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

Los Vaqueros Fishing Report
March 28, 2017

Trout fishing is good at Los Vaqueros. Catfish are picking up while stripers remain slow.

Our boat rental discount is now 30 percent off on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  A three to five hour 16-foot rental is $35 and a full day rental is $50.

During March, we’re open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., an hour later than during the winter. Boats are due back at 4 p.m. We’re open seven days a week. On April 1, summer hours begin and we’ll be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The reservoir is currently storing 143,000 acre-feet of water, 90 percent of capacity.  This is the most water ever stored at Los Vaqueros. The water level will remain unchanged during March, but pumping may resume in April.

The water temperature has increase to 62 degrees. Water clarity is improving, but remains murky. 

Don’t forget to purchase your April Trout Derby ticket for $5 at the North or South Kiosk or at the Marina.  You must have a ticket before you catch that trout.


Fishing for trout continues to be good even with the murky waters.  They are being caught in South Cove and Oak Point as well as Peninsula Cove.  The baits of choice for shore anglers is 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 plant on March 20th.  There will be another plant next week.  Light tackle is important for catching trout with 4-6 pound test being plenty.

Trout fishing is good  mostly in the morning, with fish being caught from around the reservoir.  With boats we are getting reports of fish being caught in Cox and Peninsula coves.  There is no need for line heavier than 6 lb test.

This weekend saw some nice trout come in from South Cove and past the Rock Wall.  From boats they were caught in Cowboy, Peninsula and Howden coves.  Most ranged in the 1½ to 2 pound range but there were a few 3+ pound fish.


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 has slowed due to the murkier waters from the rain.  Shakers are the main action with striped bass.  We are still seeing 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 productive last week with fish 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 remain 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.
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.

Victoria Ramirez of Bay Point landed this 16.5 pound strriper on May 30, 2016  and using anchovy in Penn Cove.
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.