PLEASE NOTE: To slow the spread of COVID-19 and in response to the County’s shelter in place directive, the Los Vaqueros Reservoir and Watershed is currently closed to the public until further notice. The weekly fishing reports are on hold until the watershed reopens.

Recent Conditions

Fishing continues to be the best around; good sized stripers, trout and catfish are being caught routinely. In a boat; Peninsula, Cowboy Cove, and Howden Cove have produced limits. Stripers, trout, and catfish have consistently been observed being cleaned at the fish cleaning station. Check our stats on water level, temperature, weather conditions, and recent fish plants. If you are looking to rent a boat, contact the Marina ahead of time to check current wind conditions at (925) 371-2628.


Shore anglers have the most success using garlic scented Powerbait followed by night crawlers. Trolling is doing fairly well especially in the backs of coves. Light tackle is important for catching trout. 4-6-pound test is plenty. Fishing has been good. On days the winds allow boats we have seen a number of limits as well as anglers with just a couple.  

Largemouth Bass

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 undersized fish please release them gently and allow them to grow up. There have been reports that jigging near rocky shores has been successful.


Striper fishing is mixed with both shakers and legal sized fish being caught from around the reservoir. Cut anchovies or shad is the bait of choice, either from shore or a boat.  Cowboy Cove and Howden Cove seem to be the hot spot for stripers. 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.


For those wishing to target catfish, chicken liver and anchovies are the best choices of bait. There has been a steady number of catfish being caught around the reservoir. South Cove, Cowboy Cove and Oak Point have been mentioned by our anglers. 

Whopper Mug Rules

Trout 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 pounds and must be released. ONLY a photo with a scale or a measuring tape showing the fish being at least 18 inches will count.

General Info

Hours: April through August from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Annual Parking Passes for 2020 are available at the Marina, the North Gate and the Watershed Office.

Fishing Licenses for 2020 are available for purchase at the Marina.

Directions to Los Vaqueros

Watershed Map (PDF)

Location Details

The Marina on the reservoir's south side near Livermore offers fishing licenses, bait, snacks, and electric boat rentals. There are three fishing piers along the shore of the reservoir. The pier near the Marina is ADA-accessible.

On the north side of the reservoir near Brentwood, anglers can park at the John Muir Interpretive Center and hike about a half-mile to fishing areas near the dam and in Peninsula Cove. We have frozen bait available for purchase at the North Entrance gate (near Brentwood) on the weekends. We have anchovies, chicken liver, and shad.

Fishing Clinics

Learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about lake fishing. From bait and knots to trolling and cleaning, our experienced staff will provide tips to help you reel in a big one. Clinics are tailored to participants’ skill levels. Open to all ages. Reservations are not required, but recommended. Call the Marina at (925) 371-2628. Clinics are held the first Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Los Vaqueros Marina.