Reduced Hunting Days for Waterfowl in NE California says the CDFW Due to Low Water Levels


Despite a wet winter, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) says there is insufficient water to justify regular-season fowl hunting opportunities in some NE California wildland areas. The department is announcing that this season, Fowl hunting opportunities in the Shasta Valley Wildland Area will be limited to three days a week.

The department says the state’s northernmost part stayed relatively dry despite a wet winter resulting in the limited days.

The Shasta Valley Wildlife Area, spanning 4,700 acres, offers critical wetlands for migrating waterfowl, but two of its reservoirs, Steamboat Lake and Bass Lake, are completely dry. Trout Lake, currently at around 50 percent capacity, will be a closed zone for the 2023-24 waterfowl season, prohibiting hunting.

The Northeastern Zone waterfowl season will run from October 7 to January 17, with hunting at the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area permitted only on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Preseason Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days are scheduled for this weekend.

The Shasta Valley Wildlife Area allows upland game bird hunting (dove, quail, snipe, and pheasant) following specific rules. Pheasant hunting is only permitted on Sundays during the season, requiring advance reservations and excluding walk-ins, sweat lines, or refills. Adult hunters (excluding juniors) need a Type A or B season pass, and you can apply for Sunday pheasant hunt reservations on CDFW’s Online License Sales and Services website.

Other Northeastern wildland areas will see essentially better conditions. The CDFW says In Big Valley, the Ash Creek wetlands are expected to be flooded for waterfowl season, requiring reservations for Oct. 7-8, along with an adult Type A/B pass. Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days are walk-in.

In the Honey Lake Wildlife Area: The Fleming Unit is open for youth on October 7. Dakin Unit will be dry but open for dry field waterfowl and upland game bird hunting. Reservations are needed for opening weekend. Adult hunters need a Type A/B pass.

At Willow Creek Wildlife Area: the department expects 250 acres of flooded wetlands for the October 7 opener. Reservations are required, with adult Type A/B passes needed. There is no preseason youth hunt.

Lastly, there will be regular water levels in the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, and self-serve hunting starts on October 10 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. You can check the refuge website and Facebook page for updates.