Skip Navigation

Waterfowl General Regulations


A yearly recreation pass is required to hunt Tule Lake and Lower Klamath Refuges. Hunters may obtain this pass in person or over the phone via credit card at Refuge Headquarters (530)-667-2231 or on-line at All fees collected are are used to improve the Klamath Basin NWRC hunt program. Annual Recreation Pass: $25.00 (an additional service fee may apply on-line) NOTE: Pass must be carried at all times in the field

Golden Age and Golden Access Passport holders: ½ off Student Pass (full time): ½ off

15 years & under: FREE

Licenses & Permits        

All hunters must carry valid state hunting licenses and all required state and federal stamps or validations and refuge passes. During the first two days of waterfowl season, all hunters 16 years of age or older must carry a valid entry permit for the controlled unit in which they are hunting. Hunters under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a permitted adult. Permits are issued in advance of waterfowl season to applicants selected by a lottery draw. California youth age of 18 does not apply at this Refuge Complex.

Huntable Species

Only geese, ducks (including mergansers), coots, moorhens, snipe, and pheasants may be hunted on the Refuges. All other wildlife species are protected.

Refuge Hours   

The public is allowed on the refuges only during the times posted at refuge entrances. Camping and overnight parking are not permitted on the refuges. However, several campground/trailer parks are located nearby.

Shooting Hours

Hunting is permitted 7 days per week during the normal state regulated season. Legal waterfowl shooting hours end at 1:00 PM on the Tule Lake Refuge and the California portion of Lower Klamath Refuge. Waterfowl shooting hours for the Oregon portion of Lower Klamath correspond to state regulations. Pheasant hunting hours on all refuge areas correspond to state regulations. After Dec. 15, waterfowl hunting will be permitted all day on Wednesdays and Saturdays.


Boats may be used on all areas open to waterfowl hunting. Air-thrust and inboard water-thrust (jet) boats are prohibited. Unit 6B-1 on Lower Klamath Refuge is motorless, or electric motors only areas until December 1st. Starting December 1st, unit 6B-1 will be open to motorboat use. Boat launching is not permitted after 1:00 PM. State lighting requirements are enforced by refuge officers.

Retrieving Zones            

Retrieval zones are NO hunt zones. Possession of firearms in retrieving zones is prohibited, except unloaded firearms may be taken through the zones when necessary to reach hunting areas. Decoys may not be set in retrieving zones. Restrictions apply to both waterfowl and pheasant hunting.

Access Routes  

It is illegal to shoot from or across any access route or parking area. Motor vehicles are allowed only on designated access routes. It is illegal for hunters to carry loaded firearms on hunter access routes open to motor vehicles. Some roads may be closed during parts of the season.


Waterfowl hunters may drive off access routes only to set out or pick up decoys in field units of The League of Nations, the Panhandle, and all Spaced -blinds on Tule Lake Refuge, and Sheepy East, Sheepy West, Miller Lake, the Orem/Sterns Units, Unit 4G, Unit 9D and the Oregon Straits sections of Lower Klamath Refuge. Due to the variety in habitat and weather conditions, driving off access routes is at your own risk. The Refuge takes no responsibility for damage to vehicles or equipment.

Vehicle access is NOT permitted on dikes unless the dike is marked open to vehicle traffic.

Personal Property          

All decoys, boats, and other personal property must be removed from waterfowl hunt areas by 2:30 PM and from the refuges at the close of each day. Hunters are responsible for removing all trash including shot shell hulls when leaving hunting areas.


All accidents and injuries occurring on the refuges must be immediately reported to the refuge manager: Klamath Basin NWR's, 4009 Hill Road, Tulelake, CA 96134. Phone (530)-667-2231

Weapons and Ammunition        

No person may possess any weapon or ammunition in the field that may not be legally used for taking waterfowl or pheasants on these refuges. Nontoxic (steel) shot must be used to hunt ALL huntable species including ducks, geese, coots, moorhens, snipe, and pheasant on the Klamath Basin Refuges. Alcohol use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited.

Hunter-made Blinds     

Only portable blinds and temporary blinds built of natural vegetation are permitted. Digging or pit blind construction in fields is not permitted.


The refuge has a list of commercial hunting guides authorized to conduct guided hunts on the Refuges. No other guides are allowed to conduct commercial business on the Refuges.  Permitted Guides

Mobility Impaired Hunters        

The Refuge Complex typically offers a variety of hunting habitats to hunters with mobility impairments. Lower Klamath Refuge, offers two boat-in blinds. One in Unit 1 and one in Unit 5. These blinds are available by reservation only through the Refuge Visitor's Center. Opening of these blinds is based on water availability each season. The drive in field units (Sheepy East, Sheepy West, Orems 1, 2 , 3; and 9D) are all accessible for field hunting.

On the Tule Lake NWR all field hunt areas including the Spaced-blinds are drive-in units, allowing accessibility for those hunters with mobility impairments. 

The Refuges cover a variety of habitats which include rough, uneven terrain, deep waters, dense stands of bulrushes (tules), stubble fields, ditches, and others. Rainfall can make road and field conditions muddy and slippery, making them more difficult to negotiate. Hunting difficulty varies by area and hunters should examine their own abilities and limitations before using the refuges. Disabled persons should hunt with a partner. Consult the refuge manager for suggestions for hunting the area safely.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2015
Return to main navigation