West Family Unit

On this page, you’ll find a consolidation of unit-specific information gathered from Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, the CDFW website, the California Hunting Regulations manual, public maps, and all other known sources, including:

  1. General information about the WLA
  2. Authorized activities
  3. A summary of area-specific rules and regulations
  4. Hunting maps
  5. Driving directions
  6. Other useful information and links
  7. Excerpts of applicable rules and regulations

Warning shot!!! Go to the introduction page for links to summaries of other relevant rules and regulations, e.g. Migratory Bird Treat Act and general State law.  Remember that there may be additional rules located at the Wildlife Area (e.g. check station, information kiosks, permits, reservations, road signs, etc.)


A. General Info

  • Grizzly Island

    Grizzly Island

    Authorized activities:

  1. Waterfowl hunting: geese, ducks, coot & moorhen
  2. Upland game bird hunting: snipe
  3. Other activities: Dog field trials/training and bird watching

B. All Hunting

  • Access: ONLY by foot

  • Archery: allowed
  • ATV’s: NOT allowed on any unit
  • Bicycles: ___
  • Camping & trailers: NOT allowed
  • Check Stations: Not applicable
  • Closures:
  1. Flooding: the entire WLA often closes due to flooding
  2. Written permission: NO public use except with prior written permission from the Area Manager after the end of the WF season through Sep. 30
  • Dog hunting: allowed but see our summary of dog hunting/training restrictions
  • Fires: on ALL units, fire are restricted to (a) portable gas stoves and (b) in parking areas and designated sites
  • Hunter capacity: 7 juniors, each w/one (1) adult chaperone, and ONLY at designated blinds during WF season (Licensed adult chaperones possessing a type A or B season pass may hunt with the junior.)
  • Juniors: ages 15 and under, require supervision by an adult, 18 years or older
  • Passes: a “Type A” or “Type B” hunting pass is required (except for juniors ) and must be purchased in advance from a CDFW sales office, license agent or the online (click here for fees and descriptions)
  • Shotguns:
  1. Gauge: 12-gauge max or smaller (e.g. 20-gauge)
  2. Shells: 25 max. while in the field during waterfowl season [§ 551(o)(18)]
  3. Shot: ONLY steel or other non-toxic shot approved by the USFWS
  • Weapons: NO pistols or rifles—ONLY shotguns and bow and arrow equipment

California rules and regulations for the use of decoys on national wildlife refuges, California wildlife areas, and California ecological reserves

Decoy requirements

C. Waterfowl Season

  • Decoys: boats less than 8 feet in length may be used for transport decoys/blind materials
  • Hunt days: Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays except on Christmas Day
  • Permits: first-come, first-served day-use permits are self-issued at the registration box
  • Lottery: N/A
  • Shooting hours: one half hour before sunrise until sunset

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

Snipe Hunting

D. Snipe Season

  • Hunt days: Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays, even if it falls on Christmas Day

E. Other Activities:

  • Closures:
  1. Flooding: the entire WLA often closes due to flooding
  2. Waterfowl season: NO non-hunting uses from Oct. 1 – end of the general WF season
  3. Written permission: NO public use except with prior written permission from the Area Manager after the end of the WF season through Sep. 30
  • Dog field trials & training:
  1. Horses: allowed on all units but ONLY (a) under permit and (b) during organized dog trials
  2. Use: see our summary of dog hunting/training restrictions
  • General use: ONLY from sunrise to sunset except by written permission
  • Passes: a CDFW “Lands Pass” is required for non-hunting recreational purposes (unless the user has a CA license for sport fishing, hunting or trapping) and must be redeemed at the point of entry to get an entry permit.

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

F. Regulations

(42) Grizzly Island Wildlife Area (see map pg. 67)

Type A: Crescent, Grizzly Island and Joice Island units

Type B: Gold Hills, Goodyear Slough, Island Slough and West Family units

Type C: Grey Goose Unit 12,670 acres

Location and Access: Within the Suisun Marsh approximately ten miles southeast of Fairfield. From the cities of Fairfield or Rio Vista on Highway 12, turn south on Grizzly Island Road one mile east of Fairfield and proceed south ten miles to the area headquarters. Checking Stations: Grizzly Island Unit checking station may open up to three and one half hours before shoot time on the opening day of waterfowl and pheasant seasons and opens at least two hours before shooting time on all other shoot days. Reservations must be presented at the checking station by one hour before waterfowl shooting time. Gold Hills, Island Slough, Goodyear Slough, and West Family units do not have checking stations. First-come, first-served day-use permits shall be self-issued at registration box. Grey Goose Unit does not have a checking station and registration is not required. For the Type B units, Type A or Type B season passes are required for hunting during the waterfowl and pheasant seasons, but are not available at these sites. Reservations: On the Crescent, and Grizzly Island units reservations are available for hunting waterfowl with vacancies being filled on a firstcome, first-served basis. On the Joice Island unit all spaces are filled by reservation only. Pheasant hunters may have reservations on waterfowl shoot days with vacancies being filled on a first-come, firstserved basis. On non-waterfowl shoot days quotas will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and the checking station will open at 7:00 a.m. to issue permits. On the Gold Hills, Goodyear Slough, Grey Goose and Island Slough units; no reservations are available. Daily Hunter Capacity: Crescent and Grizzly Island units: 350. Joice Island Unit: 35. Goodyear Slough Unit: Varies depending on water availability. Gold Hills Unit: 6. Island Slough Unit: 30. West Family Unit: Seven (7) Junior hunters, each with an adult chaperone at designated blinds during waterfowl season only. Licensed adult chaperones possessing a type A or B season pass may hunt with the junior. Not open for pheasant hunting. For information call (707) 425-3828.

(A) Ammunition Restrictions: Shotguns may only be used with steel or other nontoxic shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and not more than 25 shot shells may be possessed while in the field during the waterfowl season.

(B) Hunt Days: Crescent and Grizzly Island Units: Waterfowl, coots, and moorhens: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during open seasons. Snipe: Snipe may be taken on waterfowl and pheasant hunt days. Pheasants: Each day during the first 12 days of the general pheasant season, and only on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during the remainder of the pheasant season. Rabbits and doves: Rabbit hunting is allowed daily in July and on pheasant hunt days. Dove hunting is allowed daily during the season in September after the close of the Grizzly Island tule elk hunt and on pheasant hunt days during the late dove season. Joice Island Unit: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, and snipe: Sundays only when the department determines that the fall flight forecast and/or waterfowl numbers in the Suisun Marsh warrant its opening. Goodyear Slough, Gold Hills, and West Family units: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, and snipe: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during open seasons. Island Slough and Grey Goose Units: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, snipe, and pheasants: Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays during open seasons. Garibaldi and Montezuma Slough units: No hunting allowed.

(C) Day Use Permit Requirement for Public Access: For the Grizzly Island Unit, in addition to a daily entry permit required for hunting during the waterfowl and pheasant seasons, a day use permit is required of all users. Users that possess a valid California sport fishing license, hunting license, or trapping license, or users that are under 16 years of age are exempt from the fee. Users that are part of an organized youth or school groupare also exempt from the fee and must coordinate with the appropriate department office. To obtain a daily use permit, possession of an annual Department lands pass or a daily Department lands pass or a valid California sport fishing, hunting, or trapping license is required. Annual Department lands passes and daily lands passes may be issued through the Automated License Data System at Department license sales offices, license agents, or on the internet. (D) Author ized Species: Grizzly Island Unit: Waterfowl, snipe, coots, moorhens, elk, rabbits, doves, and pheasants. Crescent, Grey Goose, and Island Slough units: Waterfowl, snipe, coots, moorhens, rabbits, and pheasants. Gold Hills, Goodyear Slough, Joice Island, and West Family units: Waterfowl, snipe, coots, and moorhens.

(E) Camping and Trailers: Not allowed except with prior written permission of the area manager during the tule elk hunting season.

(F) Special Restrictions: On all units of Grizzly Island Wildlife Area public entry is only allowed from sunrise to sunset except by written permission. Garibaldi Unit: Closed to public use except with prior written permission from the area manager. Grizzly Island Unit: Closed to uses other than hunting from the last Monday in July through the end of the Grizzly Island tule elk hunting season and from October 1 through the end of the waterfowl season. No dogs allowed from March 1 to June 30. Dogs allowed during July. No dogs allowed in August and during the tule elk hunt season in September. Dogs allowed in September after the tule elk hunting season to September 30. No dogs during October through the close of waterfowl season except as follows: hunters with daily permits issued at the hunter checking station may only use dogs during the waterfowl and pheasant hunting season; no sight-hounds or coursing dogs allowed. Dogs allowed in February after the close of waterfowl season. Gold Hills, Goodyear Slough, Gray Goose, Island Slough, Crescent and West Family units: Closed from October 1 through the end of the general waterfowl season to uses other than hunting. Gold Hills, Goodyear Slough, Grey Goose, Island Slough, and West Family Units: Closed to all public use except with prior written permission from the area manager from the end of the waterfowl season to September 30. Island Slough and Montezuma Slough Units: Fishing access along Montezuma Slough is open all year, no hour restrictions. Joice Island Unit: Closed to public use except when permits are issued for waterfowl hunting, or with prior written permission of the area manager and during the special season open to fishing from mid-May to mid-August (contact area Headquarters for details). On all units, horses are allowed only under permit and only during organized dog field trials. On all units, fires are restricted to portable gas stoves throughout the year and are to be used only in parking areas and designated sites. The use of boats for access on all management units of the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, except the Grey Goose Unit and Goodyear Slough Unit to the south of Lake Herman Road and east of the eastern most railroad tracks, is prohibited. Access to these two areas is by boat only. No foot access. This shall not prohibit launching of boats at the Montezuma Slough unit for access to Montezuma Slough. Boats less than eight feet in length may be used to transport decoys and/or blind materials. Use of all terrain vehicles (ATV’s) is prohibited on all units of the Grizzly Island Wildlife Area.

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