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Butte Valley Wildlife Area


Butte Valley Wildlife Area is approximately 13,400 acres of wetlands, sage flats, and farmlands, including the 4,000-acre Meiss Lake. It is a great area for viewing waterfowl, bald eagles and sandhill cranes.

For more information, call the area at (530) 398-4627 or the Northern Region Redding office at (530) 225-2300.

Recreational Opportunities

Camping  Hiking Trails Wildlife Viewing Hunting with Shotguns Waterfowl Hunting Restrooms

Activities: camping, hiking, wildlife viewing, hunting

Passes: A CDFW Lands Pass must be carried by each visitor who is 16 years of age or older, however, visitors who are carrying a valid California hunting or fishing license in their name are exempt from this requirement. Lands passes may be purchased on-line, by phone at (800) 565-1458, or in-person at locations wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Lands passes cannot be substituted for Wildlife Area Hunting Passes, which are required for adult hunters on Type-A and Type-B wildlife areas.
School and organized youth groups, including accompanying adults, are exempt from the lands pass requirement, but need to contact the area to schedule a field trip.

Type B Wildlife Area - Restricted hunter access during waterfowl season. A Type A or Type B season hunting pass must be purchased in advance and presented for an entry permit.

Hunting: Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, snipe, and doves may be present.

Facilities: Camping

PLEASE NOTE: For information on public use regulations for this area and other Department lands please refer to the link opens in new windowCDFW Public Lands Regulations booklet. Scroll to the Table of Contents. Locate the page number for general regulations for public uses on all Department lands. For additional regulations that apply only to certain properties, check the Table of Contents for sections that refer to additional or property-specific regulations for wildlife areas or ecological reserves. All visitors are responsible for knowing and following the general and property-specific regulations.

Area History

The property was initially established in 1872. From 1883 to 1940 it was owned by Louis Meiss and called “Meiss Ranch”. The next owners built a dike to reclaim land from the west side of Meiss Lake and excavated drain ditches to develop additional grain land. In 1944, the ranch changed ownership again and the first irrigation well was dug. More land was purchased, increasing the acreage of the property, and the first dams were constructed to irrigate the meadows on the west side of the ranch.

From 1952 on, the ranch changed hands a number of times until it was purchased by the State. The property was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1981.

Last update : 10/31/2018 9:35:08 AM

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

Map of Butte Valley WA - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Northern Region (Region 1)

Siskiyou County

5 miles west of Macdoel and Highway 97

Access: From Highway 97 just south of Macdoel, go 5 miles west on Meiss Lake Road

CDFW Lands Viewer