Area residents can take advantage of a number of programs focusing on wildlife and the environment, put on through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Following are some of those opportunities.
First through third Saturdays and Sundays of the month — Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, 7730 W. Woodbridge Road, Lodi. Online registration is available for those wishing to participate in guided tours, which continue through February. A one-day Lands Pass must be purchased to attend and instructions are available on the same website. Tours fill fast and registration may be done as much as six weeks in advance. To registers or to find more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.
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 customized to include requested information. The minimum group size is 18 people. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email email@example.com.
Ecological reserve tours at Elkhorn Slough, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville. Volunteers lead walks every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and main overlook are fully accessible. The day use permit fee is $4.12 per person, ages 16 and older (permits may be purchased onsite). Groups of five or more should please notify staff that they are coming and groups of 10 or more can request a separate tour. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/elkhorn-slough-er.
Weekends — Guided wildlife tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley, 12:30 p.m. 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 its associated fee-for-use requirement. There is no additional cost for the tour. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, Nov. 10 — Pheasant, Fall Wild Turkey and Late Season Dove Openers. General pheasant season opens statewide and extends through Dec. 23; Fall wild turkey season opens statewide and extends through Dec. 9; and Late Season dove hunting opens statewide and extends through Dec. 24. For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.
Thursday, Nov. 15 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Meeting, 10 a.m., Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento. For more information, visit www.wcb.ca.gov or call (916) 445-8448.
Nov. 15 — First Day of Commercial Dungeness Crab Season, South of Sonoma-Mendocino County Line (scheduled). For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/marine/calendar.
Nov. 15 — 2019 Sport Fishing licenses available. The 2019 sport fishing licenses become available at various sites. For more information or to purchase a license online, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing.