|Photo Credit Lyrinda Snyderman|
Walker Creek Kayak, Canoe, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information
With over 792 miles of coastline and boasting countless lakes, rivers, creeks, sloughs and estuaries, California is ripe for flat water kayaking opportunities. Among the most delectable is Walker Creek, located in western Marin County, in Northern California. Leave your cares behind and enjoy the serene beauty of this peaceful paddling haven.
Kayaking at remote destinations appears to be an emerging trend. Many people dream of going kayaking in calm, tranquil places, away from the hustle and bustle. Kayaking Walker Creek is the perfect combination of exercise and communing with nature. You can paddle down the creek, towards the ocean through a picturesque, narrow stream lined with lush vegetation to the salty ocean waves. Unless, fallen tree trunks and limbs, and overgrown vegetation make the creek impassible.
Walker Creek, named for an early landowner in the area, Lewis W. Walker, is a northwest-flowing creek that originates at the confluence of Salmon Creek and Arroyo Sausal, which forms its main stem. The Walker Creek watershed ranges from 1,500 feet to sea level where the creek drains into Tomales Bay just south of its mouth, nearby Dillion Beach, the only privately owned beach in Northern California. Nearly 95% of the 76 square mile Walker Creek watershed is private ranches used for livestock. Walker Creek is a beautiful place to enjoy rolling hills, wooded forests, meadows, peaks, and year-round kayaking opportunities.
The mouth of Tomales Bay is especially dangerous with high swells. Watch out for tide and winds, where the bay meets the ocean there are very dangerous tidal currents. Winds can pick up in the afternoon on the bay giving boaters little or no warning and making return trips difficult. The change between low tide and high tide sometimes creates strong currents which can be hazardous to even experienced boaters. But timed carefully with the tides, this superb kayaking getaway is the perfect place to spend the day on the water.
Portions downstream of Highway 1 Bridge were once wide and navigable for large barges used to ship locally-grown potatoes to San Francisco. Presently, the narrow size of the waterway is more suitable for a kayak than a barge. Walker Creek continues southward along the Highway 1 to enter Tomales Bay just east of Preston Point.
Both steelhead and salmon are found in Walker Creek, which is open to fishing only below Highway 1. Coho are stocked by the Coho Recovery program and cannot be targeted. Coho are the most skittish of salmon and usually swim away from people. The Key Creek Fishing Access has public fishing at Keys Creek along Highway 1, south of the town of Tomales. It is a bit of a portage, but you could hand launch your kayak, if you paddled with a companion to help carry your kayak up and down the steep hill.
Walker Creek’s watershed terrain includes forest, chaparral, grassland, and riparian ecosystems, It harbors a diverse habitat and an abundance of wildlife. Wildlife sightings you may catch a glimpse of include deer, raccoon, fox, fish, turtle, lots of birds e.g. ducks, swallows, warblers, and blackbirds and many more. Species that migrate to this area to raise their young do so because the winter and spring rains typically produce an abundance of insects. Due to the long four year drought in California bird populations are shrinking in Walker Creek’s watershed. Bat Rays and Leopard Sharks are commonly seen in the shallows of the bay.