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 cites major accomplishments

02/11/16 -- A new wolf pack, a massive oil spill, wildlife encounters, restoration projects, nonlead ammunition and more were among the top issues that kept staff on their toes at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in 2015.

“Protecting California’s natural resources takes commitment, passion and dedication 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “I am so honored to be leading this department and am extremely proud of what we’re accomplishing as a team with our staff and volunteers.”

The following is a snapshot of what was accomplished, watched and widely covered in 2015.

Refugio Oil Spill
On May 19, a line owned by Plains All American Pipeline ruptured, releasing more than 100,000 gallons of oil near Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County. CDFW’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) arrived on scene to coordinate the cleanup and conduct wildlife rescue operations. More than 300 birds and mammals died and another 169 animals were treated and released. Several months later, the response is in the final stage of environmental monitoring. OSPR and other agencies are currently conducting a Natural Resource Damage Assessment to identify how to compensate for the harm and what damages should be paid by the responsible party to fund restoration projects. More information on how to participate in the restoration process can be found here.

Shasta Wolf Pack
Loved by some and feared by others, wolves were historically a key component of California’s ecological landscape. After nearly a century of absence, wolves have returned to California. In August, CDFW released photographs of a gray wolf pack ¬¬– five pups and two adults. Called the Shasta Wolf Pack, the announcement was cheered by environmentalists, while others, including ranchers, expressed concern. In December, CDFW released the draft Gray Wolf Conservation Plan for public comment. The plan is the product of years of collaboration between wildlife experts and a diverse stakeholder group who spent many hours on its development. In early 2016, informational workshops were held to review the plan and incorporate public comment. More details on California’s gray wolves can be found here.

The Ongoing Drought
As California struggled through the fourth year of drought, many species faced a battle for survival, particularly native fish and hatchery fish. Three state-run hatcheries were evacuated because the water they used from lakes was too warm to support the fish. All of the hatchery rainbow trout, including some of the large broodstock fish, were transported by truck to nearby lakes, where they could thrive in cooler waters and provide opportunities for local anglers. Governor Brown’s emergency drought funds supported the construction of several temporary holding systems for threatened and endangered fish that were rescued from degraded and drought-impacted habitats. These recirculating aquaculture systems kept the fish safe until environmental conditions improved and they could be released. A $1.3 million permanent filtration and water chilling plant was completed at American River Hatchery east of Sacramento. The plant will raise Lahontan cutthroat trout, a threated species, and will help counteract the drought’s effect on Chinook salmon, a vital species to California’s history and economy.

In Sonoma County, CDFW worked closely with rural land owners in four priority watersheds of the Russian River to voluntarily reduce water usage to benefit coho salmon and steelhead that were trapped in streambeds as the waters dried up. Wineries also stepped up to assist, and in October CDFW recognized a collaboration led by Jackson Family Wines that included other grape growers, agencies and non-governmental organizations to develop voluntary drought agreements designed to save water and protect local fish species in the watershed.

Crab Seasons
In November, CDFW enacted an emergency rulemaking to delay the opener of the commercial Dungeness crab season and closed the commercial rock crab fishery. In similar action, the Fish and Game Commission voted to delay the recreational Dungeness crab opener and closed the recreational rock crab fishery. The decisions followed a health advisory issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and a recommendation from the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) due to elevated levels of domoic acid along the California coast. Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin that can cause sickness and death at the highest levels of exposure. The closures remained in place throughout December while testing of Dungeness crab and rock crab continued on a weekly basis. On Dec. 31, CDPH announced that crab caught south of Piedras Blancas Light Station in San Luis Obispo County no longer posed a significant human health risk. Then OEHHA recommended that the recreational fishery south of that point could be opened. CDFW coordinated that partial opening. More information on the current state of closures can be found here.

Bears, Mountain Lions and Coyotes
Throughout the last 12 months, California’s wildlife officers and biologists were called to respond to bear attacks in the cities of Mariposa and Magalia, a wayward bear in Tracy that was immobilized on live television, a bear running through the streets of Chico and numerous other high-profile encounters. Several young mountain lions also made headlines as they were transported to the CDFW Wildlife Investigation Lab for observation. For reasons unknown, these felines were in distress and needed help. Other adult cats throughout the state were darted and released to suitable habitat. Coyotes in Southern California made their presence known with a series of attacks and sightings throughout the region. Researchers speculate that access to human food sources, including garbage, played a role in their aggressive behavior. CDFW hosted numerous “bear aware” and “coyote aware” community meetings throughout the state to answer community questions and educate the public on CDFW’s “Keep Me Wild” program. For more information on living with wildlife, please visit

Wildlife Criminal Cases
In 2015, CDFW recognized three county prosecutors for their exemplary handling of wildlife criminal cases in 2014. Selected individuals from Santa Barbara and Yuba counties demonstrated above-and-beyond efforts to ensure not only successful prosecutions but outstanding fines and penalties that will serve as a deterrent for future poaching activity. While the results of each case vary significantly, CDFW continues to see improved handling and filing of wildlife criminal cases throughout the state and remains optimistic for further progress. More information on the county awards can be found here.

Marijuana Cultivation
In 2015, CDFW biologists and enforcement staff began operations for the newly formed Watershed Enforcement Team (WET). The program’s goal is to reduce the environmental impacts associated with illegal marijuana cultivation. Staff and local enforcement agencies inspected more than 200 marijuana cultivation sites on properties in Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino, Shasta, Tehama and Butte counties. At least 500 violations of the Fish and Game Code were documented, including unauthorized water diversions, streambed alteration, water pollution and trash deposition in streams. CDFW scientists also published a groundbreaking study on marijuana’s effect on the environment, titled “Impacts of Surface Water Diversions for Marijuana Cultivation on Aquatic Habitat in Four Northwestern California Watersheds.” The study confirmed that diminished stream flow from water-intensive activity is likely to have lethal impacts on state and federally listed salmon and steelhead trout as well as cause further decline of sensitive amphibian species. The report can be found here.

Nonlead Ammunition
July 1, 2015 marked the beginning of a three-tiered phase-out of lead ammunition for hunting in California. Nonlead ammunition is now required when hunting on all CDFW wildlife areas and ecological reserves and for all bighorn sheep hunts anywhere in the state. Further phase-out of lead ammunition for hunting in California will continue on July 1, 2016, when nonlead ammunition will be required when hunting with shotguns for upland game birds (except for dove, quail and snipe), small game mammals, fur-bearing mammals and nongame birds except for when hunting at licensed game bird clubs. Nonlead ammunition will also be required when taking wildlife with shotguns for depredation purposes anywhere in the state. Starting July 1, 2019, hunters must use nonlead ammunition when taking any animal anywhere in the state for any purpose. More information on the phase-out of lead ammunition for hunting in California can be found here.

CalTip Program
CalTip (Californians Turn in Poachers and Polluters), a confidential witness program that encourages the public to provide factual information on poachers and polluters, saw an expansion and improved success in 2015. The program introduced two new features. The first was “tip411” (numerically: 847411), which allows the public to anonymously text messages and/or photographs to wildlife officers directly. The second was “CALTIP App”, a smartphone app that similarly enables the public to share anonymous tips and/or photographs with wildlife officers via an anonymous two-way conversation. The program reported nearly a nine percent increase in received calls when compared to 2014. More than 1,500 people were contacted in the field, ultimately resulting in 167 citations, 10 arrests and 87 warnings. More information on the CalTip program can be found here.

Grant Restoration Projects
In 2015, CDFW implemented several grant programs that were administered by the newly formed Watershed Restoration Grants Branch. The first is the Wetlands Restoration for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Program, which is focused on projects that restore or enhance wetlands and mountain meadow ecosystems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CDFW awarded $21 million to 12 projects that will restore over 2,500 acres of sensitive habitat across coastal wetlands, the Delta and mountain meadows. The second program is referred to as the Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs, which was in response to the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. Under Prop 1, the program encompasses the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grants, which will fund approximately $6.8 million in projects that benefit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and the Watershed Restoration Grants, which will fund approximately $24.6 million in projects outside of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In 2015, CDFW received 190 proposals for more than $218 million in response to the Prop 1 program. Approximately $31 million in funding will be distributed for the first grant cycle. Awards for these programs were announced in January. More information CDFW’s grant programs can be found here.

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.