The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now offering public fishing opportunities through the Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) program. SHARE is a controlled access program that incentivizes private landowners to create wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities to the public in exchange for financial compensation and liability coverage.
Since 2010, SHARE has worked with more than 50 private landowners and enrolled more than 92,000 acres for hunting events throughout the state. In April, the program will expand to include fishing as well.
Applications are now being accepted for the inaugural SHARE fishing opportunities at Barrett Reservoir in San Diego County. Successful applicants will fish for largemouth bass in the reservoir during CDFW fisheries surveys conducted over four days in April. Four access permits will be drawn for each of the four days (16 access permits total). The catch-and-release surveys occur during the bass spawning season and a month before the water opens to the public, meaning only SHARE participants and CDFW staff will be on the water during these opportunities. During the surveys, SHARE participants will catch the fish then transfer them to CDFW staff who will collect information such as length and weight; these data provide insight to trends in abundance and condition of the bass and allows CDFW to actively manage the fishery. Bass caught during these surveys average 14 inches but can reach 25.6 inches and weigh nearly 6 pounds.
Barrett Reservoir, maintained and operated by the City of San Diego, serves as a domestic drinking water supply with a water storage capacity of 34,805-acre feet. The reservoir is home to a robust largemouth bass population, including one of two northern-strain largemouth bass populations in a water that does not contain quagga mussels. This quintessential sportfish and keystone predator make Barrett Reservoir a popular angling destination during the open season and an important freshwater fishery within the state.
All SHARE opportunities are available through random draw, and Barrett Reservoir draw winners are allowed to bring one fishing or non-fishing partner. Each pair will be provided a boat by the City of San Diego and can use their own fishing gear or borrow SHARE program gear. A current fishing license is mandatory of all participants on the day of their event but is not required to apply. A $12.45 non-refundable fee is charged for each access permit application.
SHARE provides angling and hunting opportunities throughout the state by creating long-term partnerships with landowners. Through the program, CDFW hopes to generate appreciation for California’s diverse landscapes and support our longstanding fishing and hunting opportunities for today and future generations.
For more information on this and other events, how to apply for an opportunity or how to enroll your property in SHARE Fishing, please contact Flower Moye at Jessica.Moye@wildlife.ca.gov and visit CDFW’s SHARE Fishing Program webpage.