Los Vaqueros Fishing Report

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

Channel Catfish
7-11-16: Paul Moreno from San Jose – 8.44 lb. Catfish using anchovy in East Cove.
Photo Credit: Los Vaqueros Reservoir

by Los Vaqueros Staff
(925) 371-2628


Summer fishing is continuing with small striped bass very present and with trout and catfish still active.

The reservoir is currently storing 114,500 acre feet of water, 72 percent of capacity. Pumping has resumed and will continue through the end of the month. The water temperature is around 70 degrees.

We will be planting 6,000 three to four -inch largemouth bass this week. While warm water temperatures are preventing us from stocking trout, we did plant 1,000 pounds of catfish on July 28 and another 1,000 pounds on Aug. 11.

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. We will be open Labor Day with our regular September hours.


Fishing for trout continues to be good even with the increasing 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. The last trout plant was 1,000 pounds on July 13th. Light tackle is important for catching trout with 4-6 pound test being plenty. Trout fishing is still decent, especially early 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.


Most anglers were focused on stripers or trout although there still are many largemouth sightings near the boat dock and adjacent fishing pier and along the Rock Wall. 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. We will be planting 6000 3-4 inch largemouth bass this week. In a year or two we will have some nice, catchable fish.


Shakers continue to be the main action with striped bass. We are still seeing many undersized fish being 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 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 pound plant of catfish on Aug. 11 from Lassen. For those wishing to target catfish, nightcrawlers and chicken liver are the best bait choices. 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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