News from NDOW

Sparks Man Sentenced for Unlawful Possession of an Unlawfully Harvested Big Game Animal

ELKO, NEV. – On Oct. 1, 2018, Kenneth Wayne Hines, 57, of Sparks, Nevada was sentenced for possession of an unlawfully harvested big game animal; a gross misdemeanor, in 4th Judicial District Court in Elko, Nevada.   The sentencing stemmed from a 2015 investigation in which a cow elk was killed in hunt unit 076 near Rock Springs, where Hines did not have a tag. The investigation was also related to a bull elk that was allegedly killed by Hines in 2014, for which Hines also did not have a tag.  While in court Hines stated, “I apologize for my conduct, and I am very remorseful.”  Hines was fined $5,000 in civil penalties, $28 in administrative fees, and ordered to forfeit the bolt action rifle and his Polaris ATV used in the commission of the crime. This conviction will also result in revocation of Hines’ hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for five years in the State of Nevada, and the 47 additional states that participate in the Interstate Wildlife Violator’s Compact.           “This case would not have been solved without the assistance of the dedicated sportsmen who came forward with information witnessed in the field,” says Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) Game Warden, Nick Brunson.  NDOW encourages anyone who has witnessed a wildlife violation to please gather as much information as possible, and call 1-800-992-3030 to report the violation immediately.  Nevada’s 31 field game wardens rely heavily on the public’s assistance in detecting wildlife crimes and catching those who would steal from the public’s wildlife resources.  The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org. 


NDOW, USFWS, Volunteers Continue Efforts to Fight Botulism Outbreak

Fallon, Nev. – The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) is continuing its efforts to monitor cases of Botulism within the Truckee Meadows area, and specifically in the Carson Lake Wetlands.   “The disease is often fatal in birds, but is not harmful to humans,” said Russell Woolstenhulme, Migratory Game Bird Staff Biologist at NDOW.  A temporary treatment facility has been constructed at Carson Lake Wetlands to assist in the rehabilitation of diseased birds. The Carson Lake Wetlands is a U.S Bureau of Reclamation property, managed by NDOW and is located south of Fallon, Nevada.   “Efforts have proven to be successful for many shorebirds and ducks,” said NDOW Wildlife Staff Specialist Mike Zahradka.     NDOW, together with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Greenhead Hunting Club and numerous volunteers, is actively trying to keep the area clear from future contamination of waterfowl.    “Crews have been working daily since the outbreak was detected, including weekends and holidays, to help alleviate the situation,” said Zahradka. “Some days we’ve had as many as four airboats to assist with the clean-up. Our efforts are ongoing and this situation will likely continue for a few more weeks until water temperatures cool off.”   This is a type C botulism outbreak which is usually triggered when summer temperatures climb above 90° and water levels start to drop. These conditions can cause a decrease in water oxygen levels, which can kill fish and water insects allowing the botulism bacteria to enter a rapid growth phase that leads to toxin production.  Ducks and other water birds pick up the bacteria through feeding and often die.  Affected birds will be weak, unable to fly, walk or swim.  If interested in volunteering please visit: http://www.ndow.org/Education/Volunteer/  The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org. 


Nominations Sought for Nevada Wildlife Conservation Award

The state’s Board of Wildlife Commissioners is currently seeking nominations for the 2018 Wayne E. Kirch Nevada Wildlife Conservation Award.  The award is given annually to recipients who have demonstrated significant results towards conservation, management or enhancement of wildlife.  An individual, non-profit organization, outdoor sports club, or business can be nominated for the award. Tortoise Group, of Las Vegas was 2017’s winner of this award because of their long history of working to help save Desert Tortoises and their habitat.  Selection of the winning nominee will be made solely from the official conservation award nomination form.  A simple majority of votes from a judging panel that is made up of two wildlife commissioners, Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) staff assigned to the Kirch Award Committee, four judges representing county advisory boards to manage wildlife or outdoor groups, and Marlene Kirch, daughter of former commissioner Wayne E. Kirch.   The conservation award consists of a perpetual bronze and wood plaque, on which that year’s recipient's name is added.  Each winner also receives a smaller version of the award to keep.   This award is named in memory of Wayne E. Kirch, who served on the Fish and Game Commission for over 25 years, the longest tenure on the board since its inception in 1877.  The Kirch Wildlife Management Area in southern Nevada is also named in his honor.  Kirch, of Las Vegas, passed away in 1989.  All required official conservation award nomination forms are available from the Nevada Department of Wildlife regional offices, or on the web at www.ndow.org.  This year's award is for projects that occurred in 2018.  To be considered, nominations must be received no later than November 15, 2018.    The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org. 


Wildlife Agencies to host Waterfowl Hunting Seminar

The Nevada Department of Wildlife and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will host a waterfowl hunting seminar Saturday, Sept. 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Clark County Shooting Complex Education Center located at 11357 N. Decatur Blvd. in Las Vegas. ­  Seminar sessions will focus on such topics as hunting tactics and field etiquette, waterfowl identification, shotgun performance, game care and regulations. Presenters also will provide an overview of hunting opportunities on federal wildlife refuges, state wildlife management areas and other public lands in the Southern Nevada area.  Space is limited so registration is required and can be completed online at https://register-ed.com/events/view/128031. There is no cost for the event.  “This part of the state is often overlooked when it comes to hunting waterfowl, but we do have some good hunting opportunities for those who are interested and willing to put in the effort,” said Martin Olson, NDOW Hunter Education coordinator. “Our primary goal with this workshop is to help those who are new to waterfowl hunting get started right, but we hope to offer something of value to experienced hunters as well. In fact, we would encourage our experienced hunters to bring someone new.”  Participants under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. In addition, participants should be prepared to spend time outside. For assistance or more information call NDOW at 702-486-5127 extension 3500 or 3501.  The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org. 


NDOW Continues Efforts to Monitor Waterfowl Disease

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has been actively addressing recent cases of Avian Type C Botulism, an often fatal disease in birds. “Although not harmful to humans; when waterfowl ingest the toxin produced by the botulism bacteria, the toxin affects the nervous system and leads to progressive paralysis,” said Russell Woolstenhulme, Migratory Game Bird Staff Biologist at NDOW.  Type C Botulism has been reported from within the Truckee Meadows area as well as an outbreak near Fallon. A type C botulism outbreak is usually triggered when summer temperatures climb above 90° and water levels start to drop. These conditions can cause a decrease in water oxygen levels, which can kill fish and water insects allowing the botulism bacteria to enter a rapid growth phase that leads to toxin production.  Ducks and other water birds pick up the bacteria through feeding and often die.  Affected birds will be weak, unable to fly, walk or swim.  Type C botulism has not been associated with disease in humans, however, always wash your hands thoroughly after any contact with wildlife. Keep pets away from sick or dead birds.  “In cases where a pet may have ingested a contaminated carcass, monitor them for signs of sickness and contact your veterinarian if you suspect they are getting sick,” said Dr. Peregrine Wolff, DVM veterinarian for NDOW.   If multiple sick or dead ducks are present in an area, or if you own a pond and would like further information on how to prevent Type C botulism in your pond, you are encouraged to call the Nevada Department of Wildlife at 775-688-1500.   The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org. 


Woman Killed in Boating Accident near Laughlin

A 43-year-old woman from California was killed last night when her jet ski collided with a boat on the Colorado River near Laughlin.  Witnesses report the victim was traveling at a high rate of speed in a straight line when she struck the bow (front) of a rental jet boat that was near the buoy line at Davis Dam. The rental jet boat was operating at less than 5 miles per hour when the collision occurred. CPR was administered to the victim by both bystanders and the Bullhead Fire Department, however the victim was pronounced dead at the Western Arizona Regional Medical Center in Bullhead City, AZ.  "You really hate to see something like this," said David Pfiffner, Nevada's boating law administrator. "It's late in the day at the end of the weekend. Everyone was probably just heading off the water when an accident occurred that ended someone's life. This is another tragic example of how serious operating a boat can be. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this woman’s family and friends during this difficult time.”  An autopsy will be performed as investigators attempt to determine the cause of the accident.  While anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1983 is required to pass a boating education course before operating a boat on Nevada’s waters, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) suggests that everyone who plans on operating a boat or personal watercraft should take the course. Boaters who want to take a boating safety class or learn more about NDOW’s boating safety program can visit NDOW on the web at www.ndow.org.    While the cause of this accident is still under investigation, NDOW also wants to remind everyone to boat sober.   “Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths," said Pfiffner. "It can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. Boating is difficult enough without adding alcohol to the equation."  The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org. 


Tortoise Group Wins Wayne E. Kirch Conservation Award

Astounding commitment to Nevada’s wildlife will be recognized during the September Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners meeting in Las Vegas when Tortoise Group, of Las Vegas, will receive the Commission’s Wayne E. Kirch Conservation Award.  Tortoise Group has been working to protect and educate the public on desert tortoises for almost 30 years. Through the work of mostly dedicated volunteers and gracious donors the Tortoise Group has become a pinnacle of expertise on desert tortoises and wildlife conservation in the desert. The group’s work with their many federal and private partners has made it possible for them to complete habitat improvement projects such as non-native species removal and native plantings.   The work Tortoise Group has done within their community is also noteworthy. Their participation at events and work in classrooms has helped educate Nevadans on the complexities of native populations of desert tortoises versus captive populations. Through their work they have done an excellent job highlighting the challenges and the importance of conserving important desert habitat for all wildlife.    The Wayne E. Kirch Conservation Award is given annually to recipients who have demonstrated significant results towards conservation, management or enhancement of wildlife.  It is named in memory of Wayne E. Kirch, who served on the Fish and Game Commission for more than 25 years, the longest tenure on the board since its inception in 1877.  Kirch, of Las Vegas, passed away in 1989.   The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, conserves, manages and restores wildlife and its habitat for the aesthetic, scientific, educational, recreational, and economic benefits to citizens of Nevada and the United States, and to promote the safety of persons using vessels on the waters of Nevada. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org. 


Wildlife Commission Approves Emergency Fire Closure: Hunt Units 051 and 066 Closed to Sage-Grouse Hunting

On Friday, August 10, 2018 the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners approved CR18-12 Amendment #1 for an emergency fire closure of hunt units 051 and 066 in Humboldt and Elko Counties to sage-grouse hunting. The decision was made following extensive fire damage to high quality, priority sage-grouse habitat resulting from the 2018 Martin Fire and last year’s Snowstorm Fire.  The Martin Fire started on Thursday July 5, 2018 near Paradise Valley and burned 441,000 acres, making it the largest fire recorded in Nevada state history. During the Martin Fire, priority sage-grouse habitat and at least 39 known breeding sites, called leks, were destroyed. Preceding the fire, the leks were observed to have a combined total of 756 male sage-grouse on them. In addition to this year’s Martin Fire, last year’s Snowstorm Fire located 50 miles north of Battle Mountain, burned 171,000 acres, also impacting the decision to close the two units to sage-grouse hunting. The two fires have not only burned lek sites, but also destroyed associated nesting, brood rearing, and winter habitat which will likely affect both the sage-grouse annual production and survival rates.   “This fire negatively affected one of the few remaining stronghold habitats for Greater sage-grouse and a myriad of other sagebrush obligate species in Nevada,” said NDOW Upland Game Staff Specialist Shawn Espinosa. “Although we have hopes that restoration efforts can be successful, there will be some areas that will likely convert to cheatgrass which will further reduce available habitat for sage-grouse into the future.”  Currently, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) is working with federal land management agencies, private landowners, and non-governmental organizations on restoration plans for the Martin Fire, and procurement of seed from several sources. Seeding will occur during the fall and winter months.   “Another concern of ours is sage grouse population connectivity between Humboldt County and Elko County populations,” said Espinosa.  “The Martin Fire will likely inhibit the interchange of individual birds between these two very important sage-grouse populations. Continual loss of sagebrush habitats with the occurrence of these megafires places more than just sage-grouse in jeopardy. Mule deer, pronghorn, pygmy rabbit and many songbirds and small mammals depending on healthy connected sagebrush habitats will be jeopardized as well.”  The Nevada Department of Wildlife suggest that if at all possible to please avoid driving off existing roads in the areas impacted by the fire to help ensure a successful restoration process and to prevent the spread of non-native species.    The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org. 


Applications due for hunt reservations at Overton and Key Pittman

The Nevada Department of Wildlife is accepting applications for hunting reservations from those who want to hunt during the first two days of the 2018 duck and goose seasons at the Overton Wildlife Management Area or opening day at the Key Pittman WMA. Those dates are Oct. 27 and 28 at the Overton WMA and Oct. 13 at Key Pittman WMA.   To apply for reservations, hunters must complete and submit an official paper application that is available online at www.ndow.org or at NDOW offices in Las Vegas or Henderson. Only complete and legible applications will be accepted. Completed applications must be delivered through a postal service to the NDOW Headquarters Office, 6980 Sierra Center Parkway, Suite 120 in Reno. They are due no later than 5 p.m. September 12.  A public drawing will be held at 10 a.m. September 26 at the same address. Successful applicants will be notified by mail.   NDOW will begin taking reservations for the remainder of the waterfowl hunting season at the Overton WMA the Monday prior to opening day. Those reservations must be made in person (or by a representative) at the NDOW Las Vegas office or at the management area. All reservations, including those acquired through the mail-in application process, must be used prior to reserving another hunt day.   At Key Pittman WMA, reservations for hunting are required only on the opening day of the regular duck and goose seasons.   The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, conserves, manages and restores wildlife and its habitat for the aesthetic, scientific, educational, recreational, and economic benefits to citizens of Nevada and the United States, and to promote the safety of persons using vessels on the waters of Nevada. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org. 


Crucial Wildlife Bill being considered by Congress

A wildlife bill supported by the Nevada Department of Wildlife is now before both houses of Congress. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act recommends crucial funding for conservation of those fish and wildlife species in greatest need across the country.
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