Friday, August 8, 2014

Paddling & Kayak Fishing Lake Mildred

I've spent the past week with my kids paddling and fishing Lake Mildred in the Sierra foothills. Lake Mildred is a 120 acre lake located within the Thousand Trails preserve, Lake of the Springs in Oregon House California. The first four days we paddled early in the morning and fished in the evening to avoid the 100 plus degree heat. The fishing wasn't great but it was a lot of fun and I did land a total of five fish including 3 small smallmouth bass and 2 good size crappie. My daughter ended up with 4 small bluegill which she caught from the dock.

Thousand Trails used to be a member only campground system but it is now open to the public. At Lake of the Springs you must camp at least one night to access Lake Mildred. There are endless outdoor opportunities in this area whether you like to paddle, fish, bike or hike. Within a 10 mile radius you can explore Bullards Bar and/or Collins Lake.  Bullards Bar is a huge emerald green lake that is well known for houseboating and fishing. Collins Lake has a great reputation for fishing and you can't beat their ice cream!  If you prefer moving water, the Yuba River is only a 20 minute drive from the preserve but do your homework before paddling the Yuba as there are many dams that create deadly hazards for those unprepared.

Due to the severe drought, water levels are very low at both Bullards Bar and Collins Lake but full enough to enjoy your time on the water. Lake Mildred is down about 15 feet from last year. I didn't get a chance to check out the Yuba River but according to the California Department of Water Resources the river is running just above 800 CFS near Marysville as of August 7th.

As summer winds down, I'll be scouting more of the eastern and southern Delta region. I'll be posting more "Wednesday Wanderings" where you'll have the chance to join me in these explorations.

Happy paddling!

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