Brannan Island / Franks Tract
Brochure of Brannan Island / Franks Tract State Recreation Areas (SRA) in California. Published by California Department of Parks and Recreation.
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Brannan Island Franks Tract State Recreation Areas Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. The Delta’s 700 miles of channels and sloughs invite campers, picnickers, hikers, boaters, anglers and swimmers California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (916) 777-6671. This publication can be made available in alternate formats. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 654-2249. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Discover the many states of California.™ Brannan Island SRA Franks Tract SRA 17645 Hwy. 160 Rio Vista, CA 94571 (916) 777-6671 © 2011 California State Parks to come out and play. B rannan Island State Recreation Area is the gateway to 700 miles of rivers, sloughs, marshes, levees and river channels that make up the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The park has long been a popular destination for year-round water recreation—boating, fishing, swimming, camping and picnicking. From its vantage point on the Sacramento River’s east bank, the recreation area offers a fine view of Mount Diablo to the south. Early Residents Identification of the Delta’s prehistoric residents is challenging. Archaeologists speculate that agricultural activity, dredging, levee construction and reclamation efforts may have altered the locations of—or even destroyed—any identifiable Native American artifacts. In the early 1800s, the area’s abundant wildlife resources drew hunters and fur trappers, including the Hudson Bay Company. Beginning in the 1830s, Swiss immigrant John A. Sutter operated fishing and fur trapping camps on the Delta; others settled in as ranchers and crop farmers. park history The 336-acres of Brannan Island State Recreation Area (SRA) were acquired by the State in 1954; they became a park in 1965. The recreation area is bordered by the Sacramento River to the west, Three Mile Sam Brannan Slough on the south, and Seven Mile Slough to the east. The island is named for Sam Brannan, who became California’s first millionaire by selling supplies to gold seekers. Brannan led a pioneer group of Mormons to California in 1846. That same year, he sailed across San Francisco Bay to the Delta, where he established New Hope, the first Mormon community in the San Joaquin Valley. Brannan Island’s 40-foot elevation comes from debris deposited there during channeldredging operations. Most other Delta islands lie below sea level. Franks Tract and Little Franks Tract Six miles southeast of Brannan Island, Franks Tract SRA was once a source of peat moss processing and export. The Delta’s rich peat deposits were the second-largest in the U.S., next to the Florida Everglades. Due to repeated levee failures in the mid- and late-1930s, Franks Tract is now completely submerged. This area is known for excellent year-round fishing and seasonal waterfowl hunting. Permits are available at Brannan Island; for regulations and information, visit www.dfg.ca.gov. Little Franks Tract is encircled by marsh and riparian habitat along the remnants of a breached levee. The area shelters more than 70 species of birds and a great variety of fish species. Wildlife includes beavers, raccoons, mink, river otters and muskrats. recreational activities Winter temperatures range from 45 to 55 degrees. Summer days vary from 65 to 100 degrees. Cooling Delta breezes often gust to 25 mph, and tides can vary as much as six feet in one day. Fishing—Bass, sturgeon, shad, bluegill and migrating salmon are among the Delta’s inhabitants. Anglers over 16 must carry a valid California fishing license. For fishing details, visit www.dfg.ca.gov. Boating—A ten-lane launch ramp has parking and nearby restrooms. Swimming—The day-use area has Once the Delta tributaries join together, they taper into a channel, entering the ocean through narrow Carquinez Strait. a swim beach. The swim area at Seven Mile Slough is closed to powerboats. Family Camping—Cottonwood and Willow Campgrounds have 102 tent or RV sites with no hookups. The Olympic Loop RV Campground has 12 sites with water and electric hookups. A sanitation station is nearby. A small, hike-in cabin can accommodate four campers. Boat-in Camping—Thirty-two slips take boats up to 35 feet long and 10 feet wide. Walk-in Camping—These 13 sites have tables, stoves and cupboards. Drinking water and restrooms are nearby. Group Camping—Six group sites each hold up to 30 people; larger groups may reserve multiple sites. Sites accommodate RVs up to 36 feet long. Picnicking—Four family picnic areas stretch along Seven and Three Mile Sloughs. Reservable group sites have shade ramadas. All Reservations—call (800) 444-7275 or visit www.parks.ca.gov. The Delta The estuary is an “inverted” river delta; rather than a river’s typical wide exit to the sea over an alluvial (fan-shaped) outlet, the alluvial shape lies inland. The Delta’s Water The State Water Project’s pumping, storage, and power facilities join 700 miles of canals and pipelines to bring water to suppliers throughout California. Nearly 7.5 million acre-feet of freshwater travel down the California Aqueduct, irrigating millions of acres of farmland and providing drinking water to 24 million Californians. The Delta Smelt The health of the endangered delta smelt may reflect the condition of the Delta’s ecosystem. These tiny native fish have a oneyear lifespan—spent entirely in Delta waters. Estimated at one time to have declined by 95 percent, the once-abundant delta smelt’s numbers are rising. Habitats and Wildlife • A diversity of birds—including Swainson’s hawks and sandhill cranes—overwinter and migrate or breed in the Delta. • In marshes, herons, river otters and turtles live among tules, sedges and cattails. • Riparian scrub supports several dozen bird species. Various fish and mammals live among willows and cottonwoods. • The riparian habitat hosts many species of rare plants—such as Mason’s lilaeopsis and Suisun marsh aster—at or below the high tide zone. Delta smelt (actual size) • In open water channels, gulls, terns and cormorants can be found, along with stray sea lions. • Backwater areas hide the herons, rails, bitterns and sandpipers hunting tule perch, Sacramento suckers and other fish. PLEASE REMEMBER • All park features are protected by law and must not be disturbed or removed. • Visitors and animals are allowed only in developed areas. Keep dogs on a six-foot maximum leash and confined in your tent or vehicle at night. • The island’s sandy cliffs are steep, unstable and very dangerous. • Bicycle riders and passengers under 18 must wear helmets. • Alcohol is not permitted in day-use areas. • Service reductions are in force. For current park status, visit www.parks.ca.gov. ACCESSIBLE FEATURES Accessible picnic areas, campsites, restrooms and cold showers are available. The wooden fishing pier has a platform equipped with handrails and curb guides. Two boat slips are accessible. Wet weather may make surfaces slippery. Accessibility is continually improving. For updates, visit http://access.parks.ca.gov. nearby state parks • Locke Boarding House (in Locke) 13913 River Road, Walnut Grove 95690 (916) 776-1828 or 776-1661 • Caswell Memorial State Park 28000 South Austin Road, Ripon 95366 (209) 599-3810