Fishing FAQ

Fishing Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of fish do you have in the lake?

  • Brook, brown and rainbow trout
  • Kokanee salmon and some Chinook salmon
  • Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass
  • Sunfish – bluegill and crappie
  • Brown bullhead and channel catfish
  • Sacramento pikeminnow and hardhead
  • Sacramento sucker

Where can I get a fishing report on Whiskeytown Lake?

We recommend doing on online search for “Whiskeytown fishing report” to bring up a variety of Internet sources. You could also call Phil’s Propellers at (530) 275-4939 for the latest information.We don’t have a report available here at the park.

Where are the best places to fish?

Near the mouth of streams can be very productive in the early fall when kokanee, rainbow, and brook trout school up in anticipation of swimming upstream to spawn. The Carr Powerhouse area is very popular. In the spring and summer, bass and bluegill will generally be near the shore and typically around structures like downed trees, logs, willows, stumps, or rocks and can be effectively caught from shore. Perhaps the most popular fish in Whiskeytown Lake is kokanee salmon.Catching these fish generally requires special tackle such as a boat with downriggers and a trolling motor as they are usually found in the deeper cold waters of the lake.

Do I need a fishing license?

Anyone 16 years of age or older needs a California state fishing license.

Can I buy a fishing license in the park?


Where can I buy a fishing license in Redding?

The nearest location is the Rite Aid store at 1801 Eureka Way, (530) 243-5500. Further afield, there is a California Department of Fish and Wildlife branch office on Locust Street near DMV, open on weekdays only (530) 225-2300. Other places to buy a license include large retailers with sporting goods sections like Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sportsman’s Warehouse.

Do I have to display my fishing license?

Anglers no longer must display their license on their outer clothing above the waist. However, their sport fishing license must still be in their immediate possession while fishing.

What kinds of bait are prohibited here?

Live or dead minnows or other bait fish, amphibians (such as frogs) and non-preserved fish eggs or roe are not allowed to be used as bait here. Live crawdads may be used as bait.

When are the streams open to fishing?

Stream fishing is allowed in northern California between the last Saturday in April and November 15th. Streams are defined as being moving water above the last riffle before entering the lake or all of Clear Creek below the Clair A. Hill Whiskeytown Dam.

Can I fish from the boat launching ramps? On the swimming beaches? From motor vehicle bridges?

No, fishing is not allowed at any of these areas. Fishing is prohibited within 200 feet of public rafts, floats, launch ramps or docks designated for water sports.

Can I keep fish from Whiskeytown?

Yes. You may keep 5 kokanee and 5 trout species per day. Five combined bass species, or 25 combined sunfish (bluegill and crappie) species are also allowed per day. Clear Creek below Clair A. Hill Whiskeytown Dam is catch and release only. Artificial lures with barbless hooks must be used when fishing this stream.

When can I fish for trout and kokanee salmon?

You can fish for trout and kokanee from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.

When can I fish for bass, catfish, and all other species except for trout and salmon?

You can fish at any time of the day or night for any species except for trout and salmon. However, you are not allowed to use a spotlight to attract them.

Do you have any areas where disabled people can fish?

Yes, there are two accessible fishing piers on the lake: at Oak Bottom across from the marina and at the Whiskey Creek Launch Ramp.

Where can I buy bait and tackle?

The store at Oak Bottom Marina carries both and is open generally every day from Memorial Day through Labor Day. They have a selection of lures and power bait, as well as live worms and night crawlers. The store is located at the docks, floating on the water.
The other nearest store is Jay’s Market, east of the park on highway 299 in the nearby town of Shasta (known colloquially as Old Shasta). In Redding, retailers with sporting goods sections, like Walmart and Sportsman’s Warehouse, carry a large selection. The Fly Shop, located at 4140 Churn Creek Road (530) 222 -3555), is a specialty merchandiser catering to fly fishers.

Is Whiskeytown Lake stocked?

Yes, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife periodically stocks sport-sized trout in the lake and in Clear Creek above the lake.

When is the lake stocked?

For trout planting, call (530) 225-2146 for recorded information from Fish and Wildlife. You can also go to their website:https//

What district is Whiskeytown located in?

Whiskeytown is located within the Sierra region.

What are the bag limits for the lake?

  • 5 for any combination of trout and salmon species.
  • 5 for any combination of bass species.
  • 25 for sunfish (crappie and bluegill).

What are the size limits on fish?

Bass must be a minimum of 12 inches long.

Are there any special regulations within the park that I should be aware of?

Yes, Clear Creek below Clair A. Hill Whiskeytown Dam is subject to special regulations:

  • Only barbless hooks may be used.
  • Salmon and trout are catch and release only.
  • Artificial lures must be used.

Where can I go for a California fishing regulations booklet?

Usually you can pick one up wherever fishing licenses are sold, or go online at:

Last updated: June 2, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 188
Whiskeytown, CA 96095


530 242-3400

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