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Public Use Regulations for National Wildlife Refugees

California Bird Hunting

§٥٥٢. Public Use Regulations for National Wildlife Refuges that are also Designated as Wildlife Areas by the Commission.

Note: Please check the webpage for each refuge and the signage on each refuge to be sure you have the most up-to-date information on refuge regulations. The website for the National Wildlife Refuges is http://www.fws.gov/refuges/

(a) The power to control entry on the National Wildlife Refuges that are also designated as wildlife areas in subsections 551(c) and (d) is at the discretion of the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The hunting programs for the “Type A” areas listed below are administered by the department. Requirements in this section for steel or other non-toxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are in accordance with Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 32.2(k), October 1, 2012 edition.

(1) Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, Type A.

(A) Area Firearms Restrictions: Only shotguns and steel or other nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are permitted. A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells while in the field. It shall be unlawful to possess a loaded firearm, defined as a firearm with an unexpended shell in the firing chamber until hunters are in designated free roam or assigned pond areas.

(B) Hunt Days: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, and snipe: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during open seasons. Pheasant: Waterfowl hunt days during the pheasant season.

(C) Authorized Species: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, snipe, and pheasants.

(D) It shall be unlawful to retain an entry permit or remain on the wildlife refuge later than one and one half hours after sunset, unless participating in overnight stay in accordance with subsection (a)(1)(E).

(E) Camping is prohibited, except on the night before each waterfowl shoot day, when camping in a vehicle, motorhome or trailer within the check station parking area is allowed. Tents are prohibited. No person may build or maintain fires, except in portable gas stoves.

(F) Bicycles: Prohibited.

(G) Hunters may enter or exit only at designated locations. Stopping vehicles between designated parking areas to drop off passengers or hunting equipment is prohibited.

(H) Special Restrictions: When hunting from assigned hunting sites, it shall be unlawful to hunt outside the assigned pond boundary or to hunt from levee roads. Pheasant and snipe hunting are not permitted in the assigned pond area with the exception of pheasant hunting on the first Monday of pheasant season.

(I) Reservations: Each reservation assures entry of up to four individuals with no more than two junior hunters or non-shooters per one adult hunter.

(2) Delevan National Wildlife Refuge, Type A.
Note: On the second Saturday in December, all hunting sites are reserved for junior hunters. Adult hunters may use the freeroam areas (contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (530) 934-2801 for information).

(A) Area Firearms Restrictions: Only shotguns and steel or other nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are permitted. A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells while in the field. It shall be unlawful to possess a loaded firearm, defined as a firearm with an unexpended shell in the firing chamber, until hunters are in designated free roam or assigned pond/spaced blind areas.

(B) Hunt Days: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, and snipe: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during open seasons. Pheasant: First Monday of pheasant season and on waterfowl hunt days during the pheasant season.

(C) Authorized Species: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, snipe, and pheasants.

(D) It shall be unlawful to retain an entry permit or remain on the wildlife refuge later than one and one half hours after sunset, unless participating in overnight stay in accordance with subsection (a)(2)(E).

(E) Camping is prohibited, except on the night before each waterfowl shoot day, when camping in a vehicle, motorhome or trailer within the check station parking area is allowed. Tents are prohibited. No person may build or maintain fires, except in portable gas stoves.

(F) Bicycles: Prohibited.

(G) Reservations: Each reservation assures entry of up to four individuals with no more than two junior hunters or non-shooters per one adult hunter.

(H) Special Restrictions: When assigned hunting sites, hunters shall hunt only within 100 feet of their assigned sites, except to retrieve downed birds. Pheasant and snipe hunting are not permitted in the assigned blind area except on the first Monday of pheasant season.

(I) Hunters may enter or exit only at designated locations. Stopping vehicles between designated parking areas to drop off passengers or hunting equipment is prohibited.

(3) Kern National Wildlife Refuge, Type A.

(A) Area Firearms Restrictions: Only shotguns and steel or other nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are permitted. A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells while in the field.

(B) Hunt Days: Waterfowl, coots, and moorhens: Saturdays and Wednesdays during open seasons. Pheasant: Waterfowl hunt days during the regular pheasant season.

(C) Authorized Species: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, and pheasants. Hunting of common snipe is prohibited.

(D) Camping and Trailers: Prohibited.

(4) Merced National Wildlife Refuge, Type A.

(A) Area Firearms Restrictions: Only shotguns and steel or other nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are permitted. A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells per day.

(B) Hunt Days: Saturdays and Wednesdays during waterfowl season.

(C) Shooting Hours: Waterfowl shooting hours will be from one-half hour before sunrise until 12:00 noon.

(D) Authorized Species: Waterfowl, coots, and moorhens. Hunting of common snipe is prohibited.

(E) Camping and Trailers: Prohibited.

(F) Bicycles: Allowed.

(G) Reservations: Each reservation assures entry of no more than three persons if three-person blinds are available, or no more than two persons, if two-person blinds are available. All persons entering on the same reservation will receive the same hunt assignment.

(H) Special Restrictions: Hunters must hunt from assigned blinds, except to retrieve downed birds.

(5) Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, Type A.

Note: On the first Saturday in December, all hunting sites are reserved for junior hunters. Adult hunters may use the freeroam areas (contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (530) 934-2801 for information).

(A) Area Firearms Restrictions: Only shotguns and steel or other nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are permitted. A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells while in the field. It shall be unlawful to possess a loaded firearm, defined as a firearm with an unexpended shell in the firing chamber, until hunters are in designated free roam or assigned pond/spaced blind areas.

(B) Hunt Days: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, and snipe: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during open seasons. Pheasants: The first Monday of pheasant season and on waterfowl hunt days during the pheasant season.

(C) Authorized Species: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, snipe, and pheasants.

(D) It shall be unlawful to retain an entry permit or remain on the wildlife refuge later than one and one half hours after sunset, unless participating in overnight stay in accordance with subsection (a)(5)(E).

(E) Camping is prohibited, except on the night before each waterfowl shoot day, when camping in a vehicle, motorhome or trailer within the check station parking area is allowed. Tents are prohibited. No person may build or maintain fires, except in portable gas stoves.

(F) Bicycles: Prohibited.

(G) Reservations: Each reservation assures entry of up to four individuals with no more than two junior hunters or non-shooters per one adult hunter.

(H) Special Restrictions: When assigned hunting sites, hunters shall hunt only within 100 feet of their assigned sites, except to retrieve downed birds. Pheasant and snipe hunting are not permitted in the assigned blind area except on the first Monday of pheasant season.

(I) Hunters may enter or exit only at designated locations. Stopping vehicles between designated parking areas to drop off passengers or hunting equipment is prohibited.

(6) Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge, Type C.

Note: Check the refuge webpage at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/sacramento_river/ and signs posted at the refuge for the most up-to-date information about refuge regulations.

(A) Units: The refuge includes the La Barranca Unit, Blackberry Island Unit, Todd Island Unit, Mooney Unit, Ohm Unit, Flynn Unit, Heron Island Unit, Rio Vista Unit, Foster Island Unit (Tehama Co.); Pine Creek Unit, Dead Man’s Reach Unit, Llano Seco Island 1 & 2 Units, and Llano Seco Riparian Sanctuary Unit, (Butte Co.); and McIntosh Landing North and South Units, Capay Unit, Phelan Island Unit, Jacinto Unit, North Ord Unit, Ord Bend Unit, South Ord Unit, Hartley Island Unit, Sul Norte Unit, Codora Unit, Packer Unit, Afton Unit, Drumheller North Unit, Drumheller Slough Unit (Glenn Co.), and Bogg’s Bend Unit (Colusa Co.).

(B) Area Firearm Restrictions:

1. Only shotguns and archery equipment are allowed. No rifles, crossbows, air guns, paintball guns or pistols may be used or possessed.

2. Target shooting is prohibited.

3. No firearms or archery equipment are allowed in areas closed to hunting.

4. Ammunition is restricted to only federally-approved nontoxic shot while in the field except for hunting deer or wild pigs. For hunting deer or wild pigs, hunters may possess nonlead shotgun slugs in accordance with Section 250.1 of these regulations.

5. Firearms must be unloaded before transporting them between parking areas and hunting areas. “Unloaded” means that no unexpended cartridge or shell is in the chamber of the firearm. This is in addition to the requirement in subsection 550(cc) of these regulations that requires firearms to be unloaded in parking lots, check-in stations and other facilities.

(C) Public Access:

1. The following units are closed to public access: Ohm, McIntosh Landing North and South, North Ord, Llano Seco Riparian Sanctuary, and Hartley Island.

2. Access is allowed by boat only on the following units: La Barranca, Blackberry Island, Todd Island, Mooney, Flynn, Heron Island, Foster Island, Phelan Island, Jacinto, Dead Man’s Reach, South Ord, Lano Seco Island 1 & 2, and Afton.

3. Access is allowed on foot or by boat only on the following units: Rio Vista, Pine Creek, Capay, Ord Bend, Sul Norte, Codora, Packer, Drumheller North, Drumheller Slough and Bogg’s Bend.

a. On Packer and Drumheller North, only boats up to 14 feet in length are allowed.

4. All units that are open to public hunting may only be accessed by boat, except for Sul Norte, Codora, Drumheller North, Drumheller Slough, Capay and Bogg’s Bend, which may be accessed only on foot or by boat.

(D) Day Use Hours: Day use hours are from 2 hours before sunrise to one and one half hours after sunset.

(E) Bicycles: Bicycles are allowed May 15 through August 15. Other conveyances are prohibited. Mobility-impaired hunters should contact the refuge manager for allowed conveyances.

(F) Dogs and Pets In General:

1. Pets shall be controlled in accordance with subsection 550(m) of these regulations, and hunting dogs shall be controlled in accordance with subsection 550(n) of these regulations.

2. Dogs are prohibited for the take and pursuit of wild pigs.

(G) Camping: Camping is allowed only on gravel bars up to 7 days during a 30 day period.

(H) Sport Fishing: Sport fishing is allowed on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations.

(I) Falconry is prohibited.

(J) Areas Open for Hunting In Accordance with State and Federal Regulations:

1. Units open to hunting of authorized species are: La Barranca, Todd Island, Mooney, Heron Island, Flynn, Rio Vista, Foster Island, Pine Creek, Capay, Phelan Island, Jacinto, Dead Man’s Reach, South Ord, Llano Seco Island 1 & 2, Sul Norte, Codora, Afton, Drumheller North, Drumheller Slough, and Bogg’s Bend.

2. The Mooney Unit is open to hunting for authorized species except that waterfowl hunting is prohibited.

3. The Codora Unit is open for hunting only for hunters holding a junior hunting license who are accompanied by a non-hunting adult and only on Saturdays and Sundays.

a. Waterfowl hunting is prohibited on the Codora Unit

4. All other units are closed to hunting.

5. Hunting is prohibited within 50 feet of any landward boundary adjacent to private property.

(K) Authorized Species (unless otherwise stated in subsection (J) or restricted in this subsection): goose, duck, coot, moorhen, dove, snipe, turkey, pheasant, quail, deer, and wild pig. Hunting of all other species is prohibited.

1. Wild Pigs may be hunted only from September 1 through March 15.

(L) Commercial Guiding: Commercial guiding is prohibited.

(M) Personal Property: Permanent blinds, ladders and screw-in foot pegs are prohibited. All personal property, including tree stands, decoys and boats must be removed by one and one-half hours after sunset.

(7) San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, Type A.

(A) Area Firearms Restrictions: Only shotguns and steel or other nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are permitted. A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells while in the field.

(B) Hunt Days: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during waterfowl season. Waterfowl hunting is prohibited on the West Bear Creek Unit prior to the third Saturday in November.

(C) Authorized Species: Waterfowl, coots, and moorhens. Hunting for pheasants will be allowed with an entry permit and only in a special zone on the Kesterson Unit on the first Saturday and Sunday of pheasant season and in the San Luis Unit free roam area on waterfowl shoot days for the duration of pheasant season. Pheasant hunting may also be allowed on the first Monday of pheasant season, but only within the spaced blind area of the Kesterson Unit. Snipe hunting is allowed only within the San Luis Unit free roam area, and only on waterfowl shoot days when the area is open to hunting by adult license holders.

(D) Camping and Trailers: Prohibited on the San Luis, Blue Goose, and the West Bear Creek Units.

(E) Bicycles: Allowed.

(F) Reservations: For the Kesterson and Blue Goose units, each reservation assures entry of no more than three persons if three-person blinds are available, or no more than two persons if two-person blinds are available. For the Freitas units (north and south), each reservation assures entry of one boat with up to four persons. All persons entering on the same reservation will receive the same hunt assignment.

(G) Special Restrictions: Hunters in the Kesterson and Blue Goose units must hunt from assigned blinds, except to retrieve downed birds. Hunters in free roam areas are not restricted to blinds. Access to the Freitas units is by boat only. Maximum boat speed may not exceed 5 mph. Inboard water thrust and air-thrust boats are prohibited. Construction of permanent blinds is prohibited. Cutting or breaking of woody vegetation is prohibited. All blinds and equipment must be removed following each day’s hunt.

(H) Hunters may enter or exit only at designated locations. Stopping vehicles between designated parking areas to drop off passengers or hunting equipment is prohibited.

(8) Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, Type A.

(A) Area Firearms Restrictions: Only shotguns and steel or other nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are permitted. A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells while in the field. Firearms must be unloaded when being transported between parking areas and blind sites.

(B) Hunt days: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during open seasons.

(C) Authorized Species: Waterfowl, coots, and moorhens.

(D) Camping and Trailers: Prohibited.

(E) Special Restrictions: Hunters in the Hazard Unit shall hunt only from within 100 feet of their assigned blind sites or stakes, except to retrieve downed birds. Hunters in the Union Tract shall hunt only from within their blinds, except to retrieve downed birds.

(F) Blind Limitation: Not more than four individuals may occupy a blind site.

(9) Sutter National Wildlife Refuge, Type A.

(A) Area Firearms Restrictions: Only shotguns and steel or other nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are permitted. A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells while in the field. It shall be unlawful to possess a loaded firearm, defined as a firearm with an unexpended shell in the firing chamber, until hunters are in designated free roam or assigned pond areas.

(B) Hunt Days: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, and snipe: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during open seasons. Pheasant: Waterfowl hunt days during the pheasant season.

(C) Authorized Species: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, snipe, and pheasants.

(D) It shall be unlawful to retain an entry permit or remain on the wildlife refuge later than one and one half hours after sunset, unless participating in overnight stay in accordance with subsection (a)(9)(E).

(E) Camping is prohibited, except on the night before each waterfowl shoot day, when camping in a vehicle, motorhome or trailer within the check station parking area is allowed. Tents are prohibited. No person may build or maintain fires, except in portable gas stoves.

(F) Bicycles: Prohibited.

(G) Hunters may enter or exit only at designated locations. Stopping vehicles between designated parking areas to drop off passengers or hunting equipment is prohibited.

(H) Special Restrictions: When hunting from assigned hunting sites, it shall be unlawful to hunt outside the assigned pond boundary or to hunt from levee roads. Pheasant and snipe hunting are not permitted in the assigned pond area.

(I) Reservations: Each reservation assures entry of up to four individuals with no more than two junior hunters or non-shooters per one adult hunter.