Visitor Activities

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The Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge trail system offers an excellent opportunity to view and photograph plants and wildlife.


  • Humboldt Bay NWR Visitor Center

    The Richard J. Guadagno Headquarters & Visitor Center and the Shorebird Loop Trail are located at the Salmon Creek Unit. The Shorebird Loop Trail is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Federal holidays). The Visitor Center (currently closed due to COVID-19 pandemic) has stunning dioramas and a beautiful observation room equipped with telescopes. Stop by and say hello before exploring the many visitor activities that Humboldt Bay NWR provides!

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  • Wildlife Viewing and Photography

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    Whether it is from a hiking trail, a viewing blind, or during a guided walk, Humboldt Bay NWR offers excellent opportunities to get outside for wildlife viewing and photography.

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  • Environmental Education and Field Trips

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    National Wildlife Refuges serve many purposes, and one of our most important roles is as outdoor classrooms to teach about wildlife and natural resources. Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge provides unique and exciting outdoor environments which are excellent locations for hands on learning activities. Is your school, youth, environmental, or other group interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants, habitats and ecology of Humboldt Bay? The Refuge is an excellent venue to do so and the Refuge staff are excellent educators and happy to help!  



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  • Hunting

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    Hunting is a traditional use of natural resources deeply rooted in America's heritage, and it can be an important management tool. Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciation for wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs. Humboldt Bay NWR provides quality waterfowl hunting opportunities in the Salmon Creek Unit hunt area. Join us on a Tuesday or Saturday during the regular hunt season to enjoy a day of coastal waterfowl hunting! 


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  • Fishing

    Fishing is permitted in Humboldt Bay and tidal sloughs year round. The Hookton Slough trail and boat dock are open to fishing; access to other areas is by boat.  A California fishing license is required to fish in Humboldt Bay, from the boat dock and from the Hookton Slough Trail.  Many species of fish inhabit Hookton Slough depending on season, time of day and tides.  Common game fish that can be caught in Hookton Slough include: Sharks, rays, jack smelt, greenling, starry flounder, English sole and halibut.  Fishing is generally best during the two hours before and after a high tide.  Fishing small pieces of squid or herring is often a successful approach to catching a wide variety of estuarial fish species.  For more information on fishing in Humboldt Bay and rigging tips, visit

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