Wildlife Area Closes to Waterfowl Hunting as Lakes Dry Up


Extreme drought conditions close the Shasta Valley Wildlife area in Siskiyou county to waterfowl hunting for the entire season. CDFW announced the drying conditions have resulted in a loss of wetlands and waterfowl habitats. Three reservoirs supply the wetlands for the wildlife area, yet, two of those reservoirs – Steamboat Lake and Bass Lake – are completely dry, and the third reservoir – Trout Lake – is at about 25 percent of capacity. Closing the wildlife area to waterfowl hunting is necessary to protect the waterfowl using what limited habitat remains. The closure includes the preseason Northeastern Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days scheduled this weekend and the postseason Veterans and Active Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days set for Jan. 14-15, 2023. The season runs from October 1, 2022, to January 11, 2023.

Though if you hunt upland game birds, The Shasta Valley Wildlife Area will be open as regulations permit. Pheasant hunting is allowed only on Sundays during the season and will be by reservation only, with no walk-ins, sweat lines, or refills. Reservation applications for Sunday pheasant hunts are available at CDFW’s Online License Sales and Services website. Shasta Valley’s annual apprentice pheasant hunt for Junior Hunting License holders will take place Saturday, November 19, 2022. The Honey Lake Wildlife Area offers Another option for youth hunters, the Honey Lake Wildlife Area Fleming Unit will be open for the preseason Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days on a walk-in basis. Yet there is a reduction in the wetlands this season as The Dakin Unit will be dry though still open to dry field waterfowl hunting and upland game bird hunting. The Fleming Unit will see just about 25 percent of its seasonal wetlands flooded by the October 1 season opener. Reservations are required to hunt on opening weekend.

The Modoc National Wildlife Refuge is the opposite, with water conditions improving outside Alturas. The refuge will once again be able to host youth waterfowl hunters this weekend after canceling its youth hunt last season. The youth waterfowl hunt at Modoc is only open to reservation holders. The refuge’s Northeastern Zone general season opener is also on schedule but with a reduced quota of 50 hunters for opening weekend, October 1st-2nd, to reservation holders only. After which, Modoc is open to waterfowl hunting on a walk-in, self-registration basis. Shoot days are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.