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Credit 1 Pam Starr
2 Alyn Robert Brereton
3 Julie MacKinnon
4 Linda Pittman
5 Parham Pourahmad
6 Larry Whiting
7 Randall Finley
Visitation: 26,000
Area: 4,626 Acres
Lat: 39.164315
Lon: 122.046811
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Top Banner Photo Credits
Pam Starr
Alyn Robert Brereton
Julie MacKinnon
Linda Pittman
Parham Pourahmad
Larry Whiting
Randall Finley
Colusa National Wildlife Refuge - Site # 324

Colusa NWR: 640x430 Great Blue Heron at Colusa NWR. Photo by JC Barlow: 1024x822.272

Background: Colusa Refuge is situated about 70 miles north of the metropolitan area of Sacramento and one mile southwest of the town of Colusa, population 5,500. The Refuge consists of 4,686 acres in Colusa County and is part of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Currently, peak numbers of waterfowl can exceed 200,000 ducks and over 75,000 geese. In addition, significant numbers of giant garter snakes (Federal-listed threatened species) and palmate-bracted bird's-beak occur on the Refuge, as does the second largest acreage of vernal pools on the Complex. The Refuge lies in the Colusa Basin and is bisected by the Colusa Basin Drain, which drains the Basin southeast to the Sacramento River. The low topography and presence of the Colusa Basin Drain makes Refuge lands subject to regular winter flooding.

The Habitat: Colusa is divided into approximately 59 management units, and managed wetlands comprise about 71 percent of the total acreage. They consist of summer wetlands and seasonally flooded wetlands. The remaining acreage is comprised of unmanaged wetlands, alkali meadows, vernal pools, grasslands, riparian, and other upland habitats.

The Experience: Colusa Refuge was established in 1945 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife and to reduce damage of agricultural crops caused by waterfowl. Major objectives are to provide feeding and resting habitat for wintering waterfowl, provide habitat and manage for endangered, threatened, or species of concern, preserve a natural diversity and abundance of flora and fauna, alleviate crop depredation, and provide visitor service activities such as hunting, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation.

Wildlife and Where to Find It: The visitor services program offers, wildlife observation and photography from a three-mile auto tour route, one mile walk trail and one photography blind that supports 16,300 annual visits.

Site Notes: The visitor services program offers, wildlife observation and photography from a three-mile auto tour route, one mile walk trail and one photography blind that supports 16,300 annual visits.

Colusa National Wildlife Refuge benefits from programs established by the Bureau of Reclamation's Central Valley Project Conservation Program (CVPCP) and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) Habitat Restoration Program. For more information, visit website and for information on endangered species click here

Nearby Viewing Sites: Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge complex www.fws.gov/sacramentovalleyrefuges

Visitor Information: Colusa County Chamber of Commerce - 530-458-5525 - http://www.colusacountychamber.com/
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: Yes
Open: Everday
Hours: The auto tours and trails are open year round from
Year Round: Yes

Road Information:   Gravel.  Dirt. 
 Roads available year-round.
Road Hazards: 
 Number of Parking Spaces: 10
Parking Fee: No
Proximity to viewing area:Parking next to viewing area
 Pull-Through Parking: Yes
Parking Notes: 

How to Get There: From Colusa, drive 1/2 mile west on Highway 20 to the Refuge entrance. From Williams, exit Interstate 5 at Williams. Travel approximately 6 miles to graveled Ohair Rd. Travel south on graveled Ohair Rd to Refuge entrance.

Contact Information
Managing Agency: US Fish & Wildlife Service
Agency Site URL: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/colusa
Physical Address:752 County Rd. 99W
Willows, CA 95988
Agency 2:752 County Rd. 99W
Willows, CA 95988
Manager Phone:530-934-2801 Contact Us:by Email
Site Phone:530-934-2801
County: Colusa
Addition Website: