The 55,000-acre Suisun Marsh in Solano County is the largest remaining area of coastal wetlands in California, and is the home of millions of resident and migratory birdsplus a variety of mammals, fish, amphibians and reptiles.
Long known to waterfowl hunters and fisherman, the marsh attracts increasing numbers of birdwatchers and other nature lovers.
Although most of the marsh is privately owned by ranchers, farmers, and hunting clubs, a 10,487acre portion comprising parts of Grizzly and Joice Islands are owned by the state and are open to public use under the management of the Department of Fish and Game.
The department also manages two other stateowned areas in the marsh, Peytonia Slough Ecological Reserve (206 acres) and Hill Slough Wildlife, Area (1112 acres), which were acquired after the 1977 passage of the Suisun Marsh Preservation Act (AB 1717). This act created a Primary Management Area which includes all wetlands, public and private, in the marsh; and a Secondary Management Area which includes most of the adjacent agricultural upland areas surrounding the marsh. This is commonly called the buffer zone, designed to keep urban and industrial developments at a distance from the wetlands. AB 1717 required local government agencies to develop protection plans for both the wetland and upland areas to further insure the integrity of the marsh. Private land owners in the marsh, in cooperation with. DFG, have developed management plans to improve the overall wildlife habitat.
The state-owned areas on Grizzly and Joice Islands are open accessible - with some restrictions in effect. Joice Island is closed to the public except when permits are issued for waterfowl hunting, or with prior written permission of the area manager and during the special season open to fishing from mid-May to mid-August (contact area Headquarters for details). Grizzly Island is closed to uses other than hunting from the last Monday in July to the end of Grizzly Island tule elk hunting season and from October 1st through the end of the general waterfowl season. Visitors are required to obtain a Day Pass at the area headquarters before entering the area.
Some 200 distinctive bird species, 43 mammals, nine reptiles, six amphibians, and 26 species of fish have been identified in the Suisun Marsh; those most commonly seen during the four seasons are listed on their respective pages.
For further information on the Suisun Marsh contact
Department of Fish and Game
Region 3 Headquarters
P. 0. Box 47
Yountville, CA 94599
phone (707) 944-2443
Natural History Information
On Line since 1994