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Waterfowl Hunting

2016-2017 Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

Seasons and Limits Summary

AREA SPECIES SEASONS DAILY BAG & POSSESSION LIMITS
Statewide Coots & Moorhens Concurrent w/duck season 25/day.  
Possession limit triple the daily bag
Northeastern Zone Ducks Oct 8 – Jan 20 7/day, which may include: 7 mallards
no more than 2 females,
2 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads,
3 scaup.
Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Scaup Oct 8– Dec 4 &
Dec 24 – Jan 20
Geese Regular Season
Dark geese: Oct 8 – Jan 15
White geese: Oct 8 – Dec 4 & Jan 7 – 20
Late Season
White geese: Feb 6 – Mar 10
whitefronts: Mar 4 – Mar 8
30/day, which may include: 20 white geese,
10 dark geese
no more than 2 Large Canada geese.
Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Southern San Joaquin Valley Zone
Ducks Oct 22 – Jan 29 7/day, which may include: 7 mallards
no more than 2 females,
2 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads,
3 scaup.
Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Scaup Nov 5 – Jan 29
Geese Oct 22 – Jan 29 30/ day, which may include: 20 white geese,
10 dark geese.
Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Southern California Zone Ducks Oct 22 – Jan 29 7/day, which may include: 7 mallards
no more than 2 females,
2 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads,
3 scaup.
Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Scaup Nov 5 – Jan 29
Geese Oct 22 – Jan 29 23/ day, which may include: 20 white geese, 3 dark geese. Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Colorado River Zone Ducks Oct 21 – Jan 29 7/day, which may include: 7 mallards
no more than 2 females or Mexican-like ducks, 2 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads, 3 scaup.
Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Scaup Nov 5 – Jan 29
Geese Oct 21 – Jan 29 14/day, up to 10 white geese,
up to 4 dark geese.
Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Balance of State Zone Ducks Oct 22 – Jan 29 7/day, which may include: 7 mallards
no more than 2 females,
2 pintail, 2 canvasback, 2 redheads,
3 scaup.
Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Scaup Nov 5 – Jan 29
Geese Early Season: (Large CAGO only) Oct 1 – 5
Regular Season: Oct 22 – Jan 29
Late Season: (Whitefronts and white geese) Feb 11 – 15
30/ day, which may include: 20 white geese,
10 dark geese.
Possession limit triple the daily bag.
SPECIAL AREA SPECIES SEASON DAILY BAG & POSSESSION LIMITS
North Coast All Canada Geese Nov 7 – Jan 29 &
Feb 18 – Mar 10
10/day, only 1 may be a
Large Canada goose.
Possession limit triple the daily bag.  Large Canada geese are closed during the Late Season.
Humboldt Bay South Spit (West Side) All species Closed during brant season  
Sacramento Valley White-fronted geese Open concurrently with general goose season through Dec 21 3/day. Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Morro Bay All species Open in designated areas only Waterfowl season opens concurrently with brant season.
Martis Creek Lake All species Closed until Nov 16  
Northern Brant Black Brant Nov 8 – Dec 14 2/day. Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Balance of State Brant Black Brant Nov 9 – Dec 15 2/day. Possession limit triple the daily bag.
Imperial County White Geese Nov 5 – Jan 29 &
Feb 4 – Feb 19
20/day. Possession limit triple the daily bag.
YOUTH WATERFOWL HUNTING DAYS SPECIES SEASON DAILY BAG & POSSESSION LIMITS
Northeastern Zone Same as regular season Sept 24 – 25 Same as regular season
Southern San Joaquin Valley Zone Feb 4 – 5
Southern California Zone Feb 4 – 5
Colorado River Zone Feb 4 – 5
Balance of State Zone Feb 4 – 5
FALCONRY OF DUCKS SPECIES SEASON DAILY BAG & POSSESSION LIMITS
Northeastern Zone Same as regular season Oct 8 – Jan 15 3/day, possession limit 9
Balance of State Zone Oct 22 – Jan 29 &
Feb 4 – 5
Southern San Joaquin Valley Zone Oct 22 – Feb 1
Southern California Zone Oct 24 – Feb 3
Colorado River Zone Ducks only Oct 21 – Feb 1

Requirements for Hunting Waterfowl

  • Hunting License
  • California Duck Validation, unless hunting under the authority of a Junior Hunting License
  • Federal Duck Stamp, unless hunter is under the age of 16 (Federal Duck Stamps are not sold at CDFW offices, but may be purchased at many post offices and some license agents - more information about the Federal Duck Stamp)
  • Harvest Information Program (HIP) Validation, if hunting for ducks, dove, gallinules, geese, band-tailed pigeon, black brant, coots, or snipe (no cost) - more information about HIP

Purchasing Licenses or Validations

Reservations and Passes for Hunting Waterfowl on State-operated Areas

Reservations are available for many State-operated wildlife areas and are issued by random drawings. You can apply for waterfowl reservation drawings through the Online License Service, at any CDFW License Agent or CDFW License Sales Office. The fee is $1.34 per hunt choice. The deadline to apply is 17 days before each hunt.

How to Apply Online for Reservations

Log in to the Online License Service, using your date of birth, last name and GO ID (from your hunting license). Select “Purchase Licenses” and proceed to 2015 Hunting. Season-long Reservation Applications and Multiple Choice Reservation Applications are available under the Drawings section.

  • Season-Long Reservation Application - can be submitted at license agents, CDFW license sales offices or online. The season-long application may be used to apply for every available Saturday, Sunday or Wednesday shoot date.
  • Multiple-Choice Reservation Application - allows a hunter to select hunt areas and choose any combination of hunt dates from a calendar of hunts.
  • Duplicate Hunt Choices - You may submit as many hunt choices as you like as long as you do not submit more than one hunt choice for the same area on the same day. Duplicate hunt choices will be disqualified. CDFW recommends keeping a record of requested areas and shoot dates to avoid duplication and rejection from the drawing.

IMPORTANT: Check stations do not sell any license items, permits or passes. Hunters must purchase any needed passes and validations from a CDFW license sales office, a license agent or online.

BEFORE going to a wildlife area to hunt waterfowl, verify that the members of your hunting party have the items below:

  • California Hunting License
  • Prepaid Wildlife Area Pass* (not required for junior hunters)
    • (Type A One-Day, Two Day or Season Pass for Type A Areas), OR
    • (Type A or B Season Pass for Northeastern Zone Type B Areas)
  • Harvest Information Program (HIP) Validation
  • California Duck Validation (not required for junior hunters)
  • Federal Duck Stamp (required for all hunters age 16 or older)

*Note: Passes purchased online, will be mailed to the customer. Allow 15 days for delivery of your pass. If you need a pass for use sooner than 15 days, please purchase a pass from a license agent or CDFW license sales office.

Reservation Drawing Results

Results will be posted at least seven days prior to each hunt day.

To view your submitted drawing applications and drawing results, go to the Online License Service and proceed to the customer lookup page. Enter your date of birth, last name and Go ID (from your hunting license) to retrieve your customer record.

Once you retrieve your customer record, under “I want to”, select “View My Draw Applications and Results”. Then select Waterfowl Drawing Results. From the results screen you can view your submitted drawing applications and drawing results.

See Also

2015 / 2016 Waterfowl Hunt Results for State-operated Hunting Areas



Wildlife Branch - Game Management
1812 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 445-0411