Fines to foster hunting, fishing programs

Youngsters will get to “go fishing” throughout the county as a result of recommendations made by the county’s fish and game fines committee.

The committee on Tuesday suggested to the Board of Supervisors ways to spend $18,212 the county has collected from fines.

Its suggestions, approved by the board, range from giving kids a day at the lake to wildlife studies to improving hunting safety.

The Oak Shores, Lopez Lake and Santa Margarita Lake Junior Fish Day will receive $500 each. According to a staff report, the money will help defray the costs of a recreational program to “get the kids off the streets and in the streams.”

One thousand dollars will go to help defray the costs of a junior pheasant hunt that “provides the youth of the county with hands-on hunter safety training.”

Another thousand dollars will go to a women’s hunting clinic, which will “provide a day of classroom, range, and field assistance in the proper techniques of gun handling and safety, pheasant hunting, and game care.”

The board also approved $3,500 for habitat improvement projects at Santa Margarita, Lopez and Nacimiento lakes and elsewhere. The projects are not specified but the money will be used to fund projects “as the need arises.”

Two hundred dollars will go toward building and placing boxes for wood ducks around the county in an effort to increase the wood duck population.

In addition, the county will spend $2,000 on field equipment that will be used for habitat studies for elk, pronghorn, kit foxes, western pond turtles and marbled murrelets.

The money for these programs comes from fish and game violations.