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Launching points along San Joaquin River
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LATHROP – It can be brown and it can be murky, but it’s also one of the most critical waterways in California and it has a long and storied history and has provided recreational opportunities for local residents for decades.

Yes, the mighty San Joaquin River packs a lot of punch. For all intents and purposes it’s a southpaw in the world of potamology – the study of rivers. It flows south-to-north, and while that typically wouldn’t be that big of a deal, it provides a unique flow for running fish searching for spawning grounds and places upstream that would otherwise by miles away at the river’s start in the mountains above Fresno.

Here are a few places to hit if you’re looking to stay close to Manteca/Lathrop: 

u Mossdale Crossing Regional Park: This used to be the gateway to the levees of the Stewart Tract and the recreational opportunities that it provided. The River Islands development ended that access, but that doesn’t mean that it still isn’t a good place to put in or to hike along the levee. Be respect of private property.

To get there take I-5 south to the Manthey Road exit and turn right. Follow the road over the river. The park entrance will be on the right. It is a fee area.

u Dos Reis Regional Park: Much like it’s southern neighbor this place offers boat access and bank fishing and plenty of river fun for the whole family. Respect your surroundings and be careful. To get there take I-5 to the Lathrop Road exit (or Just Lathrop Road) and go under the overpass. Turn right on Manthey Road, and make the first left on Dos Reis Road. The park is at the end. It is also a fee area.