Petaluma Marsh Wildlife Area

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

On this page, you’ll find area-specific regulations that supplement and/or supersede general use regulations, both of which are a condition for use and incorporated by reference into the entry permit. You’ll also find links to supporting law, websites, directions, hunt maps, and a suggestion box.

Warning shot!!! Remember, federal law also applies (link to our summary of the Migratory Bird Treat Act.) and additional may be located at the Wildlife Area that you can’t find anywhere else (e.g. check station, information kiosks, permits, reservations, road signs, etc.)


A. General Info

  • Petaluma Marsh WLA map with directions.

    Directions

    Authorized Activities:

  1. Waterfowl hunting: geese, ducks, coot & moorhen
  2. Small game hunting: rabbits
  3. Other activities: sport fishing, birdwatching and wildlife viewing

[ref. § 551(t)(19)]

  • City: SE of Petaluma
  • County: Marin & Sonoma
  • Facilities: restrooms and water at the Petaluma Marina
  • Habitat: tidal salt marsh, mudflats, coastal oak woodlands, and coastal scrub habitats
  • Location: see our Google map
  • Phone: (707) 944-5500 (CDFW) and (707) 944-5531 (Region 3)
  • Recreational use: Type C
  • Region 3: Bay Delta map
  • Size: 3,713 – 4,191 acres (regs v. CDFW webpage)
  • Waterfowl Zone: Balance of State WF Zone
  • Website: Petaluma Marsh WLA

B. All Hunting:

  • California rules and regulations of boats while hunting and/or fishing

    Boar restrictions

    Access: ONLY by boat

  • Archery: a bow and arrow or crossbow bolts with flu-flu fletching is allowed ONLY for the purpose of hunting migratory game birds or small game within designated shoot areas except that for waterfowl, conventionally fletched arrows may also be used to take waterfowl while sitting on the water from scullboats or similar watercraft. Warning shot!!! During any archery season, archers may NOT possess a firearm while in the field hunting with a archery equipment(see our summary)
  • Boats ramps: see our Google map
  • Camping & trailers: NOT allowed
  • Closures: NO hunting, firearms or archery equipment at the following Units—
  1. Bahia
  2. Day Island
  3. Green Point
  4. Novato Creek
  5. Point Sonoma
  6. Rush Creek Units

[ref. § 551(0)(44)]

  • Dogs
  1. Hunting: allowed in all units but ONLY from Jul. 1 through Mar. 1  (see our summary of dog hunting/training restrictions)
  2. Leashes: required except when hunting
  3. Prohibited: Mar. 2 – June 30

[ref. § 551(0)(44)]

  1. Black John Slough Unit
  2. Burdell Unit
  3. Petaluma River Unit
  • Passes: N/A
  • Permits: N/A
  • Reservations: N/A
  • Weapons: NO rifles or pistols may be possessed at the Bahia, Day Island, Green Point, Navato Creek, Point Sonoma or Rush Creek units [ref. § 551(r)(41)]

C. Waterfowl Season

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

  • Hunt days: DAILY
  • Shotgun shells: ONLY steel or other non-toxic shot approved by the USFWS

D. Rabbit Season

Rabbit hunting in California

Rabbit hunting

  • Hunt days: DAILY during open season (July 1 – Jan. 26, 2014 except Jackrabbit is open ALL year)

E. Other Activities

Sport fishing in California

Sport Fishing

  • Dog leashes: required except when hunting
  • Sport fishing: common species include, ___

F. 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

(50) Petaluma Marsh Wildlife Area

Type C Area 3,713 acres

Location and Access: Approximately six miles southeast of Petaluma adjacent to the Petaluma river. Accessible only by boat via the Petaluma river or San Antonio Creek. Public boat ramps are located at the Petaluma Marina and on the west side of the Highway 37 bridge. Daily Hunter Capacity: No limit. For information call (707) 944-5500.

(A) Method of Take Restrictions: No rifles or pistols may be used or possessed.

(B) Hunt Days: Daily during open seasons for authorized species.

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

(D) Camping and Trailers: Not allowed.

(E) Special Restrictions: Bahia, Day Island, Green Point, Novato Creek, Point Sonoma, and Rush Creek Units: Closed to hunting and firearms and archery equipment use. Dogs must be on a leash at all times. All units: Dogs are not allowed from March 2 through June 30.

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