Sacramento River

Contra Costa County, California.

Sacramento River midpoint in Artois, California.

Sacramento River ends in Birds Landing, California.

371.33 miles long (597.60 kilometers)

23835323.82 miles (38359247.24 sq kilometers)

About The Sacramento River

About Sacramento River, CA

As the biggest river in California, the Sacramento River serves as the principal river in the Northern California region. The river itself rises from the Klamath Mountains near Mt. Shasta. It flows south for 382 miles through the fertile lands of the Sacramento Valley, towards the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and San Francisco Bay. Considered as the Nile of the West, it is one of the three major rivers in the region along with the San Joaquin River and the American River. 

The Sacramento River also played a huge part in the California Gold Rush in the 19th century, when gold was discovered in one of its tributaries. This led to an increase in the population in the area. When the mining boom waned, the immigrants stayed and turned to farming for their livelihood. These two industries contributed largely to polluting the waters and the forests lining the river.

Nowadays, the river is still very much used for the irrigation of the Sacramento Valley. However, to combat its further degradation, the Nature Conservancy and its partners are working on the restoration of both the river and its forests in what is considered the biggest riparian restoration project in the country.

Sacramento River Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Sacramento River, CA

The Sacramento River is deemed special for its chinook salmon population. It is one of the few rivers known to see all four runs of this salmon species. For this reason, its salmon fishing industry makes up more than 70% of the overall salmon catch in the state. It brings in more than $100 million in revenue annually.

While the fish population has dwindled over the years due to the waters being diverted for other uses, the river is still a favored habitat for many fish species. These include steelhead trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, striped bass, sturgeon, smelt, catfish, and Sacramento sucker.

If you’re targeting Chinook salmon, trolling and drifting along the Lower Sacramento River will be very fruitful for you. Fly fishing and drift fishing for rainbow trout on the Upper Sacramento River is a favorite among anglers. Go to the deeper part of the river to target striped bass, one of the staples of Northern California. Meanwhile, if you want to challenge yourself with sturgeon, then head towards the muddy brackish waters of the river with your heavy tackle and smelly bait.

Another fantastic area to go fly fishing and kayak fishing for trout is Redding. But if you want to go on a fishing charter to catch shad, striped bass, Chinook salmon, and trout, then head on to Anderson.

Sacramento River Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

Fishing in the Sacramento River is a year-round affair as it serves as a habitat for both resident and anadromous fish species. Rainbow trout and steelhead are known to be available all year long, though both, of course, have their respective active seasons.

From January to April, you can catch the mighty sturgeon. From March to June, you will see some prime striped bass action. Other summer catches include catfish and shad. Starting April and well into October, you will find yourself angling successfully for rainbow trout. Lastly, July to December is Chinook salmon open season. However, experts advise fishing there during the lat