Enrollment Opportunity – State Winter Flooding Program

Enrollment Opportunity – State Winter Flooding Program

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now soliciting applications for its second year of the California Winter Rice Habitat Incentive Program (State Winter Flooding Program). In 2018, the State Legislature passed AB 2348, a bill carried by Assembly Member Aguiar-Curry to enact the State Winter Flooding Program and authorized $5 million to support the initial development and start-up of the Program.  

We have been working closely with CDFW to make improvements to the bill and the second year of this program.

Program Updates

  1. Payment rates have been increased to $15/acre
    • CDFW will contact all growers that are currently enrolled at $10/acre to begin the process of amending contracts to this new amount. If existing enrollees would like to add acres enrolled in the program, they must submit a new application for those acres during this application period.
  2. Tenant farmers are now eligible
  3. Enrolled acres can be rotated around the farm in different years
  4. Enrolled acres must have been in rice the immediate prior growing season
    • The previous requirement that fields be in rice for two of the last three years has been removed.

CDFW has released its Proposal Solicitation Notice (PSN) for rice growers to apply to this Program. The PSN and application can be found here. Enrollment period is for this immediate winter flooding season; it opened August 13 and closes September 14, 2020. 

CDFW will be holding a question and answer session via Microsoft Teams at 10 am on Thursday, August 27, 2020. To participate in the Q&A session please add your contact info here or contact Jeff Kohl at (916-373-6610) or, and Kelsey Navarre at (916-371-3132) or

We appreciate the efforts of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, working closely with us on the development and modification of this new program. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Luke Matthews, CRC Wildlife Programs Manager, at (916) 607-8988 or

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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.