Mouth of Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area


The Mouth of Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area consists of approximately 1,100 acres of primarily riparian habitat, with cottonwood, Oregon ash, and willow dominating the overstory. Native understory species include California rose, blackberry, box elder, and native grasses. It is an excellent habitat for the Swainson's hawk, bald eagle, ringtail, river otter, and beaver. Many species of songbird may also be viewed.

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

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing Bow Hunting Hunting with Shotguns Deer Hunting Waterfowl Hunting Turkey Hunting Pheasant Hunting Quail Hunting

Activities: wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and hunting


Hunting: Deer, tree squirrel, rabbit, waterfowl, snipe, turkey, pheasant, quail, and dove may be present.

Type C: Mouth of Cottonwood Creek 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

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

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

Area History

Prior to European settlement, the site was occupied by the Wintu people, though the earliest known occupation dates back to circa 6000 BC. The first permanent settlements by non-native people began with Mexican land grants. In 1845, the Rancho Buena Ventura land grant was granted to Pierson B. Reading, which all three units of the current wildlife area fell within.

The United States annexed California in 1848. To clarify and finalize holdings, the U.S. government passed the Land Act of 1851 which approved 553 claims, among them Reading's. Reading maintained ownership until his death in 1868. Thereafter the ranch was sold off piecemeal and has apparently been primarily used for agricultural purposes such as horticulture and cattle grazing.

The detailed land use of these parcels over the last 100 years is unknown at this time, but cattle ranching and farming continue to be important factors in the local economy. Frequent flooding at this site prevented development or reduction in natural riparian vegetation. The property was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1982. Some of this area was part of a collaborative riparian restoration project.

Map of Mouth of Cottonwood Creek WA - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Northern Region (Region 1)

Shasta and Tehama Counties

east of the town of Cottonwood at the confluence of Cottonwood Creek and the Sacramento River

Access: From I-5 take Balls Ferry Road through the town of Cottonwood, approximately 10 miles to the Wildlife Area; walk in access is adjacent to the intersection of Adobe and Hacienda Roads.

CDFW Lands Viewer