 101 bridge triggers this closure.

1.  Old Lewiston Bridge to Highway 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat – 201 fish.
2.  Denny Road bridge downstream to the confluence with Klamath River – 201 fish.

Please see the 2021-2022 California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations ( https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=190456&inline ) and the forthcoming 2021-2022 California Supplement Sport Fishing Regulations that will be posted to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's (CDFW) Inland Sport Fishing Regulations web page ( https://wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Inland ) for more information. Additionally, anglers can obtain information on Klamath Basin regulations and fall Chinook quota updates by calling the Klamath-Trinity fishing hotline at (800) 564-6479.

CDFW reminds anglers that California is in the midst of a drought, to fish responsibly, and to avoid fishing waters visibly suffering from the drought’s impacts where warm water and low water conditions already may be stressing fish populations.

June 29, 2021

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced that the recreational Pacific halibut fishery will close Wednesday, June 30 at 11:59 p.m. for the remainder of 2021.

Based on the latest catch projections, CDFW expects the 2021 California recreational quota of 39,260 net pounds will be exceeded unless the fishery is closed.

The quota amount is determined annually through an international process and is largely driven by results from the annual stock assessment conducted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). CDFW monitors the progress of the fishery each year in an effort to prevent catch from exceeding the California quota. CDFW field staff sample public launch ramps and charter boat landings to monitor catches of Pacific halibut throughout the season, along with other marine sportfish species.

Similar to the hot Pacific halibut bite observed in 2020, the 2021 season has proven to be very successful. During the second half of June 2021, CDFW field staff recorded a very high number of Pacific halibut being caught.

“The combination of great weather and fish on the bite means many anglers found success. We’ve heard reports of some anglers catching their limits by 8 a.m.,” said Melanie Parker, Environmental Scientist with CDFW’s Marine Region. “Since a significant number of fish were caught in such a short period of time, the quota was reached very quickly.”

Using this information, CDFW conferred with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the IPHC and the Pacific Fishery Management Council to review projected catch amounts and to determine that the 2021 quota will be exceeded unless the fishery is closed. Formal authority to close the fishery resides with NMFS, which took action to close the fishery following consultation with CDFW.

Pacific halibut are a different species than California halibut, and occupy a large geographic range, from the Aleutian Islands eastward through Alaska to British Columbia and throughout ocean waters of the Pacific Northwest. Along the West Coast, Pacific halibut are commonly found as far south as Point Arena in Mendocino County.

For current information about the Pacific halibut fishery, science, or management, please check the following resources:

    NMFS Hotline, (800) 662-9825
    CDFW Recreational Groundfish Regulations Hotline, (831) 649-2801

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