The California Department of Fish and Wildlife regularly answers questions from residents and outdoor enthusiasts. Below are CDFW’s submitted questions and answers.
CDFW K9 Training
Q: Do Fish and Wildlife canines receive different training than traditional law enforcement canine officers?
A: The California Peace Officer Training Standards establish guidelines for training and certification for all police officers in California. CDFW canines meet and exceed these guidelines. CDFW canines perform traditional law enforcement in canine roles but are also excellent at tracking and locating people fleeing police, missing or lost individuals, or assisting in locating persons of interest. In addition to tracking skills, the department’s canines are trained to detect typical odors such as drugs. CDFW dog teams are also trained to locate firearms, ammunition, and a long list of scents generated by various fish and wildlife, depending on their mission. CDFW has canine teams throughout the state that target species of concern or species hidden to avoid detection such as abalone, ivory, crayfish, bear, sturgeon, deer, squirrel, invasive mussels and many more. CDFW canines have also been deployed in warehouses, vehicles, recreational and commercial fishing boats, and open areas to identify specific species of fish and wildlife.
Q: I was wondering if you need a fishing license if you use a piece of bamboo as a pole with a piece of string tied to the end? There is no bobbin, just a piece of string and a piece of bamboo.
A: Yes, you will need a fishing license. A license is generally required when taking or attempting to catch fish in California, using any method, be it a bamboo pole, PVC pipe, or even a stick. CDFW’s annual sport fishing licenses are now active for a full 365 days from date of purchase. CDFW also offers one-day and two-day fishing licenses. All licenses can be purchased from CDFW’s online sales site.
Purpose of autopsy
Q: What determines when or why CDFW performs an autopsy?
A: CDFW routinely conducts statewide mortality and disease investigations involving fish and wildlife. One of the first steps when conducting mortality investigations is a necropsy, which is a thorough examination of animal remains, similar to an autopsy. The purpose of a necropsy is to determine the cause of an animal’s death and can inform scientists of health threats to wildlife populations caused by diseases, toxins, injuries, or other conditions. The cause of death of an animal can have larger impacts on the entire population and can prevent recovery efforts for threatened and endangered species. Understanding threats to wildlife health is also important for monitoring the health of animals and humans, as some diseases or health risks can be transmitted between species (e.g. rabies, plague).
Autopsies can also help provide information on common causes of death and basic mortality rates, which is useful for detecting unusual mortality events that may be attributable to disease epidemics or the emergence and geographic spread of new diseases (eg, West Nile virus, white nose). SARS-CoV-2 syndrome).
CDFW wildlife officers may also request a necropsy to assist in law enforcement investigations. For example, a necropsy can determine whether an animal died naturally, or was shot or poisoned.
Finally, autopsy of a dead animal during a disease outbreak or toxic event can save the life of a sick animal by guiding important treatment decisions.