Boating & Fishing

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The California 'Boater Card' program was established by California Harbors and Navigation Code, sections 678-678.15, and goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Based on the following schedule, individuals who operate a vessel with an engine (whether or not the engine is the primary source of propulsion) on California waters will be required to carry a California 'Boater Card.'

January 1, 2018 - Persons under 21 January 1, 2019 - Persons under 26
January 1, 2020 - Persons under 36 January 1, 2021 - Persons under 41
January 1 2022 - Persons under 46 January 1, 2023 - Persons under 51
January 1, 2024 - Persons under 61 January 1, 2025 - Everyone

The easiest way to qualify for a California 'Boater Card' is to attend an 8 Hour NASBLA (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators) approved course. You can locate a NASBLA approved boating courses on the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary website.

First and Foremost... Be Safe In and Around Water!

Our rivers, lakes and ponds are wonderful resources for recreation boating, fishing and enjoying nature. They can be beautiful and serene, but they can also be hazardous. For anyone, including you, they can be dangerous places if you are unprepared and unsuspecting. This applies to both the first time visitor and the experienced boater and fisherman, the recreational swimmer and the competitive swimmers. Strong currents, cold water temperatures, murky water, unknown depths, and underwater obstacles and debris can turn what should be a pleasant experience into a tragic one. As with all our recreation programs, we want people to have fun! We want people to enjoy themselves and come back for more! In order for this to happen, it's important that you exercise common sense, be aware of hazards, and possess knowledge that can help your next trip be one filled with terrific memories. Be Smart, Be Safe!

  • Never consume alcohol and pilot a boat or swim in a river, in a lake or in a pond.
  • Always wear a Coast Guard approved life vest when on the river, in a lake or in a pond, even if you're in a boat.
  • Never dive head-first from a boat, dock, or the shore into a river, a lake or in a pond.
  • Watch your feet! Avoid jumping into water - chances are you don't know for sure what's on the bottom. Sharp objects like glass, metal and jagged rocks can ruin what should be a fun experience.
  • Consider rubber-soled water shoes to protect the bottoms of your feet.
    If piloting a water craft, obey the rules of the waterway and be courteous to other boaters and those on the shore.
  • Watch for hazards in the in water and be alert for "no-wake" zones.
  • Nobody likes a sunburn. We urge you to be smart about exposure to sunlight by using sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, hats and clothing that can cover those parts of your body susceptible to over exposure.

Help Us Keep Our Waterways Clean and Beautiful

  • Please don't litter. Bring a plastic garbage bag along for the trip so you can dispose of your trash properly.
  • It's not just litter that can spoil waterways. Oil, solvents, and gasoline from a water craft, and illegal dumping, are just some of the items that pose the greatest threat to wildlife and water quality. Take care of leaks and avoid dumping petroleum products and other harmful chemicals into our rivers, lakes and ponds.
  • Human waste is also a hazard to wildlife, water quality and people. Dump toilet waste at designated locations and never use our waterways as a restroom.
  • Take steps to minimize your impact on nature. Doing so can help you and others enjoy these surroundings in the future.
  • Be respectful - to both waterways and other users. We're all in this together!
  • Thank you for helping to keep our river, lakes, and ponds clean, beautiful, safe and friendly for us, our family, our friends, and wildlife.

Wanna Go Fishing?

Make sure you purchase a fishing license before you cast. To find an agent that sells fishing licenses, click here!

Broderick Boat Ramp 

Boating-2West Sacramento Parks & Recreation also offers boating access to the Sacramento River at the Broderick Boat Ramp facility. Here you can launch all sizes of power boats and access both the American and Sacramento Rivers. The Broderick Boat Ramp features a boat ramp and launching dock, ample parking for trailers and restroom facilities. Currently there is no fee to enter the facility to launch a water craft. The Broderick Boat Ramp is located at 103 4th St. West Sacramento, CA.

Barge Canal Recreational Access

Barge Canal AccessThe City of West Sacramento provides recreational access to the Barge Canal, which is located just east of the Port of Sacramento between Jefferson Blvd. and the Palmedessi Bridge on Lake Washington Blvd. The entrance to the Barge Canal Recreation Access is located at the intersection of Jefferson Blvd. and South River Road. The amenities at the site are an all-weather vehicle parking area, a hand-carry boat ramp, an all-weather walking/biking trail, picnic and seating fixtures, port and environmental resource interpretive panels, and trash and recycling receptacles. This facility provides fishing access along the south bank of the Barge Canal or you can launch any type of hand-carried watercraft from the boat ramp.

The Barge Canal Access parking area entrance and hand-carry boat ramp are located at 2100 Jefferson Blvd West Sacramento, CA, across from the South River Road.