The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is offering waterfowl hunting opportunities at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (ELER) in Hayward. The reserve is comprised of former industrial salt ponds now managed by DFG as low-salinity habitat for waterfowl.
The hunts will be open to 100 hunters a day on a first-come, first-served basis on each of the dates listed below. There is no fee for these hunts and check-in time for all dates is 5 a.m.
-Saturday, Nov. 24
-Saturday, Dec. 1
-Thursday, Dec. 6
-Thursday, Dec. 13
-Saturday, Dec. 22
-Saturday, Jan. 5
-Thursday, Jan. 10
-Saturday, Jan. 19
-Thursday, Jan. 24
All hunters must possess a valid California Hunting License, federal and state duck stamps and they must complete the harvest information program survey. Holders of junior licenses must be accompanied by an adult, who may be a non-hunter.
Vehicles may be driven on designated levees. Boats may be used only on the hunt dates. To attend, hunters need to arrive at the reserve and provide valid hunting licenses with stamps to check in with DFG staff.
Hunters will also be required to check out after the hunt to allow for inspection of gear and game. The results will used to evaluate hunter success and harvest data.
Some changes have been made for the 2012-13 season, including access to restored tidal areas that are now open for waterfowl hunting on the listed dates. Hunters are responsible for avoiding closed areas and there is a 25-shell limit in the field.
A small boat, canoe or floatation device is strongly recommended to access ponds and blinds, sloughs, and for retrieval. A hunting dog is also recommended for retrieval of birds. Hunters will receive additional information, including area rules and regulations and maps at the time of check-in.
To access the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve from I-880, exit at Alvarado Blvd., and go west down Alvarado, turn right onto Union City Blvd., left onto Bettencourt Rd. (sign for Union Sanitary District), left on Whipple Rd., right on Horner St., then right on Veasy St. and enter at the yellow gate to check in.
Formal plans for public access opportunities at the reserve in addition to hunting are being developed as part of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project. More information can be viewed here: www.southbayrestoration.org.