California Department of Fish and Game

Mission Statement

The mission of the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is to manage California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.

Major Roles and Responsibilities in Wetlands Management

The wetland activities of DFG are divided primarily between the Environmental Services Division (ESD) and the Wildlife Management Division (WMD). ESD conducts all aspects of wetlands regulation, permitting, and mitigation. While WMD is responsible for wetlands protection, restoration and enhancement on state wildlife areas and on private land under voluntary agreements with landowners.

ESD's primary role in wetlands management is executing "Streambed Alteration Agreements." Streambed Alteration Agreements are required in certain instances for construction projects which would impact wetlands associated with rivers, streams, or lakes. ESD also confers with other State and Federal government agencies issuing wetlands permits. These agencies include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CWA 404 Permits), and the California Coastal Commission (Coastal Development Permits), the State Water Resources Control Board and its Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Water Quality Certification), and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC Permits).

WMD's major role in wetlands management is to meet the wetlands protection, restoration, and enhancement goals of the Central Valley Habitat Joint Venture, a component of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. These habitat goals are achieved on state-owned wildlife areas and on private land enrolled in WMD's voluntary wetland incentive or easement programs. WMD's wetlands goals are completely separate from any wetland permitting or mitigation activities conducted by ESD although the two DFG divisions work together to achieve common resource benefits.

Legal Mandate

The Department has no officially adopted regulations or statutes pertaining to wetlands. However, as mentioned above Fish and Game Code 1601 and 1603 charge DFG with executing Streambed Alteration Agreements. Fish and Game Codes 5650-5645 pertain to the protection of water quality but do not charge DFG with additional permitting responsibilities. As designated a Trustee and/or Responsible Agency per the California Environmental Quality Act 15386 and 15381, DFG reviews and comments on documents produced by the lead agencies. DFG also administers the California Endangered Species Act and "lists plant and animimal species per the act.

For more information on the Department of Fish and Game contact:


Wildlife and Habitat Data Analysis Branch
Becky Miller, Wetland and Riparian Coordinator (916)651-8711,
Diana Hickson, Significant Natural Areas Coordinator, (916)327-5956,

Mailing Address:

Habitat Conservation Planning Branch
1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814


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