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

County Rd 115, 1-1/2 miles south of
Alturas, CA   96101
E-mail: modoc@fws.gov
Phone Number: 530-233-3572
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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Modoc National Wildlife Refuge

Modoc National Wildlife Refuge is home to more than 250 species of birds and a variety of other wildlife. Located in a high-altitude desert valley on the western edge of the Great Basin in Modoc County, California, the refuge is part of a large complex of mid-altitude wetlands and lakes in northeastern California.

Strategically situated just 60 miles east of the Klamath Basin marshes, the refuge acts as a migration hub and staging area for ducks, geese, and other wetland birds during their spring and fall migrations. The refuge's habitats are also important nesting areas for 76 species of ducks, geese, greater sandhill cranes, and other marsh and upland birds.

Modoc Refuge draws a multitude of birdwatchers during spring and fall migrations. Approximately 45,000 people annually visit the refuge to hunt, fish, and enjoy wildlife. The refuge is a popular site for hunting "honkers" and Great Basin Canada geese, and provides fishing opportunities on Dorris Reservoir.

Getting There . . .
Highway 395 runs along the west side of the refuge and enters into the south end of Alturas, California. From Highway 395, turn east on county road 56 (at the Modoc County Museum on the south end of Alturas), and travel east about 1 mile across the railroad tracks.

Turn right at the first paved road (County Road 115) and travel south 1.5 miles to the first road on the left. This is the refuge entry road, and ends after 1.5 miles, at the refuge office. It is also the beginning of the Teal Pond driving loop.

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

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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.

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Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Management of water and lands is aimed at providing habitat for migratory waterfowl, sandhill cranes, neotropical migrant species, and resident wildlife. Active management strategies include: haying, grazing, prescribed burning, farming, water manipulation, and public use management. The haying, grazing, and burning programs provide wet meadow areas with lush, high protein vegetation as feeding and resting areas for Canada geese, sandhill cranes, and migrating ducks.

These areas are shallowly flooded after treatment to make them more attractive. Farming of about 500 acres per year provides quality high-carbohydrate foods for waterfowl, cranes, and geese during the fall migration period and enhances their energy reserves for over wintering in the Central Valley. Farming also helps alleviate depredation of neighboring farms by geese by attracting them onto the refuge.

Water management is probably the most important and time consuming program at the refuge. Constant efforts are made to protect water rights by monitoring water use. Ponds and dikes are continually maintained to insure that water is used as effectively as possible. Meadows are flood irrigated to provide green growth and dense cover for ground nesting birds. Public uses include wildlife watching, fishing, waterfowl hunting, hiking, boating, and photography.