Fremont Weir Wildlife Area
Fremont Weir Wildlife Area is 1,461 acres at the north end of the Yolo Bypass floodway along the Sacramento River in Sutter County and Yolo County. It is 6 miles north-east of the city of Woodland and 15 miles north of Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area and the nearby Sacramento Bypass Wildlife Area. Whenever water in the river exceeds the height of the weir the excess flow runs over the weir and down the Yolo Bypass floodway, thereby reducing the risks of flooding in the city of Sacramento and nearby urban areas along the river.
This flat, level Central Valley riparian habitat has an average elevation of 25 feet above sea level. It provides habitat for valley oaks, willows, sycamore, cottonwood trees, muskrat, river otter, pheasant, valley quail and waterfowl. Access from the east side by driving North from Highway 5 along the old river road on the west right descending bank side of the Sacramento River to Yolo County Road 16, then west on road 16 to east left descending bank levee of the Yolo Bypass. Road 16 is not paved and may be muddy during rainy season. Park where indicated on levee. Access from the west side is problematic. One may drive in from Knights Landing on Yolo County Road 16 and 16A. However, at the eastern end of 16A you will encounter a locked gate. You may walk in from the gate, but there is almost no place to park. If this annoys you, please be aware that the state reserved an easement for public road across this property, and that state's grantees agreed to never assert a claim against the state for damages suffered as a result of the public exercising their rights of access (Sutter County Official Records, 941-470, 941-491, 941-495). The state has not provided an explanation of why it tolerates a private owner blocking public access to the Fremont Weir Wildlife Area and the Sacramento River.
The state owned the land between the eastern end of Road 16A and the wildlife area until 1978, when it traded the land to Lowell and Irma Edson. Section 25 article I of the California Constitution provides in part " [N]o land owned by the State shall ever be sold or transferred without reserving in the people the absolute right to fish thereupon; " Whether the public has a right to enter, to park, and be on the property between the eastern end of Road 16A and the wildlife area, for the purpose of fishing, is not resolved. See California v. San Luis Obispo Sportsman's Assn., 1978 22 Cal.3d 220 for discussion.
The state maintained a parking area on the Edson property for five years before the Edsons took action to stop its use. The state has likely acquired a permanent right to use the parking lot and the road access to it. Civil Code section 1009(d).
The Edson property was subject to annual flooding prior to reclamation, and so was subject to a public right of use under the navigable easement. The sale of the land by the state in the 1800's under the swamp land laws and its subsequent reclamation would not extinguish those rights.
If the public allows the Edsons to exclude the public, and allows its civil servants to cooperate in that exclusion, then the publication d gets what it deserves.
- "California Department of Fish and Game - Fremont Weir Wildlife Area". Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Fremont Weir Wildlife Area Hunting & Tips". Legal Labrador. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- "Fremont Weir Wildlife Area - biohere Inventory of California Natural Areas". Archived from the original on February 12, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- "Fremont Weir State Wildlife Area - NWBirding in Yolo County, California". Retrieved June 28, 2018.
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