Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

USFWSOn this page, you’ll find:

  1. General information about the Refuge
  2. Authorized activities (e.g. waterfowl hunting)
  3. Summary of general and Refuge-specific rules and regulations
  4. Maps of the hunting area, driving directions, parking lots, check stations, blinds, etc.
  5. Links to our summaries (e.g. regulations for Type A areas, waterfowl zones, seasons and limits for duck and goose hunting)
  6. Links to government webpages (CDFW, the Complex, USFWS, the Refuge)

General Info:

  • Administrator: Cal. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (“CDFW“)
  • CDFW Region: Region 2 (North Central California)
  • Complex:  Sacramento NWR Complex
  • County: Colusa county
  • Directions: Google map and directionsColusa national wildlife refuge in California
  • Map: Link to map
  • Owner: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS“)
  • Phone Numbers:  530-458-2666 and 530-934-2801
  • Recreational Use: Type A
  • Refuge: Colusa NWR (map)
  • Special Management Area: Sacramento Valley SMA (Google map)
  • Waterfowl zone: Balance of State WF Zone (determines season and limits, which are summarized by CDFW)
  • Website: Colusa NWR

 I. Regulatory Summary

A. General Regulations

California rules and regulations for hunting ducks, geese, scaup, brant, Canada geese, dark geese, snow geese, white-fronted geese, specklebellies, white geese, and migratory game birds on national wildlife refuges, California wildlife areas, and California ecological reserves

Waterfowl hunting

Colusa is one of ten National Wildlife Refuges operated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.  There are both federal and State rules and regulations that apply generally to this Refuge, which are summarized in a separate page:

[Top]

B. Refuge-Specific Regulations

California rules and regulations for the use of boats while on national wildlife refuges, California state wildlife areas, and California ecological reserves while hunting for ducks and geese (scaup, brant, Canada geese, dark geese, snow geese, white-fronted geese, specklebellies, white geese); migratory game birds (doves, pigeon, snipe, waterfowl) resident small game birds (grouse, pheasant, ptarmigan, quail, turkey), resident small game (jackrabbit, rabbit, squirrel), big game (antelope, bear, deer, elk, pig, sheep), non-game (coyotes, crow, fox, raccoon) and fishing (bullfrogging, commercial fishing, crayfishing, crawfishing and sport fishing)

CA. Hunting Rules & Regulations

Beginning with Par. II below, you’ll find an alphabetical summary of legal topics that combine Refuge-specific rules and regulations from the following sources:

 Warning shot!!! There may be additional rules located at the Refuge (e.g. check station window, entry permit, information booth, signs, permits, reservations).


II. Authorized Activities

Duck hunting in California

Duck Hunting

Goose hunting in California

Goose Hunting

American Coot hunting in California

Coot Hunting

Moorhen hunting in California

Moorhen Hunting

California rules and regulations for hunting snipe on national wildlife refuge, California wildlife areas, and California ecological reserves

Snipe Hunting

Pheasant hunting in California

Pheasant hunting


 

III. Waterfowl and Snipe Hunting

Access: only by foot except there is a mobility-impaired boat launch and blind for disabled hunters. Warning shot!!! Chest waders are highly recommended

Accidents & injuries: report immediately to the check station or Complex headquarters

ADA access: there is a boat launch and blind for mobility-impaired persons (see “Hunt area” map below).  Warning shot!!! Follow link from the Complex website to “Process for Mobility-Impaired Hunter Admission”

Alcohol: open containers are NOT allowed

Bag limits: link to summary of waterfowl seasons and limits for the “Balance of State” Waterfowl Zone. Warning shot!!! There are further restrictions in the Sacramento Valley Special Management Area (see “White-fronted geese” below)

Bicycles: allowed during waterfowl season on roads or levees for transportation between parking lots and hunting areas during the waterfowl season [14 CCR § 551(j)]

Blinds: see “ADA access” above

Boats: see “ADA access” above

Camping & overnight: ONLY allowed  in vehicles, motor homes, and trailers at the check station parking area–NO tents

Sutter national wildlife refuge

Check Station

Check Station: Google map and directions

      1. Check-in: Bring your CA hunting license, prepaid Type A Pass (1-day,2 -day or season long), free HIP validation, signed federal duck stamp, and California duck stamp validation.  (Juniors are exempt from pass and stamp requirements) Warning shot!!!  Check stations do NO sell any of those items–they are available for purchase them from a CDFW license sales office, a license agent, or online
      2. Check-out: return “kill card” and permit prior to leaving the Refuge
      3. Hours: see below for Lottery, Permits, Reservations, and Waiting list

Decoys: NO electronic or mechanically-operated spinning blade devices or wing decoys prior to December 1st.

Dogs: must be kept on a leash or within vehicle in check station parking areas

Enter/Exit: ONLY at designated locations

Fires: ONLY in portable gas stoves

Hunt area & capacity: Google map and directions

      1. Assigned ponds: there are 15 assigned ponds with a maximum capacity of 50 persons (excluding juniors).  Warning shot!!! No pheasant hunting except for the Special Monday Pheasant Hunt (see Par. B)
      2. East-side free roam area: maximum capacity of 24 persons (including juniors)
      3. West-side free roam:  maximum capacity of 14 persons (including juniors)

Hunt days:  Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays

Hunt map:

Colusa national wildlife refuge in California

Hunt Area

Hunt Results: generally posted online Tuesday and Friday mornings, or call (530)934-7774, ext. 43 after 1 p.m.

Juniors & Teens:

      1. Adults: may accompany no more than two juniors
      2. Junior hunting license: required for juniors under the age of 16 prior to July 1
      3. Non-shooters: adult non-shooters may establish his or her place in line
      4. Permits: are issued to juniors (a) with a junior hunting license and (b) accompanied by an adult, 18 years of age or older
      5. Supervision: while in the field, juniors must be accompanied by an adult, 18 years of age or older
      6. Teens: persons 16 or 17 years of age may hunt by themselves. Ref.551(h)(2) and CDFW webpage

Lottery: a random drawing is held for non-reservation hunters to establish the order of entry as space becomes available.  Hunters that miss the lottery will be assigned numbers in consecutive order to fill any vacancies on a first-come, first-served basis (see “Waiting list” below).

Medical marijuana cards: NOT valid on NWR’s

Migratory game birds: link to our summary of federal regulations for migratory game birds.

Permits: all hunters must get a permit from the check station before entering

      1. Deadline: NO permits will be issued after 3:00 p.m.
      2. Priority: permits are issued first to reservation holders, then lottery cardholders, followed by hunters on the waiting list (see “Lottery,” “Reservations” and “Waiting list”)
      3. Return: “kill card” and permit prior to leaving the Refuge

Reservations:

      1. Applications: available from CDFW and must be submitted at least 17 days before the desired hunt date
      2. Check station: begins calling reservations at least two hours before shoot time (see “Check station” above)
      3. Expiration: expire one (1) hour before waterfowl shooting time
      4. Juniors: see “Juniors” above
      5. Parties: each reservation ensures entry of up to three (3) adults and no more than a combination of two (2) juniors or non-shooters for any one adult
      6. Procedures: posted at the check station and Complex website with links to “Process for Hunter Admission using Reservations/Lottery/First-Come First-Served
      7. Purge: check station staff will purge all names remaining on the lottery list at 8:00 a.m. and purge all those that do not respond (CDFW news letter, Aug. ed.)

Season: link to our summary of waterfowl seasons and limits for the Balance of State Waterfowl Zone. Warning shot!!! There are further restrictions in the Sacramento Valley Special Management Area (see “White-fronted geese” below)

Shotgun restrictions

Use of shotguns

Shells: 25 max while in the field

Shoot time: 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset.  Warning shot!!!  Daily shoot times are posted at the check station and in the “Colusa” column of CDFW’s table for Northern Cal.

Shooting: NO shooting from or across access roads, parking areas, or into or from safety zones

Shot: 

      1. Size: No shot larger than BB except size T steel
      2. Type: ONLY steel or other non-toxic shot approved by the USFWS

Shotguns: only shotguns–no pistols or rifles

      1. Loading: To remain unloaded until reaching spaced hunting areas
      2. Size: No larger than 12 gauge

Vehicles:

      1. No stopping between parking areas
      2. No parking except in designated parking lots
      3. No dropping off passengers
      4. No dropping off equipment

Waiting list: for the “sweat line” is available after reservations and lottery cards are processed and is used to fill any vacancies on a first-come, first-served basis

      1. Registration: sign-in at the check station for a number that will be called in consecutive order after reservations and lottery cards up to 3:00 p.m.
      2. Participation: hunters must be present and respond to checking station staff when their number is called
      3. Procedures: posted at the check station and Complex website with links to “Process for Hunter Admission using Reservations/Lottery/First-Come First-Served

Sacramento Valley special management area in CaliforniaWhite-Fronted Geese (Specklebellies)

      1. Bag limit: 3 per day
      2. Possession limit: 3 times the daily bag limit
      3. Season: October 20 – December 21, 2013
      4. Special Management Area: Sacramento Valley

Pheasant hunting in California

Pheasant hunting

IV. Pheasant Hunting

Access: ONLY by foot

Bicycles: NOT allowed

Camping and overnight: ONLY allowed  in vehicles, motor homes, and trailers at the check station parking area–NO tents

Dogs: to remain on leash within designated parking areas (link to summary of dog-specific regulations)

Enter/Exit: ONLY in designated areas

Fires: ONLY in portable gas stoves

Hunt area: ONLY within free roam

Hunt days: the first Monday of pheasant season and then on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays during waterfowl season

Shotgun restrictions

Use of shotguns

Shells: 25 max while in the field

Shoot hours: 8:00 a.m. to sunset

Shot: ONLY steel or other non-toxic shot approved by the USFWS

Special Monday Pheasant Hunt: for the opening Monday of  pheasant season, a lottery is held to establish the order of entry

      1. Drawing: held at 4:00 p.m. the day before
      2. Expiration: lottery numbers will be purged at 8:00 a.m. the morning of the hunt
      3. Hunt area: ONLY in free roam. Warning shots!!! ONLY pheasants may be hunted–NO snipe or waterfowl
      4. Hunt hours: 8:00 a.m. to sunset.
      5. Participation: Adults on the back of the lottery card and Junior hunters need NOT be present to receive a lottery number
      6. Procedures: posted at the checking station and will be followed
      7. Register: at the check station on Sunday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
      8. Reservations: NOT available

Vehicles:

      1. No stopping between parking areas
      2. No parking except in designated parking lots
      3. No dropping off passengers
      4. No dropping off equipment

V. Rules and Regulations

Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

A. Migratory Game Bird Hunting. We allow hunting of goose, duck, coot, moorhen, and snipe on designated areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations subject to the following conditions:

1. You may only possess approved nontoxic shot while in the field (see § 32.2(k)).

2. Each hunter may not possess more than 25 shells while in the field.

3. Access to the hunt area is by foot traffic only. We prohibit bicycles and other conveyances.

4. We prohibit building or maintaining fires (see § 27.95 of this chapter), except in portable gas stoves.

5. You may only enter or exit at designated locations (see § 27.31 of this chapter).

6. Vehicles may only stop at designated parking areas (see § 27.31 of this chapter). We prohibit the dropping of passengers or equipment or stopping between designated parking areas.

7. We only allow overnight stays in vehicles, motor homes, and trailers at the check station parking area.

8. You must restrain dogs on a leash within all designated parking areas (see § 26.21(b) of this chapter).

B. Upland Game Hunting. We allow hunting of pheasant only in the free-roam areas of the refuge in accordance with State regulations subject to the following conditions:

1. Conditions A1 through A8 apply.

3. Mobility-impaired hunters should consult with the refuge manager for allowed conveyances.

C. Big Game Hunting. [Reserved]

D. Sport Fishing. [Reserved]

[Top]


(a) The power to control entry on the federally owned areas listed in subsection 551(a)(2) is at the discretion of the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The following lands owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are open to hunting by the public under control of the California Department of Fish and Game.

(1) Colusa National Wildlife Refuge.

(A) Area Firearms Restrictions: Shotguns and steel or other nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service only. A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells while in the field.

(B) Hunt Days: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, and snipe: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during open seasons. Pheasant: Waterfowl hunt days during the pheasant season.

(C) Authorized Species: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, snipe, and pheasants.

(D) Camping and tents not allowed. No person may build or maintain fires, except in portable gas stoves.

(E) Bicycles: Not allowed.

(F) Hunters may enter or exit only at designated locations. Stopping vehicles between designated parking areas to drop off passengers or hunting equipment is prohibited.

(G) Nonreservation Drawing: Nonreservation hunters may enter the drawing for either Colusa, Delevan, or Sacramento, but for not more than one location on any single hunt date.

[Top]


  • CDFW’s Hunting Regulations Booklet

2013-2014 Waterfowl and Upland Game Hunting & Department Lands Public Use Regulations

§552. REGULATIONS FOR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES WHERE HUNTING PROGRAMS ARE ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME.

Note: In addition to the following State regulations, Federal regulations prohibit littering and the possession of alcohol while hunting on national wildlife refuges. The consumption or possession of an open container of alcohol, within public areas of the refuges, is prohibited. Medical marijuana cards are not valid on National Wildlife Refuges.

(a) The power to control entry on the federally owned areas listed in subsection 551(a)(2) is at the discretion of the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The following lands owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are open to hunting by the public under control of the California Department of Fish and Game.

***

(1) Colusa National Wildlife Refuge.

Type A area

NOTE: Check station location. Location and Access: Approximately five miles east of Williams. Traveling south on Interstate 5, turn east 2 miles south of Williams on Husted Road, proceed north one mile to Able Road, then east three miles to Lone Star Road, then south two miles to Ware Road, then east 1-1/2 miles to checking station. Traveling north on Interstate 5, exit Hahn Road east, turn north on Lone Star Road 3.9 miles to Ware Road, then east 1-1/2 miles to checking station. Traveling on Highway 20, turn south approximately halfway between Williams and Colusa onto Lone Star Road, then 5-1/2 miles south to Ware Road, then east 1-1/2 miles to checking station. Caution: Chest waders are highly recommended.

Reservations: Available during the waterfowl and pheasant season.

Checking Station: During waterfowl season, the checking station will be open at least two hours before waterfowl shooting time and begin issuing permits, in numerical order, to reservation holders. Reservations must be presented at the checking station, for processing, by one hour before waterfowl shooting time. Lottery Drawing: Non-reservation hunters may enter a drawing at the checking station between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the evening before each hunt day. The drawing results will establish the order of entry as space becomes available. The draw will be held at 8:00 p.m. Note: Non-reservation hunters may only enter the drawing for one of the following: Sacramento, Delevan, or Colusa Refuges, on any hunt date. Additionally, non-reservation hunters may also enter the Sutter Refuge draw. Each non-reservation hunter may not be listed on more than one lottery card, for the same refuge, on any single hunt day. Non-reservation hunters arriving after 8:00 p.m. will be assigned numbers in consecutive order. Hunters must be present, and respond to checking station staff, when their numbers are called. Parking area gates and checking station will open at 6:00 p.m. the day before each hunt day.

Special Monday Pheasant Hunt: Reservations will not be issued for the first Monday of pheasant season, when only pheasant may be hunted. Hunters may register for a drawing on Sunday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. A drawing will be held at 4:00 p.m. to establish order of entry. Lottery Procedures are posted at the check station and will be followed. Adults on the back of the lottery card and Juniors need not be present to receive a lottery number. Juniors need not be present for a first-come, first-served number.

Daily Hunter Capacity: There are 16 assigned ponds (Pond) with a maximum capacity of 48, not including juniors; 30 in the eastside free roam area, including juniors; and, 14 in the Westside free roam, including juniors. Reservation Party size: a party consists of up to six people; a party may consist of no more than three adult hunters; each adult may bring up to two juniors or non-hunters, or one of each, so long as they do not exceed the party size of six and the adult to junior or non-hunter ratio (no more than two junior hunters per adult) as defined in Section 551(h) (2). Lottery Party Size: up to four individuals per card and cannot exceed the adult to junior or non-shooter ratio as defined in section 551(h)(2). Quota: Ponds (numbered 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, T19.1, T19.2, T19.3, P1A, P1B, P1C, P2A, P2B, P2C, and P5): one party in each pond; Pond 1C: party must have at least one junior hunter; Pond P2A and P2B: each party must consist of at least one mobility impaired hunter, no entry permits will be issued after 3:00 p.m. For information call (530) 934- 2801 or visit the Refuge website at http://www.fws. gov/sacramentovalleyrefuges.

(A) Area Firearms Restrictions: Shotguns and steel or other nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service only. A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells while in the field.

(B) Hunt Days: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, and snipe: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during open seasons. Pheasant: Waterfowl hunt days during the pheasant season.

(C) Authorized Species: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, snipe, and pheasants.

(D) Camping and tents not allowed. No person may build or maintain fires, except in portable gas stoves.

(E) Bicycles: Not allowed.

(F) Hunters may enter or exit only at designated locations. Stopping vehicles between designated parking areas to drop off passengers or hunting equipment is prohibited.

(G) Nonreservation Drawing: Nonreservation hunters may enter the drawing for either Colusa, Delevan, or Sacramento, but for not more than one location on any single hunt date.

[Top]


Complex Website

Hunting Procedures, Regulations & Bag Limits

The open season for each of the species listed below is concurrent with the seasons established by the State of California. Hunting geese, ducks, coots, moorhens, snipe, and pheasant is permitted. Hunting is permitted in accordance with all applicable State and Federal regulations and is subject to special regulations. Hunters should consult the CDFW hunting regulations. Hunting is permitted on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays only.

Procedures

Before You Arrive…

Check Stations DO NOT sell any license items, validations or passes. Hunters must purchase any needed licenses, validations and passes prior to arrival at the Check Station; these can be obtained from a CDFW license sales office, a license agent, or online. Before your arrival, please verify that all members of your hunting party have the following items:

  1. California Hunting License
  2. Prepaid Type A Pass (not required for junior hunters) – Type A One-day, Two-day or Season Pass
  3. Harvest Information Program (HIP) Validation (if hunting ducks, geese, coots or snipe)
  4. California Duck Stamp (not required for junior hunters; not required if only hunting pheasants)
  5. Federal Duck Stamp (required for all hunters age 16 or older; not required if only hunting pheasants)
  6. Upland Game Bird Stamp (required if hunting pheasants; not required for junior hunters)

Hunt Area Admission Process for Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa & Sutter…

There are 3 methods of admission to the hunt areas:

  1. Reservation. The daily quota of hunters is filled first by those holding advance reservations. You must apply for a reservation at least 17 days in advance of desired hunt day. You may apply for a reservation through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife or wherever hunting licenses are sold
  2. Lottery. You may enter a lottery drawing at the check station between 6:00-8:00pm the night before you want to hunt. Results will be posted at the check station after 8:00pm
  3. First-Come First-Served. You may wait in the “sweat-line” and will be allowed admission that morning after all reservations and lottery holders are admitted

***

Filling Vacancies – Vacancies occurring from no-show reservation hunters and from hunters leaving the area are filled in accordance with current CDFW procedures. If you do not get drawn for a reservation, you may enter a lottery the evening before the hunt. Non-reservation hunters may only enter the drawing for one of the following: Sacramento, Delevan, or Colusa Refuges, on any hunt date. ***Additionally, non-reservation hunters may also enter the Sutter Refuge draw. After all reservation and lottery number holders have been processed, hunters may enter on a first-come, first-served system.

Check Stations – The check stations at Sacramento, Delevan, Colusa and Sutter will open at 6:00pm Tuesdays and Fridays during waterfowl season.

Regulations

  1. Licenses – All hunters must posses a valid California State hunting license, and a HIP Validation. Hunters 16 years of age or older must also possess a California Duck Stamp, a signed Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp), and an Upland Game Bird Stamp (if hunting pheasants).  See “Before You Arrive” above.
  2. Pass required – All hunters must purchase a Type A Pass (one-day, two-day, or season) prior to their arrival at the Check Station. A daily fee is required of all persons 16 years of age or older. Junior hunters must be accompanied by an adult permittee.
  3. Check Station – All hunters must obtain a permit at the check station before entering the hunting area.
  4. Ammunition – Approved nontoxic shot is required on all refuges. No shot shell larger than 12 gauge and no shot size larger than T is permitted. A 25 shell limit applies.
  5. Dogs – In the check station parking area, dogs must be kept in autos or on a leash.
  6. Parking – Vehicle parking is allowed only in designated parking areas.
  7. Littering and Fires – Please take your refuse with you when you leave; littering is unlawful and can be fined. Open fires are prohibited.
  8. Alcoholic Beverages -The consumption or possession of an open container of alcohol, within public areas of the refuge, is prohibited. This does not apply to vehicles or trailers.
  9. Checkout – All hunters are required to check out at the check station, report hunting results, and return their permits before leaving the area.
  10. Bicycles – Access to the hunt area is by foot only. Bicycles and other conveyances are not permitted.
  11. Injuries and Accidents – Incidents involving injury or accident occurring on the refuge must be reported immediately to the check station or Complex headquarters at (530) 934-2801.

Sacramento and Delevan Spaced Hunting Area Special Regulations

Hunters are restricted to within 100 feet of their assigned blind or hunt site except for retrieving downed or crippled birds. Firearms must be unloaded while being transported between parking areas and spaced hunting areas.

Upland Game Special Regulations

Pheasant hunting is permitted during the pheasant season on waterfowl shoot days only. Shooting hours for pheasants are 8:00 a.m. to sunset. Approved nontoxic shot is required for hunting pheasants. Except for a special one-day hunt, the first Monday of pheasant season, pheasant hunting is not permitted in the spaced hunting area on Sacramento and Delevan NWRs.

 

Advertisements

Make a suggestion for this page

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s