Sacramento River - Woodson Bridge to Colusa

Hamilton City, California

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This popular river meanders through the heart of Northern California farmlands and close to wildlife refuges visited by 40 percent of the waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway. Bring your fishing rod, sun hat, bird book, binoculars, and lots of water. The mix of easy water, pastoral lands, riparian vegetation, beaches, and gravel bars make this a favorite summer float trip. Summer days can be very hot with only mild cooling at night. Many different kinds of watercraft use the river, and every spring hundreds of students from California State University in Chico ride their homemade “floats” near Chico landing. Several marinas sponsor fishing tournaments. Many shallow-draft power boats ply the waters as the summer temperatures rise. The flood flows contributed by the Sacramento’s many tributaries move the channel frequently, creating new oxbows and cutoffs. Aerial photos plainly show that a floatable channel one year may be a sandbar the next year. Deeply eroded banks topped by orchards with exposed irrigation pipe further evidence the power of winter flows. In the entire reach, we only saw one set of rocks. They once served as riprap.

Sacramento River - Woodson Bridge to Colusa Professional Review and Guide

"This popular river meanders through the heart of Northern California farmlands and close to wildlife refuges visited by 40 percent of the waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway. Bring your fishing rod, sun hat, bird book, binoculars, and lots of water. The mix of easy water, pastoral lands, riparian vegetation, beaches, and gravel bars make this a favorite summer float trip. Summer days can be very hot with only mild cooling at night. Many different kinds of watercraft use the river, and every spring hundreds of students from California State University in Chico ride their homemade “floats” near Chico landing. Several marinas sponsor fishing tournaments. Many shallow-draft power boats ply the waters as the summer temperatures rise. The flood flows contributed by the Sacramento’s many tributaries move the channel frequently, creating new oxbows and cutoffs. Aerial photos plainly show that a floatable channel one year may be a sandbar the next year. Deeply eroded banks topped by orchards with exposed irrigation pipe further evidence the power of winter flows. In the entire reach, we only saw one set of rocks. They once served as riprap."

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Hamilton City
Distance: 74
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2 or 3 days
Class: Class I
Season: Best spring, summer, and autumn
Local Maps: USGS Vina, Foster Island, Glenn, Princeton, Moulton Weir, Colusa, Nord, Ord Ferry, Llano Seco, Butte City, Sanborn Slough, Meridian
Driving Directions: Directions to Sacramento River - Woodson Bridge to Colusa

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May 2018