Eighty miles north of Humboldt Bay, Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge lies about a half mile offshore from Crescent City, California. Castle Rock is only 14 acres in size, but is critical to the survival of several hundred thousand seabirds each year and also serves as an important haul out (resting site) for marine mammals, including harbor seals, northern elephant seals and California and Steller sea lions.

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Castle Rock NWR is closed to the public to prevent disturbance to the seabirds, marine mammals and their habitat.

In 2012, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife designated the Castle Rock Special Closure which restricts anyone from entering the waters around Castle Rock from the island’s shoreline to 300 feet offshore. A Special Closure is an area designated by the Fish and Game Commission that prohibits access or restricts boating activities in waters adjacent to sea bird rookeries or marine mammal haul-out sites (restrictions vary).

Castle Rock Special Closure is one of the 14 special closures in California’s statewide Marine Protected Area Network. For further information, please visit  https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/MPAs

Do not fly unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, over or near wildlife as this can create stress that may cause significant harm, and even death. Learn more about NOAA's drone policy regarding marine mammals

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