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Walnut Creek

Contra Costa County, California.

Walnut Creek midpoint in Pleasant Hill, California.

Walnut Creek ends in Concord, California.

7 feet (2 meters)

8.57 miles long (13.80 kilometers)

503378.02 miles (810108.65 sq kilometers)

About The Walnut Creek

About Walnut Creek, CA

Walnut creek is a northward-flowing stream located in Contra Costa County. The creek is 12.3 miles long and is a tributary to the Suisun Bay. It consists of a 146 square mile watershed basin with 5 sub-watersheds: Clayton Valley Drain, Pine Creek, San Ramon Creek, Las Trampas Creek, and Grayson Creek Watersheds.

Most of its sub-watershed remains in underdeveloped areas. Las Trampas Creek drains 27 square miles in the western Walnut Creek watershed. It then joins Las Trampas Creek in Lafayette, while Tice Creek joins from the right, forming the Walnut Creek mainstem. The San Ramon Creek also joins the mainstem underground. San Ramon Creek then flows northwards. The next tributary is Pine Creek, which at 31 square miles,  is the second largest subwatershed in the basin.  It drains the west slopes from Mount Diablo State Park to the Castle Rock Regional Recreation area.  It is then joined by Galindo Creek downstream of Monument Boulevard before joining Walnut Creek. As it drains from other sources it flows northward until Pacheco creek until reaching the confluence with Suisun Bay.

Walnut Creek City was named after the creek, when the first post office in the area was built near it during the 1860s. The creek itself was named because of the many native walnut trees that used to line up on the creek. However, before European immigrants started settling around Walnut Creek, 3 Native American groups called the Saclan, Volvon, and the Tactan, were in close proximity to the creek. After the Mexican-American War, many Americans settled in the surrounding areas, and two decades later the town was named what it is today.

Walnut Creek Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Walnut Creek, CA

As a northward-flowing tributary to Suisun Bay, anglers can find a lot of fish to catch. And while the creek is most known as a spawning area for chinook salmon, anglers looking to make a trip to the area will be pleased to know fish like largemouth and striped bass, as well as channel catfish, carp, and rainbow trout can also be found.

While the largemouth and striped bass have some similarities, there are some differences in attempting to catch them. Both bass are mostly found in water that’s cooler in temperature, however, largemouth bass are more specifically found in murky waters, thick weeds, and debris. On the other hand, striped bass favor moving water and will stick to shorelines. They also have differences in bait preferences, striped bass are pickier than largemouth bass, and respond well to live bait such as herring, mackerel, eels, and anchovies. In contrast, the largemouth bass prefer a variety of bait, both live and otherwise. They respond well to jigs, crankbait, and plug, as well as worms and minnows. However despite the difference, when preparing equipment for catching them, the heavier the better, as both can reach weights of up to 20 lbs. Anglers recommend the use of 6 or 8-weight rods, with a length of 8 to 14 ft. For anglers trying to catch fish heavier than 20 lbs, it is recommended to use a disk drag. 

Channel catfish are also the same as the largemouth bass in that they frequently hide in debris, but also in crevices and hollows. These catfish are also sensitive to smell and are receptive to the use of stinkbait and cheese as bait, as the smell lures them in. Keep in mind that most catfish have hard mouths so preparing sharp hooks like big treble hooks definitely helps in keeping them from escaping. Bringing equipment like a 7” to 7.6” rod as helps as having a longer rod gives anglers more options in using angling techniques. Anglers who have already caught the catfish should be careful when handling them as they secrete slime instead of having scales, meaning they’re slippery and can cut anglers using their fins.

Known for their strength and variety of ways of catching them from fly fishing to fish trolling, the common carp is popular amongst anglers. Most anglers recommend the use of a 9 foot, 7 to 10-weight rods depending on the fish’s weight. The use of #4 and #6 hooks are also recommended. When using bait, carp are receptive to the use of bread, corn, and boilies, with bread being the cheapest yet easy to break apart and boilies ranging from $4-$10 but being very effective. 

Anglers looking to make a trip to Walnut Creek are probably there for rainbow trout and chinook salmon fishing. Keep in mind that chinook salmon are sensitive to light and will often stay at the bottom of the water. There are also multiple ways of fishing for salmon like fly fishing, trolling, and down-rigging. Specifically when fly fishing, however, there are very specific flies to use on different occasions (light, water levels, and location). For example, on a bright day the use of color combinations like blue and pink, or orange helps. The rainbow trout as well has different methods of fishing like Nymphing fly fishing, dry fly fishing for rising fish, or by Emergers & Buggers fly fishing. They can usually be found near gravelly shorelines or in a downstream flow.  Finally, they are receptive to the use of lures and baits like plugs, spinners, and spoons, as well as worms, flies, and roe.

Walnut Creek Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality 

Walnut Creek is a great place for year-round fishing. Largemouth bass and the chinook salmon are best caught during the summer months of July through August, while striped bass are best caught further along the months during fall. Opposite the largemouth bass are the channel catfish and the rainbow trout who anglers are more likely to catch during winter. Carp are found all year long but are best caught during warmer months during spring or summer.

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality 

Walnut Creek is a great place for year-round fishing. Largemouth bass and the chinook salmon are best caught during the summer months of July through August, while striped bass are best caught further along the months during fall. Opposite the largemouth bass are the channel catfish and the rainbow trout who anglers are more likely to catch during winter. Carp are found all year long but are best caught during warmer months during spring or summer.

Walnut Creek Fish Species

All About Fishing in Walnut Creek, CA

As a northward-flowing tributary to Suisun Bay, anglers can find a lot of fish to catch. And while the creek is most known as a spawning area for chinook salmon, anglers looking to make a trip to the area will be pleased to know fish like largemouth and striped bass, as well as channel catfish, carp, and rainbow trout can also be found.

While the largemouth and striped bass have some similarities, there are some differences in attempting to catch them. Both bass are mostly found in water that’s cooler in temperature, however, largemouth bass are more specifically found in murky waters, thick weeds, and debris. On the other hand, striped bass favor moving water and will stick to shorelines. They also have differences in bait preferences, striped bass are pickier than largemouth bass, and respond well to live bait such as herring, mackerel, eels, and anchovies. In contrast, the largemouth bass prefer a variety of bait, both live and otherwise. They respond well to jigs, crankbait, and plug, as well as worms and minnows. However despite the difference, when preparing equipment for catching them, the heavier the better, as both can reach weights of up to 20 lbs. Anglers recommend the use of 6 or 8-weight rods, with a length of 8 to 14 ft. For anglers trying to catch fish heavier than 20 lbs, it is recommended to use a disk drag. 

Channel catfish are also the same as the largemouth bass in that they frequently hide in debris, but also in crevices and hollows. These catfish are also sensitive to smell and are receptive to the use of stinkbait and cheese as bait, as the smell lures them in. Keep in mind that most catfish have hard mouths so preparing sharp hooks like big treble hooks definitely helps in keeping them from escaping. Bringing equipment like a 7” to 7.6” rod as helps as having a longer rod gives anglers more options in using angling techniques. Anglers who have already caught the catfish should be careful when handling them as they secrete slime instead of having scales, meaning they’re slippery and can cut anglers using their fins.

Known for their strength and variety of ways of catching them from fly fishing to fish trolling, the common carp is popular amongst anglers. Most anglers recommend the use of a 9 foot, 7 to 10-weight rods depending on the fish’s weight. The use of #4 and #6 hooks are also recommended. When using bait, carp are receptive to the use of bread, corn, and boilies, with bread being the cheapest yet easy to break apart and boilies ranging from $4-$10 but being very effective. 

Anglers looking to make a trip to Walnut Creek are probably there for rainbow trout and chinook salmon fishing. Keep in mind that chinook salmon are sensitive to light and will often stay at the bottom of the water. There are also multiple ways of fishing for salmon like fly fishing, trolling, and down-rigging. Specifically when fly fishing, however, there are very specific flies to use on different occasions (light, water levels, and location). For example, on a bright day the use of color combinations like blue and pink, or orange helps. The rainbow trout as well has different methods of fishing like Nymphing fly fishing, dry fly fishing for rising fish, or by Emergers & Buggers fly fishing. They can usually be found near gravelly shorelines or in a downstream flow.  Finally, they are receptive to the use of lures and baits like plugs, spinners, and spoons, as well as worms, flies, and roe.

Chinook Salmon

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, River, Lake

Weight: 10 - 50 Pounds

Length: 30" - 59"

Largemouth Bass

Habitat: Lake, Pond, Rivers

Weight: 2 - 22 Pounds

Length: 15" - 32"

Rainbow Trout

Habitat: River, Lake

Weight: 1 - 8 Pounds

Length: 16" - 34"

Striped Bass

Habitat: River, Lake, Onshore, Near shore

Weight: 10 - 81 Pounds

Length: 20" - 55"