Bishop Field Office

Fish Slough Area of Critical Environmental Concern

Location: 5 miles north of Bishop, California.

Description:The 36,000-acre Fish Slough Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) is a place where geographic isolation, geology, climate, and hydrology have created a rare and irreplaceable ecosystem. Located in the transition between the Mojave Desert and Great Basin biomes, Fish Slough encompasses an array of plant communities including wetlands, alkali meadows and uplands. With 126 wetland taxa described, Fish Slough represents one of the richest wetland floras in the Great Basin. The ACEC also provides habitat for rare endemic plants, such as the Fish Slough milk-vetch and the alkali Mariposa lily. 

Photo of Kirk Halford, Archeologist, at Fish Slough Petroglyphs

"In the Field" 
with Kirk Halford, Archeologist for the Bishop Field Office

Phone Number:
(760) 872-5000 (Bishop Field Office, BLM California)

From Bishop, take U.S. Highway 6 north for 1.4 miles. Turn left on Five Bridges Road and proceed 2.4 miles to Fish Slough Road. Turn right; The ACEC entrance is 0.5 mile beyond.

Visitor Activities:
Horseback riding, hiking, Native American rock art viewing, wildlife viewing, plant viewing, birdwatching, rock climbing, and nature interpretation.

Permits, Fees, Limitations:
There are no entrance fees. Visitors, including hikers, are asked to stay on developed roads. Contact the Bishop Area office for other specific information.

This site is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Camping and Lodging:
The nearest BLM campground is Horton Creek (approximately 8.5 miles northwest of Bishop on U.S. Highway 395. Call the BLM office for more information on campground season. Private and county campgrounds are also available in the area. Call the Bishop Visitor's Center at (619) 873-8405 for more information on these. Bishop also has a variety of motels and restaurants.

Food and Supplies:
No supplies or facilities are located on-site. The nearest sources are located in Bishop.

First Aid:
No first aid is available on-site. The nearest hospital is located in Bishop.

Additional Information:
Fish Slough is very hot in the summer and snow is possible in the winter. However, at any time of the year, visitors can find inclement weather in the area. The best times to visit Fish Slough are fall, winter, and spring, but no matter what time of year you visit, remember to bring along drinking water.

The BLM and the Audubon Society offer a variety of interpretive activities in the Slough throughout the year. Contact the BLM Office for further information.

Much of the slough area is visible from roads, but be sure that the vehicle that you take to the area is suitable for dirt roads. (The main dirt roads are very well-maintained, but secondary dirt roads require high-clearance vehicles and possibly four-wheel-drive vehicles. Secondary roads may be impassable in winter and following episodes of heavy precipitation.

Also see the Fish Slough Watchable Wildlife page and the Home page of the BLM's Bishop Field Office.