Rich Reeser’s Outdoor Coumn
Dr. Troy Stevens of Dixon took this black tail buck with a bow the last Saturday (on the second to the last day of the season) when he was in Oregon for a family Thanksgiving weekend.
Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours, the first three weekends of each fall/winter month through February at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve near Lodi. The docent-led tours start approximately 90 minutes before sundown and run to about 30 minutes after sunset. Pre-tour registration is required online at www.dfg.ca.gov/delta/cranetour and may be made up to six weeks in advance. Suggested donation is $10 per adult. The South unit of Woodbridge ER is accessible to the public at any time. It features informative interpretive panels, and viewing of sandhill crane ‘fly-over’ at sundown is common. The Woodbridge North unit (accessible only by tour) includes a bird-viewing blind and typically receives the ‘fly-in’ where the cranes come to roost for the night. For more information please visit the website or call (209) 948-7708.
Guided Swan Tours in rice fields near Marysville, Saturdays in December, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Driving tours along a short route with very little walking required. See tundra swans, ducks, geese, cranes, shorebirds, white pelicans, herons, egrets and raptors. Pre-registration is required on the DFG website, www.dfg.ca.gov/regions/2/SwanTours. Tours are free, but registrants are encouraged to make a donation online to the California Wildlife Foundation to support this program. For more information please call (916) 358-2852.
Weekends — Guided Wetland Tours of Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 12:30 to 2 p.m. at 3207 Rutherford Rd, Gridley (95948). On the Pacific Flyway at the base of the Sutter Buttes, Gray Lodge WA is one of the premier birding spots in northern California. This public land provides appealing habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and other wildlife. Migrating ducks arrive through fall and winter populations grow to hundreds of thousands. Local experts lead a 0.3-mile stroll on a paved trail to an elevated viewing deck and discuss wildlife adaptations, natural history, conservation efforts and how to identify wildlife. Tours are included in the $4 entrance fee and self-guided visitors are also welcome. Tours are cancelled in heavy rain. Please make reservations for groups of 12 or more. For information or scheduling, contact the Gray Lodge WA Naturalist Office at (530) 846-7505 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa/region2/graylodge/index.html.
Weekends — Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve docent-led walks, every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books available to borrow at no cost. Visitor Center and main overlook are fully accessible. Day use fee is $4.32 per person, age 16 and older. Groups of 10 or more should schedule a separate tour. Directions and more information at www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html.
Every Monday — Volunteer Stewardship Field Crew Mondays at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Rd., Royal Oaks (95076), 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Help preserve natural habitat by doing seed collection, planting, trail maintenance and weeding introduced species. Details at www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html or www.elkhornslough.org.
1 — First day (scheduled) of commercial Dungeness crab season from Mendocino County northward. Subject to change. Please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/invertebrate/management_com.asp#crab for details and updates.
1, 6, 13, 22 — Waterfowl hunting opportunities at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve in Hayward. Open to 100 hunters a day on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no fee for these hunts and check-in time for all dates is 5 a.m. All hunters must possess a valid California Hunting License, federal and state duck stamps, and they must complete the harvest information program survey. Holders of junior licenses must be accompanied by an adult, who may be a non-hunter. For more information please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region3/eden.html.
5 — Spiny Lobster Advisory Committee meeting, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Department of Fish and Game, 4665 Lampson Ave., Suite C, Los Alamitos (90720). This meeting is open to the general public for observation, and a brief comment period will be allowed. For more information and to view the meeting agenda please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/lobsterfmp/involved.asp.
5 — Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor Safety Committee meeting, 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Port of Long Beach, 925 Harbor Plaza, Long Beach (90802). Details at www.mxsocal.org/HARBOR-SAFETY-AND-SECURITY/HARBOR-SAFETY/Harbor-Safety-Committee.aspx. To obtain an agenda, please contact the committee at (310) 519-3134.
6 — DFG Climate College lecture: The National Response: What are other state and federal partners doing? 1 to 2 p.m. at the Natural Resources Agency Building Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). It will also be broadcast live via WebEx. Guest speakers are Richard Kearney, Assistant Regional Director, Science Application, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Arpita Choudhury, Science and Research Liaison, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Lectures are designed for DFG employees but open to our partners and the public. Please e-mail email@example.com to sign up if not already registered for the course, and indicate whether you intend to participate in person or via WebEx. Please register at least two days prior to the lecture. More information at www.dfg.ca.gov/Climate_and_Energy/Climate_Change/Climate_College.aspx.
6 — Flyway Nights Lecture Series: Coyotes in our Midst – Learning to Live with North America’s Native “Song Dog.“ Presentation by Camilla Fox, Executive Director, Project Coyote. 7 p.m. at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area headquarters building. Enjoy a night of nature-related enrichment and inspiration. A $5 donation per person or $10 per family is suggested at the door. For more information please see www.yolobasin.org/events.
8 — Public Tour of Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, 9 a.m. to noon on the second Saturday of each month. Tour the 16,000-acre Yolo Wildlife Area with an experienced field trip leader the second Saturday of the month from September through June. View flooded seasonal and permanent wetlands, native grasslands and young riparian forests. Depending on the season, look for migrating and resident waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, raptors and wading birds. A $5 donation is suggested. Please call (530) 757-4828 the morning of the trip for a recorded message for trip cancellations. More information is at www.yolobasin.org.
9 — Last day of fall turkey season. Please see the regulations booklet at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=54748&inline=1.
12 — Fish and Game Commission meeting at the Bahia Resort Hotel Del Mar Room, 998 West Mission Bay Drive, San Diego (92109). Please visit www.fgc.ca.gov for more information. View or listen to California Fish and Game Commission meetings in real time via Internet webcasting.
13 — Environmental Enhancement Fund Committee meeting, 10 a.m. to noon at the California Coastal Conservancy’s 11th floor conference room, 1330 Broadway, Oakland (94612).
15-23 — Band-tailed pigeon season in the southern zone. Please see regulations at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=54748&inline=1#page=18.
19 — Level 1 Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Training, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Department of Fish and Game La Grange Habitat Shop, 737 N. Old La Grange Road, La Grange (95329). Free to watershed groups, reservoir and lake operators, and federal, state and local officials. For information or to register, please contact Kelley Aubushon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (559) 243-4017 ext. 285. Please register by Dec. 14, 2012.
24 — Last day of late dove season. Please see regulations at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=54748&inline=1#page=18.
25 — State offices closed for Christmas holiday.
31 — Last day of recreational groundfish season for all boat-based anglers from Point Arena (38° 57.5’ N lat., Sonoma County) to the U.S.-Mexico border. For more information please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/groundfishcentral.