Activities: wildlife viewing, birdwatching, fishing, and hunting
Hunting: Type C Wildlife Area. No permits, passes, or reservations are required. Waterfowl, coots, moorhens, and rabbits may be present.
Facilities: No restrooms are available on CDFW property.
PLEASE NOTE: For information on public use regulations for this area and other Department lands please refer to the CDFW 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.
The property was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1979.
Bahia: The unit was originally diked off for agricultural use. CDFW partnered with adjacent land owner, Marin Audubon Society, to restore both properties. Post-restoration, the property now consists of tidal wetland, seasonal wetland, managed ponds, and upland habitat.
Black John: The unit was purchased to insure the area was preserved and managed for wildlife. The area is composed of tidal marsh and diked seasonal wetland.
Burdell: Burdell Unit is a diked off mainly freshwater, seasonal wetland along the Petaluma River just north of Gnoss Airfield. Runoff from the adjacent hills to the west provides the freshwater source to this unit.
Day Island: Historically, the unit was two islands surrounded by salt marsh. Long ago the area was diked and filled to create a land bridge between the islands and the proposed Black Point subdivision.
Green Point: Prior to acquisition by the Department, the unit was used to pasture dairy cattle for several decades. Tidal action was excluded by diking in the mid-1800s. Under Department management, slough channels have been reestablished, uplands developed, and tidal action restored to the area.
Novato Creek: The unit was part of the Novato Creek flood plain but in the mid-1800s was diked and had been used for production of agricultural crops.
Petaluma River: The unit was previously used as a duck club with minor pond management and water control. It is the largest remaining natural tidal brackish marsh in California.
Point Sonoma: This unit was purchased in 1978 strictly for wildlife management and protection of the environment. Approximately 3 acres along the eastern border was a mitigation transfer.
Rush Creek: The unit was diked off from tidal action in the early 1900s to facilitate agricultural use. In recent times the site has functioned as a seasonal wetland with cattle grazing during the dry season.