Hunters can soon participate in no-fee waterfowl hunts amid restored salt ponds at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (ELER) in Hayward. Access to ELER will be open to 100 hunters on a first-come, first-served basis on multiple dates.
The 2020 hunts feature a 5 a.m. check-in and are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 21; Tuesday, Nov. 24; Saturday, Dec. 5; Thursday, Dec. 10; Tuesday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 19.
Hunts scheduled for 2021 also have a 5 a.m. check-in and those available are Saturday, Jan. 2; Thursday, Jan. 7; Saturday, Jan. 16 and Thursday, Jan. 21.
Adult hunters must have a valid California Hunting License, federal duck stamp, state duck stamp and Harvest Information Program validations. Junior hunters must have a junior license and, if 16 or older, also possess a federal duck stamp. Junior hunters must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older (hunter or non-hunter).
Public access opportunities at the reserve in addition to hunting are available. More information is available at wildlife.ca.gov/Lands/Places-to-Visit/Eden-Landing-ER and South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project. www.southbayrestoration.org.
To keep hunters and CDFW staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, sanitation procedures have been put in place including a requirement for all individuals on the property to wear masks and maintain distance from others while conducting check station business. Controls for hunter/visitor check-out will be implemented to minimize contact between hunters and staff. All hunters/visitors should familiarize themselves with CDFW’s operational changes due to COVID-19.
“Eden Landing waterfowl hunts are unique in that there are no fees charged and hunting is offered on some Tuesdays and Thursdays when many public waterfowl hunting areas are closed. These hunts typically produce a two-to-three-bird average per season with northern shoveler and American wigeon being most common taken,” said ELER Manager John Krause.
Improvements have been made to ELER including a boat launch on Mount Eden Creek allowing access to tidal areas. Boaters are advised to consult local tide charts before launching as mud flats can subject vessels to hidden underwater hazards during low tides.
There is a 25-shell limit in the field and nonlead ammunition is required when taking wildlife anywhere in California. A small boat, canoe or other floatation device is highly recommended to access ponds and blinds. A hunting dog is recommended for retrieving birds. Hunters are responsible for avoiding closed areas.