California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Dales Lake Ecological Reserve - Tehama County

Wildlife Viewing Waterfowl Hunting Allowed
The symbols above are activities permitted on this Ecological Reserve. Click for more info.

Location: Tehama County - 11 miles northeast of Red Bluff

Phone Number: (530) 225-2300

Map: Directional Map (PDF)

Special Restrictions: Camping is not allowed.

Access: From Red Bluff, travel east on Highway 36 for approximately 11 miles; at Dales Station, turn left on Manton Road; the Reserve is located ½ mile past Dales Station on the west side of the road.

Description: Geologically recent lava flows combined with older alluvial deposits give rise to extensive, gently sloping terraces comprising the Dales Plains. This terrain supports abundant vernal pools. The 367 acres of Dales Lake property is largely open grasslands on the southern end. On the northern end is blue oak - foothill pine woodland.

Outdoor California Article: "Dales Lake Ecological Reserve: Cornerstone of a New Vernal Pool Project" (PDF) or Text Only by Eda C. Eggeman © 1999

Recreational Use:

  • Wildlife viewing and birdwatching are excellent at Dales Lake. The vernal pools of this area support a unique flora and fauna, including about 100 plant species that occur in no other location or habitat, as well as tadpole and fairy shrimp. Migrating waterfowl stop here to feast on the seasonal invertebrates. Deer and other grassland grazers can also be spotted.

Hunting: Waterfowl during open season

PLEASE NOTE: Area regulations are subject to change. Special restrictions on recreational uses, hunt days and methods of take are listed in the current year's issue of Hunting and Other Public Uses on State and Federal Areas, available at CDFW offices and places where licenses are sold.

Facilities: None

KC/WLB 6/09