Lake Sonoma Don Clausen Fish Hatchery settling ponds
Description: The Lake Sonoma Don Clausen Fish Hatchery settling ponds are a great bird-watching location.
The settling ponds are best viewed from a bridge that spans from the back of the Lake Sonoma Milt Brandt Visitor Center to the hatchery. Access is through the Visitor Center, which is generally open 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM. Visitors may phone (707)431-4533 to confirm operating hours. The Visitor Center also conducts guided school group and public tours of the hatchery and fish ladder from January through April of each year.
Wildlife to Watch: The settling ponds and surrounding area are a favorite roosting and nesting spot for many species of birds, especially waterfowl. Because of the mild marine climate, many species are resident. Species composition changes throughout the year as birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway pass through the area.
In addition, one fish species catches visitors’ attention. Several White Sturgeon feed on the abundant algae of the ponds and are occasionally seen as they glide near the surface. These prehistoric -looking fish grow to a length of over six feet. There is activity at the site throughout the year. Courting and nesting behaviors can be observed during early spring.
Ownership: US Army Corps of Engineers
Size: Unknown Closest Town: Cloverdale, CA
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:
Driving Directions: From CA Highway 101 at Healdsburg, take the Dry Creek Road exit. Turn to the west and follow Dry Creek Road 11 miles, where it enters Lake Sonoma and becomes Skagg Springs Road. The Visitor Center is to the right just as you enter the park- 3288 Skagg Springs Road, Geyserville CA.