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There are a lot of fishing boats along the shore nearer the dam so the best paddling is in the section of the lake west of 168th St. Once you pass under the 168 th St bridge, there are many flooded trees to navigate. Keep an eye out for the gulls who inhabit the area. Once they have tired from dive-bombing the water in search of food they will rest in the flooded trees.
The best section of the lake to watch for wildlife is the back water section where the creek comes into the lake. The creek is deep enough to paddle back about a 1/2 mile. In this area I have spotted great blue herons, plovers, ducks, geese, woodpeckers, muskrats, turtles, and bull frogs. You can also see deer hoove prints in the mud along the creek but I have yet to see one.
A great place that doesn't seem like you're in the city.
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