California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Cartago Wildlife Area - Inyo County

Hunting with shotgun allowed Quail hunting allowed Wildlife viewing Waterfowl hunting allowed.
The symbols above are activities permitted on this Wildlife Area. Click for more info.

Location: Southwestern shore of Owens Dry Lake, about 75 miles south of Bishop and 60 miles north of Ridgecrest on Hwy 395 at Cartago.

Phone Number: (760) 872-1171

Map: Directional Map (PDF)

Access: From Bishop or Ridgecrest take Hwy 395 to Whitney Street in Cartago. The wildlife area boundary is about ½ mile east of Hwy 395.

Description: 218 acres of fresh water wetland and springs provide habitat for waterfowl, wading birds and shorebirds including western snowy plovers, white-faced ibis and rails. Owens Lake has been designated a Nationally Significant Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society and American Bird Conservancy and 144 bird species have been documented on the area.

Topography of the area is generally flat and at an elevation of 3,600'.

Ruins of an old soda ash processing plant are on the southwest side of the wildlife area. Old dikes 3'-4' high extend into Owens Lake bed and encircle ponds which were once used as soda evaporators. Snowy plovers nest on the salt pans.

Recreational Use: Type C wildlife area.

Hunting: waterfowl, dove, quail, rabbits

Method of take: Shotguns. Due to the close proximity of Hwy 395 rifles and pistols are prohibited.

Opportunities for birdwatching, photography

Camping is not allowed

Facilities: None

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.

ST/WLB 11/08