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The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Centra

Postby stew870 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:46 pm

Did anyone attend this meeting or does anyone know what conclusions they came too in regards of water for the grasslands
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby LeakyW8ers » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:18 am

I didn't bring my notes into work with me today, I can update tonight when I get home.

There were Representatives from DFW (Los Banos, North Grasslands, Mendota, and the Sac Office), FWS (San Luis), GWD, and CWA. No DU representatives attended.

The meeting was very informative and they covered a LOT of information in a fairly short amount of time. I took 10-12 pages of notepad notes just to give an indication, and I was writing as fast as I could.

The Refuges are getting 65% of their water. But this is more like 50% of a normal year. They are going to stage flood the refuges. None got irrigation water this summer, Volta had water later into the spring due to the Giant Garter Snake, but that was it.

East Bear Creek will be closed for the season. All of the refuges will have reduced quotas for opener Most will not hit their max quota for the season based off of the plan as it stands right now. I have the numbers written down at home and will post them up later.

Disease, avian botulism early season, and cholera late season are the major concerns for this year. If you see dead birds anywhere, public or private land, please report it to the Los Banos staff so they can get clean up crews to remove any diseased birds. We asked what we could do to help, and the response was, if you have birds and gun in hand, picking up found dead birds is not a good idea due to bag limits and age of the dead birds. Timely reporting is key the sooner the birds are removed the sooner they can try to "flush" the area to freshen up the water, the refuges seemed to have pretty good plans for this.

They are going to try to get all of the information from the meeting up on a website and once we, those who attended the meeting, get that link I'll get it posted up. They had color coded maps of the refuge flooding plans, I took cell phone pics, but they said they would post them onto the website once it is up.

Keep in mind this is provided that the State does not back out of the 65% water delivery and everything that was mentioned is not etched in stone.

They did briefly cover the North Valley refuges Sutter (Surprise, surprise) and Llano Seco will be closed for the season, They gave quota %'s but I don't want to mis-speak, so I will wait until I get home to my notes.
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby 3200 man » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:29 pm

Thanks for the info Leaky......keep it coming ! Please
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby stew870 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:39 pm

Thank you , I wanted to attend but my son is playing football . Thanks again for the info
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby LeakyW8ers » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:29 pm

Sorry didn't have time to post more tonight. Tomorrow, I will post more about the meeting.
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby redsled600 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:48 pm

Does this info include the central valley balance of state refuges as well?
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby LeakyW8ers » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:53 pm

So, here is the rundown.

The refuges did get some summer irrigation using deep wells, and these wells will be used to augment the surface supply, however these wells cannot generate enough to fully flood and maintain. Water quality from the wells can be an issue.

Los Banos Wildlife Area -
800 acres of watergrass and swamp timothy, 80 acres of Safflower (and a 100 hunter limit for dove season). Wetlands will be ~70% of normal year and flooding is going to be staged so the whole 70% will not be available on opening day. Normal year requires 21,412 acre feet (AF) to flood, receiving 10,00 AF this year.

Quotas will be as follows:
Opening Day = 60 hunters
Nov 1 = 60
Dec 1 = 90
Jan 1 = 105

Volta-
Wetland acreage 85% of normal, Quotas not significantly reduced.
Opening Day = 80
Nov 1 = 80
Dec 1 = 90
Jan 1 = 90

Mud Slough -
Expect to complete flooding by Dec 1, Quotas = 14, 18 by Dec 1.

North Grasslands (Salt Slough) Quotas:
Opening Day = 34
Nov 1 = 34
Dec 1 = 40
Jan 1 = 40

China Island -
50-60% of wetlands will be flooded
26 acres of Safflower 45 acres of wheat for dove hunting.

8607 AF normal year, 4529 AF this season
Opening Day = 10
Nov 1 = 10
Dec 1 = 10
Jan 1 = 10

Gadwall -
Quotas will be less than 1/2 of Normal, getting 1.3 AF/Acre total, going to flood entire closed zone, and smaller amount of hunt area proportionally, due to this being the only sanctuary for the birds in the South Grasslands for the most part.
Quota of 10 for the entire season.

Mendota -
70 acres of safflower - 100 hunters for opening day dove.
Mendota pool levels have been dropping over the last 10 years, no upland irrigation this year. Pheasant brood count of 1 chick. 25 roosters harvested last year, upland outlook is low.

Waterfowl quota = 300 for the entire season.

Kern -
20 Hunters, open and close with BOS this year, no split.

San Luis Complex -
No early water, so reduction in habitat quality. All water deliveries will be for habitat, expect approx. 71% of hunt areas this season.

San Luis - 90%
West Bear Creek - 50%
East Bear Creek - NO HUNT PROGRAM
Blue Goose - 50%
Kesterson - Lower at opener, expect 100% by end.
Freitas - No Reduction expected
Merced - 20-50% of Normal (Mariposa Unit and Lonetree Unit will be CLOSED)

For the complex there will be 5500 wetland acres vs 10,000 in normal years.

Major concern for this season is Disease, Avian Botulism in the early season, Avian Cholera in the late season. Report Sick or Dead birds found to DFW.

Ric Ortega from the Grasslands Water District (Private Clubs)-

Level 2 water supply = 125,000 AF Normal Year
Shasta Index anticipated inflows to Shasta 3.2 Million AF, not met = 75% Ls (93,350 AF)
USBR L2 Allocation as of 5/13/14 = 65% (81,250 AF)
CDFW re-allocated to GRCD 2500 AF
What this means is private clubs will receive 1.3 AF/acre.
GWD will allow for maximum flexibility, and is holding monthly meetings with club owners.

Requesting 6000 AF from D-Dam
Requesting 10,000 AF of groundwater from adjacent Ag districts
Requesting un-equal exchanges of L2 water, water conservation on private clubs is CRITICAL.

We are operating with 2% of historical wetlands this year. 5% is a normal year (this is indicative of the wetlands we have lost throughout history.

DU is partnering with GWD looking at acreage vs # of birds potentially coming in during the migration. Rice Decomp reduction is real trouble for the migrating birds. Disease is not part of the models they are using to look at the situation.

DFW Sac office spoke to Sac Valley Refuges:
25% reduction in wetlands this season.
Sutter and Llano Seco will be closed for the season.
Reduction in quotas elsewhere:

For Opener (only data they talked about):
Sacramento NWR, Deleval, and Colusa = 75% Quota
Little Dry Creek and Howard Slough = 60 - 70% Quota
Grey Lodge might be at 90% for opener, but they have flooded early, and will not be getting maintenance water later (as of now) so that quota might reduce as the season goes on.

Questions:
First Question was about closed zones vs hunt area flooding.
-DFW lands plan to flood because of best habitat as possible will be flooded. Need sanctuaries, but some flooding will be based on the conveyance systems in place and what is most practical to flood first. Merced for example will be flooded 50/50 Hunt area/Sanctuary.

What to do with dead birds vs not to do?
-Get fresh dead birds into DFW ASAP so they can be tested for cause of death.

What level of avian disease will affect public health?
-These diseases will not cross over to human, but always take precautions to protect yourself.

Will there be a website to work from to relay the information from this meeting, that way the information does not get diluted and everyone is working from the same notes?
-Grassland Water District Webpage or CWA (Mark Hennely) Current note: not updated yet, were told they would send emails to those who provided email addresses at the meeting.

Is there anything in the newest water bill that benefits us in the future?
-Yes. Lois Wolk pushed the most. There was $100M in the 2009 bill. This bill put $475M accessible for water in the latest bond. This is for conveyance and delivery systems. Money in Bill for Klamath. $5.7M for drought work in Grasslands to redo pumps at Los Banos Wildlife Area and North Grasslands WA. Kern Well reconditioning. Every region got money for projects. ALL WORK MUST BE DONE BY JUNE 30, 2015 to qualify. Current well drilling operations have 8-12 month backlog.

Current die-off at Klamath?
-100 birds/day that they find. Sump only area flooded at the moment. 5000 birds confirmed with botulism so far mostly mallards.

Conditions that cause botulism?
-Warm conidion in flooded upland plants that decompose. Warm anaerobic water conditions and maggots. The disease lives in the soil so as soon as the water becomes stagnant it can flair up an outbreak.

Diseased birds in bag? Enforcement?
-Do not remove dead birds from the field if you are out hunting and have hunted birds in hand. LE will not make the distinction. Report birds and let DFW come collect them.

Can LE be educated to the situation to allow hunters to assist in cleanup during a hunt?
-LE is using their discretion, but the call is their's to make.

CWA -
Provided Summary of hunter take from 44 clubs that have been reporting harvest data for the last 17 year average.
1. Daily Hunter Average.
2. Bag Composition.
3. Total Season average.

17 year average has increased from 3.25 to 4.5. Mainly Teal and Shovelors which correlate to the increased breeding numbers in the GWT and Shovelor populations.

That is a summary of my notes that I took. I admittedly took shorthand on some items. But this is the jist of it. I also missed a couple questions and answers.

When the website is up, I will post a link if someone else doesn't beat me to it.

Also, as I said earlier, this is the PLAN as of Last Saturday. It IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. This is NOT etched in stone by any stretch.
Last edited by LeakyW8ers on Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby quigby979 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:30 pm

Thanks Leakywaders, that is a very informative and great report. It is what most had anticipated and predicted. We gotta hope and pray for some early storms and a overall wet season. Thanks again for sharing.
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby stew870 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:19 pm

Thank you
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby LeakyW8ers » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:16 pm

For those interested the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex just put up this website for the effects of the drought on the complex:

http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Sacramento/Drought.html
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby LeakyW8ers » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:10 pm

Just got links to the refuge flood-up maps from Sean Allen at the Los Banos Wildlife Area:

Flood up maps have been posted online for our Region 4 wildlife areas. These maps show the proposed schedule for flooding the wildlife areas during this year’s drought.
There is an announcement on each page that states:
“Flood up maps are current as of 08/18/2014. Due to changing weather, water availability and management needs, the flood up schedule may change at any time.”
You can get to the maps by using the links below or you can navigate through the menus from the DFW homepage:

http://www.wildlife.ca.gov
Hunting
Waterfowl
CDFW Wildlife Areas
Central Region
Click on the name of the wildlife area

Los Banos Wildlife Area: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa/region4/losbanos.html

Volta Wildlife Area: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa/region4/volta.html

North Grasslands Wildlife Area: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa/region4/northgrasslands.html

Mendota Wildlife Area: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa/region4/mendota.html
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby Freezer » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:11 pm

Thank you!
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Postby mendotakiller » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:12 pm

So help me out here...I was looking at the Mendota flood up map and it says something like normal water supply and is marked in blue. Then below that is has the different colors that mark what month they flood the different cells. My question is if the areas that are in pure blue which is labeld as "normal water supply" does that mean they are getting water? or not? Im not to sure about it thanks in advance!!
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Re:

Postby LeakyW8ers » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:28 am

mendotakiller wrote:So help me out here...I was looking at the Mendota flood up map and it says something like normal water supply and is marked in blue. Then below that is has the different colors that mark what month they flood the different cells. My question is if the areas that are in pure blue which is labeld as "normal water supply" does that mean they are getting water? or not? Im not to sure about it thanks in advance!!


If they do not have the different colors indicating flood up dates, they will not be getting flooded this year. That is my understanding.
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby Green with ring » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:53 am

Thanks for relaying the information :thumbsup: .
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Re:

Postby spoonysmaker » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:32 am

mendotakiller wrote:So help me out here...I was looking at the Mendota flood up map and it says something like normal water supply and is marked in blue. Then below that is has the different colors that mark what month they flood the different cells. My question is if the areas that are in pure blue which is labeld as "normal water supply" does that mean they are getting water? or not? Im not to sure about it thanks in advance!!


I believe you answered your own question. "Normal water supply" means if the pond normally has water there will be the same amount of water as normal. If the pond normally doesn't have water, it will have the same amount of water..... none. Get it?
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby mendotakiller » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:19 pm

No im still lost. Why didnt thet just mark all the cells blue if they were gunna get water? Not go out of there way to confuse the crap outa me :( haha All I see is a bunch of little scribble marks and also theres 2 different shades of yellow...so thats kinda gay to. Well at least someones trying to inform us about water! Thats something. :)
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Re: Re:

Postby Russell » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:08 pm

spoonysmaker wrote:
mendotakiller wrote: "Normal water supply" means if the pond normally has water there will be the same amount of water as normal.



I wish that was correct.

Normal water supply means non drought year with a full water allocation percentage. The blue was used to show what they historically gravity flood from the slough in good years. Those cells are iffy at best this year..... :help:

Pretend the blue is white but be very happy if you stumble in to one that eventually gets water this season.
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby quigby979 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:08 pm

If that info is correct Russell that kills a huge and popular area that the birds utilize. That's parking lot 5 area. Did I also read it that of the 300 quota 44 will be ressi and the remaining to be walk on? In the past years a ressi at Mendota was only needed the opener and the closing weekend. But this year it would be wise to put in a reservation to guarantee getting on.
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby Russell » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:34 pm

quigby979 wrote:If that info is correct Russell that kills a huge and popular area that the birds utilize. That's parking lot 5 area. .


It's a lot more than lot 5....

As of August 16th, that was the info we got. The 30's and 40's are part of the Mendota pool and DFW has no control over that so we were told to basically assume the worst.
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby mendotakiller » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:40 pm

LOL that makes good sense....flood all the areas that dont shoot that good and flood all the areas where all the retarded sky busters hunt but dont flood the areas that actually produce good numbers. Stupid....I know its rough with water but still. I wonder if steve had any say in this? I wish he would leave....he dosent know much about farming/ duck hunting!! Not to mention hes a big A hole....ohhhh welll! It was time to go scout for new areas anyway! Now im forced to. So its all good :)
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby mendotakiller » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:47 pm

Ive also caught one of the staff members cheating the system one morning! Not going to say who....but we were the first ones in the refuge one morning and raced out to 16 and was unloading the truck and I see car lights coming down the big canal....and one of the staff members went haulin cheeks through the parking lot. We got done early that morning and were heading out to see his car parked at lot 3! For those that dont know the main office is just west of lot 16. Soooo he didnt even wait in line!
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby quigby979 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:13 pm

Thanks Russell, we will hope for early storms and alot of them. The ducks will find the water and we just have to adapt to our circumstances. With less flooded area it could make for better overall hunting...but if the storms don't come, the ducks won't come. And getting a ressie will be much tougher with reduced quotas. So when you do cherish it and pray for rain every chance you get.
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby Russell » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:59 am

mendotakiller wrote: Stupid....I know its rough with water but still.)


Killer....this is the only part of your response I can honestly engage you with.

You are correct in your observation of a record, crippling drought.

They were very fortunate to obtain the 65% of normal supply and I was amazed they were able to facilitate even that amount, as we have all heard of prior rumors of everything from zero to 30% all spring and summer long. As far as which cells they are flooding, has more to do with jump starting some areas that needed spring irrigation ( because none of it did..) and into soil types that will hold water longer. Sorry if they're not flooding your favorite non sky buster, epic shoot daily ponds.....but the wet stuff would soak away in 96 hours..... and we're only going to get one flood up this year.

Good luck.
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Re: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Ce

Postby mendotakiller » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:06 pm

Well as far as the soil part goes....all of mendota is the same type of soil. Alkali...which holds water extermly well. Sooo....idk. Steve must have a bunch of cronies that hunt out that way thats why he wants to flood it lmfao Like I said it was time to go scout different areas anyway :)
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