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.  

ATTENTION ANGLERS!  2/23/17 Both pontoon boats at Los Vaqueros Reservoir were damaged by extremely high winds and are temporarily out of service.  They are being repaired, so no pontoon boats are available for rental. The 16-foot boats were undamaged and available. 

Fishing Trail Near Dam Closed Due To Slide

3/20/17 A slide has closed a fishing trail near the dam. The dam-area fishing steps remain open to anglers, but the slide has closed a nearby trail that included access to the shore. We'll announce when the fishing trail is reopened.See a map of the closed trail

April 25, 2017


Our month-long Los Vaqueros Trout Derby concludes Sunday, April 30, which is also Family Fishing Day at the Marina.

After being steady the last two weeks, the standings were turned upside down this past week. Gary Wong is now leading with a 7.59 pound catch caught on a lure in the South Cove Last week’s leader, Kevin Sandoval, is now in third.

Prizes are awarded to the top three catches during the month. To enter, purchase a ticket for $5 at the Marina, North or South kiosks. The ticket is good for the entire month. You need to purchase your ticket before you start fishing.

Here are the top three as of April 25:
7.59 pounds  Gary Wong
6.95 pounds  Paul Vigil
6.64 pounds  Kevin Sandoval

We stocked 2,000 pounds of trout on April 20, our largest single plant this year. So far, we've planted 11,500 pounds of trout in the reservoir. 

We’ll have clinics and other activities at the Marina as part of Family Fishing Day.
Trout fishing is good at Los Vaqueros. Catfish were productive last week while stripers remain slow. Our water clarity has improved to good. Water temperature remains at 64 degrees. 

We’re open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. with boats due back at 6 p.m.

If you are looking to rent a boat, it is a good idea to call ahead to check current wind conditions at (925) 371-2628 or check online here for weather conditions updated hourly. We still do not have any pontoon boats available.

The reservoir is storing nearly 150,000 acre-feet of water, 94 percent of its 160,000 acre-foot capacity. This is the most water ever stored at Los Vaqueros. Pumping is underway and will continue through May.


Fishing for trout continues to be good.  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 PowerBait, nightcrawlers or Kastmaster lures.  Trout average a pound and a half but range to over 5 lbs. There was a 2000 pound Lassen plant on April 20th.  We will be planting again next week.  Light tackle is important for catching trout with 4-6 pound test being plenty.  

 With boats,  we are getting reports of fish being caught in Cox and Peninsula coves. Trolling for trout has picked up.  Rapalas in Fire Tiger, trout and silver patterns.   There is no need for line heavier than 6 lb test. Kastmasters from shore are doing well. 

This week saw our current derby leader caught, a 7.59 pound trout in South Cove on a lure.  South Cove also gave us a 6.52 pounder on a Kastmaster as well as 5.78 and 5.58 pound trout using a PowerBait/nightcrawler combo.  A 6.95 pound fish was caught on PowerBait.


Most anglers were focused on stripers or trout.  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. 


Striper fishing remains slow. Shakers are the main action with striped bass.  We are still seeing many undersized fish being caught for every keeper.  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.  Please release the small fish as quickly and carefully as possible.  They are the future of our striped bass fishery.


Catfish were still productive last week with fish still being reported out of Cowboy and South Coves.  As the water warms we look to see more fish being caught.  For those wishing to target catfish, chicken liver and anchovies are the best choices of bait. 


Whopper Mug rules are: Trout now must be 8 pounds to receive a mug, Striped Bass need to be at least 10 pounds and Catfish is at 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 watershed. 

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. Here are Directions. 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.
Sean Roberts of Concord caught a limit of trout near Cox Cove on March 17, 2017 (unknown bait).
Big Fish
Chansada Soresing of Tracy caught this 18.96 pound catfish on Jan. 20, 2017 Using anchovies at the Marina Pier.
Fish 112816
David Martinez, Gabriel Martinez and Bobby Tilney of San Jose fished LV's North Side with pink Mice Tails and white Power Eggs with great results on November 28.  North Side fishing involves a long and steep walk, but has great rewards.  
DERBY WINNER!  Erik Patzner of Dublin' caught this 21.23 pounder with a swimbait Oct. 25 to handily win the October Striper Derby. He returned the fish to reservoir.  
Yi Ren of Tracy landed this nice 15.1 pound catfish on Sept. 23, 2016 using an anchovy near the Marina. 

Dave Togami of San Jose landed this 10.99 lb. trout on Sept. 5, 2016 using a jig while fishing in the South Cove.