By Amy Hopperstad, Stone
As summer winds down and the fall
migrants slowly take up residence on recently flooded wetlands, Stone
Lakes National Wildlife Refuge wraps up another successful Canoe and
Kayak Wildlife Observation Program.
For the second summer, this new program saw
dramatically increased numbers of paddle enthusiasts as word got out and spread
through newspapers, internet blogs and kayaking websites.
Located only 10 miles from downtown
Sacramento and along a historically dredged area of Lower Beach Lake, the Canoe
and Kayak Wildlife Observation Program offered people many opportunities to
enjoy free volunteer guided summer wildlife viewing and interpretation paddles
on the refuge from June through September. More than 250 visitors enjoyed this
unique opportunity to paddle the normally restricted part of the refuge and
experience local wildlife up-close such as river otters, egrets, herons, hawks,
pelicans, beavers and pond turtles while learning about the refuge, Central
Valley habitat and on-going restoration projects. Open to all
individuals/groups and experience levels, paddlers need to BYOB (bring your own
boat) and equipment, and have the option to either land launch or dock launch
from a low profile floating platform.
As the day shortens and the program will wait
until next June, visitors may swap out their boats for hiking shoes and still
come enjoy volunteer guided walks past the wetlands, welcoming back the
wintering sandhill cranes, waterfowl and shorebirds.
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