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Woodbridge Ecological Reserve (AKA Isenberg Crane Reserve)

flocks of birds at Woodbridge ER


One of CDFW's objectives is to maintain ecological reserves and marine protected areas intended to conserve unique, fragile habitats, which can function to protect and restore rare and threatened native species. The greater sandhill crane population has diminished in California to a point where they were listed as a threatened species in 1983. The Stockton delta wetlands (inclusive of the 353-acre Woodbridge Ecological Reserve) provide the largest area of freshwater marsh wintering habitat in the state, not only for sandhill cranes but for other waterfowl as well.

Sandhill cranes, Canada geese, snow geese, tundra swans, and many other birds use the reserve as their fall and winter home. Local residential birds include the red-wing blackbirds, black-shouldered kite and American kestrel, ring-necked pheasant, meadowlarks and other small songbirds.

For more information, call the reserve at (209) 234-3435 or the Bay Delta Region Fairfield office at (707) 428-2002.

Recreational Opportunities

wildlife viewing guided or self-guided tours

The north site of the reserve, which includes the crane viewing shelter, can only be visited on a docent-led tour.

Activities: wildlife viewing, nature tours

Crane Tour Information

link opens in new windowVisitor's Guide (PDF)

Facilities: A portable toilet is available for use.

PLEASE NOTE: For information on public use regulations for this area and other Department lands please refer to the link opens in new windowCDFW Public Lands Regulations booklet. Scroll to the Table of Contents. Locate the page number for general regulations for public uses on all Department lands. For additional regulations that apply only to certain properties, check the Table of Contents for sections that refer to additional or property-specific regulations for wildlife areas or ecological reserves. All visitors are responsible for knowing and following the general and property-specific regulations.

Area History

The south site of the reserve was purchased by CDFW in October of 1985 from the El Dorado Duck Club. The 145-acre Duck club was one of the only destination points along Woodbridge Road following the early Delta reclamation efforts. In 1986, the property was designated as an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission.

During the spring and summer months the area is drained and allowed to dry out. During the days of the El Dorado Duck Club, cattle were brought in to use the land for grazing. Today, the Department of Fish & Wildlife allows the land to lay fallow and rest during this period. Large mowers pulled behind tractors are brought in during early summer to keep the height of the vegetation at a manageable level, creating an ideal upland grassland habitat.

Last update : 10/31/2018 9:35:08 AM

Wildlife Branch - Lands Program
1812 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 445-0411

map of Woodbridge ER location - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Bay Delta Region (Region 3)

San Joaquin County

Directions: From Sacramento / North, take Interstate 5 south to Peltier Road. At the bottom of the exit, turn left to Thornton Road where you will go right. Continue on Thornton until the stop sign at the corner of Woodbridge road. Make a right hand turn and travel west for approximately 2 miles to the turnout and lookout point of the reserve on the left hand side of Woodbridge road.

From Stockton / South, take Interstate 5 north to Turner Road. At the bottom of the exit, turn right to Thornton Road where you will turn left. Continue on Thornton until the stop sign at the corner of Woodbridge Road. Make a left hand turn and travel west for approximately 2 miles to the turn out and lookout point of the reserve on the left hand side of Woodbridge Road.

Note: En route to Woodbridge Road or upon departure it may be advisable to stop for comfort in Flag City which is located just South at the junction of Highways 5 and 12.

CDFW Lands Viewer