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Feather River Wildlife Area


The Feather River Wildlife Area is approximately 2,800 acres of dense riparian overstory of valley oaks and cottonwoods, with an understory of wild grape, pipevine, and California rose. This riparian habitat supports a wide variety of wildlife, including coyotes, river otters, ash-throated flycatchers, warblers, phoebes, and numerous waterfowl species. Abbott and O'Connor Lakes are within this area. The area includes six units: Abbot Lake, O'Connor Lakes, Star Bend, Nelson Slough, Lake of the Woods, and Shanghai Bend.

For more information, call the North Central Region Rancho Cordova office at (916) 358-2900.

Recreational Opportunities

fishing  Boat Ramp Wildlife Viewing Deer Hunting Waterfowl Hunting Turkey Hunting Quail Hunting Hunting with Shotguns Bow Hunting

Activities: fishing, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and seasonal hunting

Some areas are only accessible by boat.

Hunting: Type C Wildlife Area. Game species include deer, rabbit, tree squirrel, waterfowl, wild turkey, pheasant, quail, and dove.

Facilities: None

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 designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1991.

Lake of the Woods Unit – The property used to belong to the State Reclamation Board. In 1974, Valley Land and Cattle Company filed suit over the loss of several acres of pear orchard. The contention was that seepage under the levee from excess agricultural water draining into the north borrow ditch was causing root rot. The next year, a new drainage ditch was constructed and the Lake of the Woods and the north borrow ditch no longer held water as well as they once did. In 1988 it was noted that the acreage in question was still not dry enough to grow an orchard. A letter was sent to Valley Land and Cattle requesting that they join with the Department to improve the damaged wetlands.

Star Bend Unit – Prior to 1988, the property was open to vehicle access and a major trash dumping site. Trash and abandoned vehicles were removed from the property and a barricade was built to prevent vehicle access.

Nelson Slough Unit – According to past landowners, the Department of Water Resources cleared portions of the area for flood control purposes up to about 1964. In 1979, the landowner cleared a stand of mature riparian habitat and leveled it for rice. The area of this upstream of the easement canal received so much flood damage and silt shortly after it was cleared that agricultural use was abandoned. Portions of the area downstream of the canal grew rice as late as 1988.

Abbott Lake / O’Connor Lake Units – Two parcels had a well-developed Great Valley Cottonwood Riparian Forest / Great Valley Mixed Riparian Forest in 1984. According to a former owner, one of these parcels had been farmed up to about 1975. The other had never been farmed. Another parcel, purchased in 1985, had recently been cleared for orchard development.

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

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

Map of Feather River WA - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


North Central Region (Region 2)

Sutter and Yuba counties

10 miles south of Marysville and Yuba City on the Feather River

Access: Access from Star Bend fishing access on Feather River Blvd.

Unit Maps: link opens in new windowAbbott Lake, O'Connor Lakes and Star Bend (PDF) | link opens in new windowLake of the Woods (PDF) | link opens in new windowNelson Slough (PDF)

Topographic Maps: link opens in new windowAbbott Lake (PDF) | link opens in new windowO'Connor Lakes/Star Bend (PDF) | link opens in new windowNelson Slough (PDF) | link opens in new windowLake of the Woods (PDF) | link opens in new windowShanghai Bend (PDF)

CDFW Lands Viewer