Federal Government Shutdown Impacts Some Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities in California


The ongoing federal government shutdown is impacting some waterfowl hunting opportunities in California due to the resulting closure of National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs). State Wildlife Areas are unaffected and will be open for hunting during the regular waterfowl seasons.

All NWRs will be closed until a federal budget is passed, including those designated as Type A areas for which the state draws reservations and operates the check stations. Once the federal budget is passed, hunters should verify that the refuge they wish to visit will be open by contacting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or calling the refuge they wish to visit.

  • Colusa NWR, (530) 934-2801
  • Delevan NWR, (530) 934-2801
  • Kern NWR, (661) 725-6504
  • Merced NWR, (209) 826-3508
  • Sacramento NWR, (530) 934-2801
  • San Luis NWR, (including Kesterson, Bear Creek, Freitas North or Freitas South), (209) 826-3508
  • Sutter NWR, (530) 934-2801
  • Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR, (760) 348-5278
  • Lower Klamath NWR, (530) 667-2231
  • Tule Lake NWR, (530) 667-2231
  • Modoc NWR, (530) 233-3572
  • Stone Lakes NWR, (916) 775-4421

The below Type A and B State Wildlife Areas (and all Type C wildlife areas that permit waterfowl hunting) will be open for waterfowl hunting regardless of the federal budget status. A few of the wildlife areas below are located in waterfowl hunting zones which opened on Oct. 5. Most are scheduled to open on Oct. 19 when the rest of the state opens for waterfowl hunting.

  • Gray Lodge Wildlife Area (Type A)
  • Grizzly Island Wildlife Area (Type A and Type B Units)
  • Los Banos Wildlife Area (Type A)
  • Mendota Wildlife Area (Type A)
  • North Grasslands Wildlife Area (Including China Island, Salt Slough and Gadwall Units) (Type A)
  • San Jacinto Wildlife Area (Type A)
  • Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area (Including Little Dry Creek, Howard Slough and Llano Seco Units) (Type A)
  • Volta Wildlife Area (Type A)
  • Wister Unit of Imperial Wildlife Area (Type A)
  • Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (Type A)
  • Ash Creek Wildlife Area (Type B)
  • Butte Valley Wildlife Area (Type B)
  • Honey Lake Wildlife Area (Fleming and Dakin Units) (Type B)
  • Shasta Valley Wildlife Area (Type B)
  • Willow Creek Wildlife Area (Type B)

Reservation drawings will be performed for Type A NWRs that are subject to the federal shutdown. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has been accepting reservation applications since Sept. 1. The federal budget situation could be resolved at any time and the NWRs are expected to be open for hunting soon after. CDFW is conducting reservation drawings in the event the areas will open.

CDFW has posted a Frequently Asked Questions page on its website at https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=73964&inline=1. For further information, please visit CDFW’s website at http://www.wildlife.ca.gov.

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