Nature enthusiasts who choose the Calaveras River for recreation have a new tool to help enjoy its 80-mile course.

The first edition of “Common Animals of the Calaveras River,” was recently completed through the works of the Friends of the Lower Calaveras River, aided by a grant from the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation. The Friends are a nonprofit group formed in 2008 to restore and promote the waterway.

“Common Animals” is a field guide with 11 pages illustrating the fish, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal species that call the Calaveras River home.

The river flows from headwaters near Calaveras Big Trees State Park to the San Joaquin River.

The guide’s cover features the well-known bald eagle, great blue heron, river otter and both steelhead and chinook salmon. Inside are more than 100 other critters, including the yellowfin goby, yellow-rumped warbler and Botta’s pocket gopher.

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