Hunting the Waterfowl Refuges
of Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Sacramento NWR Home Page  <--- Click here to return to the Sacramento NWR Home Page

The Sacramento Valley is historically known for its premier waterfowl hunting. Since 1950, portions of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex have been open to the public for hunting.   

Hunting is a wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage. As practiced on refuges, hunting does not pose a threat to wildlife populations, and in some instances is can be beneficial to sound wildlife management. Hunting programs can promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on lands and waters in the Refuge System.

Portions of the following refuges are open to waterfowl and upland game bird hunting (geese, ducks, coots, moorhens, snipe, pheasant, and turkey) in accordance with all applicable state and federal regulations and subject to special regulations:

  •  Sacramento NWR
  •  Delevan NWR
  •  Colusa NWR
  •  Sutter NWR

During the waterfowl hunting season, these refuges are generally open to hunting on WednesdaysSaturdays and Sundays.  Hunting on these refuges is regulated through the Hunter Check Stations, and there are specific permits, fees, and regulations.

*This webpage is specific for Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa and Sutter NWRs*.  
Click here to find information about hunting at the Sacramento River NWR


Updates 2023-24 (2024-25 TBD)

Updates will be posted here, as information becomes available to staff. 

  • ALERTS:  no alerts at this time
  • Current Waterfowl Hunting Season (2024-25 TBD) (Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa and Sutter NWRs) = Previously October 21, 2023 - January 31, 2024
  • Check Station Holiday Operations:  TBD
  • Sac NWR Complex - Hunting Changes/Highlights 2023-24 (2024-25 TBD):  
    • Sacramento NWR Mobility-impaired Assigned Pond 27D will NOT have the added floating blind option for 2023-24, but will still have the stationary blind
    • Sacramento River NWR - Sul Norte/Codora Units will continue to be open to the public through the current parking lot during the ongoing Butte City Bridge/CalTrans project.  Road/trail access may temporarily be re-routed.
    • Sacramento River NWR - La Barranca/Mooney Units are open following the 2021 Dairy Fire, but please use caution as tree health may change and create unknown hazards.



The following information is no longer available on this website:

  • flood-up maps are ONLY posted at the check stations...they are NOT available online NOR via phone
  • weekly quotas are ONLY posted at the check stations...they are NOT available online NOR via phone
  • weekly blind/pond hunt results are ONLY posted at the check stations....they are NOT available online NOR via phone
  • weekly refuge hunt results are ONLY posted online on California Dept of Fish and Wildlife's Waterfowl Hunt Results webpage


QUICK LINKS - Hunting at Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa, Sutter NWRs:

AdmissionS <-- Reservations/Lottery/First-come-First-serve, Admissions process, Admissions Summary Table

Check Stations  <-- Check Station Hours/Rules

Permits, Rules, Regulations <-- Permits needed for hunting, Refuge Rules, Bag Limits, Season Dates, Shoot Times....

Junior and Youth HuntING  <-- Juniors/Youth Hunter Info including: Permit requirements, Age Restrictions, Special Hunting Opportunities....

Mobility Impaired HuntING <-- Mobility-Impaired Hunter Info including: Qualifications for MI entry, MI Admission process, Special MI Opportunities....

special huntS <-- Pheasant Monday, In-Season Junior Hunts, Post-Season Youth Hunt, Post-Season Veterans Hunt and more....

Hunt Area Maps/Directions <-- Maps of Hunt Areas, Directional Maps to Check Stations....

Hunt Area Descriptions  <-- Descriptions of Ponds/Blinds, Water Depths, Distances to Parking Areas....

Hunt Results - Current  <-- Current by-Refuge Hunt Results (provided by CDFW);  Pond/Blind averages are ONLY posted at the hunter check stations....

Hunt Results - Past Seasons   <-- Past seasons' Hunt Results, including pond/blind averages...

Waterfowl Surveys <-- Sacramento NWR Complex Waterfowl Survey Summaries*...*NOTE:  we are currently unable to post waterfowl surveys due to website limitations

FAQ and Safety Tips <-- Common questions and Safety tips....

live weather feed  <-- Live weather feed data collected at Sacramento NWR 

Sacramento River NWR Hunting  <-- Learn about hunting at the Sacramento River NWR


Other Resources


Turkey Hunting    

Fall turkey hunting is permitted in the free roam and pheasant-only areas of Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa, and Sutter NWRs and is open on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays concurrent with established CDFW fall turkey hunting season.

Fall and Spring turkey hunting is permitted on various units of the Sacramento River NWR concurrent with established CDFW fall and spring turkey hunting seasons - please see the Sacramento River NWR Hunting page for more information.

Starting in 2020, a special Mentored Spring Turkey Hunt has been in development at Sacramento and Delevan NWRs to connect with first-time hunters in the CDFW hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) program.  The Refuge does not administer this program but information may be posted to our Special Hunts page as it becomes available. 


Sacramento NWR Complex Hunt Plan

Management of the hunt program is outlined in the Sacramento NWR Complex's Hunt Plan.  This document outlines how the refuges will provide safe, quality hunting opportunities while minimizing conflicts with other priority wildlife-dependent recreational uses.  When found to be compatible at a refuge, the USFWS considers hunting to be one of the six priority wildlife-dependent recreational uses (the other 5 priority uses include fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation). The Hunt Plan and a Compatibility Determination can be found in theComprehensive Conservation Plan (Appendices B and C), and determined hunting to be a compatible use at Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa and Sutter NWRs. The Complex's hunting objective is to implement a safe and high quality hunting program including opportunities for approximately 22,000 annual hunting visits on over 8,525 acres.

The Sacramento NWR Complex manages our lands, habitats and facilities, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife selects and processes the hunters and operates the hunter check stations. The hunt areas are physically separated from non-hunted lands and are open to migratory bird and upland game bird hunting during the appropriate seasons. These hunt program parameters help minimize conflicts with visitors engaged in other recreational activities. The Complex adopts harvest regulations set by the state, which uses concepts of density-dependent compensatory mortality and adaptive harvest management to ensure sustained game species populations.

A Refuge Hunting Program Working Group was established in 1991 to exchange ideas and information with the public regarding the Complex's hunting program. A Disabled Hunter Working Group also supports the hunt program by providing feedback, ideas, and information about the mobility impaired blinds.

An annual Brush Up Day occurs every year in September to allow the public assist in cleaning up the Sacramento and Delevan NWRs. Volunteers are an essential part of the refuge and this day gets a lot of work completed! Contact the refuge for more information or see above under "news" if the event is coming up.

Comments about the hunt program can be submitted via the comment boxes posted on the hunter check stations, via phone, or via email

Hunt program volunteers are needed! Contact us if you are interested to see how you can assist. 530-934-2801 or