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boating around cvwr and gray-tailed tattler

boating around cvwr and gray-tailed tattler
By – 3:39 pm
Beating this horse to death and chiming in to try to clarify boating around the San Diego Unified Port District’s Chula Vista Wildlife Reserve where the gray-tailed tattler is being seen.  The Reserve is not an island, it’s a peninsula.  As such, it can be viewed by boat along its north, west, and south shores, as well as each side of its SW jetty.  It is within the South San Diego Bay NWR overlay zone so falls within USFWS oversight, but is not a part of the National Wildlife Refuge proper nor part of the saltworks that make up most of the NWR.  Boating is not allowed within the NWR, most notably up the Otay River channel or into the restored western ponds 10 & 11 adjacent to the South Bay Biological Study Area.  Boating is technically not allowed within the marsh basins of CVWR but the channel entrances are currently not posted, it is rarely if ever enforced, and kayakers regularly access the channels.  If you access the channels, be aware that you are within Ridgway rail and Belding’s savannah sparrow nesting habitat, and your presence and the flashing of your paddles may disturb California least terns nesting on the adjacent upland portion of the Reserve and/or cause predators such as raptors, gulls, egrets, and herons to leave the marsh and enter the tern nesting area.  Forster’s terns also nest in the marsh and on the SW jetty and approaching may cause chicks to fall into soft mud substrate where they can get stuck and drown, or to fall among rocks where legs, wings, etc may be broken or they may get stuck.  If you kayak into the marsh, thoroughly clean your kayak afterward & before taking it to any other bodies of water since there is a highly invasive Algerian sea-lavender that has infested the CVWR marsh and attempts are being made to control it & limit its spread.  I cannot stress it enough, but there is no landing allowed on the shore (or in the marsh).  Motorized vessels are allowed in the waters around CVWR, but it is a no wake zone (5mph max speed limit), and operators need to check the charts, watch the tides, and know their vessel’s draft.  Particularly off the south shore of CVWR, the waters are very shallow and the channel is very narrow.  At low tide, the flats around CVWR can appear extensive.  Do not attempt to walk across the flats or along the shoreline from J St or from boat – while substrate consistency in some places may be relatively firm, most of it is closer to jello and extremely dangerous to be stuck in as the tide rises.  Sorry if this approached a rant, but hopefully that covers most questions.Robert PattonSan Diego, CA