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Chesbro Reservoir Professional Review and Guide
"Chesbro is a small, placid lake in the western foothills of the Santa Clara Valley. Santa Clara County manages the 650-acre Chesbro Reservoir for recreation and to help recharge the groundwater supplies of the Santa Clara Valley. Fishing for largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie is popular. Hills surrounding the lake support grasslands, hardwood habitats, chaparral, and ranchettes."
--Charlie Pike, Paddling Northern California (Falcon Guides).
We kayaked on Chesbro because it's only a 15 minute drive from our house. So it gets points for proximity.
Other than that, it wasn't spectacular, but it was more fun than I had expected. The water was low (it was mid November) but we still got a good hour of paddling. There were birds, mainly cormorants and Canada geese, but a few others as well. The hills around Chesbro are pretty. They are not as covered in ranchettes as the trail description would lead you to expect. The main drawbacks were its small size and the cars going by on the road that follows the east shore.
Also: we called the phone number on the Santa Clara County parks website to see if the launch ramp was open. It did not list it as being closed. We got there, and the ramp was closed. We had to duck under a locked gate to carry the boats to and from the end of the ramp.
Not the most spectacular paddle, but a good driving distance from South San Jose and Morgan Hill. Worth doing if you don't have time to drive much farther.
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