STANISLAUS COUNTY — Woodward Reservoir Regional Park has opened earlier than expected for all recreational activities, including boating, swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, picnicking, and water and jet skiing.
Last month, Stanislaus County and South San Joaquin Irrigation District officials struck a tentative deal for nine weeks of water recreation at the drought-stricken reservoir, running May 1 to July 7.
Because March and early April storms brought much-needed precipitation, SSJID was able to bring Woodward up to an elevation that accommodates water sports two weeks earlier than previously scheduled, according to a county news release Friday.
The water district let the Stanislaus County Parks and Recreation Department, which runs the recreational activities at Woodward, move the opening date to Thursday. SSJID will monitor the water situation, and its board will need to consider at a future meeting if it is possible to maintain the lake level through the entire summer, the county news release said.
Woodward Reservoir Regional Park is at 14582 26 Mile Road, a few miles north of Oakdale, off Highway 120. The park offers 3,500-plus acres of land, 2,500 acres of reservoir for daily recreation use and camping. It can accommodate tents and recreational vehicle camping, including 40 full hook-up sites and 324 camping sites.
Facilities include picnic shelters, day-use areas, restrooms with showers, barbecue and fire ring pits, and picnic tables.
The regional park is host to a variety of special events, including the return of the Parks and Recreation Departments annual July Fourth fireworks celebration.
For more information on the reservoir, go to www.stancounty.com/ER/PARKS/reservoir.shtm.