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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
Area: 11,800 Acres
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Top Banner Photo Credits
Pam Starr
Alyn Robert Brereton
Julie MacKinnon
Linda Pittman
Parham Pourahmad
Larry Whiting
Randall Finley
Oroville Wildlife Area - Site # 5047
Two important diversions were constructed on what is now the wildlife area, and then removed when construction of the Oroville Dam eliminated the need for them. Materials removal for construction of the dam began in 1963. During construction, Department biologists were influential in preserving wildlife values and creating habitat with potential value such as ponds, lakes, and islands. In 1968, the property was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission.

: 665x506 Oroville Wildlife Area Sign: 450x385 : 443x300 : 720x960 : 1024x768 California Quail taking off: 896x696

Background: Before settlement, the area was typically riparian in nature. Wildlife abounded and some of the earliest explorers were fur trappers. The river alluvium was worked by miners from 1848 to 1857. The combination of available water, riparian vegetation, and grasslands in the adjoining alluvial fans made it suitable for livestock grazing. Permanent agriculture with small orchards and irrigated pastures developed until 1898 when gold dredging operations began. The dredging continued until 1952, leaving the land unusable except for small amounts of fishing and hunting afforded by the ponds and their riparian edges.

The Habitat: The approximately 11,800-acre Oroville Wildlife Area is primarily riparian woodland habitat along the Feather River and grasslands around the Thermalito Afterbay.

The Experience: Quiet open spaces. Many osprey nests.

Wildlife and Where to Find It: Warm water fish species (largemouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish, channel catfish, and black crappie) can be found in the numerous dredger ponds and the Thermalito Afterbay. Salmon, steelhead, shad, and striped bass can be found in the Feather River.

Wildlife species seen in the area include coyote, badger, fox, bobcat, porcupine, osprey, white-tailed kite, egrets, woodpeckers, and warblers. There are good populations of coyotes, deer, dove, quail, and waterfowl, and fair populations of squirrel and rabbit.

Site Notes: Hours: one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset, except for at designated camping areas

Activities: fishing, wildlife viewing, hunting, and shooting range
The shooting range is for rifles, pistols, shotguns, and archery and is open from sunrise to sunset. There is no rangemaster.
Facilities: camping, restrooms, and launch access

Nearby Viewing Sites: Lake Oroville SRA
Bidwell Park
Table Mountain

Festivals & Events: Snow Goose Festival - Chico

Road Information:   Paved.  Gravel. 
Road Hazards: 
 Number of Parking Spaces: 0
Parking Fee: 
Proximity to viewing area:
 Pull-Through Parking: 
Parking Notes: 

How to Get There: Access is via Highway 162 to the headquarters entrance, about 1/2 mile west of Highway 70, or at Larkin Road. Access for Thermalito Afterbay Unit is Wilbur Road at Hwy 162. The Thermalito Unit is five miles west of Oroville, east of Highway 99. Shooting range access is via Rabe Road.

Contact Information
Managing Agency: California Department of Fish & Wildlife
Agency Site URL: https://wildlife.ca.gov
Physical Address:
, CA
Agency 2:
, CA
Manager Phone:
Site Phone: (530) 538-2236
County: Butte
Addition Website: