Thank you for your service, first and foremost.
Second, I know that AJCSurf lives in that area and might be able to help you identify anything local for public hunting. Not sure any of the bases in that area have any duck hunting on them to be honest.
Your first stop should be the Department of Fish and Game... ...oops Wildlife website. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/
They publish the Regs and hunting on Public Lands information on their website every year. You can look at what's there for the 2013 and 2014 season for that detail, but I imagine we might be seeing some wholesale changes based on our drought situation here in CA. But that's a starting point.
You will not be too far from the grasslands which is the area around Los Banos, CA. There are a number of public access (Type A) areas both California Wildlife Areas and National Wildlife Refuges in the grasslands. The regs/public land book will have info one all of those in the state. These areas are a mix of blinds and free roam area. Depends on the refuge. You need a one-day, 2-day, or season pass to access them, and these are not sold at the refuges. You can apply for reservations for each of these areas that guarantee access for the day, plus there are lotteries for each, as well as first-come-first served access. Reservations enter first, then lottery if there is still available space, then first-come-first served (sweatline) if there is still space available. Each area has quotas as to how many hunters are allowed on the area at one time, and they refill until 3:00 PM each hunt day. Hunt days are Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
As I said, details can be obtained from the dfg website, that's just a quick summary for you.
As far as birds to expect, I'd expect to see lots of Northern Shovelors for the most part. They are our most plentiful duck, but you can get almost every species here in CA, even Mallards, if you work hard, and find them where they hide. Good luck!
If at first you don't succeed, maybe skydiving isn't for you.
California Waterfowl Association Life Member
Ducks Unlimited Member
National Rifle Association Member