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Mouth of Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area


The Mouth of Cottonwood Creek Wildlife Area consists of approximately 1,100 acres of primarily riparian habitat, with cottonwood, Oregon ash, and willow dominating the overstory. Native understory species include California rose, blackberry, box elder, and native grasses. It is an excellent habitat for the Swainson's hawk, bald eagle, ringtail, river otter, and beaver. Many species of songbird may also be viewed.

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

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing Bow Hunting Hunting with Shotguns Deer Hunting Waterfowl Hunting Turkey Hunting Pheasant Hunting Quail Hunting

Activities: wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and 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.

Hunting: Type C Wildlife Area. Deer, tree squirrel, rabbit, waterfowl, snipe, turkey, pheasant, quail, and dove may be present.

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

Prior to European settlement, the site was occupied by the Wintu people, though the earliest known occupation dates back to circa 6000 BC. The first permanent settlements by non-native people began with Mexican land grants. In 1845, the Rancho Buena Ventura land grant was granted to Pierson B. Reading, which all three units of the current wildlife area fell within.

The United States annexed California in 1848. To clarify and finalize holdings, the U.S. government passed the Land Act of 1851 which approved 553 claims, among them Reading's. Reading maintained ownership until his death in 1868. Thereafter the ranch was sold off piecemeal and has apparently been primarily used for agricultural purposes such as horticulture and cattle grazing.

The detailed land use of these parcels over the last 100 years is unknown at this time, but cattle ranching and farming continue to be important factors in the local economy. Frequent flooding at this site prevented development or reduction in natural riparian vegetation. The property was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1982. Some of this area was part of a collaborative riparian restoration project.

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

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

Map of Mouth of Cottonwood Creek WA - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Northern Region (Region 1)

Shasta and Tehama Counties

east of the town of Cottonwood at the confluence of Cottonwood Creek and the Sacramento River

Access: From I-5 take Balls Ferry Road through the town of Cottonwood, approximately 10 miles to the Wildlife Area; walk in access is adjacent to the intersection of Adobe and Hacienda Roads.

CDFW Lands Viewer