About the Refuge

Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge 

Established in 1911, this 46,460 acre refuge consists of approximately 20,000 acres of open water surrounded by upland habitat of bunchgrass, low sagebrush, and juniper. Small, rocky islands in the lake provide nesting sites for the American white pelican, doublecrested cormorant, and other colonial nesting birds. The upland areas serve as habitat for pronghorn antelope, mule deer, and sage grouse. Except for limited waterfowl and pronghorn antelope hunting during the regular California State seasons, the refuge is closed to public access to protect fragile habitats and to reduce disturbance to wildlife. The Clear Lake Reservoir is the primary source of water for the agricultural program of the eastern half of the Klamath Basin with water levels regulated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

About the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex

For the wildlife enthusiast, a visit to the Klamath Basin Refuges at any season is a voyage of never–ending discovery. Year to year and season to season the dynamic ebb and flow of wildlife is a process of constant change. Over 490 wildlife species have been observed in the basin including 353 species of birds. Fall and spring bring the drama of one to three million ducks, geese and swans using refuge wetlands as a vital stopover in their annual migrations. Winter bald eagle numbers peak in mid February with basin populations ranking as the largest recorded in the contiguous United States. Thousands of wetland nesting birds also raise their young on the six Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges.

What is a Refuge Complex?

Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex. A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is a group of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas, or other refuge conservation areas that are primarily managed from a central location.  Complexes are grouped into a complex structure because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management needs. Staff composed of managers, biologists, recreation specialists, fire fighters, law enforcement officals, administrative personel, and maintenance professionals are centrally located and support all refuges within the complex. Other refuges in the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex include:  Bear Valley NWR, Upper Klamath NWR, Klamath Marsh NWR, Tule Lake NWR, Lower Klamath NWR, and Clear Lake NWR. The Refuge Complex headquarters is located at 4009 Hill Rd, Tule Lake, California