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San Luis Obispo Creek

San Luis Obispo County, California.

San Luis Obispo Creek midpoint in San Luis Obispo, California.

San Luis Obispo Creek ends in Avila Beach, California.

7 feet (2 meters)

17.77 miles long (28.60 kilometers)

51140.48 miles (82302.64 sq kilometers)

About The San Luis Obispo Creek

About San Luis Obispo Creek, CA

San Luis Obispo Creek is an 18-mile stream located in San Luis Obispo County, California. It stretches from the base of Cuesta Grade to the ocean at Avila Bay. It begins in the Santa Lucia Mountains and has six major tributaries, namely Stenner Creek, Laguna Lake, Prefumo Creek, Davenport Creek, See Canyon, and East Branch San Luis Obispo Creek. Its watershed covers approximately 84 square miles and 11 percent of it is urbanized, mostly located in the city of San Luis Obispo. The stream is located east of Port Hartford and 6 miles away from Pismo Beach.

With portions of the creek running beneath businesses, shops, and the streets of San Luis Obispo, the San Luis Obispo Creek Walk was established. It is located near the Higuera and Nipomo Streets, with the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum nearby. Besides being a tourist attraction, the creek also serves a lot of functions for the residents within the vicinity. It is an obstacle-free water conduit, a medium of controlling the water quality, and it is also a source of irrigation water. While exploring the area, don’t forget that you are also in America’s Happiest City—so don’t hesitate to seek more unique tourist spots out here. 

San Luis Obispo Creek Fishing Description

All About Fishing in San Luis Obispo Creek, CA

San Luis Obispo Creek is home to a variety of schools of fish species and is a great area for angling opportunities in general. Popular catches here include barred surfperch, white croaker, lingcod, cabezon, vermilion rockfish, California halibut, surf smelt, and sheepshead seabream. Speckled dace are reported to be found throughout most of the watershed. The threespine stickleback, on the other hand, can be found in the middle and lower portions of the stream. Prickly sculpin species take up portions of the watershed’s lower and middle sections. Meanwhile, pacific lamprey species can now be found in the main stem of the San Luis Obispo Creek after a more or less 10-year long absence. Steelhead trout species are also believed to occupy most of the watershed area, however, this may have changed over time due to the structures built that caused limited fish passage in the water body. There have also been reports of schools of striped mullet and tidewater goby species crossing over the estuary of the stream by the Avila Beach Resort. The stream is also home to bluegill, green sunfish, and golden shiner species.

Popular fishing techniques used here are baitcasting, surfcasting, and sometimes fly fishing. Some areas in the county are also ideal for spearfishing. Do note that you may need a fishing license before heading out into Californian waters, so be sure to settle that matter beforehand. 

San Luis Obispo Creek Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

The best times to fish in San Luis Obispo Creek would be around 5 AM to 8 AM, and at around 1 PM. Speckled dace fish species typically spawn during summer, especially during June and July when the temperature reaches 18 to 19 degrees Celsius. Prickly sculpin species are reported to have more pronounced movements during the months of January and February. Its spawning season may also range from late February to June when the water reaches 8-13 degrees Celsius. Threespine stickleback species, on the other hand, usually move into their breeding areas from April to July, so it would be ideal to target them between that range. 

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

The best times to fish in San Luis Obispo Creek would be around 5 AM to 8 AM, and at around 1 PM. Speckled dace fish species typically spawn during summer, especially during June and July when the temperature reaches 18 to 19 degrees Celsius. Prickly sculpin species are reported to have more pronounced movements during the months of January and February. Its spawning season may also range from late February to June when the water reaches 8-13 degrees Celsius. Threespine stickleback species, on the other hand, usually move into their breeding areas from April to July, so it would be ideal to target them between that range. 

San Luis Obispo Creek Fish Species

All About Fishing in San Luis Obispo Creek, CA

San Luis Obispo Creek is home to a variety of schools of fish species and is a great area for angling opportunities in general. Popular catches here include barred surfperch, white croaker, lingcod, cabezon, vermilion rockfish, California halibut, surf smelt, and sheepshead seabream. Speckled dace are reported to be found throughout most of the watershed. The threespine stickleback, on the other hand, can be found in the middle and lower portions of the stream. Prickly sculpin species take up portions of the watershed’s lower and middle sections. Meanwhile, pacific lamprey species can now be found in the main stem of the San Luis Obispo Creek after a more or less 10-year long absence. Steelhead trout species are also believed to occupy most of the watershed area, however, this may have changed over time due to the structures built that caused limited fish passage in the water body. There have also been reports of schools of striped mullet and tidewater goby species crossing over the estuary of the stream by the Avila Beach Resort. The stream is also home to bluegill, green sunfish, and golden shiner species.

Popular fishing techniques used here are baitcasting, surfcasting, and sometimes fly fishing. Some areas in the county are also ideal for spearfishing. Do note that you may need a fishing license before heading out into Californian waters, so be sure to settle that matter beforehand. 

Lingcod

Habitat: Onshore

Weight: 25 - 85 Pounds

Length: 20" - 60"

White Croaker

Habitat: Nearshore, Offshore, Bays

Weight: 0 - 1 Pounds

Length: 8" - 16"

Barred Surfperch

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore

Weight: 1 - 1 Pounds

Length: 4" - 17"

Surf Smelt

Habitat: Inshore

Weight: 1 - 1 Pounds

Length: 0" - 12"