U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Clear Lake
National Wildlife Refuge

Clear Lake Reservoir Rd, 10 miles east of Hwy139
Modoc County, CA   
E-mail: David_Champine@fws.gov
Phone Number: 530-667-2231
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Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Clear Lake Refuge in northeastern California consists of approximately 20,000 acres of open water surrounded by over 26,000 acres of upland bunchgrass, low sagebrush, and juniper habitat. Small, rocky islands in the lake provide nesting sites for American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, and other colonial nesting birds.

The upland areas provide habitat for pronghorn antelope, mule deer, and sage grouse. 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 Bureau of Reclamation.

Except for limited waterfowl and pronghorn antelope hunting during the regular California State seasons, the refuge is closed to all public access to protect fragile habitats and to reduce disturbance to wildlife. Some viewing of strutting sage grouse occurs in the spring from U.S. Forest Service Road 136, which runs along and through the refuge's southern boundary.

Getting There . . .
Travel south on State Highway 139 for 20 miles from the town of Tulelake, California. Turn east onto Clear Lake Reservoir Road; and travel approximately 10 miles to the refuge's south boundary.

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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.

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Management Activities
Clear Lake Refuge is managed as a natural sagebrush/grassland plant community. Vegetation is managed by a combination of livestock grazing and prescribed fire. Approximately 600 Animal Unit Months of permitted cattle grazing occurs on the "U" portion of the refuge.

The refuge monitors waterfowl use via aerial surveys during the fall and spring. White pelican and double crested cormorant nesting colonies are monitored by boat every spring. An average of 1,000 white pelicans and 500 cormorants are fledged annually.

California and ring-billed gull nesting colonies are also monitored, with approximately 3,500 California gulls and 5,800 ring-billed gulls nesting on the refuge.