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Frequently Asked Questions


Is there an entrance fee to get into the refuge?
Where can I hunt? Can I hunt other animals other than ducks? 
Are dogs allowed?
Why can’t I walk in the dunes?
What is a snowy plover and why is it endangered?
Am I allowed to camp or have campfires on the beach? Include info on where they can camp with the answer.
Are horses allowed on the refuge?
Is it okay to walk off the designated trails?
Is fishing allowed on the refuge?
Is boating allowed on the refuge?
Do you have any facilities?
Do you have a boat ramp?
Can I fish in the Salinas River?
Why isn’t the road to the parking lot improved to provide year-round access? 

 

Is there an entrance fee to get into the refuge?There is no charge to visit the refuge.

Where can I hunt? Can I hunt animals other than ducks? 

Waterfowl hunting is allowed within the posted boundaries of the hunt area. Shooting is only allowed along the bank of the southeast portion of the refuge toward the river. Access to the hunt area is by foot only. Shooting from the river toward the refuge river bank is prohibited. Mobility-impaired hunters should consult with the refuge manager for allowed conveyances. Only ducks, geese, coots, and common moorhens may be hunted on the refuge. All other wildlife is protected. See Hunting Brochure (pdf).

 Are dogs allowed?
Dogs are not allowed on the refuge. Exceptions include dogs engaged in waterfowl hunting activities in the hunt area during the hunt season and guide dogs. There are areas nearby where you can take your dog. You can download the dog brochure (621 KB, pdf) here.

 Why can’t I walk in the dunes?
The dunes are home to several threatened and endangered plants and animals, therefore we do not allow access to the dunes year round.

 What is a snowy plover and why is it endangered?
The western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) is a sparrow-sized, light colored shorebird with dark patches on either side of the neck, behind the eye, and on the forehead. The Pacific coast population of the snowy plover is a threatened species.

Snowy plovers are threatened due to disturbance, predation and habitat loss. Because the birds and eggs are camouflaged, beach visitors can disturb resting birds or wander right through a nesting area, never knowing the damage they have caused. Visitor use of the beach close to nests causes adult birds to stay off the nest, exposing eggs to predators and the elements. Beach fires and fireworks disturb the nesting birds, and kites flown above look like predators. During the winter, continual disturbance uses up their stored reserves and may lower their breeding success.

Predators on the beach are also threats. Dogs chase and may catch birds or destroy nests, cats prey on birds and chicks, and even leashed dogs may appear as a danger. Native predators such as skunks, crows, ravens, and shrikes are joined by exotic predators such as the nonnative red fox to further pressure the birds. Download the snowy plover brochure (2 MB, pdf).

 Am I allowed to camp or have campfires on the beach?
Camping and campfires are not allowed on the refuge, including all trails, the parking lot and the beach. Contact California State Parks or Reserve America for local camping locations.

 Are horses allowed on the refuge?
Horses are not permitted on the refuge, including all trails, the parking lot, and the beach.

  Is it okay to walk off the designated trails? 
Due to the sensitivity of the refuge we require all visitors to remain on designated trails.

 Is fishing allowed on the refuge? 
The refuge allows access to surf fishing. Fishing within the Salinas River and saline pond are prohibited.

 Is boating allowed on the Refuge?
Boating is not currently allowed within the refuge boundaries, including motorized and non-motorized boats.

 Do you have any facilities?
There are no facilities at the refuge.

 Do you have a boat ramp?
We do not have a boat ramp nor do we have access to a boat ramp along the Salinas River. 

 Can I fish in the Salinas River?
Fishing is not permitted in the Salinas River.

 Why isn’t the road to the parking lot improved to provide year-round access?
We do not own the access road and therefore have no control over the road conditions. Please be aware that during rainy months, this road may be impassable.

Last Updated: Jan 08, 2013
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