Official Press Release, September 22, 2015, NWTF San Diego Chapter
The below information is the result of a meeting concerning the past, present, and future Turkey hunting of Lake Sutherland property.
The “Lake Sutherland Turkey Hunting Concerns” meeting was chaired by Viviana Castellon the City Lakes Maintenance Manager, and went as smooth as possible. Meeting attendees representing the lake were: Joe Weber – City of San Diego Public Utilities Lakes Supervisor, Viviana Castellon, Lori Felchlin, Mark De Alba, and Diane Dine; those representing the NWTF were: Paul Conner, and Kevin Martinez; with the two State Biologist in absentia, yet represented by their suggested actions to be taken as listed below. The Lake Staff was well prepared; presented facts that reflected the taken number and sex of bird counts from the hunt inception year; history of when hunt days were expanded from an original two (2) days, to three (3) days per week; when the hunt zones were increased from three (3) to the present four (4) zones; the inception year of the fall season; and finally the year when the youth only season (which follows the end of the general season) was added.
Documents of suggested action from both the NWTF State Biologist, and the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife State Biologist were reviewed and discussed. Biologists from both organizations mirrored each other’s suggestions, and are now adopted until the turkey population recovers in numbers, and the drought conditions improve considerably.
Below are the key points which are the decisions made as a result of said meeting:
The limited acreage of the Lake property was determined to be too few in numbers to support the number of hunt days presently represented by the number of hunters drawn for each season.
The Lake Sutherland Fall Turkey Hunt is suspended until the turkey population returns to sustainable numbers. Their numbers will be monitored on a weekly basis by the Lake Sutherland Staff and reported to the Lake Supervisor, NWTF Chapter BOD, and both the NWTF and DFW State Biologists. Based on the condition of the flock returning to sustainable numbers, the Biologists will recommend when the Fall season will be reinstated.
The Spring season will be limited to two (2) hunt days per week of the general and youth only season; the hunt days will be on Saturdays and Wednesdays (no Monday hunts)
When the Fall season is reinstated, it will also be on Saturdays and Wednesdays only.
In addition, on the Sutherland property, ONLY the taking of BEARDED turkeys will be allowed, regardless of season, or State game laws stating otherwise.
The steps taken above were done with the best interest of the turkey population, their habitat, the general and hunting public in mind.
NWTF San Diego
Hunter Education Instructor