Hunting - Refuge Regs - Hunt Results - Accessibility - Maps - Waterfowl Surveys - Frequently Asked Questions
Hunter in marsh, photo: USFWS
*In March 2013, the Complex will be updating the entire website. Please note that any previous saved links will no longer work.
Type A Hunt Area Day Passes are valid for the entire 2012-13 Waterfowl Season
Public hunting is permitted on portions of Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa, Sutter, and Sacramento River NWRs (Complex). The hunting program is administered by the Service, in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), on all refuges except Sacramento River NWR.
What To Bring and Take Out
Passes, stamps and/or any license items are not sold at the check stations.HIP Validations must be attained in advance and will not be available at the check stations. If you hunt ducks, geese, coots or snipe on the NWRs, hunters must posses the Harvest Information Program (HIP) Validation on their license.
Cover for the blinds and hunt sites becomes very sparse late in the season due to the high use. It is recommended that hunters bring and take out additional camo material. Cut tules/cattails to cover blinds and islands may be available for hunters at the Sacramento NWR check station. Note: when considering bringing in vegetation for cover that according to Title 50 Code of Federal Regulations 27.52 it is unlawful to bring nonnative plants on to a refuge (for example: arundo, bamboo, etc). To make it more comfortable and successful to hide in the vegetation around the hunt site islands on Delevan NWR and the free roam areas, tule stools are highly recommended.
Entry and lottery procedures for Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa and Sutter NWRs
Hunting season and bag limits 2012-13
Habitat Despcriptions of the Hunting Areas on Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa and Sutter NWRs 2012-13
The hunting areas on Sacramento and Delevan NWRs are divided into two portions -- a spaced hunting area and a free roaming area. Colusa and Sutter NWRs are divided into two portions -- an assigned pond area and a free roaming area.
The following links describe the habitat type, water depth, percent of open water, and length of walk from parking areas:
The *spaced hunting sites on Sacramento NWR (including assigned ponds - pdf, 142 KB) and Delevan NWR (pdf, 117 KB), provide an opportunity to hunt with little interference or competition from other hunters. This allows for the maximum effectiveness of decoys and calls. The *free roaming area on Sacramento NWR (pdf, 105 KB), Delevan NWR (pdf, 93KB), Colusa NWR (including assigned ponds - pdf, 83 KB) and Sutter NWR (including assigned ponds - pdf, 88 KB), allows for unrestricted hunter movement. Link for the description key
The following is a list of areas that will be open to hunting, free roam (FR) hunter quotas, and reservation draw on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays through January 27, 2013:
- Hunting Areas Flooded (see maps at the check stations for details)
Sacramento NWR: all Blinds/APs and FR wetlands should be flooded
Delevan NWR: all Blinds/APs and FR wetlands should be flooded
Colusa NWR: all APs and FR wetlands should be flooded
Sutter NWR: all APs and FR wetlands are flooded
- FR Hunter Quotas, when fully flooded:
Sacramento NWR: 65
Delevan NWR: 50
Colusa NWR: Westside 14; Eastside 24
Sutter NWR: 25
- Reservation Draw, when fully flooded:
Sacramento NWR: 59
Delevan NWR: 39
Colusa NWR: 31
Sutter NWR: 24
- Reservation Draw for Hunters with Disabilities, when fully flooded:
Sacramento NWR: 3
Delevan NWR: 3
Colusa NWR: 2
Sutter NWR: 1
DFG Newsletter - 2012 Waterfowl Hunting Season Update
contains information that assists waterfowl hunters applying for DFG reservations, the Automated License Data System (ALDS) and changes in check station operations.
Hunting season and bag limits 2012-13
The Sacramento NWR Complex's Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) has been approved and we are now putting our 15-year plan into action. This has resulted in a number of changes to the hunting program. Visit the CDFG Web site for information on the 2012-13 waterfowl and upland game bird hunting regulation booklet (pdf, 2.5 MB), waterfowl reservation system and hunting seasons and bag limits for California.
Directions and driving to Check Stations
For your driving safety:
Use CAUTION....slow down so you have time to read the small road signs and to make a safe turn.
2. Plan additional driving time when there is foggy or rainy weather.
3. Review these written driving directions (pdf, 10KB), location map and GPS coordinates BEFORE you begin driving - PLAN AHEAD!
Find out why white-fronted goose (speckle-belly) hunting regulations are more restrictive in the western Sacramento Valley - Special Management Area. ***Please note that the season dates for white-front geese on this poster reflect the 2008-09 season. The 2012-13 white-front hunting season in the Special Mangement Area, which includes Sacramento, Delevan and Colusa NWRs, is from October 20 through December 21. See the "Special Area, Sacramento Valley" section of the CDFG Season Summary for further details
Sacramento River NWR 2012-13
Attention hunters on the River Units: please be aware that regular Refuge maintenance will be occurring such as road mowing, discing, and weed spraying.This may occur in hunt areas.
The units on Sacramento River NWR that are open to public access offer wildlife viewing, photography, interpretation, and educational opportunities. In addition, hunting and fishing are allowed on selected units of the Refuge. As in the past, gravel bars will continue to be open for hunting and fishing. Refer to the Refuge specific hunting and fishing regulations (pdf, 18 KB) and Refuge hunting season dates and bag limits (pdf, 33 KB) for details.
Visitor Services maps offer general unit locations and current public use. The Visitor Services Access Map (pdf, 4.5 MB) divides the Refuge into four sections north to south, along a 77-mile stretch of the Sacramento River and offers general unit locations and current public use. Refuge unit maps below give more detailed unit locations and regulations.
Sacramento River Refuge unit maps give more detailed unit locations and regulations on hunts where hunting is allowed:
The Sacramento Valley during hunt season can often experience dense fog or high winds. Please check your local news station to determine what to expect before you come. You can also check The Weather Channel's homepage or the National Weather Service's weather forecast.
You can also use Your Guide to Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges to plan your hunting adventures to refuges across the nation. Then work on your waterfowl identification using the Ducks Unlimited - Know Your Waterfowl flier (pdf, 253 KB).