The start of a new year brings plenty of activities for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the region in January, hosted by the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife.
As a reminder, all calendar items are subject to change due to changing conditions and guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may also be closed due to wildfire damage or other weather events. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.
Here is a look at some of the events coming up this month.
Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, waterfowl, turkey and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. An $11.75 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.
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 15 people. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email Lori.Dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.
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 www.yolobasin.org/schoolprograms.
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. Tours fill on a first-come, first-served basis the day of the tour. 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.
Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 12:30 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley. 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 less than 20 people. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and associated fee-for-use requirement. There is no additional cost for the tour. To purchase a Lands Pass, visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email Lori.Dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.
Tuesday, Jan. 10 — Environmental Enhancement Committee Meeting, 10 a.m. to noon, Garibaldi Conference Room 114, 1010 Riverside Parkway, West Sacramento. CDFW’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response will hold a public meeting of the Environmental Enhancement Committee. The purpose of the meeting is selection of projects for grants from the Environmental Enhancement Fund which uses oil spill related fines and penalties to fund environmental enhancement projects. To attend virtually, join the Teams meeting. For more information about the Environmental Enhancement Fund, visit wildlife.ca.gov/ospr/science/environmental-enhancement-fund/about or contact Daniel Orr at Daniel.Orr@wildlife.ca.gov or (916) 599-1381.
Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 11-12 — California Fish and Game Commission Wildlife Resources Committee Meeting, starting at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 11 and 9 a.m. on Jan. 12, Natural Resources Building, 715 P Street, Conference Rooms 2-221-B and 2-221-C, Sacramento. The meeting will also be held via webinar/teleconference. For more information, please fgc.ca.gov.
Saturday, Jan. 14 — Garden Days at Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 10 a.m. to noon, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Learn about native plant gardening and help the reserve maintain its new demonstration gardens. Participants will spend time exploring topics in 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 www.elkhornslough.org/calendar.
Tour of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., 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.
Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 19-22 — International Sportsmen’s Expo, Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento. CDFW will be returning to the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) in Sacramento. CDFW staff will be onsite and available to answer questions, hear concerns and offer a convenient place to buy annual fishing and hunting licenses, along with the 2023 Warden Stamp. For more information, visit www.sportsexpos.com/attend/sacramento.
Saturday, Jan. 21 — King Tide Tour at Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Explore the year’s highest tides at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve. Join naturalists on a guided hike to witness the “King Tide” phenomenon and learn about efforts to mitigate sea level rise impacts in coastal communities. The tour is open to all ages, but attendees must register in advance. For more details and to register, visit www.elkhornslough.org/calendar.
Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Pop-up Information Booth, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., 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. 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 www.yolobasin.org/yolobypasswildlifearea.
Monday, Jan. 30 — Falconry Only Season Opens for Rabbits and Varying Hares (extending through March 19). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.
Tuesday, Jan. 31 — Deer Tag Reporting Deadline. Deer tag holders must submit a harvest report for any 2022 deer tag by the Jan. 31, 2023 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 2023 deer tag drawing application or deer tag. To report harvest online, visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/hunting#9941260-tag-reporting.