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Ecological Tours, Flyway Programs On April Wildlife Calendar

The next several weeks will bring a variety of tours, programs and learning opportunities across the state, scheduled through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, CDFW.

All calendar items, however, are subject to change as we navigate the changing conditions and guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, a reminder that 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

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. Each tour is limited to 15 people. 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

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



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


April 7 — Flyway Nights Speaker Series, 7 p.m., via Zoom. Claire Ingel, CDFW senior environmental scientist, will discuss Sacramento perch at the April Flyway Nights Speaker Series. Sacramento perch is a California native fish that was once common and abundant throughout the Central Valley, but now struggles to survive in its native habitat. One of the main reasons for its decline has been the introduction of nonnative species to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and Central Valley. While remarkably resilient in various temperature and water quality conditions, this species competes poorly with other fish, especially sunfishes. One of the most unique populations of Sacramento perch was rescued from the drying Jewel Lake in 2014 and now lives in the demonstration wetlands ponds located at the Yolo Basin Wildlife Area Headquarters. This presentation highlights their journey to the ponds and CDFW’s management efforts along the way. For more information, visit


April 9 — 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


April 12 — Focused Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) Technical Workshop: Detecting, Mapping and Recovering Oil at Night and in Fog. Virtual event. Topics will include detecting, mapping and recovery of floating oil at night or in low visibility conditions, autonomous technology for the detection of oil on water, and detecting oiled wildlife at night or in dense vegetation. For registration and additional information, visit or email


April 15 — 2022-23 Hunting Items Available for Purchase. Hunters can purchase 2022-23 hunting licenses, tags, validations and apply for the annual Big Game Drawing. Items may be purchased at any CDFW license agent, online, or by phone at (800) 565-1458. Sales transactions for the Big Game Drawing applications must be completed before midnight on June 2, 2022. Contact a local CDFW license sales office for more information.


April 15 — Garden Days at Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Learn about native plant gardening and help the reserve maintain its new demonstration gardens. Participants will learn about native plant gardening and then spend time working in the gardens. Work changes with the season and may involve weeding, planting or collecting native seeds. All ages and abilities are welcome, but those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more details and to register, visit

Deadline to Submit Lobster Trap Loss Affidavits. Commercial lobster fishermen must submit an affidavit reporting trap loss for the 2021-2022 season. Forms can be found at and can be returned either by email to or by mail to 3883 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123.


April 16 — Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Pop-up Information Booth, 10 a.m. to noon, 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


April 19 — California Fish and Game Commission Tribal Committee Meeting, time to be determined, Monterey County Fair and Event Center, Seaside Room, 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey. Webinar/teleconference participation options will be available. For more information, visit


April 20-21 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, time to be determined, Monterey County Fair and Event Center, Seaside Room, 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey. Webinar/teleconference participation options will be available. For more information, visit


April 23 — Earth Day Bioblitz, 10 a.m. to noon, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Explore the Elkhorn Slough Reserve and upload biodiversity data to the community monitoring site “iNaturalist” to be shared with scientists all over the world. Reserve naturalists will be on hand to help identify species and share tips and tricks for using iNaturalist. No prior experience is necessary but registration is required. For more details and to register, visit


April 30 — California Duck Days, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Headquarters, 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis. California Duck Days Festival is back. Join Yolo Basin Foundation at this popular family-oriented, community-based, outdoor wetlands festival with activities for people of all ages. Onsite activities include interactive exhibits, wetland themed arts and crafts, demonstrations and workshops. See live ducklings, bats, snakes and raptors up close and personal, dissect owl pellets, wade into the water to explore, enjoy nature-themed music, and more. Food trucks will be onsite. For more information, visit

Deadline to Report Spiny Lobster Report Cards. Lobster divers and hoop netters must report their lobster report card data by April 30. Report card holders who fail to return their Spiny Lobster Report Card by mail or report their data online by the deadline will be assessed a $21.60 non-return fee when they purchase a spiny lobster report card for the following season. Divers and hoop netters may report online or mail their report card to the address printed on the report card. To report online, visit