Sunday, October 10, 2010


Checking out Sacramento Bypass Wildlife Area & Sacramento Weir.

At the end of a long dry season Sacramento Bypass Wildlife Area (Yolo County, California, USA) was very dry & brown except for a few low spots that had a little murky water supporting some green plants. Bounded by levee roads Co Rd 126 on the north and Co Rd 127 on the south, this area is not very interesting for hiking or biking at this time of year. During the rainy season in winter & spring this area probably has some wildflowers and migratory birds.

Road Map, Satellite Map, Terrain Map & Topographic Map.

• Use the interactive map - click and drag to reposition the map. Map user FAQ.
• Point at the red markers to see their labels. Use the tool on the left to zoom and pan.
• Map=roads. Satellite=satellite map. Terrain=3D shaded topo. Topo=topographic map.
Full-Screen Map - Sacramento Bypass Wildlife Area.

coordinates - landmark (red marker on map).
N 38.60171 W 121.57316 - Sacramento Bypass (A).
N 38.60574 W 121.55720 - Sacramento Weir (B).
N 38.59326 W 121.61333 - Yolo Bypass (C).
N 38.58865 W 121.50503 - Sacramento River flow gauge at I Street Bridge (D).

Sacramento Weir

Sacramento Weir comprises the entire eastern edge of the Sacramento Bypass. Old River Road runs directly on top of the weir, leaving a gap underneath where the water can flow below the roadway. When the Sacramento River is in flood stage water flows over the weir through the Sacramento Bypass and on to the Yolo Bypass, hopefully reducing the likelihood of catastrophic flooding in Sacramento. "Under U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rules, the weir is opened after the Sacramento River hits the 27.5 foot stage at Sacramento's I Street Bridge with a forecast to continue rising." (DWR To Open Sacramento Weir - Free Online Library) On this calm, sunny day in October the Sacramento River was flowing at 3.3 feet (Sacramento River flow gauge at I Street Bridge - CA Dept Water Resources) with a water flow forecast for only minor fluctuations in the coming days (Sacramento River at I Street Bridge flow forecast - National Weather Service)

Sacramento River and Sacramento Weir
• Sacramento River on the left with Sacramento Weir on the right.
• More photos: 2010-09-10 Sacramento Bypass Wildlife Area.

Photographed from the Sacramento River side, it was pretty amazing how far below the weir the river was flowing. It was hard to imagine the river rising more than 20 feet higher and flowing over the Sacramento Weir during the rainy season. The Sacramento River doesn't reach these high flow rates in many years, but whenever it happens next I'll be going back there and getting some more pictures!!

For more information:
Yolo Bypass - Sacramento River Portal and Library.
California Hiking Trails - Statewide Information.
Biking, Hiking & Camping Trip Reports - BRT Insights.

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