Sunflowers and yellow starthistle frame this waterway in the summertime.


The Vic Fazio Yolo Wildlife Area is located along I-80 at the Yolo Causeway between Davis and Sacramento. The area is more commonly known as the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (YBWA).

The Vic Fazio Yolo Wildlife Area began as a 3,700 acres (15 km²) wetland restoration project constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and Ducks Unlimited located in the Yolo Bypass between Davis and Sacramento. The Yolo Causeway, part of I-80, runs through it. The restoration was named for Congressman Vic Fazio, who lobbied for the project and was instrumental in appropriating funds for the initial construction.

The project was dedicated on November 17th, 1997 by Bill Clinton, who hailed the project as a national model for meeting the challenge of "trying to improve our economy and lift our standard of living while improving, not diminishing, our environment." The facility is managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife California Department of Fish & Wildlife, while the educational programs and public tours are administered by the Yolo Basin Foundation in partnership with Fish and Wildlife.This partnership and its success have been widely regarded as a model for planning and completion of other wetland projects within the Yolo Bypass.

In 2001, the Wildlife Area expanded to over 16,000 acres (65 km²) through the acquisition of the Glide and Los Rios properties. Since this time, extensive wetland enhancement and restoration projects have proceeded rapidly. The Department of Fish and Wildlife has incorporated agriculture into the management of the property to generate operating income and to provide wildlife habitat. During the winter, large flocks of ducks and geese can been seen here as well as at the Davis Wetlands. There is an auto tour route that is open from sunrise to sunset unless the Bypass is flooded. Docent-led tours are available on the second Saturday of each month October through June — which makes a nice compliment to the docent-led tours available on the first Saturday of each month at the Davis Wetlands.

The floodplain that makes up the Yolo Bypass receives water from the Sacramento River and provides an Important Bird Area of the Pacific Flyway for an impressive variety of waterfowl.Unless the area is impassable due to normal seasonal flooding, a dirt and gravel road is open to the public for driving and walking tours, and a docent-led tour is given once per month.

Does mid-late-July tend to be a good time to go birdwatching here? —CovertProfessor

Dawn is best! oh time of year... They are all about the same... The place has alot of winter migrants in the winter and the spring has nesting season. Right now in the summer things are sorta placid, not much going on except looking for food. Daubert

Ok, thanks! I have an out of town friend who likes to birdwatch... as long as they are there to see I don't imagine my friend will care too much what they are doing. Dawn is unlikely but we'll see what we can do. :-) —cp

Although you can't go spin doughnuts in the wildlife area, you can drive down to it and go walking.