U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Sacramento Fish & Wildlife OfficeServing the people, conserving the fish, wildlife, and plants of California

A Unit Of The Pacific Southwest Region

Journey to Northern California Wetlands

May 14, 2019

Map of all the counties

Photo credit: USFWS

Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil. It can include areas where water is present year-round or for a period of time during the year. They are a vital part of the ecosystem because they provide habitat for fish, wildlife and plant species. In fact, wetlands are often home to rare species that can only be found in wetlands, as well as species that use the habitat for breeding.

Wetlands also have economic and social benefits, as a site for commercial, cultural and recreational activities. Nationally, more than half of America’s wetlands have been lost over the past few centuries. In California, they are not as plentiful as they once were, but there are beautiful wetland areas scattered throughout the state that continue to support wildlife and the public. The following are photographs that illustrate the beauty and diversity of wetland habitat in Northern California.

Sutter County

Gilsizer Slough

Gilsizer Slough wetlands area

Photo credit: USFWS

Gilsizer Slough wetlands area

Photo credit: USFWS


Sonoma County

Ledson Marsh

Ledson Marsh

Photo credit: John Cleckler, USFWS


Sacramento County

American River

American River

Photo credit: Harry Mossman, USFWS

American River

Photo credit: Harry Mossman, USFWS

Van Vleck Ranch

Van Vleck Ranch vernal pools with lake in the background

Photo credit: Veronica Davison, USFWS

Van Vleck Ranch vernal pool

Photo credit: Veronica Davison, USFWS


Solano County

Suisun Marsh

Suisun Marsh

Photo credit: USFWS

Suisun Marsh wildflowers

Photo credit: USFWS


Contra Costa County

Vasco Caves Regional Preserve

Vasco Caves Regional Preserve

Photo credit: Al Donner, USFWS

Vasco Caves Regional Preserve

Photo credit: Al Donner, USFWS


Merced County

Private Property

Wildflowers in Merced County

Photo credit: Lily Douglas, USFWS

Wildflowers in Merced County

Photo credit: Lily Douglas, USFWS

Flying M Ranch, Merced County

Wildflowers surrounding vernal pool on Flying M Ranch

Photo credit: Ellen McBride, USFWS

Flying M Ranch wildflowers

Photo credit: Ellen McBride, USFWS


by Veronica Davison / SFWO External Affairs

Last updated: May 20, 2019