Rules and Regulations

Image of students being taught how to fish at UC Davis Putah Creek Riparian Reserve.

Rules and Regulations

A majority of the Putah Creek Riparain Reserve lands on the main campus are open to the public for passive recreation activities, such as fishing, boating, swimming, and hiking.

The areas open to the public are on the north side of the creek, from Old Davis Road, west to County Road 98/Pedrick Road. The south side has private lands, so please stay on the north bank of the creek to avoid trespassing. Please download the map of the Reserve, to see trail locations and allowable uses on the trails.

In order to protect the Reserve, its wildlife, and visitors, please observe the following:

  • Reserve Hours
  • The Reserve is open Sunrise to Sunset without prior authorization.
  • Use of the Fire Ring at the Picnic Grounds
  • Campfires are only allowed within the fire ring at the picnic grounds, and not anywhere else. Use of the Fire Ring is by reservation from Conference and Event Services, and with a fire permit from the UC Davis Fire Department. Check 'Alpha Phi Omega Picnic Grounds' as the location for the fire. Use of the picnic tables is available by reservation or first-come, first-serve for Campus-affiliated organizations, or first-come, first-serve by the general public.
  • Motorized and Unmotorized Vehicle Use
  • Unauthorized motor vehicle use is prohibited. Bicycles must remain on the levee road between Old Davis Road and Brooks Road, on the paved Levee Road between Brooks Road and Hopkins Road, and on the dirt road above the top of the creek bank between Hopkins Road and County Road 98.
  • Pets
  • Dogs must remain on leash (.pdf) at all times. Dogs must stay on the levee road or in designated areas.
  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol is not permitted (.pdf) on the Reserve except with an event license obtained through Campus Events and Visitor Services. The one-day event license will allow serving of alcohol, within certain guidelines.
  • Hunting, Shooting, and other Weapons
  • It is against the law (.pdf) to possess guns and some types of knives on UC Davis property without permission from the University Police. Hunting and shooting are not allowed on the Reserve.
  • Trash and Dumping
  • Dumping of trash and debris on the Reserve is prohibited. Dumping creates health and safety hazards. Trash and dumping hurts the environment and the enjoyment of the Reserve by visitors. A trash receptacle is located at the Fire Ring Picnic Grounds for use by Reserve visitors.
  • Plants and Wildlife
  • Collection of plant and wildlife specimens is prohibited, without prior written authorization and appropriate State or Federal permits.
  • Research and Teaching
  • The Reserve is used by classes and researchers. Please do not disturb research plots, flags, cages, or any other research-related equipment or material found on the Reserve.
  • Class Use Rules and Regulations
  • In order to protect the plant, animal, and other natural resources within the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve, please observe the following rules when using the Reserve for research, teaching, or class use.
  • Plant Collection and Animal Trapping
  • Plant collection and animal trapping may only occur with the permission of the Reserve Manager, a completed and approved Reserve Use Form, and any necessary State and Federal permits.
  • Invasive Species
  • Introduction of invasive exotic species as part of research or class use is not encouraged. However, if it can be shown that an appropriate plan is in place by the researcher that would prevent the spread of the species beyond the research site, such a request may be considered. Please talk with the Reserve Manager.
  • Gates
  • Please close all gates, chains, or other vehicle and pedestrian barriers after each visit.
  • Nighttime Use
  • For researchers and classes that need to use the Reserve after sunset may do so, after first contacting the Reserve Manager or Steward, and also contacting the UC Davis Police non-emergency dispatch, to inform them of your presence after hours.
  • Equipment and Infrastructure
  • After consultation with the Reserve Manager and completion and approval of the Reserve Use Form, researchers and classes may be allowed to install temporary equipment and other support infrastructure, provided they obtain any additional outside approvals and agree to remove the infrastructure after completion of the research. If the site is disturbed by installation of research infrastructure it must also be restored to a pre-existing condition through coordination with the Reserve Manager.