Trout fishing in Marin County is available primarily in reservoirs stocked by CDFW with catchable trout.
Streams and Rivers
- Walker Creek: Both steelhead and salmon are found in this stream, which is open to fishing only below Highway 1 and with limitations (see current regulations). Coho salmon are stocked by the Coho Recovery Program and cannot be targeted. Other streams in the county are generally closed to the public. There is public fishing access near the mouth, at Keys Creek along Highway One, south of the town of Tomales.
- Kent Lake Tributaries: This section of Lagunitas Creek, between Kent Lake and Alpine Lake, is only open to fishing between the end of April and middle of November. It offers trout fishing but is difficult to access. Anglers must walk down from Alpine Dam, where parking is limited.
Lakes and Reservoirs
- Alpine Lake: 224 acres. This lake is located about five miles west of Fairfax off Bolinas Road. No boats or wading are permitted.
- Bon Tempe Lake: 140 acres. This lake is located about three miles west of Fairfax off Bolinas Road and Sky Oaks Road. It is stocked with catchable trout between October and May. A parking fee is charged by the Marin Municipal Water District. No boats or wading permitted.
- Kent Lake: 460 acres. Kent Lake is located about two miles west of the town of Lagunitas off of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. There is very limited parking along Sir Francis Drake; from there you must walk in to the lake. No boats or wading permitted.
- Lagunitas Lake: 22 acres. Located at the end of Sky Oaks Road, about 1 mile beyond Bon Tempe Lake. The lake is stocked with catchable trout between October and May. It is managed as quality trout fishery with special regulations on gear, bait, bag and size limits. A parking fee is charged by the Marin Municipal water District. No boats or wading permitted.
- Nicasio Lake: 825 acres. Nicasio Lake is located about eleven miles west of Petaluma on the Petaluma-Pt. Reyes Road. There is easy access for shore anglers off both Petaluma-Pt. Reyes Road and Nicasio Valley Road. The lake provides good fishing for crappie and some largemouth bass. No boats or wading permitted.
- Phoenix Lake: 23 acres. Located in the town of Ross about one mile off Sir Francis Drake highway at the end of Lagunitas Road. Parking below the lake is available but limited, on a first come basis. A hiking trail runs around the lake, which provides good fishing for largemouth bass. No boats or wading permitted.
- Scottsdale Pond: 5 acres. Located at the corner of Rowland and Redwood Blvd right off Hwy 101, this small pond is stocked with catfish. There are no facilities available.
- Soulajule Reservoir: 63 acres. Soulajule Reservoir is located off the Marshall-Petaluma Road eleven miles west of Petaluma. The lake provides good fishing for crappie and some largemouth bass. A small No-Fee parking lot is available at the base of the dam. No boats or wading permitted.
- Stafford Lake: 245 acres. Stafford Lake is located about four miles west of Novato off Novato Boulevard at Stafford Lake County Park. The lake provides fair fishing for largemouth bass. A parking fee is charged. No boats are permitted.
- China Camp Pier: Located at China Camp State Park. Take north San Pedro off-ramp from Highway 101 near Marin County Civic Center and proceed east approximately four miles.
- East Fort Baker Pier: Located on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate Bridge. From Highway 101, take the Alexander Avenue exit, turn left on Danes Drive, then right on Bunker Road.
- Elephant Rock Pier: Located in Marin County. From Highway 101 take Tiburon exit and go west on State Highway 131 to the intersection of Paradise Drive and Mar West Street.
- McNear's Beach and Pier: Located outside of San Rafael. A vehicle fee is charged. From Highway 101 exit at Downtown San Rafael and travel east on 3rd Street.
- Paradise Pier: Marin County parks and Recreation. A vehicle entry fee is charged. From Highway 101 near Mill Valley take Tiburon off-ramp and proceed on Paradise Drive to the pier.
- Sausalito Pier: Take the Alexander Avenue exit from Highway 101 turn right on Second Street, then right on Richardson Street.
There are a number of streams and rivers in Sonoma County that support major steelhead and salmon runs; however, many of them lie within private lands and are not open to the general public. See regulations for closures and restrictions.
Streams and Rivers
- Russian River: The
Russian River is a Coho and Coastal Chinook salmon and steelhead
trout stream. The Coho salmon found in the Russian River are listed under
both the State and the Federal Endangered Species Acts. Coastal Chinook
salmon in the river are listed as Endangered under the Federal
Endangered Species Act. Steelhead
trout are listed as Threatened under the Federal Endangered Species
Act. Steelhead begin entering the river in small numbers with the first
heavy rains in the fall and increase to their peak run in January.
Steelhead trout can be found in the river through April. Only hatchery
reared and marked steelhead may be taken. When winter storms are frequent,
high flows and muddy water can make fishing challenging; it can take
several days after a storm for the water to clear enough to be fishable.
Access to the Russian River is generally good, with public access at
Jenner, Monte Rio, Guerneville, Forestville, Healdsburg, and Cloverdale.
In the spring, striped bass and American shad can also be taken in the
lower river with the shad sometimes going as far upstream as Healdsburg.
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crayfish, and other warmwater species
are found throughout much of the middle and lower reaches of the river and
may be taken in spring and summer. All fishing on the Russian
River is restricted to adequate flows between September 1 through April 30
of each year. Anglers should check the Department's Low-Flow Hotline at
(707) 944-5533 before going fishing on the Russian River.
- Gualala River: The
Gualala River has a healthy steelhead trout run. Steelhead are present
from late December - April. Steelhead fishing on the Gualala River is
primarily a catch and release fishery. Only the rare stray hatchery reared
and marked steelhead can be kept. Access to the area near the mouth is
available off Hwy 1 just north of the river, through Gualala Point
Regional Park on the south side of the river, off Old Stage Road
immediately south of the town of Gualala on the river's north side, and at
Valley Crossing on Annapolis Road about a 1 east of Hwy 1. Fishing on the
Gualala River is restricted to adequate flows between September 1 through
April 30 of each year. Anglers should check the Department's Low-Flow
Hotline at (707) 944-5533 before going fishing on the Gualala River.
- Salmon Creek: Salmon Creek supports a
small run of steelhead and a and even smaller run of Coho salmon, listed as
Endangered under both the State and the Federal Endangered Species Acts. Only
steelhead may be fished for on Salmon Creek. Steelhead fishing on Salmon Creek
is primarily a catch and release fishery. Only the rare stray hatchery reared
and marked fish steelhead can be kept. A small tidewater area is open to
steelhead angling on the west side of Highway 1 just two miles north of
Bodega Bay. Fishing on Salmon Creek is restricted to adequate flows
between September 1 through April 30 of each year. Anglers should check CDFW's
Low-Flow Hotline at (707) 944-5533 before going fishing on Salmon Creek.
Lakes and Reservoirs
- Lake Ralphine: 26 acres. It is located in Howarth Park adjacent to Summerfield Road in eastern Santa Rosa and contains largemouth bass and bluegill. This lake is also stocked in fall, winter, and spring with catchable trout.
- Spring Lake: 75 acres. Located in eastern Santa Rosa near the end of Montgomery Drive. It contains largemouth bass, bluegill, and redear sunfish.
- Lake Sonoma: 2,700 acres. Operated by the Corps of Engineers, it is located on Dry Creek approximately 14 miles northwest of Healdsburg. It provides angling for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and redear sunfish. A large amount of timber was left standing in the lake for fish habitat. Many isolated coves and narrow upper arms of the lake, with thick timber structure and lack of high-speed boaters, provide exceptional angling. This lake is not stocked with trout, but there is a native coastal rainbow trout population that resides in the lake and its tributaries. There are also catfish for night fishing. It has limited shore access so a boat is almost essential. There is a boat ramp near the dam off Dry Creek Road out of Healdsburg, and another, suitable only for car-toppers, at Yorty Creek at the end of Hot Springs Road out of Cloverdale.