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Bring your crew: Plenty to do on Delta

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POSTED July 4, 2014 6:25 p.m.



As a member of the Stockton Rowing Club, Kathy Brown has been in and around the San Joaquin Delta and its many tributaries.

Docking out of Ladd’s Marina on Buckley Cove Way, the Great Valley School vice principal will row 6,000 to 7,000 meters in either direction along the San Joaquin River on most days.

“We’ve rowed to Weber Point (in downtown Stockton),” she said on Thursday.

The Delta has many places along the way for watercrafts in the Port City.

“Along the (Deep Water) Channel you will find the new Stockton Marina, where you may want to set anchor for a while at our guest docks or consider a long term berth,” according to the website, www.visitstockton.org.

Brown added: “Along Stockton Proper, there really isn’t much (happenings on the river).”

Along the Delta, she reeled off several points of interest:

u Buckley Cove Park (www.recreationparks.net) next to Ladd’s Marina is a quiet, relaxing place where people will fish off the banks or enjoy picnic or a barbecue get-together among friends and family.

u Haven Acres Marina Bar & Grill (www.restaurants.com) at 1691 Frewert Rd. in Lathrop.

u Windmill Cove Resort and Marina (www.windmillcove.com) recently re-opened along the Deep Water Channel.

u South Spud Island Recreation Area (www.recreationparks.net) and Hog Island are both eight miles west of Stockton and accessible only by watercraft.

Brown’s outdoor activities aren’t limited to her rowing spots.

Not too far from Interstate 5 just north of Stockton off the Thornton Road exit is the Cosumnes River Preserve (www.cosumnes.org).

This 50,000-acre plus area has over 11 miles of pristine trails to hike along with plenty of wetland along with a launch for kayaks and a viewing platform.

“This is a wonderful spot in the fall, winter and spring when there is water in the fields,” said Brown, who also enjoys seeing sandhill cranes, various species of duck – mainly mallards, cinnamon teals, pintails, shovlers, widgeons, wood ducks and occasionally ring necks, scaup, golden eye, and buffleheads – geese (Canadian, Snowy, Ross, and White front), wading birds and migratory song birds.

She once saw a river otter.

“We have kayaked and hiked there and I have even gone there to go running or have wine and cheese while we watched the sandhill cranes come in to roost at night,” Brown said.

Perhaps one of her favorite places is Brannan Island State Recreation Area (www.parks.ca.gov) along the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on Highway 160 just south of Rio Vista.

“It’s a nice state park where you can also camp and such,” Brown said.

Looking to fish? Brannan Island has striped bass, sturgeon, catfish, bluegill, perch and bullhead.

For recreation, the park offers boating, windsurfing, and swimming opportunities.

As for wildlife, Brannan Island is part of Frank’s Tract, a protected wetland marsh and home to beaver, muskrat, river otter and 76 species of birds.

“I think the best bet for exploring the Delta is to rent a boat at one of the many marinas and cruise it,” Brown noted.

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