Deadline to apply for Drought Relief Waterbird Program fast approaching

Deadline to apply for Drought Relief Waterbird Program fast approaching

You have less than one week to apply for a special program to help wildlife endure the drought. The California rice industry has teamed up with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to fund a special $8 million Drought Relief Waterbird Program. This program seeks to create waterbird habitat through the operation of groundwater wells to winter flood rice fields for migratory birds. The program will be rolled out on an expedited timeframe, given the rice harvest schedule this year.  

The program is currently soliciting applications through the California Ricelands Waterbird Foundation and the application period will close September 20, 2021 at 5:00 pm. 

Key Details:

  • Flooding period will be from November 1, 2021 though January 31, 2022. 
    • Flood and Maintenance or One-time Flood. 
    • Required water depths between 2-8 inches.
    • Flooding must be done with groundwater.
  • Any combination of the following post-harvest treatments are acceptable: 

Bale, Burn, Chop, No Treatment, Roll, Single Disc or Chisel pass, Stomp.

  • Areas within a five miles radius from Sacramento Metro and Beale Airports are ineligible for this program. 

For more details on the program visit the website. For technical questions, reach out to Luke Matthews, CRC’s Wildlife Programs Manager at or (916) 607-8988.

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New Fish Food Program Applications Open Now

New Fish Food Program Applications Open Now

Reclamation District 108 (RD108) and California Trout are soliciting applications for the Fish Food Program, which pays rice farmers and wetland managers to flood their fields for a few weeks and drain the water (full of food) to fish-bearing waterways to benefit out migrating salmon while providing wintering and migratory bird habitat. Landowners do not have to be in RD 108 to apply.

Application deadline is September 10, 2023.