Spenceville Wildlife Area


NEW: 2020 CDFW Wildlife Area Operational Changes due to COVID-19
The Department plans to operate wildlife areas and refuges to provide recreational opportunities for the upcoming waterfowl season while keeping hunters and department staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to check the Department’s website for updates. For information on closures, visit the Department’s Closure Page.

This property is CLOSED to camping. Individuals may not reside in any manner on this property between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.

Consistent with the Governor’s Regional Stay Home Order updated December 6, 2020, ALL camping activities on Fish and Wildlife lands are suspended once a Region, as defined in the Order, reaches the 15% ICU bed capacity as directed in the Order. Camping will remain suspended for a minimum of three weeks.


Spenceville Wildlife Area is comprised of approximately 11,900 acres of blue oak - gray pine woodland characteristic of the Sierra Foothills. The elevation of the area varies from 200 to 1200 feet. The wildlife area is bordered on the west by Beale Air Force Base and on the north, south, and east by privately owned ranches. There are numerous ponds, creeks, trails and riparian zones in the area.

For more information, call the area at (530) 538-2236 or the North Central Region's Rancho Cordova office at (916) 358-2900.

Recreational Opportunities

Fishing Wildlife Viewing Hiking Trails Deer Hunting Quail Hunting Waterfowl Hunting Turkey Hunting Bow Hunting Hunting with Shotguns

Activities: fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, dog training, equestrian trail riding, bicycling, seasonal camping, and hunting

  • Closed to all visitor entry during the first nine days of the spring turkey season (which starts on the last Saturday in March) except for special turkey permit holders.
  • Fishing is best for largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish in the following waters: Pittman, Horseshoe, Little Dry Creek, Wood Duck #1, Spring Plot, and Upper Jones Ponds. Also Dry Creek, Little Dry Creek, and Cox Creek.
  • Dog training map provided upon request.
  • Equestrians may access the area at the designated camp area and the access gates on Waldo Road located by the corrals.
  • Designated trails for bicycling include graveled administrative roads (Pittman, Falls, Nichols, Jones) and county roads which are all gated with white pipe gates.

Facilities: seasonal campgrounds

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 link opens in new windowWaterfowl, Upland Game, and Public Use Regulations (PDF) booklet for both statewide and property-specific regulations. A searchable Property-specific regulations table is also available online.

Group Use

Permits must be obtained from CDFW to schedule all group use events.


Hunting Opportunities

Type C: Spenceville 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.

  • Wild Turkey - Found throughout the wildlife area. A special permit (link opens in new windowSpecial Hunts Online Registration System) is required during the first nine days of spring turkey season, which begins the last Saturday in March.
  • Bobwhite (leftover after dog field trials) - Usually found in the open areas. Bobwhite are considered quail and may be hunted during the local California quail season.
  • Deer - Good resident deer population. Zone D-3.
  • Mourning Dove - Good nesting population; hunting best along the perennial stream and ponds and surrounding food plots throughout the area.
  • Tree Squirrels, Rabbits, Coyotes, and Ground Squirrels - Scattered throughout the area.
  • Valley Quail - Found near water and blackberries.
  • Waterfowl - Jump shoot the ponds for mallards and wood ducks.
  • Wild Pig - On rare occasions they enter the area from the south.

Area History

The earliest users of the area were Indians who hunted and foraged the foothills. Following the discovery of gold in California great numbers of miners came to the streams of this area to glean gold from their beds. The destruction of streambeds and adjacent alluvial soils was offset somewhat by the ditches and other water developments which later benefited the ranchers and farmers who settled the area. Cattle grazing has been the primary use of the area since the days of the miners.

Near the beginning of World War II the area now known as Spenceville Wildlife Area was acquired by the government for military training. Many forms of training occurred here – infantry, tank, bombing, strafing, etc. The Department acquired a major portion of the wildlife area in 1962, and more in 1965. The property was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1968.

Last update : 1/26/2021 1:27:23 PM
Spenceville WA location - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


North Central Region (Region 2)

Nevada & Yuba Counties

Approximately 18 miles east of Marysville, and north of Camp Far West

Access: From Marysville take Highway 20 approximately 18 miles and turn right on Smartsville Road for 1 mile to enter the Wildlife Area.

Topographic Maps:

CDFW Lands Viewer