As of Thursday, July 1, a couple of hunting and fishing seasons opened in California.
The Kellet’s Whelk recreational and commercial fishing season is now open statewide. For more information on Kellet’s whelk, visit marinespecies.wildlife.ca.gov/kellet%E2%80%99s-whelk.
Also, the general season for rabbits and varying hare opened statewide, extending through Jan. 30, 2022. For more information on small game seasons and limits, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.
Specific calendar dates for California Department Fish and Wildlife during July are as follows.
Wednesday, July 21 — California Fish and Game Commission Marine Resources Committee Meeting, time to be determined. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference. For more information, visit fgc.ca.gov.
Saturday, July 24 — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) access permit application deadline for elk hunting opportunities. An $11.50 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.
Saturday, July 24 — Explorer Series: Batty for Bats, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., 45211 County Road 32B, Davis. Be part of an exclusive bat experience. Learn about their natural history and biology and even get an up-close look at live bats. The group will meet at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area Headquarters and caravan to the bat viewing site in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. Often a rice farmer or cattle rancher joins the group and shares his/her experience about wildlife friendly farming and ranching in the Central Valley. As the sun sets, enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres as the group awaits the spectacular fly-out of hundreds of thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats. For more information and to register, visit www.yolobasin.org/explorer. Proceeds support environmental education programs offered by the Yolo Basin Foundation.
Thursday, July 29 — Evenings at the Estuary: Tidy Tips for Native Gardening virtual event, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Join local experts to explore different aspects of gardening with native plants, and get your own questions answered during a facilitated Q&A session. This presentation will cover the basics of gardening with native plants before diving deeper into the intricacies of planning based on where you live. For more details and to register, visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/evenings-at-the-estuary-tidy-tips-for-native-plant-gardening.
Friday, July 30 — Last day of Dungeness Crab sport fishing season in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. For more information, visit wildlife.ca.gov/crabs.
All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.
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.
Two other programs are scheduled on various days and dates throughout the month. Bat Talk and Walk Events will be hosted at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, 45211 County Road 32B, Davis. Summer is here, and the bats are back. The Mexican free-tailed bat maternity colony under the I-80 Yolo Causeway is growing daily as they return for the summer. Although many of the bats overwinter in the bridge, most seem to leave. As the weather warms, crops grow, insect populations explode and the bats return to the causeway. Yolo Basin Foundation hosts popular Bat Talk and Walk events where you can learn all about these amazing and beneficial animals and watch the “flyout” of the largest urban colony of Mexican free-tailed bats in California. These events are held on various dates now through September. For more information and to register, visit www.yolobasin.org/bats2021. Also, enjoy the chance to participate in the Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Volunteers lead walks highlighting the natural history of the Elkhorn Slough every Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Capacity is limited due to physical distancing requirements, and individuals must sign up 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.