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Fish, Wildlife Calendar Events Listed For December
12-13 calendar
Waterfowl at Little Dry Creek Wildlife Area. CDFW Photo By Travis VanZant

The popular swan tours and the opening of some hunting seasons top the calendar items in December, posted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

As a reminder, all calendar items are subject to change.

Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfires or storm damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.


Various Days

Swan Tours: Celebrate the bird migration on the Pacific Flyway this winter. CDFW’s popular, free swan tours are set for select Saturdays through January. Held in partnership with Mathews Rice Operation, the tours transverse flooded rice fields north of Marysville. This area boasts one of the largest overwintering populations of tundra swans in the Central Valley, as well as abundant geese, ducks, shorebirds and raptors. To register, email

Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) access permit application deadline for hunting opportunities. There are still opportunities available for pig, waterfowl and upland game hunting through May. A $12.75 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit



Guided Tours of the Nimbus Fish Hatchery Basin, 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., Nimbus Fish Hatchery Visitor Center, 2001 Nimbus Road, Gold River. Join Nimbus Fish Hatchery for a free, family friendly mile hike to explore the edge of the American River and possibly see salmon getting ready to spawn. Participants might also spot other wildlife, including migratory birds, mammals and insects. Be prepared for the hike with proper footwear, water and sun protection. Tours are cancelled in heavy rain. Tours are first come, first served with a maximum group size of 25 people. All are welcome, though the terrain is uneven at times and may be challenging for strollers and wheelchairs. There will be no tours on Saturday, Dec. 23. For more information, call (916) 358-2884 or email



Tot Time at Nimbus Fish Hatchery, 11 a.m., 2001 Nimbus Road, Gold River. Join CDFW every Sunday for Tot Time at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery Visitor Center for nature-themed stories and to create a fun craft. Recommended for children ages 2-7 years, with parent/guardian supervision. There is no cost for these events and registration is not required. For more information, email Please note there will be no Tot Time on Dec. 24 or Dec. 31.


Saturday, Dec. 16

General Season for Band-tailed Pigeons in the Southern Hunt Zone opens (extending through Dec. 24). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, visit


Monday, Dec. 25

Archery Only Pheasant Season opens (extending through Jan. 21, 2024). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, visit


Sunday, Dec. 31

Black Bear Season ends statewide (or earlier if CDFW determines that 1,700 black bears have been reported taken). All hunters must get their tag validated and present the bear head for tooth extraction by CDFW personnel. Current bear hunting regulations, in-season updates and general black bear information can be viewed at