It’s too bad the Mokelumne River is identified as an underutilized recreational resource with little public access.
The reason for that, according to the City of Lodi General Plan Background report, is the majority of land along this waterway in the Lodi area – Lodi Lake, specifically – to Camanche Dam is privately owned and, thus, prohibits trespassing.
Yet the Mokelumne River has great spots for fishing, rafting, tubing, canoeing and conducting nature studies.
For those unfamiliar with the area may find it difficult to locate some of these places.
But thanks to the report by the City of Lodi, several of the watershed recreational places along the river have been identified, including:
• Mokelumne River Day Use Area / Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery. Located 15 miles east of Lodi off Highway 12, this popular access point can be found at the base of the Comanche Dam. Picnicking, taking a stroll on the trails, swimming or fishing for steelhead and salmon are part of the popular activities here. Call 209.772.8204 or click on to www.edmud.com.
• John Van Assen Park. Picnicking, trails, fishing, rafting, swimming and camping are offered at his park at the base of Camanche Dam. From Highway 12 in Clements, turn on to North McIntire Road and take it to the end.
• Stillman Magee Regional Park. Camping ($20 per night), hiking, picnicking, bicycling (mountain and road bikes) not to mention rafting, kayaking and fishing at the river’s edge are available at this park in Clements located at 23801 N. Mackville Road just off Highway 12. Fee is $5 per vehicle on weekdays, $6 weekends and holidays. Hours are from 8 a.m. to sunset.
• Woodbridge Wilderness Area. This quarter of a mile of the Mokelumne River frontage is accessible from 301 E. River Meadows Drive in Woodbridge. Cost is free (open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The nature area has a riparian environment and, for fishing enthusiasts, a good place to catch trout, black bass and catfish.
For more information, log on to San Joaquin County parks website at www.sjparks.com.