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Waterfowl Hunting Information

Hunter and Dog at Low Tide

Are You Getting Our Email Updates for the Hunt Program?
If you would like to be on our mailing list to receive hunt program information throughout the season, please email

SAVE THE DATE! Post-hunt meeting has been scheduled for May 24, 6-8 p.m. at Refuge Headquarters in Fremont.  2015-2016 harvests, water levels, planned changes to the 2016-2017 hunt season, and how you can help prepare for the next season will be discussed. 

See the agenda.

Waterfowl hunting is permitted on approximately 10,000 acres of tidal areas and salt ponds of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The hunting program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunters must comply with all State and Federal regulations including the refuge specific regulations listed under 50 CFR 32.24, and the regulations described in the Refuge Waterfowl Hunting Regulations. 

Refuge Waterfowl Hunting Regulations
PLEASE READ the 2015-2016 Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Hunting Regulations before contacting refuge staff.  These regulations contain answers to most frequently asked questions regarding permit requirements, hunting areas, boat and pedestrian access to the refuge, and important rules hunters must obey while hunting on the refuge.  Please click on the link below to open these regulations.

2015-2016 Waterfowl Hunting Regulations 118 KB  (requires Adobe Reader)

Hunting Season and Bag Limits  

Waterfowl hunting season in the San Francisco Bay Area begins October 24, 2015 and ends January 31, 2016.  There is no early goose hunt this year due to levee maintenance.  Jr. hunt days are February 6 and 7, 2016.  Waterfowl hunt season and daily bag limits are determined by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Check the California Waterfowl Regulations ( each season for this information.

Hunt Maps 
The following maps identify areas of the refuge opening to hunting and discussed in detail in the Refuge Waterfowl Hunting Regulations. Access to refuge hunt areas will be open two hours prior to start of legal hunt time and one hour after end of legal hunt time each hunt day. Visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife web site for information on the 2015-2016 waterfowl and upland game bird hunting regulation booklet for legal shoot times. 

Maps (pdf):

Map 1 - Overview of hunt program (1.2 MB)
Map 2 - Ponds AB1, A2E, AB2, A3N, and A3W in Sunnyvale and Mountain View (953 KB)
Map 3 - Location of hunt blinds in Ponds AB1, A2E, and AB2 (413 KB)
Map 4 - Location of hunt blinds in Ponds A3N and A3W (428 KB)
Map 5 - Ponds A5, A7, A8N, and A8S in Alviso (374 MB)
Map 6 - Ravenswood (R1 and R2) (943 KB)

 Please click on the link below for driving directions to the ponds.  These written instructions along with the maps are important for getting you to the hunt areas.

 Driving Directions to Refuge Hunt Areas

2015-2016 Waterfowl Hunting Permit

All hunters must possess a Refuge 2015-2016 Waterfowl Hunting Permit only if they are hunting within the refuge ponds.  A Refuge Permit is not necessary in tidal areas, sloughs, and the open Bay. 

Obtaining a Refuge Permit

  1. You must read, understand, and agree to the 2015-2016 Waterfowl Hunting Regulations (pdf, 118 KB)  
  2. Please print the last page (6) of the regulations 
  3. Please cut this paper permit out and print and sign your name 
  4. Carry the permit with you while hunting on refuge property
  5. To get a permit number and the gate combination, email (preferred) or call (707) 769-4200 ext. 102.

NOTE: If you received a permit number for the 2014 and 2015 season, your permit number will be the same. Email to get the gate combination. If you DID NOT submit an application to the refuge last year, please email with your name and email address and we will assign a permit number for you.   

Questions about the Waterfowl Program, and to report accidents or injuries occurring on the refuge:

Anna Fisher
Phone: (707) 769-4200 ext. 102

Report Hunting Violations to:
US Park Police Dispatch 
Phone: (415) 561-5510

Report Poachers to: 
California Department of Fish and Wildlife 
Phone: (888) DFG-CALTIP 

Page Photo Credits — Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group
Last Updated: May 22, 2016
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