Conservation News

Sacramento River Between Keswick Dam and the Highway 44 Bridge Closed to Fishing

JUNE 1, 2017
Regulations went into effect as of May 26, 2017 to close a 5.5 mile stretch of the Sacramento River to all fishing, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced. An emergency regulation had expired on Mar. 30, 2017, but was made permanent upon adoption of the Fish and Game Commission and filing with the Secretary of State.
The Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon population suffered an estimated 95 percent loss of juvenile natural production for the years 2014 and 2015 due to low reservoir storage and elevated water temperatures caused by the pervasive drought. Winter-run Chinook return to their natal rivers and streams every year to spawn.
"The prolonged drought that ended in 2017 has had a dramatic impact on winter-run, including the 2014 brood year, which will return as adults to spawn this year," said CDFW Fisheries Branch Chief Kevin Shaffer. "It is vital to protect this year's predicted small return of spawning adults and their young, and, over the next few years, to rebuild the stock and prevent extinction of winter-run Chinook."
Maximizing adult spawning numbers is critical to the population. CDFW fisheries staff have evaluated recent winter-run Chinook spawning locations and have concluded that the majority of spawning occurs in the recently closed section above the Highway 44 bridge to Keswick Dam.
Although fishing for winter-run Chinook in this reach of the Sacramento River is not allowed under current regulations, incidental by-catch by anglers who are not targeting salmon has been documented and is significant, especially during low flow periods. Even if returned to the water, incidental by-catch stresses the fish, resulting in the potential loss of adults before spawning. A total fishing closure in the holding and spawning areas of winter-run Chinook is necessary to ensure this endangered fish population has the highest chance of survival.

As adopted by the Fish and Game Commission and in effect as of May 26, 2017:
Sacramento River below Keswick Dam, subsection 7.50(b)(156.5)
(B) From 650 feet below Keswick Dam to Deschutes Road bridge.
From 650 feet below Keswick Dam to the Highway 44 bridge.
January 1 through March 31 with a bag limit of two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead and four hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead in possession.
Closed to all fishing from April 1 to July 31.
Open from August 1 through December 31 with a bag limit of two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead and four hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead in possession. From the Highway 44 bridge to the Deschutes Road bridge.
All year with a bag limit of two hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead and four hatchery trout or hatchery steelhead in possession.
Media Contacts:
Kevin Shaffer, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 327-8841
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 201-2958

Fish Planting Schedule

The Fish Planting Schedule is updated in real time, directly by CDFW Hatchery staff. Although it contains current information, all fish plants are subject to change depending on road, water, weather and operational conditions. Conditions permitting, the waters listed here will be restocked with catchable-size fish from CDFW hatcheries, according to this schedule. More specific dates are not given to avoid focusing excess fishing activity immediately after a plant.
If you have questions about Fish Planting activities, please call the Regional Office that covers the area in question.
Annual Provisional Stocking Document. This document contains the "provisional" or "conditional" plans for fish stocking for the current calendar year. Listed information: CDFW Region, County, Water Name, Species of Fish, Fish Size at Release, Release Program, Historical Months for Stocking Specified Water, and the Last Date the Specified Water was Stocked (as of date published). While these are the intended fish stocking plans for the year, they will not be guaranteed due to unforeseen circumstances or acts of nature (for example, droughts, fires, or floods).
See Fish Plants on a Map in our Fishing Guide.
NOTE: The "Map It" links and resulting map markers do not indicate the exact or only planting locations, but rather the general location of the waters being planted.

Be "Bear Aware" this Spring and Summer

JUNE 1, 2017
As spring and summer beckon people outdoors, California's black bears are also active after a long winter hibernation. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) takes this opportunity to highlight the native black bear - one of most adaptable animals in the state - and encourages citizens to help reduce nuisance encounters with this iconic mammal by being "bear aware," which means taking responsible actions that promote responsible behavior while living and recreating in bear country.
California has a healthy population of black bears that typically prefer remote mountainous areas. But as more people frequent parks and wilderness areas and choose to live in or near bear habitat, bears become more accustomed to the presence of people and as a result display less shy and elusive behavior.
"Over the years, we have seen bear behavior patterns change significantly", said Marc Kenyon, manager of CDFW's human/wildlife conflict program. "Each spring and summer we receive hundreds of calls from the public reporting anything from bears raiding food in campgrounds to bears taking dips in residential swimming pools. Bears have also been known to break into homes and cabins and steal food right off of the kitchen counter - sometimes while the occupants are home."
Kenyon notes that bears have a highly specialized sense of smell. According to Kenyon, a bear can smell bacon frying from about three miles away, given the right conditions. An animal that is specialized at finding food sources coupled with greater numbers of people at its doorstep, can create a storm of human/wildlife conflicts. However, nuisance-bear behavior may be significantly reduced - or even eliminated, if people change their behavior.

Tips for Bear-proofing your Home, Rental or Timeshare:
In settled areas close to bear habitat, bears may venture in searching for food. The best defense against bear break-ins and bears in your yard is to eliminate attractants to your property by following these tips:
Purchase and properly use a bear-proof garbage container
Wait to put trash out until the morning of collection day.
Do not leave trash, groceries or pet food in your car.
Keep garbage cans clean and deodorize them with bleach or ammonia.
Keep barbecue grills clean and stored in a garage or shed when not in use.
Only provide bird feeders during November through March and make them inaccessible to bears.
Do not leave any scented products outside, even non-food items such as suntan lotion, insect repellent, soap or candles.
Keep doors and windows closed and locked.
Consider installing motion-detector alarms and/or electric fencing.
Harvest fruit off trees as soon as it is ripe, and promptly collect fruit that falls.
Bring pets in at night. Provide safe and secure quarters for livestock at night. Consider composting bins as opposed to open composting.
Securely block access to potential hibernation sites such as crawl spaces under decks and buildings.
Do not spray bear spray around property - when it dries, it can serve as an attractant.
Do not feed deer or other wildlife - not only can it be unlawful, it will attract bears to your property.

Tips for Bear-proofing your Campsite:
Maintaining a clean campsite is the responsible and safe thing to do when visiting bear country. Here are a few tips for bear proofing your campsite:
Haul garbage out of camp regularly - check with camp host or other camp personnel about safe garbage storage. Use bear lockers if available.
Store food (including pet food) and toiletries in bear-proof containers or in an airtight container in the trunk of your vehicle if bear lockers are not available. In some areas, food storage in the trunk is not advisable. Check with camp or park personnel.
Clean dishes and store food and garbage immediately after meals.
Clean your grill after each use.
Never keep food or toiletries in your tent.
Change out of clothes you cooked in before going to bed.
Do not clean fish in camp.
Do not leave pets unattended in camp or sleeping outside.

Tips for Hiking in Bear Country:
Bears may react defensively if your presence is not known - make noise while hiking. Talk loudly or whistle.
If possible, travel with a group of people.
Avoid thick brush and walk with the wind at your back so your scent is ahead of you.
Watch for bear sign along trails - scat, tracks and stripped bark off trees.
Avoid sites where dead animal carcasses are observed.
If you see a bear, avoid it and give it the opportunity to avoid you.
Leash dogs while hiking in bear country - dogs can surprise and aggravate bears - bringing the bear back to you when the dog flees from the bear.

Black bears are the only bear species found in California. They range in color from blonde to black, with cinnamon brown being the most common.
There are an estimated 35,000 bears in California.
Males are much larger than females and can weigh up to 500 pounds, although average weight is about 300 pounds.
Black bears can sprint up to 35 mph and they are strong swimmers and great tree climbers.
Bears are omnivorous eating foods ranging from berries, plants, nuts and roots to honey, honeycomb, insects, larvae, carrion and small mammals.
Bears typically mate in June and July. As winter approaches, bears will forage for food up to 20 hours a day, storing enough fat to sustain them through hibernation. Bears often hibernate in large hollow trees 40 to 60 feet off the ground.
Bear cubs are born in winter dens in January and February and are hairless, deaf and blind.
Black bear attacks are rare in California and typically are defensive in nature because the bear is surprised or defending cubs; however, bears accustomed to people may become too bold and act aggressively.
Female black bears will often send cubs up a tree and leave the area in response to a perceived threat. Do not remain in the area - when you leave, she will come back for her cubs.
For more information about black bear biology, please visit
For information about bear-proof containers and where to buy them, please visit
Media Contact:
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933

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