Full Review: Bair Island Ecological Reserve

Here is a map of the three islands encompassing Bair Island.  As you can see there are many waterways.  They host many fish including the bay ray, bay pipefish, bay goby, shiner surfperch, starry flounder, English sole and the endangered Steelhead and Chinook salmon. 


                        Bair island map


There is a parking lot on both the left and right sides of Chesapeake Drive.  The boat launch dock is located straight ahead by the water.  It takes paper money and coins only (no credit card) and costs $5 per launch.BairIslandEcologicalReserveS2.JPG

      Boat launch 


There are also many docks in the area.

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                                        Boat docks

Once you get out on the water, you will pass some bridge extensions, people fishing from land, boats and grassy areas. 


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                 Bridge                                      Fishing pier


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               Sailboat                                          Kayak


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                Motorboat                                 Grassy area


Once you get further out, you reach the channels or sloughs.  The first one encountered is Corkscrew Slough that follows a path between Middle and Outer Bair Island. 


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                                  Corkscrew Slough

The land viewed from your boat is home to many endangered and protected mammals (harbor seals, striped skunks), amphibians (southern alligator lizard, gopher snakes) and birds as well as plants such as the abundant pickleweed, saltgrass, brass buttons and alkali heath.  The only people allowed on the land are the US Fish and Wildlife Service so please do not land your boat and walk on the land on any of the islands.


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   Mudflat with pickleweed     US Fish & Wildlife Service Employees


The Steinberger Slough runs between the mainland and Outer Bair Island.



       Steinberger Slough


There are many birds, endangered, protected and not, that make home on Bair Island.  These include the California Clapper Rail,  Salt Marsh Common Yellowthroat, Short-eared and Borrowing Owl, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Harrier, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Sora, Semi-palmated Plover, Long-billed Curlew,  Great blue Heron,  Snowy Egret, American White and Brown Pelican, Alameda Song Sparrow, Salt Marsh Wandering Shrew, Western Grebe, and the American Coot.