Los Vaqueros Fishing Report

Los Vaqueros Reservoir - Livermore, CA (Contra Costa County)


by Los Vaqueros Staff
8-23-2016
(925) 371-2628
Website

GENERAL CONDITIONS

Summer fishing is continuing with small striped bass very present; trout and catfish are still active with a few largemouth reported.

The reservoir is currently storing 115,900 acre-feet of water, 72 percent of capacity. Pumping has resumed and will continue through into September. The water temperature is 69 to 70 degrees. Our water clarity is fair to good with the cooler weather and the winds breaking up much of the algae.

We’ve planted quite a few fish lately. Warm water temps have prevented us from planting trout since July 13. But on Aug. 18 we did plant 6,000 three-to-four inch largemouth bass; 2,000 fingerling bluegill and 2,000 fingerling redeared sunfish. On Aug. 11, we planted 1,000 catfish and expect to plant some more this week. Despite the warmer weather, we’re still seeing anglers catching trout, especially in the morning. We’ve planted 27,500 pounds of trout this year.

The windy weather pattern is settling down, but we still see plenty of windy days. If you are looking to rent a boat, it is a good idea to call ahead at (925) 371-2628, check current conditions, or look at a forecast for the Livermore-area that is pretty close to our weather.

We’re seeing rattlesnakes regularly, so be sure to check your surroundings.

Our new fall activity schedule is now available, and we have quite a few fishing-related activities, including a month-long striper tournament in October, and night fishing on Friday nights in November. Take a look at our schedule through the rest of 2016. Our popular free fishing clinic is set for Saturday, Sept. 3 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Interpretive Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Our summer hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. with boats due in by 6 p.m. In September, our hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and boats due in by 5 p.m. We will be open Labor Day with our regular September hours.

TROUT

Fishing for trout continues to be good, even with the increased water temperature. They are being caught in South Cove and Oak Point as well as Peninsula Cove. The baits of choice for shore anglers are garlic scented PowerBaits, nightcrawlers or Kastmaster lures. Trout average a pound and a half but range to over 5 lbs. Due to warm weather, our last trout plant was July 13th. We hope to plant in the coming weeks. Light tackle is important for catching trout with 4-6 pound test being plenty. Trout fishing is still decent, especially in the morning, with limits being caught from around the reservoir and a number of 2’s and 3’s showing up.

With boats, we are getting reports of fish being caught in Howden and Peninsula coves. From the shore, the most popular bait has been by garlic scented PowerBaits followed by nightcrawlers and Kastmaster lures. There is no need for line heavier than 6 lb test. Fish are still coming out of South Cove and from past the Rock Wall.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

Most anglers were focused on stripers or trout although there still are many sightings near the boat dock and adjacent fishing pier and along the Rock Wall. We planted 6000 3-4 inch bass on August 18th. Senkos have been seen catching some nice fish in that area. Keep in mind that largemouth need to be 12 inches to be kept. Please release any big largemouth bass you might catch. They are the future of largemouth bass fishing in the reservoir. If you catch any of undersized fish please release them gently and allow them to grow up.

STRIPERS

Shakers continue to be the main action with striped bass. We are still seeing many undersized fish caught for every keeper. The fishing pier by the Marina has been particularly good. From shore, cut anchovies or shad is the bait of choice. Just a reminder, stripers need to be 18 inches or more to be legal. We are starting to see more dead undersized stripers around the dock as anglers are being careless with how they release the undersize fish. Please release the small fish as quickly and carefully as possible. They are the future of our striped bass fishery.

CATFISH

Catfish are hit or miss with fish being reported out of Cowboy and South Coves. As the water warms we look to see more fish being caught. There was a 1000 plant of catfish on August 11th from Lassen. We will be planting catfish this week. For those wishing to target catfish, nightcrawlers and chicken liver are the best choices of bait. We encourage and appreciate the release of any monster catfish (15 lbs plus).

Frozen Bait Now Available At North Entrance Gate on Weekends

We now have frozen bait available for purchase at the North Entrance gate (near Brentwood) on the weekends. We have anchovies, chicken liver and shad. You can only buy the frozen bait at the gate, not the watershed office.

Get Your 2016 Fishing License at the Marina

Get one thing out of the way now and buy your 2016 California Fishing License now at the Los Vaqueros Marina. There is no price increase this year. The license is valid starting Jan. 1, 2016.

Los Vaqueros, A Popular, Beautiful, Fishing Destination

Los Vaqueros is not only the largest reservoir in the Bay Area, but has also become a popular fishing destination.

Trout, stripers and catfish are commonly targeted. With the expansion of the reservoir in 2012, habitat for largemouth bass have been added and that fishery is expected to soon begin to produce exciting opportunities for largemouth anglers.

The beautiful Los Vaqueros Marina on the reservoir's south side near Livermore offers fishing licenses, bait, snacks and electric boat rentals.

On the north side of the reservoir near Brentwood, there are no services available, but anglers can park at the John Muir Interpretive Center and take a steep hike about a half-mile to fishing areas near the dam and in Peninsula Cove.

Here is a map of the reservoir.

There are three fishing piers along the shore of the reservoir. The pier near the Marina is ADA-accessible.

The Marina and the south entrance to the watershed is accessible from Vasco Road at the Alameda-Contra Costa County line near Livermore. The lake has been stocked with game fish including rainbow trout, salmon, catfish and largemouth black bass. The reservoir is available for day use only.

A California State Fishing License and a CCWD Daily Fishing Access Pass Permit ($5) are required for fishing. There is a $6 parking fee to enter Los Vaqueros.


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