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Displaced Idahoan seeks info from Northern Californians


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Hey ya'll,

Looks like things are picking up around here. Duck season must be near.

I'm all screwed up. My company has deemed it necessary to send me to the bay area from now until about Christmas. I'll be living in American Canyon and working at the Shell refinery in Martinez. So the big question is where do I go for ducks?

I will have my boat, decoys, gun, etc. and just need some suggestions as to where to take them. We'll have three day weekends every week so a little travel won't bother me.

I remember reading a few years ago about canvasbacks in the bay. What do you know about that?

Did a little striper fishing yesterday near Vallejo and found myself wandering around some of the sloughs and spying on mallards through my binoculars. One side of the slough I was on had USFWS signs saying No Hunting. The other side had CalFG signs stating that this was the Napa River Unit. Can a guy hunt there?

Also saw spots on a map of San Pablo Bay that were labeled as duck blinds. Interesting.

Anyway, I know I need to do a lot more research but any help would be greatly appreciated.


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There is no easy answer to your question.


Many spend a lifetime learning the Delta and most are probably unwilling to give up their spots.


Parts of the Napa River system are open to the public for hunting. I see guys coming in all the time with birds near the launches off Hwy 37.


99.99% of the guys I know that hunt ducks do so at private clubs and/or the public refuge system.


I'd spend some time at CA F&G's website...


mudhen - CA

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You're best bet is to hook up with some locals, if possible. Mudhen is correct, no guy who has spent the last couple of years finding a great spot is going to share his location with you. I would check out the public refuge system as Mudhen suggested and possibly join a club where you can network with other duck hunters. You may want to check out F&G's website and look at maps of public areas or visit a local office (if there is one) and talk to a warden or biologist (if possible). As with anything, scouting in advance will help you out. Good luck.

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Wasn't asking for anybody's best spot. Wouldn't do that.

So, let me rephrase.

I'd like to know if the San Francisco/San Pablo Bay area is worth my time. Hunting is what I like to do. Not pay somebody to allow me to shoot ducks. If doing what I've done for the last twenty some years will get me a few ducks per trip then I'll be happy. If I'll just be lucky to even see a duck then I'll take my efforts somewhere else.

One of our new employees is from Marysville and claims that he can set me up with some good spots around there. Something about rice fields. He doesn't hunt ducks though so who knows how it'll turn out.

Anyway, am I wasting my time by the scouting the Bay?

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I remember seeing a duck hunting show on TV where they hunted Cans out of the SF bay. If I remember correctly, most of the Cans in the Pacific Flyway stop in the bay? I've never hunted the bay area but have friends that have hunted Grizzly Island refuge (somewhere near Fairfield I believe) with good luck.


There is great hunting near the Sutter Buttes/Sacramento Valley. Check F & G's web site for all of the public refuges near the Buttes. Your best bet it to fill out an application for a reservation.


Check out CWA's website (California Waterfowl Association) for possible spaces to rent or hunt in the Sacramento Valley. I'm not sure if they have information about Bay hunting? I believe they have a forum, so you might have better luck getting information there.


Good luck - hope it works out for you.

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