Fishing at Lake Tahoe

[Icon]: Fish with hook.  Sparkling lakes and rivers provide numerous opportunities to test your angling skill.  Try some of the suggestions here, then as you become more familiar with the forest, go exploring on your own!

To prevent over fishing and to give the fish a chance to reproduce naturally, rules and regulations have been made.  Several lakes and streams are closed to fishing year round.  Some of the lakes and streams are catch and release only.  Before fishing, pick up a current copy of the State Fish and Game regulations from our office or follow the link provided below.  Fishing licenses can be obtained from local sporting goods stores.  Failure to obtain a fishing license or to follow rules and regulations can result in stiff fines.  Some of the basic rules are provided below under Regulations.

Follow these links for more information:



Any person, 16 years of age or older, must have a valid California or Nevada sport fishing license to fish in Lake Tahoe.  Surrounding lakes and streams require a license for the state in which the person is fishing.


Seasons vary.  Check a copy of the current fishing regulations for information.


Fishing in Lake Tahoe is legal one hour before sunrise to two hours after sunset.  In all other bodies of water in the Tahoe area (Sierra District) fishing is legal one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.


The daily limit for Lake Tahoe is 5 trout, but no more that 2 mackinaw.  Most other lakes and streams in the Lake Tahoe Basin have a limit of 5 trout. 

Live Bait

No fish may be used for bait or possessed for use as bait in Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake or Donner Lake unless taken from that lake.  Live bait in these lakes are limited to the following:  Lahontan redside shiner, Tui chub, Tahoe sucker, Lahontan mountain sucker, Piute sculpin and Lahontan speckled dace.  Chumming is illegal.

Direct specific fishing regulation questions to:

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