Bair Island Ecological Reserve


Bair Island is composed of three islands: Inner, Middle and Outer, totaling approximately 3,000 acres of former salt ponds once owned by Cargill.  Approximately 2,000 acres are within the Bair Island Ecological Reserve on the Middle and Outer islands. The remainder of the islands are part of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. A large portion of the islands have been restored to tidal wetlands.

For more information, call the Bay Delta Region Fairfield office at (707) 428-2002.

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing fishing Waterfowl Hunting Hunting with Shotguns

This ecological reserve is adjacent to or shares marine habitat with a Marine Protected Area (MPA). For the public use regulations for MPAs, see Section 632, Title 14, CCR.

The Ecological Reserve is closed annually from Feb 15 - May 20. The adjacent properties owned by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are open throughout the year.

Activities: wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting

NOTE: Visitors are responsible for knowing and complying with all regulations pertaining to the use of Department lands.

Refer to the Public Uses on State and Federal Lands section of the Waterfowl, Upland Game, and Public Use Regulations (PDF) booklet for both statewide and property-specific regulations.

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You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

Area History

Bair Island historically was tidal salt marsh. In the early 1900s, efforts were made to reclaim the area for agriculture with little success. Between 1948 and 1952 the area was diked for use as salt evaporation ponds. In 1965, this use was discontinued and the ponds were drained. On several occasions the island has been used to dispose of dredge spoil from dredging of the Port of Redwood City. The property was designated as an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission in 1986. Currently the area is in a natural condition.

Map of Bair Island ER - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Bay Delta Region (Region 3)

San Mateo County

Directions: Located in Redwood City, east of Hwy 101 in San Francisco Bay. Boat launch is located off Seaport Blvd in the Yacht Harbor near the Port of Redwood City.

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