This rare, free-flowing, canoeable waterway supports rich wildlife and riparian oak forests. The last free-flowing river within the Central Valley, The Nature Conservancy has designated the Cosumnes one of the Last Great Places and created the Cosumnes River Preserve. With a consortium of partners, the 37,000-acre Cosumnes River Preserve works to preserve habitats from conversion to agricultural uses and urbanization, while promoting research, educating the public, and providing recreation. The rivers floods and dry periods foster dynamic processes, provide a variety of habitats, and promote abundant biological diversity. Today the Cosumnes River Preserve is one of the few remaining examples of pristine native habitat and wildlife that once characterized much of the Central Valley. Some notable features of the preserve are the Great Oaks Forest, the annual fall migration of sandhill cranes, and the winding waterways and wetlands.The water depth varies several feet every day, so consult tide tables to avoid being stranded on low water mud bars.
The Cosumnes River is a tributary of the Mokelumne River (pronounced mo-Kulla-mee), approximately 80 mi (128.75 km) long, in northern California in the United States. Claimed to be the last undammed river flowing from the western slope of the central Sierra Nevada mountains, the Cosumnes starts as North, Middle and South forks cutting canyons through the El Dorado and Amador County Gold Country vineyards, then passes through southern Sacramento County in the Sacramento Valley, joining with the Mokelumne River in San Joaquin County and emptying into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The river actually has two dams on it just upstream from Rancho Murieta near the Van Vleck Park (private park), creating a small reservoir.
Coldwater fish species including rainbow trout, chinook salmon, and steelhead trout.
Dam tailwaters, inlets, treed shoreline, coves, ledges.