Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area
Butte City Outdoor Adventurer

Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area

The Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area is approximately 9,600 acres and consists of three units: Llano Seco, Howard Slough, and Little Dry Creek. It is located within the Butte Basin, a low-lying area extending from the Sacramento River south and east to the Butte Creek drainage and southward to include the Butte Sink.

Historically, this basin consisted of a braided network of sloughs, channels, and oxbows resulting from the meanderings of the Sacramento River and Butte Creek, and comprised a significant portion of the wetland habitat available for wintering migratory birds. Today it is still considered one of the finest wetland habitat complexes in North America. The Wildlife Area was created to protect and/or restore some of these historical wetlands.

During winter months the wildlife area may be periodically closed due to flooding.

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset. The Wildlife Area is open New Year's Day and closed on Christmas when that day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Wednesday.


Activities include fishing, wildlife viewing, bird watching, and sightseeing. A CDFW Lands Pass is required for every visitor 16 or older.


Type A: Upper Butte Basin Wildlife Area including the Howard Slough Unit, Little Dry Creek Unit, and Llano Seco Unit have restricted hunter access during waterfowl and pheasant hunting seasons. Adult hunters are required to purchase a Type A hunting pass in advance in order to exchange for an entry permit.

Daily Hunter Capacity

  • Howard Slough: up to 81 adults, with refills.
  • Llano Seco: total of 78 hunters, with refills.
  • Little Dry Creek: up to 96 adults, with refills in free roam only.

At least one hunting blind for the mobility impaired is available on each unit. A Department of Motor Vehicles ID card is required to use the blind.

Authorized game includes deer, rabbits, waterfowl, coots, moorhens, snipe, dove, pheasants, and fall turkeys. (Fall turkey is open annually at the regional manager's discretion. Please check with wildlife area staff prior to fall turkey season.)

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