Butte Valley Wildlife Area


Butte Valley Wildlife Area is approximately 13,400 acres of wetlands, sage flats, and farmlands, including the 4,000-acre Meiss Lake. It is a great area for viewing waterfowl, bald eagles and sandhill cranes.

For more information, call the area at (530) 398-4627 or the Northern Region Redding office at (530) 225-2300.

Recreational Opportunities

Camping  Hiking Trails Wildlife Viewing Hunting with Shotguns Waterfowl Hunting Restrooms

Activities: camping, hiking, wildlife viewing, hunting

Passes: A CDFW Lands Pass must be in possession by each visitor who is 16 years of age or older, however, visitors who are in possession of a valid California hunting or fishing license in their name are exempt from this requirement. Lands passes may be purchased on-line, by phone at (800) 565-1458, or in-person at locations wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Lands passes cannot be substituted for Hunting Passes, which are required for adult hunters on Type-A and Type-B wildlife areas.
School and organized youth groups, including accompanying adults, are exempt from the lands pass requirement, but should contact the area to schedule a field trip at least two weeks in advance.

Hunting: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, snipe, and doves may be present.

Type B: Butte Valley Wildlife Area require adult hunters to purchase a Type A or B season hunting pass in advance for waterfowl and pheasant hunting for all authorized shoot days of the season. Reservations are required for the opening weekend of waterfowl season for Type B wildlife areas and may be required for the opening of pheasant season.

Facilities: Camping

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.

no drones icon
You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

Area History

The property was initially established in 1872. From 1883 to 1940 it was owned by Louis Meiss and called “Meiss Ranch”. The next owners built a dike to reclaim land from the west side of Meiss Lake and excavated drain ditches to develop additional grain land. In 1944, the ranch changed ownership again and the first irrigation well was dug. More land was purchased, increasing the acreage of the property, and the first dams were constructed to irrigate the meadows on the west side of the ranch.

From 1952 on, the ranch changed hands a number of times until it was purchased by the State. The property was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1981.

Map of Butte Valley WA - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Northern Region (Region 1)

Siskiyou County

5 miles west of Macdoel and Highway 97

Access: From Highway 97 just south of Macdoel, go 5 miles west on Meiss Lake Road

CDFW Lands Viewer