Description - Sutter NWR has 2,591 acres comprised of seasonal marsh, permanent ponds, watergrass, and uplands. The refuge typically supports wintering populations in excess of 200,000 ducks and 100,000 geese.
- Sutter NWR has 2,591 acres comprised of seasonal marsh, permanent ponds, watergrass, and uplands. Over 80% of the refuge is located within the Sutter Bypass, a floodwater bypass formed by two large levees. When floodwaters flow in the Bypass, the refuge can be under as much as 12 feet of water.
The Valley is an extensive agricultural area that historically has been a major wintering area for millions of ducks and geese. Lands that surround the refuge are mostly irrigated rice land, with some wheat, truck crops, and orchards.
As wetlands of the Central Valley have been lost (95% over the past 100 years), the waterfowl resource has become increasingly dependent upon the refuges of the Sacramento Valley. The refuge typically supports wintering populations in excess of 200,000 ducks and 100,000 geese. As a result, the marsh management program is one of the most intensive in the refuge system.
Major objectives of the refuge are to provide feeding and resting habitat for wintering waterfowl; provide habitat and manage for endangered, threatened or sensitive species; preserve a natural diversity and abundance of flora and fauna; alleviate crop depredation; and provide public use activities such as hunting. The refuge is divided into 20 units, and wetlands comprise about 77% of the total acreage.
Recreation - Recreation activities include wildlife observation and photography from Hughes Road. Hunting of ducks, geese, coots, snipe, and pheasants is permitted October through January on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays.
Climate - A generally warm, dry climate prevails in the Central Valley. It is hot in the summer, mid in the winter. In the Central Valley, precipitation falls mainly from October through April. Winter temperatures well below freezing produce frost, however, snow is very rare. Summer temperatures above 100 F are part of the normal pattern.
The refuge is about 50 miles north of the metropolitan area of Sacramento and 5 miles south of the City of Sutter.
From Yuba City, drive west on Highway 20 to George Washington Boulevard, turn south to Oswald Road. Turn west onto Hughes Road, which bisects the refuge.