California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Fishing in the City
San Francisco Bay Area - Go Fish!

Marin County

Trout fishing in Marin County is available primarily in reservoirs stocked by the Department with catchable trout.

Streams and Rivers

  • Novato Creek: Access is available at O'Hair Park located on Sutro Ave just west of the intersection of Novato Blvd.
  • 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 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 no wading are 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 no wading are 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 are 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 are 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 are 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. No parking fee at a small lot at the base of the dam. No boats or wading are 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.
  • Upper Rodeo Lagoon: 4 acres. This freshwater lagoon, located on the Fort Cronkite Military Reservation near Sausalito, is open to the public.
  • Lower Rodeo Lagoon: This saltwater lagoon is also located on Fort Cronkite, across the road from the Upper Lagoon. Winter storms periodically break open the sand bar at the mouth and allow several species of ocean fish to enter. Species often found in this lagoon include striped bass, starry flounder, surf perch, and smelt.


  • 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.

Sonoma County

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 is a major steelhead stream with some endangered coho and chinook salmon. Steelhead begin entering the river with the first heavy rains in the fall and can be found throughout the river through March. When winter storms are frequent, high muddy water can make fishing difficult; it can take several days after a storm for the water to clear enough to be fishable. Access to the 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 be taken in the lower river with the shad going as far upstream as Healdsburg. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crayfish, and other warmwater species are found throughout much of the river and may be taken in spring and summer.
  • Gualala River: The Gualala has a good steelhead run, and some endangered coho salmon. The coho enter the river with the first rains of the season. Steelhead are present from late December - March. 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.
  • Salmon Creek: Salmon Creek supports a small run of steelhead and a few endangered coho salmon. A small tidewater area is open to angling on the east side of Highway 1 just two miles north of Bodega Bay.

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. It is 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. It 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 at Yorty Creek, suitable only for car-toppers, at the end of Hot Springs Road out of Cloverdale.