The Mendota Wildlife Area in Fresno County is refining its process of allowing the entry of reservation-holding waterfowl hunters during the upcoming hunting season.
Mendota Wildlife Area was one of the few wildlife areas in California still using a system in which hunters lined up their vehicles on a first-come, first-serve basis, regardless of the reservation number in their possession. Now 100 reservations will be issued and hunters will line up to enter the hunting area according to the number on their reservation.
Starting on opening day, Saturday, Oct. 24, the numbers printed on Mendota Wildlife Area reservations will have a corresponding numbered parking space on the north side of the check station lane. Hunters who want to enter in the proper sequence of their reservation number must be parked in their designated spot 90 minutes before shoot time. Once the check station begins issuing permits, all vehicles parked in the numbered reservation spots will merge into a single line. If a reservation-holder arrives after the line has formed, they must go to the back of the existing line.
Drought conditions are expected to impact the hunter quota at Mendota Wildlife Area again this year. The normal quota of 600 hunters may be reduced to approximately 300 for the first six weeks of the season. If additional water is available in December, the quota will increase as additional land is flooded. The opening day quota is expected to be finalized in mid-October and will be based on the number of flooded acres in areas open to hunting.
For more information on the new process, please contact Mendota Wildlife Area Manager Steve Brueggemann at (559) 655-4645. For general information on waterfowl hunting, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.