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Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, CA

Fish and Wildlife Service

Overview

The Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, located in rural northeastern California and southern Oregon, was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 as the nation's first waterfowl refuge. The refuge, with a backdrop of 14,000-foot Mount Shasta to the southwest, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as both a National Historic Landmark and a National Natural Landmark. The 50,092-acre refuge is a varied mix of intensively managed shallow marshes, open water, grassy uplands, and croplands that provide feeding, resting, nesting, and brood-rearing habitat for waterfowl and other water birds. This refuge is one of the most biologically productive refuges within the Pacific Flyway. Approximately 80 percent of the flyway's migrating waterfowl pass through the Klamath Basin on both spring and fall migrations, with 50 percent using the refuge. Peak waterfowl populations can reach 1.8 million birds, which represent 15 to 45 percent of the total birds wintering in California. The refuge produces between 30,000 and 60,000 waterfowl annually. The refuge is also a fall staging area for 20 to 30 percent of the central valley population of sandhill crane. From 20,000 to 100,000 shorebirds use refuge wetlands during the spring migration. Wintering wildlife populations include 500 bald eagle and 30,000 tundra swan. Spring and summer nesting wildlife include many colonial water birds, such as white-faced ibis, heron, egret, cormorant, grebe, white pelican, and gulls. In all, the refuge provides habitat for 25 species of special concern listed as threatened or sensitive by California and Oregon. All refuge waters are delivered through a system of diversion or irrigation canals associated with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Klamath Project. Consequently this leaves the refuge vulnerable to periodic water shortages due to an over-allocated system.

Recreational Activities:

  • AUTO TOURING
  • HUNTING
  • INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMS
  • WILDLIFE VIEWING

Address:

Hill Rd, about 5 miles west of
Tulelake,CA,null
Phone: 530-667-2231
Email: David_Champine@fws.gov

Directions:

Lower Klamath Refuge straddles the Oregon-California border along Stateline Highway 161, accessible from Highway 97. The refuge headquarters and visitor center is located on Hill Road, approximately 5 miles west of Tulelake, California. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; weekends and holidays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration

Agency Partners