dfgCheck out all of the events the California Department of Fish and Game has planned for December:

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, ages 16 and older. Groups of 10 or more should schedule a separate tour. Directions and more information at

Through April 27 — For salmon fishing on the American River, North Fork, Middle Fork, South Fork and their tributaries above Folsom Lake (Placer, El Dorado, Amador and Alpine counties), only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. Please see the regulations at

3-4, 10-11, 17-18 — Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve near Lodi, the first three weekends of each month through February 2012. Tours begin approximately 90 minutes before sundown and run to about 30 minutes after sunset. Pre-tour registration is required online at Reservations can be made up to six weeks in advance. Donations of $10 per adult are suggested. The public is also welcome to visit the Woodbridge South Unit, open daily for self-guided Delta bird-watching tours. For more information please visit the website or call (209) 948-7708.

3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24 — Weekend Wildlife Walks at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area sanctuary, 3207 Rutherford Rd., Gridley (95948), at 10 a.m. every Saturday, and 1 p.m. every Sunday through Feb. 5, 2012 (except Christmas and New Year's day). Spectacular views of snow geese and other wintering wildlife, a fun way to learn about wetlands, wildlife and the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. Cost is included in the entrance fee for wildlife viewers. Pre-paid passes are now available online at or from a DFG license sales office or license agent. Tours are cancelled in heavy rain. Please contact the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Naturalist Office, (530) 846-7505 or see for more information.

3, 8, 13, 17 — One-day waterfowl hunts at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve in Hayward. First-come, first-served. Hunters must check in with DFG staff, provide valid California hunting licenses with federal and state duck stamps, complete the Harvest Information Program Survey upon checkout, and must allow inspection of gear and game for use in evaluating hunter success and harvest data. Please see the news release at or phone (415) 454-8050 for more information.

3, 10, 17, 24, 31 — Docent-led Swan Tours in rice fields near Marysville, Saturdays 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, 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.

5 — Strategic Vision for Fish and Wildlife Public Meeting Port ofSan Diego, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Additional information:

5 — Opening day for general desert bighorn sheep hunting tag holders for Zones 1-6, 8 and 9 inSan Bernardino. To apply for the 2012/2013 hunt season, please check for updates at:

6 — Strategic Vision for Fish and Wildlife Public Meeting Ontario Police Department, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

7 — Strategic Vision for Fish and Wildlife Public Meeting Cal Trans Manchester Center, Fresno, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Additional information:

7 — Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor Safety Committee meeting, 9:30 a.m. at the Port of Long Beach, 925 Harbor Plaza, Long Beach (90802). For details or to obtain an agenda, please contact the committee at (310) 519-3134 or e-mail

8 — Strategic Vision for Fish and Wildlife Public Meeting Turtle BayMuseum,Redding, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Additional information:

8 — Wildlife Conservation Board meeting, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the State Capitol, Room 112, Sacramento (95814). Room is subject to change. Please check the WCB website at

8 — San Francisco Harbor Safety Committee meeting, 10 a.m. at the Port of Oakland Exhibit Room, 530 Water Street, Oakland (94607). For more information please see or call Jeff Cowan at (916) 324-6450.

10 — Public tour of Yolo Basin Wildlife Area near Davis. Tour the 16,000-acre wildlife area from 9 a.m. to noon with an experienced field trip leader the second Saturday of each 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. Please visit for more information.

15 — Fish and Game Commission meeting in San Diego at Hubbs Sea World Research Institute, 2595 Ingraham Street (92109). Please visit for more information. View or listen to California Fish and Game Commission meetings in real time via Internet webcasting.

17 — First day of band-tailed pigeon Southern Zone hunting season. Please see the regulations at

25 — Last day of pheasant archery season. Please see the regulations online at

25 — Last day of band-tailed pigeon Southern Zone hunting season. Please see the regulations at

26 — Last day of second dove hunting season. Please see the regulations at

26 — State offices will be closed for Christmas.

31 — Last day of recreational groundfish season for boat-based anglers in the San Francisco, Central and Southern Groundfish Management Areas: Point Arena (Mendocino County) to the California/Mexico border. Please visit for more information or call the Recreational Groundfish Fishing Regulations Hotline at (831) 649-2801.