As of Jan. 1, the name of the former California Fish and Game is California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The history of fish and game management in the state of California started in 1870, when a board of fish commissioners was established. Eight years later, their title was expanded to include game.
In 1900, the state declared that wildlife belongs to the people of California. In 1909, the name changed to Fish and Game Commission.
The first licenses were issued a few years later, and the name changed again to the Division of Fish and Game, within the Department of Natural Resources.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife declares this mission statement today:
“The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (formerly ‘Department of Fish and Game’) maintains native fish, wildlife, plant species and natural communities for their intrinsic and ecological value and their benefits to people. This includes habitat protection and maintenance in a sufficient amount and quality to ensure the survival of all species and natural communities. The department is also responsible for the diversified use of fish and wildlife, including recreational, commercial, scientific and educational uses.”
With that as their mission statement, I wish the department — and our fish and wildlife of California — well. I hope it is managed properly for generations to come.
Speaking of generations to come, there is a great event coming up, and it raises money for fish in our area. It is the ninth annual Sand Crab Classic Perch Fishing Tournament.
It will be held March 9 at the Portuguese Hall, 216 Evergreen St., in Santa Cruz.
Weigh-ins are at 1 p.m. for the fun, one-day family event that includes food, prizes and T-shirts.
All proceeds go to the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project.
The money raised helps the Chinook program, the Salmon and Trout Education Program (S.T.E.P.) in classrooms, coho salmon and steelhead.
Entry forms can be filled out at Bayside Marine, 333-B Lake Ave., in Santa Cruz or online at www.theletsgofishingradioshow.com.
- Mike Baxter has fished in the Monterey Bay Area since he was a boy and has been a licensed charter boat captain for more than 20 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.