Fishing

Whatever your fishing choice, the Sierra National Forest provides numerous opportunities for stream and lake fishing. For information on fishing regulations make sure to check out the California Department of Fish and Game regulations.

 All lakes are open year around, though access may be limited due to seasonal closure of roads due to snow.

All lakes and reservoirs on the Forest are open year around for fishing except were seasonal closures apply, such as Mammoth Pool.

Anglers, 16 years and older, who plan to fish in creeks, streams, rivers and lakes on the Forest will need to obtain a California fishing license. The fee for an annual license is $32.80 and can be obtained at local stores. National Forest offices do not sell fishing licenses. When you obtain your permit make sure to pick up a copy of the Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulation Book, as it provides information on fishing restrictions, the type of hooks and bait you can use, the amount of trout you can catch and possess, and how you must display your license.

Several popular areas on the Forest provide excellent fishing opportunities they include:

Bass Lake

This Lake at 3,500 feet in elevation is located north of Fresno via Hwy 41 and Road 222. There are over 16 different species of fish found in the lake. Rainbow trout, bass and kokanne salmon are popular.

Free public boat launching facilities are available at the Wishon Boat Launch, located at the south end of the lake. A handicap accessible boat launch is available. There is a fee to use your boat on Bass Lake. and Madera County Sheriff's Department administers the fees for boating (which are based on the horsepower of the boat). Registration is located at the Sheriff's tower along the north shore.

Courtright/Wishon Reservoirs

Courtright and Wishon Reservoirs are two popular high country lakes located 80 miles east of Fresno via Hwy 168 to the Dinkey Creek Road and McKinley Grove Road. These lakes are popular fishing lakes for trout and german brown's. The limit is 5 per day, 10 in possession. These lakes are usually accessible from May through November. Boat launching is free and no permit is required.

Edison/Florence Reservoirs

These secluded high country lakes located at 7,000 feet in elevation, are one of the best keep secrets in the High Sierras. Located approximately 2 1/2 hours from Fresno, these lakes are accessible via Hwy 168 and the Kaiser Pass Road. Both lakes provide excellent fishing for german brown's and rainbow trout. The limit is 5 per day, 10 in possession. Free public boat launching facilities are located on both lakes.

All creeks and streams in the area are open from the last week in April through November 15 with the following exceptions:

  • Mono Creek and tributaries from Edison Lake upstream to the confluence with the North Fork Mono Creek. June 1 through October 15. 5 per day limit, 10 in possession.
  • Boggy Creek (Fresno Co.) and tributaries (tributary to Thomas Edison Lake). June 1 through October 15. 5 per day, 10 in possession

Huntington Lake

Huntington Lake is located at 7,000 feet in elevation and is a popular for rainbow and brown trout and kokanne salmon. It is an 1 1/2 hour drive north east of Fresno via Hwy 168. A free public boat launching ramp is located between College and Deer Creek Campgrounds. 5 per day limit, 10 in possession.

Kings River

The Kings River is a 1 1/2 hour drive east of Fresno towards Pine Flat Reservoir via the Trimmer Springs Road. The Kings River is a designated wild trout fishery. The South Fork of the Kings River, from the Highway 180 crossing at Boyden Cave downstream to the main stem; the Middle Fork, from the western boundary of Kings Canyon National Park downstream to the main stem; and main stem, from the confluence of the South and Middle forks downstream to Garnet Dike Campground are open all year to fishing. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. Catch and release only.

The Kings River, from Garnet Dike Campground downstream to Pine Flat Lake is open all year. 2 per day limit.

Mammoth Pool

Mammoth Pool Reservoir, 3,300 feet in elevation, is located on the San Joaquin River, 90 miles northeast of Fresno, via Hwy 41, Road 200 to North Fork and the Minarets Road to Mammoth Pool. Mammoth Pool Reservoir is closed to the public and fishing from May 1 until June 16 due to deer migration. 5 per day limit , 10 in possession.

Merced River

The Merced River, located north of Mariposa, is easily accessible and provides a great place for trout fishing. From Foresta bridge downstream to Lake McClure the river is open to fishing from the Last Saturday in April through November 15. 5 per day limit, 10 in possession.

Shaver Lake

This popular recreation area is located at 5,300 feet and is operated by Southern California Edison. It is 1 hour drive northeast from Fresno via Hwy 168. Fishing on the lake is open year around. 5 per day limit, 10 in possession. Boat launch facilities are available at Sierra Marina and Camp Edison. A handicap accessible boat launch is available at Sierra Marina.