The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is offering waterfowl hunting opportunities at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve (ELER) in Hayward. The reserve is composed of former industrial salt ponds now managed by DFG as low-salinity waterfowl habitat. Access to ELER for waterfowl hunting will be open only on the dates listed below. There is no fee for these hunts.
Access for 100 hunters will be permitted on a first-come, first-served basis for each one-day hunt. The hunt dates are:
- Saturday, Nov. 27: Check-in at 5 a.m.
- Thursday, Dec. 2: Check-in at 5 a.m.
- Saturday, Dec. 11: Check-in at 5 a.m.
- Thursday, Dec. 16: Check-in at 5 a.m.
- Sunday, Dec. 19: Check-in at 5 a.m.
- Saturday, Jan. 8: Check-in at 5:30 a.m.
- Thursday, Jan. 13: Check-in at 5:30 a.m.
- Saturday, Jan. 22: Check-in at 5:30 a.m.
- Tuesday, Jan. 25: Check-in at 5:30 a.m.
Apprentice hunters must possess a valid California Junior Hunting License and must be accompanied by an adult (hunter or non-hunter). Vehicles may be driven on designated levees to reach various locations or to launch boats for waterfowl hunting and are only allowed on the hunt dates. To attend, hunters need to arrive at the reserve and provide valid hunting licenses with stamps to check in with DFG staff. Hunters will also be required to check out and allow game to be inspected for use in evaluating hunter success and harvest data.
Some changes have been made for the 2010-11 season, including additional closed areas and a 25-shell limit in the field. DFG has continued to make improvements, including graveled roads, improved pond access and refurbished blinds.
A small boat or canoe is recommended to access ponds and blinds, as well as navigable sloughs, and a dog for retrieval is also recommended. Hunters will receive additional information, including maps, at the time of check-in.
To access ELER from I-880, exit at Alvarado Blvd., and go west down Alvarado, turn right onto Union City Blvd., left onto Bettencourt Rd. (sign for Union Sanitary District), left on Whipple Rd., right on Horner St., then right on Veasy St. and enter at the yellow gate to check in.
Formal plans for public access opportunities at the reserve in addition to hunting are being developed as part of the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project (www.southbayrestoration.org).