Fishing in Marin County

on

Looking for a place to go fishing in Marin County?

If you want to go fishing in Marin County you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re looking to plan a family fishing trip or just want to find a place nearby to go fishing — keep reading.

I’ve taken the time to assemble a comprehensive list of places to fish throughout Marin County, California. The list includes lakes, ponds, rivers and streams along along with details about each location such as surface area, elevation, inflow, outflow, Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) ID and the fish species present.

Quick Links


Abbotts Lagoon Brackish

Abbotts Lagoon - Marin County, CA

Type: Natural lake (submerged valley)
GNIS ID: 217942
Area: 200 acres (81 ha)
Surface elevation: 0 ft (Sea level)
Inflow: Rain and stormwater runoff
Outflow: Pacific Ocean
Fish: American shad, Black bullhead, Black crappie, Bluegill, Central California Coast winter steelhead, Central Coast coho salmon, Channel catfish, Coastal rainbow trout, Coastal threespine stickleback, Coastrange sculpin, Common carp, Golden shiner, Eulachon, Green sunfish, Largemouth bass, Pacific lamprey, Redear sunfish, Sacramento perch, Staghorn sculpin, Starry flounder, Threadfin shad, Western brook lamprey, Western mosquitofish, Yellowfin goby


Alpine Lake Freshwater

Alpine Lake - Marin County, CA

Type: Reservoir (Alpine Dam)
GNIS ID: 218169
Area: 224 acres (91 ha)
Surface elevation: 646 ft (197 m)
Inflow: n/a
Outflow: Lagunitas Creek
Fish: Bluegill, Largemouth bass, Rainbow trout, Smallmouth bass


Bass Lake Freshwater

Bass Lake - Marin County, CA

Type: Natural lake (Slightly saline, alkaline and eutrophic)
GNIS ID: 233463
Area: 7.4 acres (3 ha)
Surface elevation: 374 ft (114 m)
Inflow: Streams on north and east shores
Outflow: via creek to Pacific Ocean
Fish: Bluegill, Largemouth bass


Belvedere Lagoon Brackish

Belvedere Lagoon - Marin County, CA

Type: Artificial lagoon
GNIS ID: 233490
Area: 66 acres (27 ha)
Surface elevation: 0 ft (Sea level)
Inflow: Rain and stormwater runoff
Outflow: Slide gates
Fish: Unknown


Bon Tempe Lake Freshwater

Bon Tempe Lake - Marin County, CA

Type: Natural lake (Bon Tempe Dan)
GNIS ID: 219620
Area: 140 acres (57 ha)
Surface elevation: 718 ft (219 m)
Inflow: Lagunitas Creek
Outflow: Lagunitas Creek
Fish: Largemouth bass, Rainbow trout, Smallmouth bass


Kent Lake Freshwater

Kent Lake - Marin County, CA

Type: Reservoir (Peters Dam)
GNIS ID: 226521 and 1663440
Area: 431 acres (174 ha)
Surface elevation: 404 ft (123 m)
Inflow: Lagunitas Creek and Big Carson Creek
Outflow: Lagunitas Creek
Fish: Largemouth bass, Rainbow trout


Laguna Lake Freshwater

Laguna Lake - Marin County, CA

Type: Natural intermittent lake
GNIS ID: 226778
Area: 350 acres (140 ha)
Surface elevation: 226 ft (69 m)
Inflow: Rain and stormwater runoff
Outflow: Chileno Creek
Fish: Unknown


Lake Lagunitas Freshwater

Lagunitas Lake - Marin County, CA

Type: Reservoir (Lagunitas Dam)
GNIS ID: 226790
Area: 22 acres (1.9 ha)
Surface elevation: 791.3 feet (241.2 m)
Inflow: Lagunitas Creek
Outflow: Lagunitas Creek
Fish: Black bullhead, Black crappie, Bluegill, Central California Coast winter steelhead, Central California roach, Channel catfish, Coastal rainbow trout, Coastrange sculpin, Common carp, Golden shiner, Green sunfish, Largemouth bass, Pacific lamprey, Redear sunfish, Sacramento sucker, Threadfin shad, Tomales roach, Western brook shad, Western mosquitofish


Nicasio Reservoir Freshwater

Nicasio Reservoir - Marin County, CA

Type: Reservoir (Seeger Dam)
GNIS ID: 229536
Area: 845 acres (342 ha)
Surface elevation: 144 ft (44 m)
Inflow: Nicasio Creek
Outflow: Nicasio Creek
Fish: Black bullhead, Black crappie, Bluegill, Channel catfish, Common carp, Green sunfish, Largemouth bass, Redear sunfish, Sacramento sucker


Pelican Lake Freshwater

Pelican Lake - Marin County, CA

Type: Natural lake
GNIS ID: 234445
Area: Unknown
Surface elevation: 203 feet (62 m)
Inflow: Rain and stormwater runoff
Outflow: Pelican Lake Creek to Pacific Ocean
Fish: Unknown


Phoenix Lake Freshwater

Phoenix Lake - Marin County, CA

Type: Reservoir (Phoenix Lake Dam)
GNIS ID: 230609
Area: 20 acres (8.1 ha)
Surface elevation: 177 ft (54 m)
Inflow: Rain and Stormwater runoff
Outflow: Ross Creek
Fish: Bluegill, Largemouth bass


Rodeo Lagoon Brackish

Rodeo Lagoon - Marin County, CA

Type: Natural lake (submerged valley)
GNIS ID: 231805
Area: 37 acres (15 ha)
Surface elevation: 10 ft (3 m)
Inflow: Surrounding tributaries
Outflow: Pacific Ocean
Fish: Northern tidewater goby (Endangered), Prickly sculpin, Threespine stickleback


Scottsdale Pond Freshwater

Scottsdale Pond - Marin County, CA

Type: Reservoir
GNIS ID: 1808908
Area: 11 acres (4.5 ha)
Surface elevation: 3 ft (1 m)
Inflow: Rain and stormwater runoff
Outflow: Lynwood Slough culvert
Fish: Bluegill, Common carp, Channel catfish, Largemouth bass, Rainbow trout


Soulajule Reservoir Freshwater

Soulajule Reservoir - Marin County, CA

Type: Reservoir (Soulajule Dam)
GNIS ID: 1800716
Area: 10,572 acres (4,278 ha)
Surface elevation: 335 ft (102 m)
Inflow: Rain and stormwater runoff
Outflow: Arroyo Sausal, which then flows to the confluence of Salmon Creek and Walker Creek, then to Tomales Bay, and eventually to the Pacific Ocean.
Fish: Largemouth bass, Black crappie, Bluegill, Channel catfish


Stafford Lake Freshwater

Stafford Lake - Marin County, CA

Type: Reservoir (Novato Creek Dam)
GNIS ID: 235342
Area: 195 acres (79 ha)
Surface elevation: 197 ft (60 m)
Inflow: Rain and stormwater runoff
Outflow: Novato Creek
Fish: Black crappie, Bluegill, Channel catfish, Common carp, Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, White crappie, Yellow bullhead


15 comments on “Fishing in Marin County

    1. Hey John,

      Great question!

      I’d say that Stafford Lake is one of the safer lakes in Marin County to eat fish from. 20% of Novato’s drinking water comes from Stafford Lake.

      The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) publishes a recurring study titled “Fish Consumption Advisories and Safe Eating Guidelines“. Here are the places OEHHA warns about consuming fish from:

      • Bon Tempe Reservoir — Black Bass, Largemouth Bass
      • Nicasio Reservoir — Black Bass, Bluegill, Carp, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish
      • Soulajule Reservoir — Black Bass, Crappie, Largemouth Bass
      • San Francisco Bay — Brown Rockfish, Brown Smoothhound Shark, California Halibut, Chinook (King) Salmon, Jacksmelt, Leopard Shark, Red Rock Crab, Striped Bass, Surfperch, Tule Perch, White Croaker, White Sturgeon
      • Tomales Bay — Bat Ray, Brown Smoothhound Shark, California Halibut, Jacksmelt, Leopard Shark, Pacific Angel Shark, Red Rock Crab, Surfperch

      I hope this helps, just steer clear of eating fish from Soulajule Reservoir.

  1. Awesome list thanks so much!! I am new here from red bluff so where can you NOT FISH? I was going to fish in the laganitas creek for coho but I have been told that’s a no no!!

    1. Ray,

      It’s one of the tougher asks to find a freshwater, flowing body of water in Marin County that you’re able to fish, especially when it’s the critical habitat for one or more protected species. The last place I remember I could fish in a riversystem in Marin County was the fishing derby they USED to have in the Novato Creek where it intersects with Sutro Ave which I guess is technically within the boundary of Ohair Park.

      With the lack of state funding (2009), tightening of local regulations (2009) and more recently the droughts (2018) that cause Novato’s fish recovery plan to fail.

      The chance that the Novato Fishing Derby or fishing in general is allowed in Novato Creek anytime soon looks really slim.

      In Southern Novato there’s the Black Point Boat Launch that drops you into the Petaluma River but it’s brackish water. I’ll have to look legality of fishing for Chinook or Coho when they’re in brackish/saltwater before they enter the freshwater river system but my gut tells me that even that is still a no-go.

      Hope this help or at least confirms your suspicious of the lack of fishing in freshwater that moves in Marin County.

      1. Thanks, man, I’m from Scotland originally, I’ve fly fished since I was a child. I’m just not familiar with the area that much.

        I had no idea that place had fish.

        Great list by the way, are most of these stocked?

        Thanks.

        1. Justin,

          In Southern Marin, Bon Tempe and Lagunitas Lake are usually stocked a few times per year with catchable Rainbow Trout.

          Here’s a link to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Fish Planting Schedule for Marin County.

          The main reason I’d recommend the Marin French Cheese Co (also known as “The Cheese Factory”) for a fly fishing starter location is because Bon Tempe and/or Lagunitas won’t give you nearly as much room to cast.

          Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely fly fish at Bon Tempe and Lagunitas Lake but it the terrain wouldn’t be considered an entry level place to start.

          Stafford Lake in Novato, CA is another place where you’ll have plenty of room to cast from the bank. Stafford Lake is very large and because of the size I’d consider it an intermediate place to fish.

          For a beginner, The Cheese Factory is just 10 minutes further, pavement all the way there and a FREE parking lot.

          Let me know if you have any other questions.

          1. Kyle thanks for the great info!

            I’m not a beginner, I’ve fly fished for years I’m just new to the area, 🙂 Definitely going to give Bon Tempe and Laguintas a visit soon. If you have any suggestion for flies or lines for these lakes please don’t hold back haha.

            Thanks again!

            Justin

    1. I’ve definitely seen some small bass, common carp and a few small panfish in Scottsdale Pond but only heard rumors that they planted trout. After doing some research you’re right, Novato planted both rainbow trout and channel catfish on April 28, 2018 for the city’s annual youth fishing event.

      Towards the end of last year the city issued a water quality advisors for Scottsdale Pond and it seems that they might still be experiencing a pretty bad Algae bloom. Take a look at the Marin IJ article titled “Novato’s Scottsdale Pond plagued with algae bloom” (https://goo.gl/i1Pfzy).

      Thanks for your input Bob. Let me know if you catch any species of fish that aren’t listed. I’d gladly make the updates.

  2. The California Department of Fish & Wildlife recently planted rainbow trout in a few lakes throughout Marin and Sonoma County. The trout species planted are rainbow trout of catchable size.

    In Marin County, Bon Tempe received trout plants on January 14/28, February 11/25 and April 15. Lake Lagunitas received trout plants on January 14 and March 18.

    In Sonoma County, Lake Ralphine received trout plants on January 14/28, February 11/25 and April 15.

    1. Lake Lagunitas used to be my favorite place to flyfish for trout in Marin co. but, It now is overgrown with tules and other then roll casting from some of the steep banks there is little or no areas for normal overhead casting. It gets very good insect hatches in the spring and some wild trout if they can still enter the creeks to spawn, which I don’t think they can anymore due to the tules clogging the creek mouths. I heard that when asked if they could clear some of the tules out one of the members of the MMWD said NO! “We’re in the water business, not in the fishing business. Sign of the times I guess.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *