Department of Fish and Game officials are reminding California taxpayers this month of the state's tax check-off to fund programs for helping rare and endangered species.
Californians, by designating a contribution on line 90 under the heading "Voluntary Contributions" of their state tax returns, contributed more than $750,000 last year. Contributions are deductible by the individual as long as deductions are itemized. The California Franchise Tax Board holds contributions until June, when they are transferred to a special account within the state Fish and Game Preservation Fund.
The program is administered by a DFG committee of staff biologists and botanists. By law, program funds must be used exclusively for the preservation of California species at risk.
The DFG says there are 252 native species of wildlife and plant life classified as rare, threatened or endangered.
The pair of peregrine falcons that have captivated high rise office workers in downtown Los Angeles for the last few years will be sticking closer to their nest atop the Union Bank building these days. The female laid two eggs Thursday morning. Peregrines almost always lay four eggs, and biologists were watching the nest on closed circuit TV late Thursday, awaiting the next two.
Peregrine Fund biologist John Ball heads a team of biologists that will search the Middle Fork of the Kings River next week, looking for nesting peregrines. Twelve peregrines have been released by the Peregrine Fund in the canyon areas of the middle and south forks of the Kings River in the last four years.
Grunion, the silvery little fish that attract thousands of fishermen armed with flashlights to Southland beaches at night are beginning a series of spawning visits to beaches, DFG biologists say.
Grunion spawn on the beaches at night from late February to September, but the best months for catching them are usually late March through early August. The tasty fish may be caught by hand only and only by licensed fishermen, or children under 16. The DFG suggests these spawning runs as potentially productive for fishermen:
March 21 (12:08 a.m.--2:08 a.m.), 31 (10:06 p.m.--12:06 a.m.).
June 2 (12:28 a.m.--2:28 a.m.), 13 (10:53 p.m.--12:53 a.m.), 14 (11:48 p.m.--1:48 a.m.), 16 (12:47 a.m.--2:47 a.m.), 17 (1:57 a.m.--3:57 p.m.), 27 (10:18 p.m.--12:18 a.m.), 28 (10:51 p.m.--12:51 a.m.), 29 (11:29 p.m.--1:29 a.m.).
July 1 (12:04 a.m.--2:04 a.m.), 12 (10:50 p.m.--12:50 a.m.), 13 (11:40 p.m.--1:40 a.m.), 15 (12:35-2:35 a.m.) 16 (1:37 a.m.--3:37 a.m.), 27 (10:38 p.m.--12:38 a.m.), 28 (11:11 p.m.--1:11 a.m.), 29 (11:46 p.m.--1:46 a.m.), 31 (12:27 a.m.)--2:27 a.m.).
August 11 (11:27 p.m.--1:27 a.m.), 13 (12:19 a.m.--2:19 a.m.), 14 (1:18 a.m.--3:18 a.m.), 15 (2:37 a.m.--4:37 a.m.).
Southern California's Super Bowl for fly fishermen, the Federation of Fly Fishers' annual conclave at the Amfac Hotel in Los Angeles, is scheduled for April 4-5. More than 2,000 fly fishermen are expected. Fly fishermen can learn about fly fishing opportunities in Canada, Alaska, Montana and Baja California.
The state Wildlife Conservation Board has approved 36 land acquisitions totaling 4,577 acres at a cost of $5.8 million. The wildlife habitat will provide more access for hunters and fishermen and will provide wildlife habitat, including fish spawning areas.
Two projects in Butte and Merced counties account for 3,629 acres of interior wetlands, 2,300 acres of the Upper Butte Sink Wildlife Area and 1,329 added acres to the Los Banos Wildlife Area. Part of the money for the land purchases came from the Environmental License Plate Fund.
Wyoming biologists captured a black-footed ferret recently, bringing to 18 the number of the endangered animals in the state's black-footed ferret captive breeding program. Some biologists believe the ferrets are North America's most endangered mammals.
Briefly Southland fishermen have a new fishing information telephone service, 213, 818 or 619 976-FISH. Each call costs $1.50. . . . Temple Reynolds of Illinois is the new director of Arizona's Game and Fish Dept. . . . The Los Angeles Billfish Club will hold the Avalon Invitational billfish tournament Sept. 17-19. . . . Two halibut fishing tournaments are expected to attract several thousand fishermen: the March 28-29 Marina del Rey Halibut Derby and the April 4-5 Santa Monica Bay Halibut Derby.