Pardee Reservoir Ca

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Ione, Northern California

Ione’s central position in the Gold Country makes it an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area.

The landscape around Ione, CA consists of rolling hills, ranches, farms, camping areas, and lakes teeming with fish. In addition, Ione itself offers a large selection of things to do, places to eat, and places to stay, ensuring that you and your loved ones will be creating positive memories.

Ione, CA is also a fantastic place for hikers and other environment enthusiasts; the town is home to many breathtaking natural features, but the Pardee reservoir is at the top of everyone’s list.

Pardee Reservoir area is a popular spot for anglers because it is home to various fish species and cool sites like breathtaking hiking trails.

For more information on Pardee Reservoir, keep reading!

Fishing in Pardee Pardee Lake

If you’ve ever spent significant time in California state, you’re probably aware that the many fisheries there are some of the best in the country.

Pardee lake anglers fish mostly for brown, trout rainbow trout that can grow to be really big, and a strong population of kokanee.

As a matter of fact, some holdover brown trout can grow to be huge.

Even if you could only catch one of these species at a lake, it would be worth your time. But when you can catch many of the species, you’ll find yourself making up excuses to slip off and go fishing. It’s also important to note that there is a Pardee fishing access fee of $7.25 daily.

In addition, throughout the months of spring and summer, when trout fishing is typically slow, Pardee Lake can still be an absolute gem for bass, particularly huge and feisty smallmouths.

Even though trout, kokanee (landlocked sockeye salmon), and bass fishing in Pardee receive more attention, the catfish and panfish fishing is excellent during the hotter months.

Fishing Lake Pardee with Pro Guide

Fishing Lake Pardee with Guide

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What You Need to Know About Pardee Reservoir CA

Since its inception in 1958, Pardee Recreation Area has been making a lasting impression on its guests. Pardee Recreation Area, situated on the banks of the Mokelumne River, welcomes guests of all ages with breathtaking scenery and a wide range of exciting activities.

Located about 12 miles to the southwest of Jackson, the park lies in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range in California state.

When visitors go there, they can relax as they watch the geese float peacefully on the water’s surface, get excited as they see wild turkeys dash across their path, and feel delighted as they engage with the helpful personnel.

Inside the area, you’ll find over a hundred RV camping, each with its own fire pit, making, picnic table, and fire ring, oak trees spread to and provide welcome shade. The park is full of exciting opportunities for exploration, including two swimming pools, multiple day-use areas, boat rentals, fishing, and stunning hiking trails.

There are many animal buddies in the park, such as wild turkeys, deer, and all kinds of fish. The lake Pardee cafe serves delicious breakfast and lunch selections, in addition to the most extraordinary 50/50 Freeze in town, to keep adventurers going strong.

All the Natural Splendor of Pardee Lake

One of the most beautiful times to visit Lake Pardee in California is the late winter. Amador County’s 2,000-acre lake near Ione is teeming with fish and water framed by hills that glow neon green.

A dam on the Mokelumne River led to the formation of the main lake, Pardee Lake, in 1929. From then on, it became a common site for anglers to set down their gear and other Pardee lake fishing activities.

Beginning on the first Friday of February and continuing through the last Sunday of October, they are open every day. A majority of guests spend their time fishing, boating, camping, picnicking, and swimming in the pools.

No personal watercraft are allowed, including water skiing and jet skiing on Pardee Lake.

The lake serves as a staging area for migratory birds, including bald eagles, geese, and shorebirds. In addition, as part of EBMUD’s mission to enhance the local wildlife, the area is off-limits during the migratory bird season.

A dam on the Mokelumne River led to the formation of Pardee Lake in 1929 in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. From then on, it became a common site for anglers to set down their gear and other Pardee lake fishing activities.

Many people come to this area because of the abundance of trout, and kokanee. They thrive in Pardee’s refreshingly clean water.

Rainbow trout, kokanee, sunfish, channel catfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and a few larger fish are just a few fish that avid fishermen can capture.

In addition, there’s a healthy population of deer, wild turkeys, geese, and other migrating birds, squirrels, rabbits, and quail.

Top Targeted Fish Species

Pardee Reservoir  largemouth bass
Northern Bass
bass smallmouth
Smallmouth Bass


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Fish Species in Pardee Lake

Let’s check out this species’ anatomy in greater depth.

Kokanee Salmon

One of the most well-known freshwater species, the kokanee salmon, is a popular angler target. The hooked jaw and stunning scales make it impossible to ignore.

Although they don’t grow quite as significantly as other species of salmon, kokanee salmon are a blast to catch, as many Pardee Lake anglers can agree.

Since these fish primarily feed on tiny zooplankton, enticing them with a replica of their preferred meal is fruitless. To get kokanee to bite, an angler must utilize a loud and flashing bait, with or without an attractant.

Like the sockeye salmon, you can find this fish only in freshwater.

Unlike many other species of salmon, kokanee salmon do not undertake the legendary journey from the ocean to a river or lake to spawn. Instead, kokanee is confined to a freshwater ecosystem their entire lives.

Kokanee rarely exceeds six pounds in size. They retain their silvery appearance throughout their lives, earning them the name “silver salmon” or “silver trout” in some regions.

After three to five years of life, they attain sexual maturity and can have offspring. The males of this silver fish reach a hump and change color to a brilliant red with a green and black head.

Brown Trout

Fish of this species have a brownish hue to their scales, as suggested by their common name.

Their sides are spotted with brown and black. Both sexes seem the same overall, although males have larger heads. The length of an adult brown trout ranges from 7 to 39 inches, and its maximum weight is 55 pounds.

It is a carnivorous fish that consumes other animals, including other fish, insect larvae, and flying insects like mayflies and damselflies.

The females, joined by several males, spawn between January and March on gravelly beds. After being fertilized outside, the eggs are laid in gravel.

When fry hatch, they consume the yolk sac to gain nutrients before moving on to invertebrates. Brown trout can be found in many ecosystems, but they are picky about which ones they call home. They favor cold, deep bodies of water with a constant current, such as rivers or lakes.

Within these waterways, they congregate in spots with cover, such as those shaded by overhanging roots or tree branches.

Once they reach adulthood, some population members transition from freshwater to saltwater. On the other hand, some populations never leave freshwater environments.

Smallmouth Bass

North American anglers regularly target smallmouth because of its popularity as a freshwater game fish. Specifically, smallmouths are a type of sunfish belonging to the Micropterus genus, which contains six different elongated freshwater fish known collectively as black bass.

This fish may develop to a maximum length of 27 inches and weigh 12 pounds. Female smallmouth typically weighs two to three pounds, while males usually weigh four to seven pounds.

Smallmouths can reach 30 inches if they are given enough time to feed in favorable weather.

The upper jawbone of this fish reaches the eye, and it has three brown vertical bands along its black, green, or brownish sides; it is rarely yellow.

Its eye is surrounded by a circle of dark bars that extend to its cheek and gill cover. A smallmouth’s long upper jaw can reach almost the orbital brow.

Smallmouth bass is heavier and more oval-shaped when found in lakes and more torpedo-shaped in rivers, so their environment significantly impacts their development and appearance near Stockton.

Lake or reservoir smallmouth is a lighter, almost yellow-brown color than their stream-dwelling counterparts, which is advantageous for fishing.

As a carnivore and a predator, smallmouth bass will consume just about anything that fits down their throat. While primarily nocturnal, this species will hunt at night during the warmer months.

What smallmouths consume depends on several factors, including the size of the food, the season, the water temperature, and the age or size of the fish.

Largemouth Bass

The largemouth was originally only found in the Eastern United States.

Still, due to their widespread appeal as sport fish and their adaptability, they have since been successfully introduced to new regions throughout the globe.

The largemouth bass may be home in various watery environments, including ponds, lakes, streams, swamps, reservoirs, and major rivers. It is found primarily in weedy oxbows and clears out floodplain lakes.

Largemouth bass moves to bays in the spring because the water there warms up before the main body of water.

Fish, crayfish, and frogs comprise the bulk of an adult largemouth bass’ diet. The juveniles eat things like crabs, insects, and juvenile fish.

Numerous species of animals fall prey to largemouth bass because of its ravenous appetite. And that includes snakes and mice, which live on land.

In addition, a few largemouth basses may exhibit cannibalism similar to that of the northern pike.


Other Fish You Can Find at Pardee Reservoir

These are some of the other fish that you may find in Pardee Reservoir:

Rainbow Trout:

They are planted from the middle of October until the late spring, so fishing is decent to superb for the entirety of the colder season. Both shore anglers and boat anglers are successful.

These stunning fish, commonly known as Redband Trout, display a broad range of colors and patterns based on their age, location, and spawning status.

Channel Catfish:

You can find plenty of catfish in the Channel Arm of Pardee Lake. Additionally, Marina Cove offers sufficient to feed to be found here in manageable quantities for fishing.

Catching a giant catfish can be caught using stink baits, chopped mackerel, or even chicken livers.

Blue Catfish:

Bottom-dwelling and adaptable, this fish can eat almost anything. A significant amount of their diet comprises foods such as worms, mussels, crabs, clams, insects, small crustaceans, frogs, and numerous other species of smaller fish, including other catfish.

The average adult is less than two feet long but can reach five feet in length and weigh more than a hundred pounds.

White Crappie:

A gray-green back and silver sides contrast with a white underbelly. Those shadowy areas off to the sides often resemble undulating vertical bars. The body of the white crappie is deep and compressed; its mouth is huge and reaches behind the eye, and its neck is concave.

The crappie’s early diet consists primarily of invertebrates like zooplankton and insects. However, fish is a more common part of the diet once it reaches about 7 inches.

Preparing for Your Pardee Reservoir Trip

This magnificent camping and fishing spot is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada on the border between Amador and Calaveras counties. An oaks campground and lush grass surround it.

Pardee Reservoir Reviews

Great experience

Pardee Reservoir
Pardee Reservoir is home to a plethora of Bird Species! So while you getting in your fishing, look for Bald Eagles, Great White Egrets, and others. A day on the lake spent with all the species is a good day spent on the water.
- Stacey

Fishing with Steve

Pardee Reservoir
Had a great trip on Pardee, caught a 8 lber. Traveled from Manteca Ca and is was well worth it.
- Marcos

Great experience!

Pardee Reservoir
Were two friends from Stockton, visit Pardee Reservoir to go fishing. We caught a 7 lb trout on our first trip. Boats were great and a lot of fun!
- Pat Gomez
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Best Fishing Places At Lake Berryessa

The large stretch of coastline offers many productive spots to anchor down and watch the fish bite. However, no two places are identical.

Depending on the type of fish you are hoping to catch and the style of fishing used, it is a good idea to get to know the lay of the land in advance of the fishing expedition.

Big Island and Small Island

To the north of the Spanish Flat, you can easily find the two islands, considering the main river channel runs into them. Several other ditches and channels create a web of ledges, ridges, and drop-offs, which offer good vantage points when fishing in Lake Berryessa.

The fish exploit the submerged brush and weed beds in this area as cover. That’s why it is a priority to inspect depths up to 15 feet and the small rock piles and drainage ditches in the vicinity.

Putah Creek

When embarking on a fishing trip in the summer, the Putah Creek inlet and its surrounding areas should be top locations for catching fish like smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass. The trick is to focus on the bedrock patches and rock piles.

When the water table of the lake is low, bass will gravitate around submerged timber. If using this location, always look for fish holding over the rocks before unpacking for the day.

Putah Creek Arm

The northwest section of the lake is the epicenter of a long winding channel known as Putah Creek arm, a treasure trove of all types of bass, catfish, and crappie.

This concentration of fish is a common occurrence with a reduced water level. Take into account that the channel is brimming with standing timber and submerged brush, rock piles, and channel swings.

Spanish Flat to Quarry Canyon

The area is crisscrossed with several submerged points, offering various structures to target and fish. Ledges, humps, ridges, and drop-offs are the most productive areas, but you can also check artificial structures like docks and bridge pilings.

Checking the brush piles and vertical standing timber can also benefit you. Before hunkering down, scout the terrain and look for solid indicators of a large bass shoal in the area.

The Dam

The dam offers an abundance of trout and salmon, while in the northern section of the dam, you can catch bass and crappie that hides on the rocky shelves.

The drawback of fishing in this lake area is the high winds, which tend to displace a boat from the preferred spot, even with a reliable trolling motor. Invest in a drift sock to stay on course in the strike zone.

The Vineyards

It ranks as one of the most productive corners of the lake, with a healthy population of catfish, bluegill, and bass. This is mainly due to the submerged vegetation, which creates a welcoming environment for the fish species.

Locals’ experience reveals that the best result is attainable in sectors where the vegetation intersects with a rock pile or a drainage ditch, basically any other form of cover. The best bait to fish within these parts with submerged grass is a topwater lure, whopper plopper, buzz bait, frog lure, and chatter bait. Be ready to encounter a few isolated rock piles.

Eticuera Creek

The area is known for its thick vegetation. The coastline is full of submerged weed beds and floating grass mats. Using heavy fishing lines is preferred to combat these circumstances.

However, because Eticuera creek is located in the northeast part of the lake, the mouth is an open area offering solitude for anglers who enjoy the scenery and a solo fishing experience. Another benefit is the lack of winds and strong currents.

Not the most welcoming piece of information, but the biggest chances for a catch are during the hottest period of the day, when the bass hides in the deep shadows, effectively trapping themselves.

When fishing the Eticurea creek, the arsenal of baits can be composed of chatter baits, swim jigs, crankbaits, and soft plastic swimbaits.

The Narrows

Entering the water with a boat or a kayak is the best way to fish in this long and narrow stretched canyon in the south section of the lake. The canyon sides feature steep boulder-size substrate, and the water is deep.

Anglers can expect a hull of trout and salmon in the natural humps and ridges, while the bait that offers the best chance to entice the fish is trolling spoons, inline spinners, streamers, and flies.

Using natural bait like corn, worms, salmon eggs, and dough bait can be an option with satisfactory outcomes.

The Rockslide

The midsection of the reservoir features a long rocky bank that is very steep, offering a large fishing area.

However, gravitating towards the boulder piles and transition areas from larger to smaller rock sizes is more suitable for fishing crawfish, minnows, bluegill, and shad that shelter in this area.

Ranch House

There are several peninsulas on the lake, but the main one is between two deep channels, with the south channel creating a cove with several ditches. What gives these places a unique look are the drop-offs, ledges, and boulders, something symbolic about the northern creek channel.

The steep banks offer depths of 10 to 25 feet, when smallmouth and spotted bass like to navigate the rock cuts and pockets, frequently moving into the submerged brush and weed beds.

Pardee Reservoir Map

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  Preparing for Your Pardee Reservoir Trip

This magnificent camping and fishing spot is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada on the border between Amador and Calaveras counties. An oaks campground and lush grass surround it.

The mornings here are peaceful since jet skis and powerboats aren’t constantly revving their engines. This water storage reservoir is unsuitable for water contact sports like water skiing, personal watercraft use, or even drinking water is permitted.

The benefits, in this case, are some peace and quiet lake view campground, which is ideal for a spot of fishing.

Use of Boats and Beaches

Pardee Recreation Area features a ten-lane boat ramp for convenient launching. However, before you get out on the lake, make sure you check in at the inspection station.

The marina only has a single ramp for launching boats; customers who don’t have boats or don’t want to worry about passing a boat inspection are welcome to utilize one of the boats.

Most RV park guests will either rent a boat or bring their own if the campsite has electricity. Launching and loading boats is a breeze at the lake’s 10-lane boat ramp since the water level is consistently maintained throughout the year.

However, if you plan on renting a boat, you should get there early so you don’t miss out. Rentable watercraft include kayaks, pedal boats, and fishing vessels. Not only can you rent out boats, but there’s also a fish cleaning station.

Convenient piers and ramps provide access to the shore. The lake’s trails will lead you to practically any secluded bay or marina cove. Most of them are within a day’s hike through good-condition routes.

Places to Stay and Camping Areas

Camping Area at Pardee Lake

Both of the campgrounds at Pardee Lake have over one hundred available sites between them. There are 141 campsites at the lake that are accessible on a first-come, first-served basis and spread across two separate campgrounds, each shaded by oak trees.

The camp’s laundry facility, restrooms, and water supply are conveniently located nearby. Additional wheelchair-friendly options include two venues that meet ADA standards. There are more than fifty RV camper sites with complete hookups, including water, electricity, and sewer. A brand-new community center is available for use by RV Park visitors.

In addition to a convenience shop, the marina features a café for those who need a quick bite to eat before leaving. In the towns in the area’s immediate vicinity, it is possible to locate places to stay, as well as restaurants and food markets.

There are many enjoyable activities for people of all ages to enjoy and to keep active groups busy at Pardee Lake. Everyone will certainly have a good time in the two swimming pools and participate in the various other activities located around the lake and across this region.

In the park that lies in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, visitors can make use of the picnic table and make their fire ring.


Hiking trailsThere are also hiking trails available for RV park guests who want to stay active. In the hills around the lake, hikers can take advantage of a few gravel paths that lead to scenic overlooks, especially when they approach the inlet at the lake’s northernmost point.

Unfortunately, shade is not available.

Wildflowers begin to appear in substantial quantities in March and typically reach their peak in late March or early April.

Even by the norms of the Bay Area, the summertime temperatures may be unbearable here. However, the majority of travelers agree that the best time to visit Pardee is right around the time when winter draws to a close and spring begins.

Do I Need A Fishing License for Pardee Reservoir?

Individuals who are 16 years of age or older are needed to have a valid California fishing license and a valid fishing access permit.

In addition, there is a $7.25 daily fishing access fee for every person who must pay over the age of 16 who want to fish at Pardee.

As long as a licensed adult accompanies them with a valid fishing access permit, children younger than 15 years old are permitted to fish without the need for a daily fishing access permit.

The revenues from the Pardee access permits are used to replenish the fish population in the lake.

Rules at Pardee Reservoir Ca

Continue reading if you want to learn more about the rules you are required to observe if you are going to Pardee Reservoir Ca.

Daily Fish Limits

  • Five of either trout, kokanee, or a mix of the two, but no more than five fish.
  • Five Bass (12″ and over)
  • 25 sunfish (including crappie, bluegill, and other species)
  • There is no bag limit on catfish or grass carp.

Accessible Facilities

The recreation center has many handicapped-accessible amenities. The guard at the gate can help you if you need a wheelchair-accessible space. As per policy, non-disabled campers are not allowed to stay at accessible sites until all other sites are full.

Without proper identification, such as a placard or license plate, it may be necessary to issue a citation and haul away any unauthorized cars parked in an accessible parking spot.


It is strictly forbidden to dispose of rubbish, greywater, litter, gasoline, oil, rubble, feces, or any other foreign substance in the reservoir, on any coastline, or elsewhere in the leisure area beside the designated trash cans.

There is no other place besides the fish cleaning station in the recreation area where fish can be cleaned or garbage disposed of.

It is against the law to discharge grey water from an RV’s toilet or shower into the ground, and do not use sinks, hose bibs, or other water sources in the camping, RV, or day-use areas for dishwashing.

All animals need to be securely leashed and under constant human supervision. The reservoir must be kept free of any contamination from domestic animals and away from the swimming pools.

The waste must be cleaned when dogs or other animals defecate in a recreational area. Licenses and proof of rabies vaccination are required for all dogs.

To Wrap Things Up

Pardee Reservoir Ca, located in a Mother Lode paradise, is a short drive from the valleys and the Bay Area. It’s a great place to take the family for a day trip or weekend filled with activities like picnicking, camping, fishing, and driving about in an RV.

The tranquil environment is perfect for retirees as well as families with young children. In addition, the lake and reservoir in Pardee provide visitors with an extraordinary chance to interact with the natural environment.


Finally, here are some responses to some of the questions that have been asked the most frequently about Pardee Reservoir Ca.

Can you swim in Pardee Reservoir?

Water contact in this lake is illegal by state legislation. The use of watercraft such as water skis and jet skis, as well as swimming in lakes, are banned, as is drinking water from the water sources there. There are two swimming pools available every day of the week, one for kids and one for grownups.

Can you kayak on lake Pardee?

No, you can not. The use of personal watercraft like WaveRunners and Jet Skis, as well as water-skiing, wakeboarding, and other motor-dependent water activities, are all prohibited on Pardee Lake. But, boating and fishing remain the major leisure activities with such restrictions.

Because of this, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, or using boat rentals on the lake can enjoy a peaceful and serene experience.

What kind of fish are in lake Pardee?

Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Brown Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Sacramento Pikeminnow, Black Crappie, Catfish, White Crappie, Redear Sunfish, and Bluegill are some of the species of fish that can be caught in the lake Pardee.

How many acres is Pardee Lake?

Lake Pardee is a body of water in the state of California that spans an area of 215,000 acres and is used for motor boating, but no swimming or jet skis. At its most profound point, it reaches a depth of 300 feet.

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