The arrival of September has brought with it a variety of programs and events from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Scheduled for the first through third Saturdays and Sundays of the month, sign up now for the Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, 7730 W. Woodbridge Road, Lodi. Online registration has begun for those wishing to participate in these guided tours, which run October through February. Registration is available online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour. A one-day Lands Pass must be purchased to attend and instructions are available on the same website. Tours fill fast and registration may be done as much as six weeks in advance.
Weekends — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Volunteers lead walks every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and main overlook are fully accessible. The day use permit fee is $4.12 per person, ages 16 and older (permits may be purchased on site). Groups of five or more should please notify staff that they are coming and groups of 10 or more can request a separate tour. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/elkhorn-slough-er.
Saturday, Sept. 7 is California Biodiversity Day, the first official celebration of an annual event created last year to celebrate the state’s exceptional biodiversity and encourage actions to protect it. All Californians are encouraged to get out and explore nature – including state parks, wildlife areas and ecological reserves – as part of a biodiversity open house on Sept. 7 and 8. Go to www.wildlife.ca.gov/biodiversity to find more information about that weekend’s biodiversity open house event, including a bioblitz – that will take place in partnership with the California Academy of Sciences and iNaturalist, a popular nature app that helps identify plants and animals around you. iNaturalist is a collaboration between National Geographic and the California Academy of Sciences.
On Monday, Sept. 9, it’s the Lower American River Conservancy Program, American River Parkway Tour, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit https://wcb.ca.gov/programs/lower-american-river.
Monday, Sept. 16 — Feather River Fish Hatchery Ladder Opening, 5 Table Mountain Blvd., Oroville. The ladder will open and salmon spawning will begin the following week and continue through approximately mid-November. The hatchery is open from sunrise to sunset. For more information, call (530) 538-2222 or visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/hatcheries/feather-river.
Saturday, Sept. 21 — Coastal Cleanup Day 2019, 9 a.m. to noon, Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Volunteers will remove trash from the road bordering the reserve to keep the habitat clean and safe. Elkhorn Slough Reserve will provide materials and refreshments. All ages are welcome but those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please keep in mind this cleanup is conducted along an active road. For more information, contact Ariel Hunter at email@example.com.
Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21 and 22 — Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days for Northeastern California Zone. In order to participate, hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 years of age or older. People should contact the wildlife area or national wildlife refuge they wish to hunt for details. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
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 customized to include requested information. The minimum group size is 18 people. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, Sept. 28 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Open House and Native Plant Fair, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Activities include guided walking tours, an opportunity to meet scientists, face-painting, and nature-themed arts and crafts. Visitors can also explore and take home a plant during the Native Plant Fair (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). The annual event is free to the public. For more information, contact Virginia Guhin at (831) 728-2822 or visit www.elkhornslough.org.
Saturday, Sept. 28 — 25th Annual Oroville Salmon Festival, Feather River Fish Hatchery, 5 Table Mountain Blvd., Oroville, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and in downtown Oroville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature tours to view salmon spawning, informational booths, educational displays and vendor booths. For more information, visit www.salmonfestoroville.org.
Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) access permit application deadlines for multiple hunting opportunities. Wild pig, deer, bear, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. An $11 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.