Facility Rules and Policies

Dorris Reservoir Access 

  • The reservoir is closed to all public use during waterfowl hunting season, from October 1st through January 31st, to provide an additional sanctuary for wildlife. 
  • Walk-in access is allowed beginning on February 1st. 
  • Shoreline areas, islands, and peninsulas with nesting waterfowl are signed and closed to public access during waterfowl nesting season, March 1 through May 31. 
  • Licensed motorized vehicles are permitted on designated roads between April 1 and September 30. To protect wildlife habitat and plant and animal life, and to reduce soil erosion, off-road vehicle travel is not allowed. 
  • Fishing is permitted at the reservoir during the regular California State season with all State fishing regulations applicable. 
  • Boating is open April 1 through September 30. There are two boat launches and two other vehicle access points to the reservoir. No-wake zones in coves are designated with buoys to protect goose broods and other wildlife. 
  • Bicycles and mountain bikes are allowed April 1 through September 30 on roads designated for motor vehicles. No bike trails are available. 
  • Horseback riding is allowed April 1 through September 30 on roads and the designated trail across the dam. This trail, between the north and south gates, provides safe passage for riders and their horses off of Parker Creek Road. 
  • Swimming is available in areas open to public access April 1 through September 30.  
  • Personal watercraft (jet skis, wave runners, sea-doos, waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, etc.) are prohibited. 
General Guidelines 
  • Please park in designated parking areas and walk to the water's edge. 
  • Most of the lakeshore is privately owned. Please respect the private landowner's rights and obtain permission to use their property. 
  • For the benefit of wildlife and other refuge users, pets must be leashed at all times. 
  • Please respect others by maintaining the pack-in, pack-out policy for your trash. Littering is prohibited. 

Refuge Tour Route and Walking Trail

  • The refuge tour route is open to driving, biking, horse-back riding, and walking from 7:00 AM-Sunset.
  • Dogs are welcome, but they must be on a leash at all times.  
  • Speed limit on the tour route is 10mph.
  • Do not leave the designated tour route or walking trail.

Remainder of Refuge Lands

The remainder of the refuge is closed (except hunt units) to all public access unless accompanied by refuge staff during a special event or a special-use permit has been granted.