A number of days throughout January bring the opening of various game seasons along with meetings and special events, put on through the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Jan. 4 — White and White-fronted Goose Season Opens in the Northeastern California Zone. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
Jan. 11 — The Highs and Lows of Elkhorn Slough: King Tide Photography Tour, 9:30 a.m. to noon, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Participants can witness one of the highest tides of the year and help scientists document the “King Tide” phenomenon. Reserve naturalists discuss the impacts of sea level rise on the slough and its surrounding coastlines while touring designated “King Tide” sites. Participants should bring cameras to record the tides at each site. The event is free but registration is required. For more information and to register, visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/annual-king-tide-walk-2.
Jan. 25 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Docent Training, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Participants will learn how to join the reserve’s volunteer docent team and aid in the conservation of coastal estuaries. Over a span of five Saturdays (beginning Jan. 25 and concluding on Feb. 22), participants will learn about local natural history while developing strategies for engaging the public. Docent-led tours are offered on weekends throughout the year. Scheduling is flexible and based on individual availability. For more information or to register for training, visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/reserve-docent-training.
Jan. 27 — Falconry Only Season Opens for Rabbits and Varying Hares (extending through March 15). For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.
Jan. 28 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, 10:30 a.m. to noon, “Wildfires and Water Quality.” Caltrans’ Lorna McFarlane will speak about Caltrans’ collaborative efforts to reduce the frequency and severity of catastrophic wildfires, as well as their negative effects on the landscape and surface water quality. Attendance is free. To register or learn more, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.
Jan. 31 — Duck and Goose Season Closes in the Southern San Joaquin and Southern California Zones. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.
Jan. 31 — Deer Tag Reporting Deadline. Deer tag holders must submit a harvest report for any 2019 deer tag by the Jan. 31, 2020 deadline. All tag holders must report even if they did not hunt, or they hunted unsuccessfully. Tag holders who do not report by this deadline will be charged a $21.60 non-reporting penalty fee when purchasing a 2020 deer tag drawing application or deer tag. To report your harvest online, visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/hunting#9941260-tag-reporting or call (916) 928-5805.
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 email@example.com.
Various Days — 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 onsite). 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.
Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, waterfowl, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. An $11.88 non-refundable application fee is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.
First Through Third Saturdays and Sundays of the Month — Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, 7730 W. Woodbridge Road, Lodi. Online registration is available for those wishing to participate in guided tours, which run through February. 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. To register or for more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.
Saturdays — Swan Tours. CDFW will offer free swan tours near Marysville on Saturdays through January. Co-hosted by local rice farmers, the naturalist-led tours will focus on tundra swans in one of the premier locations for viewing swans in California. Tours will be held on Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The driving tours also involve walking a short distance and carpooling is encouraged. Pre-registration is required at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/swan-tours and up to 30 people can register for each tour. For more information, call (916) 358-2869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weekends — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley, 12:30 p.m. The 90-minute walking tour covers slightly more than a half mile through this premier birding spot that highlights migratory waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. No reservations are necessary for groups of fewer than 20 people. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and its associated fee-for-use requirement. For more information on the Lands Pass Program, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. For more information on the tours, call (530) 846-7505 or email email@example.com.