Californians who enjoy visiting the state’s wildlife areas and ecological reserves are reminded that day-use and annual passes are no longer sold at on-site checkpoints. As of Monday, Oct. 3, visitors to these areas must make an advance purchase of a $4.32 daily lands pass or a $22.68 annual lands pass, either online at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing or at one of the California Department of Fish and Game’s 1,500 license agents or license sales offices.
The areas that require day-use or annual passes for non-hunting visitors include Gray Lodge, Grizzly Island, Los Banos, San Jacinto and Imperial Wildlife Areas, and Elkhorn Slough and Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserves. After providing proof of a pre-paid pass, visitors will be issued a daily entry permit at these areas.
The only exception is the Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve, which will continue to sell daily and annual passes at its Visitors Center.
Visitors who have a valid California hunting or fishing license may obtain an entry permit by presenting their license at the area, and are not required to purchase a pre-paid daily or annual pass. However, hunters are reminded that license sales at the checkpoints have also been discontinued, and all licenses and stamps must be purchased ahead of time (also online or from an agent or sales office).