Fish and wildlife related news and events April 2019

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Fish and wildlife-related activities in California are beginning to open up this month and, soon, there will be more outdoor related activities than an individual can handle. Careful planning is, therefore, a must if you want to get the most enjoyment out of California’s abundant fish and wildlife and the many opportunities to interact with it.

fish and wildlife
Seasonal movements per hour of male and female boar

Of course, governments have set a plethora of rules and regulations to know and obey before an outdoor lover can engage in this multitude of fish and wildlife-related activities without running afoul of the law. It is, therefore, a good idea to check carefully rules, regulations, and special offerings in context.

The following list is a compilation of some activities and their related rules beginning in April 2019.

Hunting

As we have stated and shown in some of our earlier articles, late winter and early spring are among the most productive months for wild pig hunting in California.

After long winter months with limited food sources and high energy requirements, wild boar are using the new sprouting growth to replenish depleted energy reserves.

Successful boar hunters now are searching for their quarry in grassy areas with new growth and other annual fauna that has been dormant throughout the winter months. Ground-nesting birds, young animals, the old and weak are welcome food sources that compliment the available food.

Moreover, new growth also adds new protective layers of brush, bushes, and trees that boar use as cover and to build a birthing nest for the new litters of piglets.

I know many of our readers are expecting me to tell them where to find the wild pigs. They expect us to give directions to the general location and specific tree, like the fourth one from the left, to the nearest sounder of pigs. No such luck.

We need to locate the wild pigs just as you do, by fancy and tiring footwork in the dust and the heat of California’s wilderness. Furthermore, I made that mistake once by announcing the name and the location of a private ranch with excellent boar hunting in the Santa Barbara area. The result?

The ranch management got flooded by endless phone calls about booking a pig hunt to the point where they stopped answering the phones and returning phone calls.

For heaven’s sake, when you learn of a rare opportunity, do not post it for the entire world to see. Unless, of course, you want to lose your once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt on a private ranch that is not primarily a high-fence boar hunting ranch or part of the SHARE group of properties. Please, keep your mouth shut and if you want to brag about your exploits, hire a guide to take you to the nearest auto-feeder to look for pigs.

We will continue to give you general information on the habits and the habitats of wild pigs including generic location information. It is up to you as a boar hunter, to find their whereabouts and to pursue them. That’s why it is called ‘hunting’ and not shooting pigs in a barrel, specifically in a trap.

CDFW sponsored pig hunts are a good place to start and their booklet on the locations of wild pigs on public land is a great resource for the budding boar hunter. The California Hunting Post will fill in timely details on wild pig hunts with details on fish and wildlife events in April 2019 and following months.

So, after this lecture, head out into the wilderness or to a private ranch if you get access) and find your pigs. Use the information from out various articles to anticipate or follow the seasonal and annual movements of wild boar in their home range.

And then, good luck hunting. Now that’s a challenge worthwhile crowing about.

One last hint, after the fires and the floods of the past winter, the wild pigs temporarily relocated to more beneficial areas. However, they will soon return as new life returns to their old home ranges. Then they will be back. It can happen any day. And never forget, wild pigs are highly mobile and fast moving. They can cover at least 20 to 30 miles a day.

Hunting items and such

Before heading out on your wild pig hunt, you need a valid hunting license and pig stamps.

Hunters can purchase 2019/2020 hunting licenses, tags, validations and apply for the annual Big Game Drawing. Items may be purchased at CDFW license sales offices, license agents, online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales or by phone at (800) 565-1458. Sales transactions for the Big Game Drawing applications must be completed before midnight on June 2, 2019. For additional information contact a local CDFW sales office.

And check the California Hunting Post regularly for updates. We will remind you of upcoming special events and big game drawings.

Fishing

Winter is also a time to service and repair equipment and, if need be, to get new, better gear. Come spring outdoor activities are getting back into high gear be that hiking, camping, wildlife photography or hunting.

The calendar of fish and wildlife related events for 2019 is in line with this pattern. It is filling up rapidly. The busy time for outdoor related fun is right around the corner.

Following is a summation of a few fishing related events that take place in April 2019. Go the the referenced websites for detailed and exhaustive information.

Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Opens

Chinook salmon schooling (Bill Husa/Staff Photo)

The season for recreational ocean salmon opens from Pigeon Point to the Mexican border. Check out the details and more information at the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429 and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (800) 662-9825. Alternatively, fishermen can visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon for relevant information.

Recreational Groundfish Season Opens

Recreational groundfish season opens for all boat-based anglers between the San Francisco Management area and Point Conception in Santa Barbara County.

California Groundfish

The management areas covers Point Arena, Mendocino County to Pigeon Point, San Mateo County) and the Central Management Area (Pigeon Point, San Mateo County to Point Conception, Santa Barbara County). Information details are at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/groundfish.

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Return spiny lobster report cards by April 30, 2019, or risk a special $ 21.60 non-refundable fee when you purchase your next spiny lobster card. You can report to the address printed on the card or turn in your results by visiting www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.

For those of you who like to make a difference and influence decision makers, please note that th statewide trout fishing regulation meetings are still going on.

Get the date and the meeting nearest to you at https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/public-comment-sought-on-statewide-regulation-changes-of-trout-season and www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/inland/trout-plan.

Commercial crab traps that are either lost or abandoned pose a major problem for crab fisheries. Unfortunately, an abandoned or lost trap does not stop catching crabs but will continue to do so for as long as it is left in the water.

Information is at www.wildlife.ca.gov/notices/regulations/gear-retrieval-program. And there is a meeting scheduled between 9 and 11:30 a.m., in room 405, in Santa Rosa (95404).

Get your name on the list of interested in getting the killer crab traps out of the water.

Commercial Dungeness crab fishing will close statewide on April 15, 2019. This decision is based on the anticipated increase in whale entanglements because of commercial crab fishing gear. Details are at Department’s Crab Fishery web page.

Mountain lions habitat and status

If you live close to Sacramento and are interested in the conservation priorities for mountain lions, you may want to consider the lecture by Dr. Justin Dellinger, on the subject. Get the details from  www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.

On the other hand, the California Fish and Game Commission makes major policy decisions regarding fishing, hunting, and the use of wilderness areas and reserves. Their next meeting will be held in Santa Monica at a yet to be determined time at the City of Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, East Wing, 1855 Main Street, Santa Monica (90403). Contact them for details at fgc.ca.gov.

Finally, if you have a youth with an artistic flair waiting to be discovered and hate nutria as an invasive species, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives/action-week/poster-contest for information on the California Invasive Species Action Week’s Youth Art Contest.

Good luck with the contest.

PJJ

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pjj

Publisher and Editor in Chief at United Seabears
Peter Jaeckle is the publisher and Chief Editor of the California Hunting Post.You can find him also on Google+,Twitter, Facebook and on many other sites. Over the past decades he has written on investments, dogs and dog rescue, economic and on environmental topics.
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