East Walker River Wildlife Area

Image of East Walker River Wildlife Area


East Walker River Wildlife Area is approximately 1,400 acres of wetlands and riparian habitat along a 7 mile stretch on both sides of the East Walker River, north of Bridgeport Reservoir. The elevation ranges from 6,000 to 6,500 feet. Brown and rainbow trout, waterfowl, bald and golden eagles, prairie falcons, quail, grouse, passerine birds, beaver, river otter, mink, and black bear are found here. The river valley is a migration corridor for the East Walker mule deer herd.

Bureau of Land Management land surrounds the reservoir and the wildlife area is bordered by Toiyabe National Forest.

For more information, call the Inland Deserts Region Bishop office at (760) 872-1171.

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing fishing Waterfowl Hunting Quail Hunting Deer Hunting

Activities: wildlife viewing, hiking, photography, birdwatching, fishing, and hunting

There is good access and fishing for trout.

Public lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service can be accessed from the wildlife area.

Hunting: Waterfowl, valley and mountain quail, and deer may be present.

Type C: East Walker River Wildlife Area does not require the purchase of a hunting pass for entry. Entry permits and/or passes or special drawing may be required for hunting on some Type C wildlife areas.

Facilities: None. Forest Service campgrounds can be found nearby.

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

The construction of the Bridgeport Reservoir soon provided for water-related activities such as fishing, waterfowl hunting, and water skiing. The area has developed into a seasonal tourist attraction. Highway 182 was constructed from Bridgeport to Smith Valley in Nevada through the east Walker Canyon in 1933. A Public Stock Drive Easement was granted to the State of California by the private land owner in 1955.

The East Walker River property was acquired to protect valuable aquatic, riparian, and upland habitats and to provide public access to fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreational activities. The property was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1996.

Map of East Walker River WA - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Inland Deserts Region (Region 6)

Mono County

6 miles north of Bridgeport and Hwy 395 along Hwy 182 and the East Walker River

Access: From Bridgeport head north on Hwy 182, past Bridgeport Reservoir. The wildlife area begins near the north end of Bridgeport Reservoir and straddles the highway and river for seven miles, nearly to the Nevada border.

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