San Pablo Bay Wildlife Area


The approximately 11,000-acre San Pablo Bay Wildlife Area includes tidal marshes and sloughs, tidal mudflats, shallow water, and other lowland wildlife habitat. The floristics are typically estuarine with cordgrass and pickleweed predominating throughout the lower zonation. The marsh-mudflat-slough complex is an important feeding and nursery area for a variety of marine fish species: striped bass, salmon, etc. The area's fauna also includes birds and mammals, several of which are sensitive species.

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

Recreational Opportunities

Boating Access Fishing Wildlife Viewing Hunting with Shotguns Waterfowl Hunting

Activities: fishing, wildlife viewing, and hunting

Hunting: Authorized species: waterfowl, coots, and moorhens. Blinds shall be available on first-come, first-served basis.

Type C: San Pablo Bay 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.

Please observe and respect adjacent private property.

Be careful when walking in the area. There are many small ditches used for mosquito control. Use caution when wading in ponds or sloughs. Pond and slough bottoms are soft and irregular.

Be aware of tidal changes as many of the sloughs are affected and are not navigable on minus tides. When anchoring boats along main sloughs, allow enough anchor chain for water level changes, and enough room for other boats to navigate.

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 purpose for which the property was acquired was to provide for public hunting opportunity; protection of the environment; and wildlife and botanical study. The area has high wildlife and aesthetic values. It was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1976. Land use has consisted of sport hunting and fishing, as well as birdwatching, canoeing, and hiking. In recent years, there have been projects to restore habitat for migratory bird and sensitive species by removing invasive plants and restoring native plants.

Map of San Pablo Bay WA location - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Bay Delta Region (Region 3)

Marin County

between the mouths of the Petaluma River and Gallinas Creek

Access: By boat only via the Petaluma River. Boat launch ramps are located at the Petaluma Marina and on the west side of the Highway 37 bridge (Black Point Boat Launch Ramp, Harbor Drive, Novato).

Topographic Map (PDF)

CDFW Lands Viewer