Conditions as of December 11, 2018

Fishing is good with trout being the main fish caught. South Cove and past the Rockwall were productive along with Peninsula and Cowboy Coves. Trout, stripers and catfish have been seen being cleaned at the fish cleaning station. The water level is currently at 148,000 acre feet. With the cooler days and windy weather the water temperature is floating between 59 and 61 degrees depending on the time of day. Our water clarity has been clear. If you are looking to rent a boat, contact the Marina ahead of time to check current wind conditions at (925) 371-2628 or check the weather conditions. We continue to see occasional high winds, which prevents us from renting boats due to safety reasons.


Trout are currently the most caught fish. Peninsula Cove has been especially productive this past week both trolling and bait fishing. Fishing past the Rock Wall is also popular with a consistent number of fish being caught. Fish have also been seen coming out of Cox and Cowboy Coves.  Shore anglers are having the most success using garlic scented powerbaits followed by night crawlers. Light tackle is important for catching trout. 4-6 pound test is plenty. There have been multiple fish plants recently, with more on the way. Lots of limits of trout have been coming in. Limits were also spotted coming out of Howden Cove and along the shoreline in both South Cove and past the Rock Wall. A 7.88 pound trout was caught in Cox Cove using a Kasmaster. Peninsula Cove gave one angler a 5.85, 5.2 and 3.2 pound group of trout using mice tails. Cowboy Cove produced several limits including a 4.8 and 3.6 pound trout also using mice tails. 

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.


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. 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 are still being caught here and there even with the cooler water and mixed weather. This week saw a profusion of catfish being caught. We have seen limits on multiple days coming out of South and Cowboy Coves. For those wishing to target catfish, chicken liver and anchovies are the best choices of bait. 

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” will count.

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. Clinics are held the first Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Los Vaqueros Marina, 9990 Los Vaqueros Road, Byron.

General Info

Hours: November through February hours are
7:00 AM to 5:00 PM with boats due in by 3:00 PM.

Annual Parking Passes for 2019 are available at the Marina, the North Gate and the Watershed Office.They are valid beginning January 1, 2019.

Fishing Licenses for 2019 are available for purchase at the Marina. They are valid beginning January 1, 2019.

The Interpretive Center is open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

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.