U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

Sacramento River
National Wildlife Refuge

Various areas in Tehama, Butte, Glenn and Colusa Counties
Hamilton, CA   
E-mail: sacramentovalleyrefuges@fws.gov
Phone Number: 530-934-2801
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Gray horizontal line
Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge

Sacramento River Refuge is located along the Sacramento River in the Sacramento Valley of California. Landscape is very flat, bordered by the Sierra and Coast ranges, with intensive agriculture (rice, with walnut, almond, and prune orchards along the river). This riparian community is one of the most important wildlife habitats in California and North America.

The refuge consists of 29 units along a 77-mile stretch of the Sacramento River. Large-scale riparian habitat restoration is ongoing. Riparian habitat along the Sacramento River is critically important for various threatened species, fisheries, migratory birds, plants, and the natural system of the river itself.

There has been an 85 percent reduction of riparian vegetation throughout the Sacramento Valley and foothills region, and probably over a 95 percent reduction along this area's major river systems. The relatively small amount of riparian woodlands that remains provides a strikingly disproportionate amount of habitat value for wildlife.

Getting There . . .
There are many units, but one popular destination is Llano Seco. From Highway 99E in Gridley, travel north approximately 9 miles. Turn west on Highway 162, and travel approximately 12 miles to Road Z. Turn north and travel approximately 11 miles to the Sacramento River Refuge entrance.

From Chico, take Dayton Road south approximately 5 miles, turn west onto Ord Ferry Road. Continue west approximately 3 miles; turn south onto Seven-mile Lane. Travel 2 miles to the Unit entrance.

Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:

Your full starting address AND town and state OR zip code

Google Maps opens in a new window

NOTE: When using this feature, you will be leaving the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service domain. We do not control the content or policies of the site you are about to visit. You should always check site policies before providing personal information or reusing content.

These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

horizontal line

    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Wildlife Observation
Learn More >>

Management Activities
The refuge is managed to maintain, enhance, and restore habitats for migratory birds and rare and endangered species in this mosaic of riparian forests; grasslands; seasonal, semi-permanent and permanent wetlands; and croplands. As much as possible, habitat is managed for natural diversity of indigenous flora and fauna.

Riparian forests are being restored by converting flood-prone croplands along the Sacramento River in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Sacramento River Partners (SRP) and local farmers. With guidance from refuge staff, TNC and SRP develop restoration plans, perform or supervise restoration, and manage croplands for eventual restoration.

Forest species are planted in proportions reflecting local native stands using agricultural technology and local seed sources. Restored sites receive irrigations and weed control for 3 years. Plant survival is monitored to ensure restoration success. Flood control systems on the Sacramento River prevent reliable, natural flooding, so artificial wetlands are maintained by irrigation systems.

Water management provides suitable depths for a variety of wildlife, produces desirable plants and vegetation structure, and minimizes mosquito production. Grasslands are managed with livestock grazing to control weeds and create short grass habitat used by migratory cranes, waterfowl, and shorebirds. Vernal pools are flooded by rainwater, and riparian habitats with river overflow.

The refuge's annual habitat management plan establishes objectives, sets priorities, and directs management on 20 habitat units. The plan includes water management, levee repairs, vegetation enhancement, and any special constraints. Wildlife, vegetation, and rare species surveys are done to monitor habitat management.

Data from these surveys are stored in a computer database where they can be accessed, analyzed, and reported. Research is encouraged; and staff is involved with initiating and conducting studies that have direct applications to management.