California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Imperial Wildlife Area - Imperial County

boating fishing water information restrooms Waterfowl Hunting Allowed Quail Hunting Allowed Pheasant Hunting Allowed Wildlife Viewing wheelchair accessible Hunting with Shotgun allowed
The symbols above are activities permitted on this Wildlife Area. Click for more info.

Location: East side of the Salton Sea on Hwy 111, 5 miles NW from Niland.

Phone Number: (760) 359-0577

Map: Directional Map (PDF)

Closure Notice: SR-111 closed on East Side Of Salton Sea for four days starting Friday 12/7/2012. For more information, see the closure notice and News Release from Caltrans.

Please Note: The Imperial Wildlife Area and the Wister Unit are closed to pheasant hunting until further notice because the area cannot maintain a huntable bird population. CDFW is working to create and maintain additional and sustainable habitat that will allow hunting to resume in the future.

Description: 7,929 acres which include salt marshes, freshwater ponds and desert scrub. In 1905 the Colorado River broke through an irrigation project and created the Salton Sea. This sea is saltier than the ocean. Levees and canals form terraces between seasonally flooded ponds and fields. There are also roads throughout the area. Abundant waterfowl and shorebirds can be found here. Also found here is the endangered desert pupfish. Summer days can reach temperatures to 120 degrees. Knowledge of desert survival recommended.

Special access blind site available for mobility impaired hunters.

Outdoor California Article: "Imperial Wildlife Area and the Wister Unit - A Year-Round Display of Wonder and Wildlife Opportunities" (PDF) or Text Only by Patrick Moore © 2001


Wister Unit

Ammunition Restrictions: A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells while in the field during the waterfowl season.

A CDFW Lands Pass is required for non-hunting recreational purposes on the Winster Unit.

Finney-Ramer Unit

Special Restrictions: No rifles or pistols may be used or possessed. Boats are required for waterfowl hunting; however no motor driven boats, except those with electric motors shall be permitted.

Ammunition Restrictions: A hunter shall not possess more than 25 shot shells while in the field during the waterfowl 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.