American (Lower) River

American (Lower) River


January 19, 1981. The American River is characterized by long, tree-lines pools separated by gravel bottom riffles. The river is lined with lush riparian growth that includes walnut, oak, cottonwood, and sycamore trees. The riparian hardwood strip along the Lower American River supports a wildlife community similar to the North Coast, with differences associated with high use by the public and many years of influence by civilization. This short stretch of river, flowing through the city of Sacramento, is the most heavily used recreation river in California. It provides an urban greenway for trail and boating activities and is also known for its runs of steelhead trout and salmon.

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Designated Reach

January 19, 1981. From the confluence with the Sacramento River to the Nimbus Dam.

Outstandingly Remarkable Values


The anadromous fishery of the lower American River includes salmon, steelhead, striped bass, and American shad. A limited warmwater fishery for largemouth black bass, various sunfish, and catfish, together with a few trout and striped bass, supports a summer fishery. The lower American River is fishable year-round. Human uses of the river make fishing conditions less than perfect, but during the fall and winter good fishing is possible.


The entire 23-mile segment is located within the American River Parkway. The Parkway greenbelt provides many recreational opportunities adjacent to the river, including hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, and picnicking. The river itself provides opportunities to swim, boat, and fish. The river is one of the most popular areas for beginning canoeists and kayakers in the state of California. Floating and canoeing conditions are excellent.  The river also sees heavy use by anglers seeking anadromous game fish.


Recreational — 23 miles; Total — 23 miles.
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Whether you want to paddle, fish or spend time together as a family, America’s wild and scenic rivers are the perfect place for you. Follow a family as they paddle, fish, and play in the Lower American Wild and Scenic River, where family time and outdoor time are one and the same. As the mother in the video says, “Being together as a family outside really helps us be closer together.” Rivers embody many values, intrinsic and tangible. Wild and Scenic Rivers provide water for fish and wildlife, preserve history and culture, create public recreation and economic prosperity, and maintain floodplains for communities.

Ya sea que quieras remar, pescar o pasar tiempo con tu familia, los ríos silvestres y escénicos de los Estados Unidos son el lugar perfecto para ti. Sigue a una familia mientras reman, pescan y juegan en el Silvestre y Escénico Low River, donde el tiempo con la familia y los espacios exteriores son uno y lo mismo. Como la madre del video dice: “Estar juntos en familia en espacios abiertos realmente nos ayuda a tener cercanía entre nosotros.”

Los ríos representan muchos valores intrínsecos y tangibles. Los ríos silvestres y escénicos proveen agua para los peces y la vida silvestre, preservan la historia y cultura, crean espacios para la recreación pública y la prosperidad económica, y mantienen las llanuras aluviales para comunidades.