Patty and I like to visit the O’Neill Forebay Wildlife Area near the San Luis Reservoir. It is one of the few California State administered wildlife areas where dog training is allowed, with birds, year round.
The forebay is a buffer between the San Luis Reservoir and the California Aqueduct. Water from Northern California flows down the aqueduct and into the forebay where it is pumped up into the reservoir. Then, when it is needed, it is released to flow back into the forebay and on to Southern California via the aqueduct again.
The reservoir is holding over two million acre-feet of water as of this writing. That’s 99% of it’s full capacity. Thank-goodness we had so much rain and snow this winter. It was as low as 10% of capacity last summer.
The wildlife area sits against the north-east side of the forebay just off of state route 33. It is fenced so you don’t have to worry too much about your dogs running near a busy highway. There is a parking lot and a sign-in kiosk as is typical for these areas in California.
The O’Neill Forebay Wildlife Area changes a lot with the seasons. In the winter, the trees are bare but the rains start the grasses growing. In the spring, the trees start to leaf out. By summer, the trees are in full greenery but the grasses have dried to their classic golden brown. Then in fall, the leaves drop off the cottonwoods and the cycle starts all over again.
Whatever season that Patty and I go, and whether we are training or just going for some fun time, the O’Neill Forebay Wildlife Area is a great spot. It is seldom crowded and with 700 acres it’s never a problem if there are one or two other trucks and a few other dogs about.
Check out the video and then check out the O’Neill Forebay Wildlife Area. You won’t regret it.