The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is offering waterfowl hunting opportunities at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (ELER) in Hayward. The reserve is composed of former industrial salt ponds now managed by DFG as low-salinity waterbird habitat.
Access to ELER for waterfowl hunting will be granted only on the following dates:
2011 hunts (all check-ins at 5 a.m.):
Sunday, Nov. 20
Saturday, Dec. 3
Thursday, Dec. 8
Tuesday, Dec. 13
Saturday, Dec. 17
2012 hunts (all check-ins at 5:30 a.m.):
Saturday, Jan. 7
Thursday, Jan. 12
Tuesday, Jan. 17
Access for 100 hunters will be permitted on a first-come, first-served basis for each one-day hunt. There is no fee for these hunts. Apprentice hunters may participate, but must hold a Junior Hunting License and be accompanied by an adult (hunter or non-hunter).
Upon arrival at the reserve, hunters must provide valid California hunting licenses with federal and state duck stamps to check in with DFGstaff. Hunters must also complete the Harvest Information Program Survey upon checkout and must allow inspection of gear and game for use in evaluating hunter success and harvest data.
Hunters are responsible for avoiding closed areas and there is a 25-shell limit in the field. Vehicles may be driven on designated levees to reach various locations or to launch boats for waterfowl hunting and are only allowed on the hunt dates. A small boat, canoe or other floatation device is highly recommended to access ponds, blinds and navigable sloughs, as well as for retrieval. A hunting dog is also recommended to assist with the retrieval of birds.
Hunters will receive additional information, including area rules and regulations and maps, at the time of check-in.
Hunters will find that many changes have been made for the 2011-12 season, including the addition of tidal areas, improved graveled roads, better pond access and refurbished blinds. Formal plans for additional public access opportunities at the reserve are being developed as part of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project (www.southbayrestoration.org ).
To access ELER from I-880, exit at Alvarado Boulevardand go west. Turn right onto Union City Boulevard and then left onto Bettencourt Road(at the sign for Union Sanitary District). Turn left on Whipple Road, right on Horner Street, then right on Veasy Street and enter at the yellow gate to check in.