The Sacramento river is the main highway for all fish travelling north to spawn. it stretches 390+ miles from Rio Vista to Lake Shasta. The Sacramento is by far the largest watershed in California. This river has everything a watershed needs to support these fish returning each year. It is considered the most beatiful in the spring and summer months for it’s wildlife and scenery. Many Chinook salmon return each year in massive numbers to spawn and die. Striped bass, Steelhead Sturgeon, and Shad also travel here to spawn in specific sections of this river. Many other animals and birds can be seen on the banks of the Sacramento river. Blacktail deer, Turkeys, Raccoons, Beavers, Otters, Peacocks, Bald eagles, and Osprey to name a few. Bring a camera to capture some of these beautiful animals in their natural habitat. There are 20+ launch ramps to access this river for fishing and hunting. Whether your coming to catch a Striper or hunt geese on the river, it will be a memory of a lifetime.
The Feather River is the largest tributary of the Sacramento River. The mouth starts in Verona flowing from Lake Oroville some 60+ miles north. This river offers a all types of fishing environments. The lower section has sandy bottoms and many shallow channels, and the upper portion has deep holes and massive rocks. The average depths range from 2 to 35 feet. The Yuba River flows into the Feather in Marysville, CA. There are 5 main launch ramps used regularly to access this wonderful river. River levels adjust to the outflow of Lake Oroville which affects the fishing. Striped Bass return each year in the spring to spawn and some big resident fish live year year round. Salmon return to their spawning grounds each year from May-Dec to lay their eggs and die. Sturgeon come to spawn in Dec-March each year also. Shad come to spawn from May-July each year also. Many animals can be seen in their natural habitat on this river.
The Yuba River flows from the eastern mountains into the foothills into Lake Englebright. From there it flows into the Feather river. One of the best jet boat rides anyone can ever experience. Only experienced boaters will even take their vessel all the way to the dam. Average depth is 1.5-2 feet.
The American river has three main forks—the South, Middle and North—flow through the Sierra foothills and converge east of Sacramento into Folsom lake. Most everyone fishes the Lower American which flows from Folsom Dam to Sacramento flowing into the Sacramento river. The American River watershed offers fishermen a wide range of experiences. Stripers, Salmon, Steelhead, and Shad are the most sought after.
The California Delta is located roughly between Sacramento on the north and Stockton on the south and encompasses about 1,000 miles of waterways. The main contributing rivers are the Sacramento River, coming in from the north, and the San Joaquin River, coming in from the south. Other rivers feeding into the two major rivers include the American River, the Mokelumne River, the Cosumnes River and the Calaveras River. Before these rivers empty into the Pacific Ocean through the San Francisco Bay, they pass through some of the best boating waterways in the country. The California Delta is a labyrinth of sloughs with names like Potato Slough, Whites Slough, Snodgrass Slough, Lost Slough, Georgiana Slough, Steamboat Slough, and many, many more. As one explores these watery avenues, vistas of vine-covered trees, blackberry brambles, and tule grasses appear at almost every turn. There is abundant wildlife, including the great blue heron, egrets, ducks, geese, and, of course, fish. The California Delta truly is a boater’s and fisherman’s paradise.
Lake Oroville, California’s second largest reservoir is full of many species of fish, as well as being a peaceful haven to relax and watch the sunset. Lake Oroville is regularly stocked by the California Department of Fish and Game with coho salmon from the nearby Feather River Fish Hatchery. The Hatchery, when in season, offers a close-up view of salmon, and signs provide self-guided tours for visitors. The lake’s diverse fishery provides anglers with a variety of catches such as spotted bass, largemouth bass,smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, rainbow trout, German brown trout, Coho salmon, bluegill,and green sunfish. The lake water flows and regulates the Feather river.
Shasta Lake is one of the largest lakes in the western United States with 365 miles of shoreline when full. It is the largest in CA. The lake depends on snowmelt each spring to refill the lake. The lake is the primary source of water flowing into the Sacramento river north of Redding, CA about 10 miles. There are 5 rivers that flow into Shasta. The Sacramento, McCloud, Squaw, Pit are the four main rivers. There are 5 main arms of the lake where many species can be caught. The main species fished for are King Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, all three species of bass, catfish and sunfish. There are even sturgeon in Shasta. The spring months are some of the best fishing before the summer hits with all the boat traffic and houseboaters.
Collins Lake is a 1600 acre lake and recreation area with 12 miles of shoreline, nestled in the beautiful California gold country foothills just over an hour North East of Sacramento between Marysville and Grass Valley. More than 50,000 trout are planted every spring, which means Collins Lake has the largest private planting program North of Sacramento. Thousands of these trout are trophy sized, planted at 3 to 8 pounds and growing even larger. Bass and Catfish are also targeted on a regular basis from local anglers. They have many camgrounds and RV facilities also.
Stampede Reservoir is located on the Little Truckee River immediately below the mouth of Davies Creek and approximately 8 miles above the confluence of the Little Truckee and Truckee Rivers. This reservoir is open year-round (frozen during winter). A surface area of approximately 3,340 acres at full reservoir storage with 25 miles of shoreline. Fishing season is year-round, with ice fishing during the winter. Available species include kokanee salmon, rainbow, brook, brown and lake (mackinaw) trout. A California Department of Fish and Game target fishery for hatchery catchables.
Bullards Bar Reservoir is at an elevation of 2,000 feet in the Tahoe and Plumas National Forests surrounded by rugged countryside. This lake has 4,700 surface acres and over 56 miles of shoreline. The area is heavily wooded so all campsites are shaded by trees. All boating is allowed including water-skiing. Fishing is open year around for both warm and cold water fish. The Kokanee Salmon is a favorite here for fishermen. Spotted bass fishing has picked up here also in the past 4 years.
Folsom Reservoir was created by Folsom Dam across the American River. The dam is a feature of the Central Valley Project. Folsom Lake offers 75 miles of shoreline. Facilities include 3 public campgrounds, 2 with showers, 60 miles of equestrian trails, 10 miles of paved bicycle trails, 8 miles of advanced mountain bike trails, and excellent year-round bank or boat fishing. Several launch ramps provide continuous boat launching access throughout the lake fluctuation zone. At capacity, Good fishing for both cold- and warm-water species including rainbow trout, brown trout, black bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill.
Located east of Napa Valley, Lake Berryessa offers year-round fishing. Berryessa’s water reaches temperatures of up to 75 degrees in the summer and 45 degress in the winter. Anglers enjoy fishing for both cold and warm water species, such as rainbow trout, bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill. At capacity, Lake Berryessa stores 1.6 million acre feet of water and is one of the largest bodies of fresh water in California. The lake is 26 miles long by 3 miles wide, with 165 miles of shoreline. Reclamation and the California Department of Fish and Game jointly manage a 2,000 acre wildlife area along the east side of the lake. The Monticello Dam area at the southeast corner of the lake is one of the best local birding areas. The best time to visit for the best birding opportunities is in the early spring and late fall during migration and nesting seasons. The grassy hills dotted with oak and manzanita provide excellent opportunities to view eagles, hawks, songbirds, wild turkeys, and deer. Shoreline viewing opportunities may include canada geese, pelicans, great blue herons, western grebes, wood ducks, snow geese, and common loons.