Outdoor News Regional Directory
New Feature

Click on Columnists  to access travelogues, field reports, advice, humorous tales and answers to your Q’s! 


Website of the Week


CDFW snapshot of accomplishments: 2014

01/31/15 -- Multiple wildlife encounters, bears in Bakersfield, fish rescues, elk captures, marijuana eradication, newly established sheep herds, a centennial celebration and the drought were among the many issues that engaged staff at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in 2014.

“Each year, we are faced with new challenges that require swift action and a thoughtful, science-based approach. This year, many of our concerns were connected to this historic drought,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “I am so impressed by the continued dedication of our staff and volunteers in their efforts to protect and preserve our natural resources. They make me extremely proud of who we all are as a family and what we’re accomplishing as a department.”

While the list of issues, top priorities and stories is much longer, the following stories are a snapshot of what was accomplished, watched and widely covered in 2014.

Two salmon close up, in the raceway at Nimbus Fish Hatchery
Two salmon close up, in the raceway at Nimbus Fish Hatchery, CDFW

The Impact of the Drought on Fish and Wildlife
As California faced one of the most severe droughts on record, Governor Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January 2014 and directed state officials to conserve water. Caught in the middle of this unprecedented water shortage were the state’s fish and wildlife. Numerous stories covering fishing closures, increased wildlife sightings, animals in unusual places and fish rescues appeared in local, state and national media outlets. Wildlife experts explained that plants and animals have for generations adapted to an array of environmental conditions. Under these circumstances, some species will flourish while others decline. Some expand their habitat range in search of food, while others may experience decreased birth rates as a form of adaption. Click link for more information on California’s drought.

Pig on range, photo courtesy of CDFW
Pig on range, photo courtesy of CDFW

Wildlife Encounters and Attacks
The rare wildlife attack that occurs in California typically gains national attention. In 2014, there were more incidents than usual, for reasons unknown: a bear in Carpinteria knocked a woman down and bit her, an emaciated bobcat in Solvang attacked a woman and bit her hand and the first-ever incident of a wild boar making contact with a hiker in Solano County was reported. Most notably, a child was attacked by a mountain lion in the hills above Cupertino. The six-year-old was walking with his family on a marked trail when the cougar pounced on him from behind. Trackers and CDFW personnel located the cat – just 100 yards from the attack site – after three days of searching. DNA tests from the necropsy proved it was the same cat that attacked the boy. The 65-pound male is believed to have been a young adult traveling through the area. For more information about preventing wildlife/human encounters, please visit

Black bear with fish in its mouth, photo courtesy of CDFW
Bears are becoming a more familiar site. Photo courtesy of CDFW

Bears in Bakersfield
Kern County saw a dramatic spike in bear activity this past year. CDFW staff responded to 108 black bear sightings within the Bakersfield city limits. In just a two-month period, (September through November), biologists and wildlife officers relocated eight Bakersfield bears to more appropriate habitat in nearby wilderness. Typically bear sightings in the city of Bakersfield are only reported once or twice a year. In addition, more than 1,300 bear calls were made to CDFW in other parts of Kern County, and another seven bears were captured. While the causes of the increase in black bear activity are myriad, the drought likely had an impact, as the lack of water forced them to roam further in search of food sources. For more information on sharing habitat with black bears, please visit

Bighorn Sheep, photo courtesy of CDFW
Bighorn Sheep, photo courtesy of CDFW

Endangered Bighorn Sheep Moved Across Mountain Range
In March, biologists from CDFW, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and volunteer groups came together to capture, tag and relocate more than a dozen Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep from the southern end of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The sheep were flown by a helicopter net from Inyo County into Kings Canyon – Sequoia National Park to establish the first herd of these sheep in more than 100 years. State and federal agencies have been collaborating on this project for the last three years in an attempt to create multiple small herds in the Sierras. They hope that eventually the sheep will be plentiful enough to de-list as an endangered species. See video of the relocation.

Marijuana Cultivation
Known for committing some of California’s worst poaching and environmental crimes, illegal marijuana growers were unfortunately plentiful in 2014. Wildlife officers arrested 240 illegal growers, many of whom constructed illegal operations in hidden locations ranging from local ecological reserves to Indian Reservations and deep inside several northern California forests. Grow sites produce pollution and garbage and often result in highly toxic pesticides being dumped into the environment. In addition, each grow site had diverted natural water resources, making it difficult for surrounding wildlife to survive during an unprecedented drought year. In 2014, the Department and the California State Water Resources Control Board launched a new coordinated effort to address these problems. Read more about CDFW’s enforcement efforts.

Saving Salmon
The historic drought in California forced CDFW and USFWS to take drastic action to truck juvenile salmon from five northern California hatcheries to the San Francisco Bay. For only the second time in department history, CDFW transported nearly every state and federal hatchery salmon to salt water during April, May and June – a total of nearly 30 million individual fish. Sacramento fall-run Chinook salmon are the primary driver of ocean commercial and recreational fisheries. Trucking of smolts from inland hatcheries to net pen sites at Jersey Point and San Pablo Bay helped minimize in-river losses to unsuitable water quality conditions, predation and entrainment due to drought conditions. Find out more.

2 Tule Elk, photo courtesy of CDFW
Tule Elk, photo courtesy of CDFW

Tule Elk Capture
California iconic tule elk were once on the brink of extinction. Through CDFW’s wildlife management protocols and collaborative efforts, California now has healthy and thriving herds across the state. In March, CDFW and USFWS successfully captured 36 tule elk from the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in the San Joaquin Valley and relocated them throughout the state. A total of 15 bulls, 16 cows and five calves were captured using helicopters with net guns at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge. They were released in San Luis Obispo County, Kern County and Santa Clara County. As a result of our continued efforts, California’s tule elk population has increased from three herds totaling 500 elk in the 1970s, to 22 herds with approximately 4,200 elk today, marking one of the most successful wildlife comeback stories of the last century. Click here for photos and more information.

Endangered Coho Capture and Relocation
In 2014, high temperatures and low water flows put endangered Coho salmon at risk. Many were stranded in the Scott River in Siskiyou County and were in danger of being lost. The recovery and relocation effort was two-pronged. CDFW staff captured more than 100,000 juvenile fish in the low and cool parts of the river then released them into suitable habitat on private lands with the cooperation of the land owners. Secondly, drought funds from a variety of sources purchased stable holding tanks, where another substantial quantity of fish taken from the Scott were placed as an emergency measure in case the river collapsed. After several weeks of effort, the captured fish were released back into the river to continue on their journey. More about Coho Salmon recovery efforts can be found here.

3 abalone, opened on ground due to poaching, Photo courtesy of CDFW
Abalone, photo courtesy of CDFW

Abalone and Shark fin Enforcement
Several repeat offenders were caught poaching abalone again despite steep fines and penalties from past convictions. In October, a series of convictions for these repeat offenders included steep fines totaling $139,000 in addition to lifetime revocation of fishing privileges and prison sentences. In San Francisco, an investigation into illegal shark fin sales uncovered almost 2,000 pounds of shark fin product destined for California’s black market. Prosecution and pre-trial preparation for the case is ongoing. More details on the above abalone arrests can be found here.

CDFW’s Scientific Journal Celebrates 100-year Anniversary
In 2014, California Fish and Game celebrated 100 years as California’s longest-running, continuously published scientific journal. Published quarterly, this peer-reviewed scientific journal is devoted to the conservation and understanding of the flora and fauna of California and surrounding areas, including the eastern Pacific Ocean. In an effort to make California Fish and Game accessible to a wider audience, CDFW eliminated subscription fees in 2014 and began to publish new issues electronically on its website. Back issues are also being added, with the intention of eventually making all 100 years’ worth of issues available for download at no charge. Print copies of the four commemorative anniversary issues will also be available to order on a “print on demand” basis later in 2015. To view issues currently available online or to find out more about how to order a print copy, please visit our site.

More Outdoor News

Game Wardens and Ghost Towns

All that’s left of the ghost town of Newville are the remains of this service station. I remember the old hand-pump gas tank still being out front during the 1960s; it’s gone now. Photo by Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
12/02/16 -- Out of beer and three sheets to the wind, the three deer poachers turned west on Newville Road and headed northeast toward Paskenta. Rounding the first bend, they passed the ghost town of Newville. Newville had thrived...Full Story

The Most Beautiful Duck in North America

The drake mallard, with its iridescent green head., by Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan 
11/05/16 -- Ask any waterfowl enthusiast to name the most beautiful duck in North America, and he or she will most likely point to the brilliant, multicolored, drake wood duck (Aix sponsa). Others might claim that the iridescent green head of...Full Story

ODFW Weekly Recreation Report

09/29/16 -- Oregon’s most popular hunting season opens statewide Oct. 1. Don’t forget to pick up your tag by Sept. 30. Forecast rain could make it a good opener in some areas; see the reports below for more information. Don’t forget to...Full Story

An Island of Our Own

Western Toad, by kathy callan
On Patrol, by Steven T. Callan
09/23/16 -- Over the years, Kathy and I have often dreamed of escaping today’s fast-paced, hectic world and moving to an island of our own—an island of trees, flowers, and abundant wildlife, where we could experience the joys of...Full Story

Rafting and Reflecting on the American

Rafting on the American River, by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
06/12/16 -- When I looked at the list of outdoor activities for this year’s Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) spring conference, a rafting trip down the American River practically jumped off the page...Full Story

​In Search of the Elegant Trogon

Male hooded oriole in pomegranate tree, photo by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
05/18/16 -- I’ve always been fascinated with birds, but I really became hooked on bird-watching, or birding, as it’s often called, during the mid-seventies when I was a rookie Fish and Game warden down on the Colorado...Full Story

The Mudhen King

Don Webster, author badge,
04/22/16 -- There has been a time or two during my life when having some knowledge and experience with the outdoor world has come in handy. Especially job handy. As in monetarily handy. I remember one such occasion...Full Story

Hite Cove

hand holding fish, by phil akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
03/21/16 -- Revered by the Ahwahneechee, later congressionally designated as a Wild and Scenic River, the South Fork Merced originates on the southern slope of Triple Divide Peak in Yosemite National Park. Part of the Clark ...Full Story

​A Letter to Ted Trueblood

Ted Trueblood, photo courtesy of Don Webster
By Don Webster
01/28/16 -- Although you probably know what’s on my mind, I think you understand that it’s important for me to tell you anyway. You, Corey Ford, Nash Buckingham, Robert Ruark, and Ernest Hemingway were writers who wrote... Full Story

Flat tires! Are They Undetectable?

Example of what happens to a flat tire driven at freeway speed and possibly ten miles distance, photo by Don Stec
By Don Stec
11/02/15 -- Modern vehicles handle very well. So it is understandable when some people tell us they did not notice one tire was flat and drove several miles on the flat, destroying the tire. The first time I had heard this... Full Story

Poaching in the Parks

A stately bull elk in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Photo by Kathy Callan
By Steven T. Callan
08/29/15 -- The recent killing of Hwange National Park’s beloved icon, Cecil the Lion, has brought to mind a number of outrageous poaching incidents that occurred right here in California -- all of them inside national parks, state parks... Full Story

Caribou Wilderness

Susan Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
06/01/15 -- Adjacent to the eastern border of Lassen Volcanic National Park is a remote volcanic plateau on the eastern slopes of what was once Mt. Tehama. Cinder cones, crater peaks, old-growth forest, and azure lakes make up... Full Story

A Jewel in the Desert

Once coveted by the pet trade, native reptiles, like this chuckwalla, may no longer be sold in California. Photo by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
05/25/15 -- In late April, before summer set in, Kathy and I decided to spend a few days in the land of blistering sands and sharp thorns. I had worked in the California desert during my early years with the California Department of Fish... Full Story

Don’t kill them all! Some snakes are good!

Indigo snake
By Captain William E. Simpson
04/27/15 -- Most survivalists and Preppers spend a good deal of time outdoors as do many other Americans. Many people have a healthy fear of snakes, and given the fact that there are several species of venomous snakes that are...Full Story

Marijuana Wars and the California DFW

ish and Wildlife Warden Jerry Karnow with suspected poisoned bear at an illegal marijuana grow site. Photo courtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife Warden Jerry Karnow
By Steven T. Callan
04/16/15 -- Just after daylight in September 2014, four California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers and four Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies quietly locked their vehicles and began what was to be an arduous hike... Full Story

‘Preppers’ & Disaster Preparedness Myths

Life is hard... it's even harder if you're stupid, John Wayne
By Capt. William E. Simpson
04/14/15 -- We live in a world where civilization, reason and logic are said to be at historic heights, yet so many people today, especially our youth, are making new lows in relevant intelligence and labor under a host of myths and illusions...Full Story

A Happy Dog is a Panting Dog

Pup, Phil Akers, A Happy Dog is a Panting Dog
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
04/07/15 -- Bigfoot’s number one pet is the wolverine but for us humans it’s the canine. Americans are projected to spend $60 billion this year on pets! A large portion of this goes to dogs. We all love our dogs and generally...Full Story

Show Respect and Pass Through Quietly

Butte Valley Wildlife Area with Mount Shasta in background, photo by Kathy and Steven Callan
By Steven T. Callan 
03/05/15 -- “Quick, roll up the windows!” said Kathy. We had just entered the ten-mile auto tour route at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, when four cars roared by us like we were standing still. Pulling to the side of the road...Full Story

Tactical Survival Axe, AKA: ‘The Bruiser’

USMC Tactical Survival Axe, AKA: ‘The Bruiser’, photo by William E. Simpson
Article and photos by Capt. William E. Simpson
02/24/15 -- I am not an expert with edged weapons, even though I have a trunk-load of them, including the old Buck hunting knife that my Dad gave me when I was a teenager many moons ago. So with that said, I wanted to share...Full Story

Hot Stove

blue lake surrounded by gray snow peaked mountains with green grass meadow in the foreground. Photo by Phil Flip Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
02/24/15 -- Much like fantasy baseball, winter is the “hot stove” season for high elevation wilderness adventures. It is time to study and plan for the upcoming summer. But instead of preparing to draft players, we find...Full Story

A Problem Requiring a Different Approach

A humungous crowd of people.
By Captain William E. Simpson, USMM
02/08/15 -- Most survival strategies and related tactics used today draw upon the methods that were used or which worked in past small-scale localized and regional disasters, and will likely work again to some extent in similar...Full Story

Survival Using RVs

Silver mobile home with striped awning, parked on a grassy field alongside a river with forested hills leading up to snow capped mountains. Photo by William E. Simpson
Article and photos by William E. Simpson
12/26/14 -- Over the past year many people have reached-out to me asking the same question; ‘What can people do to survive a catastrophic event besides sailing to an island on a bug-out boat? This was of course a natural... Full Story

For the Love of Ducks

Snow geese at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. photo by Steven T. Callan
Article and photos by Steven T. Callan
12/23/14 -- With the north wind blowing off snow-covered Mount Shasta, it was brutally cold that December afternoon in 1960. Sitting in the back seat of our family car, I spotted an enormous flock of snow-white birds feeding in the... Full Story

Disaster Preparedness Strategies – Part II

NASA image depicting solar storm impacting earth’s geomagnetic field.
By Capt. William E. Simpson, USMM
11/25/14 -- Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of Disaster Preparedness articles written by Capt. William E. Simpson, USMM. The first was an attempt to simplify the subject of disaster preparedness by focusing on risk...Full Story

Disaster Preparedness Strategies – Part I

Preparedness & Survival by Capt. William E. Simpson
11/12/14 -- Over the past few years, disaster preparedness (“prepping”) has become a popular topic. A very large mix of people have begun preaching prepping, all having different motives for promoting their particular... Full Story

Making Friends With The Neighbors

Wild (feral) stallions competing - copyright Laura Simpson 2014
By William E. Simpson
10/14/14 -- There are few animals in nature that match the majestic beauty of a stallion running wild and free. They rule their territory by day and by night. Recently, my wife Laura and I decided to change adventures...Full Story


 Newspaper headline from early August 1911. Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Bee.
By Phil 'Flip' Akers
10/08/14 -- Southwest of Mt. Lassen lies a remote and largely forgotten piece of Cascade foothill region. Dark basaltic cliffs and pinnacles adorn inhospitable river canyons, carved by what is now Mill and Deer Creeks, through bad...Full Story

Tall Trees and Emerald Waters

Kathy at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, beside one of the largest (redwood) trees on Earth., photo by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
10/06/14 -- Kathy and I recently attended the Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) fall conference on the aptly-named Wild Rivers Coast. Stretching from Port Orford, Oregon to Klamath, California, the Wild.... Full Story

The 'Death Wobble' -- Be Safe Not Sorry!

Death Wobble, underbody of a vehicle, Don Stec
Article and photos by Don Stec
03/31/14 -- Death Wobble is not to be confused with a front-end shimmy or a wheel balance problem. A Death Wobble (DW) is very common on vehicles with a solid front axle. It has earned its name, not from mechanics but by vehicle... Full Story


Your outdoor adventures have only just begun
Northern California Fishing News, Northern California Hunting Reports

Fishing News

Northern California and Southern Oregon offer superb fresh and saltwater fishing. Before you make a trip, make sure you have
up-to-date news about where the fish are biting!

Hunting News

This region is also famous for its world-class hunting opportunities. Make sure you are armed with the absolute latest news by checking
the reports being filed daily at

Northern California Outdoor News, Northern California Outdoor Reports Outdoor News 

If you like to explore the great outdoors your choices are essentially infinite in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Use our news pages to plan your next outing!

Northern California Destination News, Northern California Destination Reports


So many places to visit and so little time, but if you scan
these pages you'll know in advance what lies ahead and what
not to miss in the almost-mythical State of Jefferson.
Buddy Photos

You are there! Towering mountains, vast valleys, unique shorelines. Land, water and air bursting with life. Opportunity presents itself. Llghting is right. Click! An image is captured for the ages.

Photo Galleries,

Photo Galleries

A preview of coming attractions...if you are planning a trip to this area be forewarned: What photographers have captured will whet your appetite for what will be an outdoor journey filled with wonders.  

Product & Services Directory

Don't let anything come between you and a wonderful weekend, vacation or or auto tour in this region. The fine product and services providers listed here will have what you need to enjoy your visit.  

Come back to for more Northern California and Southern Oregon fishing, hunting and outdoor news, reports, information, opinions and photos.


A friend to all who love the outdoors since 2006

Website Design Photo Credits: thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Website Design by Anders Tomlinson

©Copyright 2005-2015 by Frank Galusha, Editor and Publisher. Articles and photos are copyright protected and are published exclusively on the Internet by the publisher and may not be copied, displayed, reproduced or published in any other form without the express written permission of same who reserves all rights. Material supplied by others is the copyrighted property of the respective authors. Re-use of any MyOutdoorBuddy content, graphics and photos without written permission by the author(s) for any purpose is strictly prohibited.