The California Department of Fish and Wildlife calendar for April has multiple events scheduled throughout the region. Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfires or storm damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip. All calendar items are subject to change.
Invasive Species Youth Art and Video Contest. Students are invited to enter their art (Grades 2-12) or short video (Grades 5-12) on the theme “Think Ahead; Stop the Spread” describing actions that prevent the spread of invasive species. The contest meets California curriculum standards in science, English language arts and visual art. Winners will be announced during California Invasive Species Action Week, June 3-11. Winning art will be posted on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Facebook page and winning videos will be posted on CDFW’s YouTube channel. For submission instructions, visit wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives/action-week/poster-contest or contact email@example.com. The deadline to enter is May 1, 2023.
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. The minimum group size is 18 people. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email Lori.Dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.
Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Volunteers lead walks highlighting the natural history of the Elkhorn Slough every Saturday and Sunday. No reservation is required, and individuals may join 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
Sunday, April 16
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
Wednesday-Thursday, April 19-20
California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, Fresno/Bakersfield area, time to be determined. Webinar/teleconference participation options will be available. For more information, visit fgc.ca.gov
Saturday, April 22
Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Clean-up and Field Day, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley. The community is invited to the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area for a morning of spring clean-up. All family members are encouraged to participate. Typical activities involve building repairs, habitat improvements and sprucing up the public facilities. This event provides an inside glimpse into portions of this beautiful area not normally seen. Participants should be prepared for some light clean-up. Bringing work gloves, appropriate footwear, sunscreen and water is recommended. Meet at the entrance check station parking lot at 8 a.m. to sign in and pick an activity. Activities will occur from 8:30 a.m. to noon, followed by lunch. For questions, contact Gray Lodge Wildlife Area at (530) 846-7500.
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 www.elkhornslough.org/calendar
Saturday, April 29
California Duck Days, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 45211 County Road 32 B, Davis. California Duck Days is a family oriented, community-based outdoor festival with activities for people of all ages. On-site activities for families include interactive exhibits, tours of the wetlands, wetland themed arts and crafts and much more. For more information, visit www.yolobasin.org/california-duck-days
Sunday, April 30
California Bumble Bee Atlas Field Event, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Join a community science project between CDFW and The Xerces Society to find out more about California’s native bumble bees while collecting data to help conserve declining species. Volunteers will be trained on how to survey for bumble bees through catch-and-release. To register for the project and sign up for the free, in-person field event, visit the California Bumble Bee Atlas Field Events registration page. For more information, contact CDFW Pollinator Coordinator Hillary Sardiñas at Hillary.Sardinas@wildlife.ca.gov or CDFW scientific aid Dylan Winkler at Dylan.Winkler@wildlife.ca.gov.
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, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.