Fernando Gonzalez of San Lorenzo caught his record-setting 16.42 pound trout with a gold Kastmaster in South Cove on Jan. 24, 2015.  It's the last record set at the reservoir, and beat the previous mark by .27 pounds.  


September 13, 2016


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.

They won’t harm you, but we are also seeing tarantulas.

The John Muir Interpretive Center near the dam is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Our September hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with boats due in by 5 p.m. In October, we’ll be open from 7a.m. to 5 p.m.

In October, we’ll have our month-long Striper Fishing Derby. In November, we’ll have night fishing on Friday nights. 


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.

Frozen Bait Available At North Entrance Gate on Weekends

We 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.

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.

Additional Information

Please call the Marina at 925-371-2628 for more information.
Victoria Ramirez of Bay Point landed this 16.5 pound strriper on May 30, 2016  and using anchovy in Penn Cove.

Trout Derby Winners

Pat Parra of Campbell won the April Los Vaqueros Trout Derby with this 12.19 Pound catch, caught in the South Cove with a Kastmaster.  He won a Piranha Fish Finder. 

 Second place in the April trout derby is Dave Togmi of San Jose, who landed this fat 10.61 pound trout on a Crappie JIg.  He won a  Fenwick rod and Okuma reel.  

Third went to Viet Phan of San Jose is in the April LV Derby with a 9.55 pound catch from Cowboy Cove using PowerBait. 
Kevin Tobeck from Tracy caught this limit of rainbows while fishing from the North Side of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir on April 19, 2016.  To get there is a bit of a walk.  Park at the Interpretive Center, and then walk over the dam.  There's a variety of fishing habitat, and not much of a crowd.  
This 8 pound largemouth was caught on the
 northside of the reservoir on March 26, 2016
 with nightcrawlers. 
Jan. 10, 2016 brought this rare double rainbow over the water at Los Vaqueros Reservoir.  Matt De la Madrid of the LVRC staff took this great shot from the docks at the Marina.