California Department of Fish and Wildlife

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

Alameda County

Streams and Rivers

  • Alameda Creek: Portions of the stream have warmwater fish. This creek and many of its tributaries are off limits to fishing due to steelhead restoration project.  A section of Arroyo Del Valle adjacent to Shadow Cliffs Lake is currently open to catch and release with barbless hooks only for all species.  Crayfish can also be found in sections of this drainage.

Lakes and Reservoirs

The East Bay Regional Park District administers the recreational programs and facilities at most of the lakes and reservoirs open to public fishing in Alameda County. Contact EBRPD at (510) 562-PARK or www.ebparks.org.

In addition to a State fishing license, a District Fishing Access Permit is required for all anglers 16 years of age and older. A Fishing Access Permit is required at the following District waters: Lake Chabot, Contra Loma, Del Valle, Don Castro, Shadow Cliffs, Temescal, Horseshow and Rainbow Lakes (Quarry Lakes Regional Park). A single permit is good at all of these waters. Fishing Access Permits are available at the individual park headquarters and/or concession stands. Parking fees are also charged at some lakes.

Private boats are allowed only at Contra Loma, Shadow Cliffs, Horseshoe, and Del Valle. Launch fees are charged.

  • Arroyo del Valle Reservoir: 1,060 acres. Located about five miles south of Livermore, this reservoir is part of the south Bay Aqueduct complex. Del Valle has a large number of warmwater gamefish species including: largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, redeared and green sunfish, black crappie and striped bass. It is stocked with Chinook salmon and Kokanee salmon by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and is stocked with catchable rainbow trout by the Park District. The District also stocks catfish during the summer. Boat rentals are available and private power boats may be launched.
  • Calaveras Reservoir: 1,450 acres. Located five miles east of Milpitas, the San Francisco Water Department operates it as a domestic water supply and it is closed to the public.
  • Lake Chabot: 315 acres. This reservoir is about one mile east of San Leandro and is operated by the East Bay Regional Park District. It supports a warmwater fishery comprised primarily of largemouth bass and is stocked with catchable trout, both by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and by the District. The District stocks channel catfish during the summer. Carry-in boats are allowed subject to inspection. Rental electric boats are available at the marina.
  • Don Castro Reservoir: 23 acres. This reservoir is located about two and one-half miles north of Hayward via Second Street. It is populated by warmwater species including largemouth bass, black crappie, warmouth, and bluegill. It is stocked with channel catfish and  catchable trout by the Department and District. No boating allowed.
  • Lake Elizabeth: 63 acres. Located in Fremont's Central Park, this reservoir has a warmwater fishery for largemouth bass and sunfish. It receives periodic stocking of trout and catfish through the Fishing in the City Program and the City of Fremont. No fishing or parking fees are charged.
  • Lake Merritt and Channel: 140 acres. A large multiple use estuarine lake in the very heart of Oakland. This quintessential urban lake is completely surrounded by an urban area with large numbers of waterfowl using the area for refuge. The park has many amenities and easy access is afforded along the shoreline for most of the lake and channel. The channel supports striped bass, sharks, rays, anchovies and top smelt.
  • Lakeshore Park: This small lake is a residential neighborhood of Newark. It is stocked with trout and catfish, and offers warmwater fishing. There is easy access along the shoreline, but be warned, there are no restroom facilities.
  • San Antonio Reservoir: 825 acres. This reservoir, located two and one-half miles east of Sunol, is operated as a domestic water supply by the San Francisco Water Department and is closed to the public.
  • Shadow Cliff Reservoir: 143 acres. This lake is located two miles west of Pleasanton and is managed by the East Bay Regional Park District. This former quarry pit supports a trophy largemouth bass population and is stocked by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the District with catchable trout in cooler months. The lake waters are almost always clear following rain events. . Catfish are stocked by the District during the summer months. Boat rentals are available during the summer or you can use your own boat. No power boats can be used.
  • Quarry Lakes Regional Park includes Horseshoe and Rainbow Lakes. Horseshoe Lake supports a warmwater fishery dominated primarily by largemouth and smallmouth bass.  The lake receives catchable rainbow trout by the East Bay Regional Park District on a weekly basis during the cooler months and occasional plants during the summer.  Channel catfish are planted on a weekly basis by the District during the summer.  Rainbow Lake is adjacent to Horseshoe and is connected hydraulically.  Some rainbow trout and catfish can be caught there but the majority of the fishing revolves around black bass.
  • Shinn Pond: 23 acres. This is a gravel quarry pit near the community of Niles. This pond provides angling for striped and largemouth bass, crappie, and other warmwater fish species. No East Bay Regional Park District Fishing Access Permit is required at Shinn.
  • Lake Temescal: This 10 acre reservoir in northeast Oakland is managed by the East Bay Regional Park District. It has a population of warmwater game fishes including largemouth bass, bluegill and sunfish. It is stocked with catchable trout and catfish in the summer. No boating allowed.

Piers

  • Berkeley Fishing Pier: City of Berkeley. Highway 80 to University Avenue off-ramp, follow the signs to the Berkeley Marina. The pier is at the foot of University Avenue, just past the bait shop and Marina.
  • Fruitvale Bridge Park: City of Oakland. Take SR 17 to the High Street exit. From High Street turn onto Alameda Avenue and travel west to the intersection with Fruitvale Avenue. The pier is on the southeast shore of the Oakland Estuary next to the Fruitvale Bridge.
  • Bay Park Refuge: Located south of Alameda Island and due west of the Oakland Coliseum. From Highway 17, west on Hegenberger Road to Edgewater Drive. Entrance is at end of Edgewater Drive.
  • Middle Harbor Park: City of Oakland. Take SR 17 to Oakland. If traveling south, take the Cypress Street exit and follow it west to the intersection with Seventh Street. Turn left and continue south to the intersection of Adeline Street. Turn right onto Adeline and continue west. Adeline turns into Middle Harbor Road. Continue on Middle Harbor Road to the intersection with Ferro Street, near the Middle Harbor Terminal. Turn left onto Ferro Street and follow it around the terminal on the Oakland Estuary. If traveling north, take the Oak Street exit, turn right onto Oak Street, travel one block east, and turn left onto Seventh Street and travel north to the intersection of Adeline Street. Proceed on Adeline as above.
  • Portview Park: City of Oakland. Take SR 17 to Oakland. If traveling south, take the Cypress Street exit and follow it south to Seventh Street. Turn right onto Seventh and follow it to its end at the Seventh Street Marin Terminal. The park and circular pier are just south of the terminal near the Oakland Estuary entrance. If traveling north, take the Cypress/Eighth Streets exit, turn left from Eighth Street onto Cypress and travel one block west. Turn right onto Seventh Street and proceed as above.
  • Estuary Park Pier: Take Jackson Street exit in Oakland from Highway 17, go south on Jackson, turn left on Embarcadero, then four blocks to the park.
  • San Leandro Fishing Pier: Take SR 17 to the Marina Blvd. exit in San Leandro. Travel west on Marina to an intersection with Neptune Drive. Turn left onto San Leandro Marina and Marina. The pier is on South Dike Road in the Marina.
  • Emeryville Fishing Pier: City of Emeryville. Take the Powell Street exit from Highway 80 to Emeryville. Travel west on Powell Street to its end in the Emeryville Marina. The pier is at the foot of Powell Street.
  • Old Dumbarton Bridge Pier: Take Highway 84 west from Newark to the bay.

Contra Costa County

Streams and Rivers

The Central Valley Delta areas are fishable for many species of anadromous fish and warmwater fish, including striped bass and largemouth bass, are present. Crayfish are also found in abundance in many area of the Delta.  Walnut Creek has a run of Chinook Salmon in the fall.

Lakes and Reservoirs

The East Bay Regional Park District (www.ebparks.org) administers the recreational programs and facilities at two lakes in this county and the East Bay Municipal Water District (www.ebmud.com). Free walk-in access is permitted for the purpose of fishing. However, all anglers 16 years or older are required to have a District Fishing Access Permit in addition to a California fishing license. A daily permit is required.. An annual permit for people 62 and older is available. They are good at any of the District lakes. A parking fee may also be charged.

  • Lake Anza: 11 acres. Located in Tilden Regional Park, East Bay Regional Park District administers this reservoir. It has warmwater fish, including largemouth bass and green sunfish.  An East Bay Regional Park District fishing access permit is not required here.
  • Contra Loma Reservoir: 81 acres. Located about two miles south of Antioch, it is co- managed by the East Bay Regional Park District and the Contra Costa Water District.. It hosts warmwater fish including a trophy largemouth bass fishery and some striped bass.  The reservoir also hosts bluegill, black crappie and red-eared sunfish. The District plants channel catfish in the summer. The Department and District plant catchable rainbow trout during the winter and spring months. No power boats may be used. Electric motor boats are available.  Boats are subject to inspection for invasive species before launching
  • Lafayette Reservoir: 53 acres. Located between Orinda and Lafayette, East Bay Municipal Utilities District manages it. (925) 284- 9669. It has largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. It is stocked with rainbow trout and channel catfish by the Department and EBMUD during the fall, winter, and spring seasons.  Rental boats are available.
  • San Pablo Reservoir: 854 acres. This reservoir is about four miles northwest of Orinda and is administered by the East Bay Municipal Utilities District, (510) 223-1661. It has a population of warmwater fish including spotted and largemouth bass, sunfish and bluegill. It is stocked with catchable trout by both the Department and the District. The District also plants channel catfish.
  • Los Vaqueros Reservoir: 1,400 acres. The Los Vaqueros Reservoir is an off-stream storage reservoir located in southeastern Contra Costa County.  It is owned and operated by the Contra Costa Water District.  It has a population of striped bass, largemouth bass and sunfish and is stocked with Chinook salmon and catchable rainbow trout by the Department.   There is a parking fee to enter Los Vaqueros.

Piers

  • Antioch: Take Highway 4 eastbound to Antioch Bridge. Take the Wilbur Avenue off-ramp just before the toll plaza. Follow the frontage road to the pier which is just to the right of the bridge. A valid fishing license is required.  Striped bass and largemouth bass are the main target.
  • Martinez Fishing Pier: Martinez Marina; take Highway 4 to Alhambra Avenue off-ramp. Travel through Martinez to the end of Ferry Street. Follow signs to the parking area and pier of Martinez Regional Shoreline Park.
  • Eckley Pier is located near Port Costa.  Anglers fish for striped bass, sturgeon, and largemouth bass.
  • Pittsburg: Take Highway 4 to Railroad Avenue. Head north until you reach the City Marina. Turn right on Bayside then left at Access Road. Follow the road to the parking area. A valid fishing license is required.
  • Point Pinole: East Bay Regional Park District. From Interstate 80 take the Hilltop exit in Richmond. Proceed west on Hilltop to the intersection with San Pablo Avenue. Turn right onto San Pablo Avenue and proceed north to the intersection with Atlas Road. Turn left onto Atlas. Take the park shuttle bus or enjoy the hike out to the pier. Check with the Park District for parking regulations, fees, and hours.  Fish for stripers, sturgeon and white croakers.
  • Red Rock Marina Pier: From Highway 17, take Point Molate exit near the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza. North of the freeway are three forks in the road. Take the left fork to the Marina.
  • Ferry Point is located in Miller Knox Regional Park in Pt. Richmond.  The fishing pier is a short hike from the parking lot for anglers fishing for sharks and rays.

Santa Clara County

Streams and Rivers

  • Pajaro River system (Uvas and Llagas Creeks) This system supports a small steelhead run which is dependent on the rainfall pattern. Portions of the upper river provide angling for warmwater species and crayfish.

The only other stream of any consequence is Coyote River. Releases from Anderson Reservoir provide a small steelhead fishery. Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department, in cooperation with other agencies, is developing public access, parking, and picnic facilities along this stream. Several small streams in the Mount Hamilton range and the Santa Cruz Mountains provide minor trout fisheries.

Lakes and Reservoirs

Most lakes and reservoirs are managed by the Santa Clara County Parks Department which periodically provides supplemental plants of rainbow trout and catfish in some of the listed waters.

Please contact County Parks at www.parkhere.org or 408-355-2200 (press 0 for operator) for information on boating locations, restrictions and inspection requirements.

  • Almaden Reservoir: 62 acres. This reservoir, located in the coastal foothills south of San Jose, is posted by Santa Clara County Department of Public Health to warn anglers of mercury contamination in fish.
  • Anderson Reservoir: 980 acres. Located about three miles east of Morgan Hill, it has a good population of warmwater fishes, including black bass, crappie, and catfish. Water skiers prefer this lake and all vessels are subject to inspection for invasive species. Call (408) 356-2729 for information.
  • Calaveras Reservoir: 1,450 acres. Closed to angling. (See Calaveras Reservoir, Alameda County). Campbell Percolation Pond: 5 acres. Located adjacent to State Hwy 17 near Camden Avenue, Campbell. Populated with warmwater fishes, and the Department also stocks it with catchable rainbow trout in winter and spring when water conditions are favorable.
  • Chesbro Reservoir: 300 acres. Located about three miles west of Morgan Hill, this reservoir contains a population of warmwater fish. Some larger than average crappie are taken in the early spring.
  • Calero Reservoir: 333 acres. Located about four miles southwest of the town of Coyote, it is posted by Santa Clara County Department of Public Health to warn anglers of mercury contamination in fish. It is a favored water skiing lake.
  • Cunningham Lake: approx. 50 acres. Located at Tully Road and Capital Expressway in San Jose. (Next to “Raging Waters” water slide.) Stocked with catchable trout during winter and spring months. Catfish are planted during the warmer months. Also provides fishing for largemouth bass and catfish. This lake is managed by the City of San Jose Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Cottonwood Lake: 8 acres. Located in Hellyer County Park in southeast San Jose, this small lake has a warmwater fishery.
  • Coyote Reservoir: 688 acres. About five miles northeast of Gilroy, this reservoir has a good warm water fishery with trophy size black bass, European Carp, bluegill, and black crappie. Water skiers prefer this lake and all vessels are subject to inspection for invasive species. Call (408) 356-2729 for information.
  • Grant Lake: Located a few miles from Downtown San Jose on Hwy 130, this series of ponds offers warmwater fishing.
  • Guadalupe Reservoir: 75 acres. Located southeast of the City of Los Gatos, and is posted by Santa Clara County Department of Public Health to warn anglers of mercury contamination in fish.
  • Lexington Reservoir: 450 acres. Located about two miles south of Los Gatos on Highway 17 this reservoir is populated with warmwater fish. Open to non-power boats, non-gasoline powered boats from April 15th to October 14th , weekends and holidays from October 15 to April 14th, all vessels subject to invasive mussel inspections (call 408 356-2729)
  • Sandy Wool Lake: (Ed Levin County Park), 14 acres. Located about 3 miles east of Milpitas, this small reservoir has a population of warmwater fish. The Department stocks it winter and spring with catchable trout and catfish.
  • Spring Valley Pond: (Ed Levin County Park) 2 acres. This small pond is designated for children only (ages 5-12) by the Santa Clara County Parks Department. It is stocked with rainbow trout.
  • Stevens Creek Reservoir: 95 acres. About two miles south of Monte Vista, this reservoir contains warmwater game fish. All vessels subject to invasive mussel inspections (call 408 356-2729)
  • Uvas Reservoir: 300 acres. Located about five miles west of San Martin, this reservoir contains bass, bluegill, and crappie.
  • Vasona Lake: 40 acres. This shallow impoundment at Los Gatos has a warmwater fishery. No power boats are allowed. Los Gatos Recreation concession rentals available seasonally. Call 408 399-5260 for updated seasonal information from the boat center.