Los Vaqueros Fishing Report

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

by Los Vaqueros Staff


Summer fishing is finishing up at Los Vaqueros with small striped bass very present along with trout and catfish.

For the first time in nearly two months, we stocked trout with 1,000 pounds from Lassen on Sept. 1. Weather conditions will determine if we will be able to plant again in the near future, but we’re expecting to plant again later this week.

The reservoir is currently storing 122,000 acre-feet of water, 76 percent of capacity. Pumping has resumed and will continue into September, so the water level will continue to rise. The water temperature remains at 69 degrees. Our water clarity is fair to good with the cooler weather and the winds breaking up much of the algae.

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.


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. There was a 1000 pound Lassen trout plant on September 1st. There will be a plant later this week. 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.


Most anglers were focused on stripers or trout although there still are many sightings of largemouth 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.


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 still seeing 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. 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).


Whopper Mug rules are: Trout now must be eight pounds to receive a mug, striped bass need to be at least 10 pounds and catfish is 12 pounds or more. Largemouth bass remains at 5 pound and must be released. ONLY a photo with a scale or a measuring tape showing the fish being at least 18” will count.

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