Still technically in the winter season, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has released its list of scheduled program, activities and hunting opportunities for February.
All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the changing conditions and guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDFW asks residents to continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing. For information on how to get vaccinated in California, please visit myturn.ca.gov.
Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfires or wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.
Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Spring turkey hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $12.45 non-refundable application fee is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.
Various Days — Guided Wetland Tours by Reservation at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley. A wildlife naturalist will lead any group, school or organization on a half-mile route through the diverse wetlands of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. General information includes wildlife identification, behavior patterns and conservation efforts. The experience can be catered to include requested information. There is a limit of 15 people per tour. COVID-19 guidelines will be followed, which may include masking and/or physical distancing. Come prepared and be respectful of other visitors. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Various Days — Discover the Flyway School Program, Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis. Discover the Flyway is an outdoor education program for kindergarten through 12th grade students that meets Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards. Its goal is to offer children a meaningful outdoor experience that will give them an appreciation for the wetlands, agriculture and wildlife of the Central Valley and contribute to a lifetime of healthy outdoor activities and development of a land stewardship ethic. This school year, Yolo Basin Foundation is offering teachers three options: the chance to bring students to a field trip to the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, the opportunity to have our educators and docents bring the program to their classroom or the option to participate from school or home in a live, virtually led activity. Teachers can learn more and register at www.yolobasin.org/schoolprograms.
Various Days — Office of Spill Prevention and Response’s (OSPR) Spill Management Team Certification Q&A Sessions, Feb. 15 and 17. OSPR spill management team certification regulations (California Code of Regulations, Title 14, sections 830.1-830.11) will be effective on April 1, 2022. OSPR will be holding two Q&A sessions for the regulated community focusing on the new regulations and program implementation. To sign up, register using the links posted on OSPR’s spill management team website at wildlife.ca.gov/ospr/spill-management-teams. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
Weekends — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough, 10 and 11 a.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Volunteers lead walks highlighting the natural history of the Elkhorn Slough every Saturday and Sunday. Capacity is limited due to physical distancing requirements and individuals must sign up on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups of six or more should call ahead at (831) 728-2822 to reserve a tour. For more information, visit www.elkhornslough.org/esnerr/tours.
Feb. 1 – Invasives Species Youth Art Contest Opens. Students in grades 2-12 are invited to submit an original art piece on the theme “Unite to Fight Invasive Species!” All types of media are welcome: drawings, paintings, mixed media, sculpture, animations, comic strips, videos, audio – send it all. Winners will be announced during Invasive Species Action Week, June 4-12. The deadline to enter is Friday, April 1. See submission guidelines at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives/action-week/poster-contest.
Feb. 5 — Saving Imperiled Amphibians: A Community Science Story, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., virtual event hosted by the Elkhorn Slough Reserve. Conservation scientists are using environmental DNA to better understand the distribution of our local amphibians, including the highly endangered Santa Cruz long-toed salamander, as well as threatened California tiger salamander and California red-legged frog. Learn about these unusual species, their wetland habitats and what is being done to protect them. For more details and to register, visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/saving-imperiled-amphibians-220205.
Feb. 5-6 — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 12:30 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley. This hour-and-a-half tour will stroll a third of a mile to an elevated viewing deck where participants will have a bird’s-eye view of wildlife. Visitors often encounter hawks, rabbits, herons, turtles, cormorants, flycatchers and much more. This is one of the premier birding spots in northern California, as migratory ducks and geese usually take the spotlight. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and associated fee-for-use requirement. There is no additional cost for the tour. To sign up, please visit Eventbrite. To purchase a Lands Pass, visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. There is a limit of 12 people per tour. COVID-19 guidelines will be followed, which may include masking and/or physical distancing. Come prepared and be respectful of other visitors. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feb. 5-6 — Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Colorado River and Balance of State Zones. Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days are intended to provide a safe learning environment for youth who are interested in hunting and to encourage youths and adults to experience the outdoors together. Each year, many wildlife areas and national wildlife refuges open for youth hunt days. Federal regulations require that hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 years of age or older to participate. All hunters must have a valid license and stamps as required by state and federal law. The daily bag and possession limits apply along with all other waterfowl regulations for the 2021-22 waterfowl season. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
Feb. 6 — White and White-fronted Goose Late Season Opens in the Northeastern Zone. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
Feb. 9 — I Heart Estuaries Week, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Celebrate California’s estuaries and the animals that inhabit them. Self-guided scavenger hunts and interactive activities for kids will be available at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve Visitor Center Wednesday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 13. For more details, visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/i-heart-estuaries-week-2022.
Feb. 12 — Tour of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, 9 a.m. to noon, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis. Join Yolo Basin Foundation’s docent on a fantastic tour that is appropriate for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts and birders. View seasonal and permanent wetlands, native grasslands and young riparian forests. Look for migrating and resident waterfowl, geese, swans, raptors and wading birds. Registration is required to attend. For more information and to register, visit www.yolobasin.org/wetlands-tours.
Feb. 12-13 — Veterans and Active Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and Balance of State Zones. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
Feb. 16-17 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Feb. 16 and 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 17. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, visit fgc.ca.gov.
Feb. 19 — Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Pop-up Information Booth, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Parking Lot A, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis. Every third Saturday of the month, Yolo Basin Foundation will have a pop-up information booth in Parking Lot A of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. If you’ve never visited the area or have questions, it is a great time to visit since volunteers will be present to hand out maps of the auto tour route and hiking trails, provide information about what to keep an eye out for and answer questions as visitors set out to explore local wildlife. Come visit the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area during this time of magical migrations. Waterfowl, geese, swans and more are making their way south along the Pacific Flyway. For more information about the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, visit www.yolobasin.org/yolobypasswildlifearea.
Feb. 19 — White and White-fronted Goose Late Season Opens in the Balance of State Zone (closing Feb. 23). Canada Goose Late Season Opens in the North Coast Special Management Area. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
Feb. 24 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Meeting, 10 a.m., via Zoom. The public is welcome. For more information, visit wcb.ca.gov.
Feb. 28 — Falconry Season for Pheasant, Quail, Chukar, Ptarmigan and Sooty (Blue)/Ruffed Grouse Closes. For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.