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State Lists Hatchery Programs, Hunting Seasons, Special Events

For the final month of 2020, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has some special programs on the schedule. As a reminder, all calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. CDFW officials also remind residents to please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Some wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.


Various Days — Nimbus Fish Hatchery Free Public Webinars, Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., Dec. 10 and 17 via Zoom. These free public webinars will be broadcast live from Nimbus Hatchery staff for all ages to enjoy. Because the Visitor Center is currently closed, we are offering everyone the opportunity to connect with wildlife and our hatchery experts. Information on each webinar and a link to register (required) will be posted to our Facebook page at For additional information, contact or call (916) 358-2884.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Hunting Opportunities. There are still opportunities available for pig, waterfowl and upland game hunting through February. An $11.25 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, visit

Saturdays — Swan Tours, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Yuba County north of Marysville in privately owned rice fields. Led by CDFW naturalists, this is an excursion into a prime Pacific Flyway overwintering grounds. Tours focus on the majestic and ancient tundra swan, but participants are sure to see an assortment of geese, ducks, shorebirds and raptors. Sign up on Eventbrite. Tours have been modified to meet health and safety guidelines. For more information, visit or email

Saturday, Dec. 5 — Weaving Yesterdays: A Live History Series Virtual Event, 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Reserve naturalists and historians will host a Facebook Live series exploring the cultural heritage of Elkhorn Slough. At 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month, participants will hear the backstory of a new location around the area. Visit to view the series and find recordings of previous installments.

Tuesday, Dec. 8 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Special Meeting, 10 a.m., via Microsoft Teams or teleconference. Public comment will be accepted per the agenda. For more information, visit

Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 9-10 — California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Dec. 9 and 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 10. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, visit

Thursday, Dec. 10 — Woven in Time: The Cultural Heritage and Historical Ecology of Elkhorn Slough Virtual Event, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Explore the Elkhorn Slough’s rich history with Stewardship Coordinator Andrea Woolfolk. After the lecture, celebrate with us at a live virtual ribbon cutting for a new historical ecology exhibit. For more information and to view live, visit

Friday, Dec. 11 — Lower American River Conservancy Program Virtual American River Parkway Tour, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This virtual tour of the American River Parkway will explore current conditions of the Parkway and highlight current and potential natural and community investment sites. Information will be available at

Sunday, Dec. 13 — The Ups and Downs of King Tides Virtual Event, 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Witness the highest and lowest tides of the year virtually and find out how scientists use the king tides phenomenon to model sea level rise impacts on California’s coast. This two-part presentation will feature Elkhorn Slough Reserve naturalists speaking from the reserve at the highest tide of the year (8:30 a.m.) and the lowest (4 p.m.). For more information and to view live, visit

Wednesday, Dec. 16 — Earliest Possible Date for Opening of Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery North of the Sonoma-Mendocino County Line (Northern Management Area). After a delay from Dec. 1 due to crab quality, Dec. 16 is the earliest possible date the season could open. However, the opening date may be further delayed in some or all of this area due to elevated marine life entanglement risk or poor meat quality. Should there be additional changes to the season opening date due to entanglement risk, information will be made available at and sent out through the CDFW Whale Safe Fisheries email listserv. More information on the crab fishery and season updates due to crab quality can be found at

Saturday, Dec. 19 — General Season for Band-tailed Pigeons in the Southern Hunt Zone Opens (extending through Dec. 27). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit

Sunday, Dec. 27 — Black Bear Season Ends Statewide (or earlier if CDFW determines that 1,700 black bears have been reported taken). For more information, visit Successful hunters must have their tag validated. All hunters are required to submit a report on their bear tag, whether they hunted for bear or not. Tags can be mailed to the address on the tag or reported online at

Monday, Dec. 28 — Archery Only Pheasant Season Opens (extending through Jan. 24, 2021). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, visit