The California Department of Fish and Game has scheduled a variety of weekend programs and activities throughout the winter months. This is the perfect time to take advantage of some unique tours and trips with the family.
Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours:
Docent-led public tours are offered at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve the first three Saturdays and Sundays of January and February. The reserve is located just west of Lodi and offers managed wetland habitat that attracts the sandhill cranes each year. Tours begin two hours before sundown. Visitors can register for tours online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour. Self-guided tours, highlighted by a set of interpretive panels, also are available at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve South Unit, 11154 W Woodbridge Road, Lodi.
Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Tours:
These tours run Saturdays and Sundays, 12:30 p.m., through Feb. 5, at 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley. The 90-minute walking tour covers slightly more than one-half mile through a premier birding spot that highlights migratory waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. No reservations are necessary for groups of less than 20 people. The day use fee is $4.32 for visitors 16 and older who do not have a valid annual CDFW pass or California sport fishing, hunting or trapping license. There is no additional cost for the tour. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. For more information, call (530) 846-7505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve Tours:
Volunteers lead walks every Saturday and Sunday, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and main overlook are fully accessible. The day use fee is $4.32 for visitors 16 and older who do not have a valid annual CDFW pass or California sport fishing, hunting or trapping license. Groups of five or should notify staff that they are coming and groups of 10 or more can request a separate tour. For more information, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/elkhorn-slough-er.