French Meadows Reservoir

Maps and Info
French Meadows Reservoir

Location and Size: The 1,408 acre reservoir is located 36 miles northeast of Foresthill, on the Middle Fork of the American River at an elevation of 5,263 feet. The reservoir is 2.9 miles long and 0.6-mile wide, with 7.3 miles of shoreline. The capacity of the reservoir is 125,601 acre feet of water.

Season: Fishing for rainbow and German brown trout is open year round on the reservoir, but the lake is inaccessible during the winter months when access is blocked by snow and ice. Other regional fishing opportunities include kokanee salmon, mackinaw, brown trout and rainbow trout at Hell Hole Reservoir and brown and rainbow trout on the Middle Fork of the American during the stream trout season.

Activities: Fishing, boating, canoeing, fishing and swimming. Two boat ramps, the McGuire ramp on the north end and the French Meadows Campground ramp on the south end, are available. A variety of hiking and biking trails are found in the surrounding area, including some that provide access to the nearby Granite Chief Wilderness. 

Camping: The five campgrounds are French Meadows Family Campground, Lewis Family Campground, Gates Group Campground and Coyote Group Campground. The French Meadows Remote Sites are Ahart Campground (one mile upstream)
Talbot Campground (three miles upstream)
and Poppy Campground (north shore hike or boat access).

For current fees and/or more information: contact the U.S. Forest District at 530-367-2224 or visit online at www.fs.fed.us. For reservations, call the National Forest Reservation System at 1-800-280-CAMP or visit them online at www.reserveusa.com.  

Picnicking: French Meadows Picnic Area is located on the south shore of French Meadows and has 4 sites with tables and grills, potable water, toilets and a parking area. This is a day use area only.

McGuire Picnic Area and Beach is located on the north shore of French Meadows. This site has 10 tables with grills, potable water, toilets and parking area. This is a day use only site with the reservoirs beach and swimming area adjacent to the picnic area.

Restrictions: French Meadows is located within a State Game Refuge. Firearms or any other implements capable of taking game (including, but not limited to, bows & arrows and slingshots) are prohibited in this area; camping outside designated campground is prohibited in this area.

Articles & Reports
Trollers Continue To Battle Kokanee

Written By: Garry Erck,
September 22, 2014

(Riverton) Kokanee salmon at Union Valley are moving around, but given a little bit of time – trollers are finding them. 

“I thought this trip was going to be a weather report,” reported Citrus Heights anglers Dania ‘Pescadora’ and ‘Fish...

read more ››

Bank Anglers Score Rainbows And Browns At French Meadows

Written By: Garry Erck,
September 2, 2014

(Riverton) “French Meadows and Hell Hole are both low and launching is tough for all but smaller boats,” reported Mike Cunningham at Will Fish Bait and Tackle. “If you can get in, anglers are doing decently.”

French Meadows is offering up...

read more ››

Union Valley Kokanee Salmon Bite Sizzles

Written By: Garry Erck,
June 25, 2014

Like clockwork, Union Valley kokanee kicked off their season in mid-to late May and anglers are reaping the rewards. Placerville anglers John Marino and Rick Schrichfield found limits working the Camino Cove area of the lake. 

“We trolled...

read more ››

Trollers Continue To Battle Kokanee

Written By: Garry Erck,

(Riverton) Kokanee salmon at Union Valley are moving around, but given a little bit of time – trollers are finding them. 

“I thought this trip was going to be a weather report,” reported Citrus Heights anglers Dania ‘Pescadora’ and ‘Fish Chris’ Jimmerson. “Two early...

read more ››

Bank Anglers Score Rainbows And Browns At French Meadows

Written By: Garry Erck,

(Riverton) “French Meadows and Hell Hole are both low and launching is tough for all but smaller boats,” reported Mike Cunningham at Will Fish Bait and Tackle. “If you can get in, anglers are doing decently.”

French Meadows is offering up some action for bank anglers...

read more ››

Union Valley Kokanee Salmon Bite Sizzles

Written By: Garry Erck,

Like clockwork, Union Valley kokanee kicked off their season in mid-to late May and anglers are reaping the rewards. Placerville anglers John Marino and Rick Schrichfield found limits working the Camino Cove area of the lake. 

“We trolled from the powerhouse to Camino...

read more ››

Coming Soon

Camping/fishing French Meadows

Written By: Forum Member: mikeandkristy,
August 16, 2013

I was so excited to get this end of season trip in! And so great to be going somewhere new. On the road at 6:45am. Auburn around 9am. Even before getting off hwy 80 we could smell the American fire. Got gas and worms and then on to Forest Hill. It was bad. No view just smoke. 

We already...

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Guides and Services

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C & C Marine C & C Marine

Full Service Ranger Evinrude Mercury Dealer
Two Locations
747 S 9th Street 
Modesto, CA 95351
Phone: (209) 526-4120

7812 Auburn Blvd.
...

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Bob’s Marine Bob’s Marine

Bob's Marine has been in business as a full sales, service and accessory dealer for 25 years in the same location. We have two full...

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Winkle Family Automotive & Marine Winkle Family Automotive & Marine...

Winkel Family Automotive, formerly Saturn of Reno, is located in Reno, Nevada which also serves the Truckee, Sparks, Carson City,...

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Eight decades ago, the Luhr-Jensen company was born in an unused chicken coop in rural Hood River, Oregon. It was the height of the...

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Victoria’s Tackle Secrets Victoria’s Tackle Secrets

Hand  Crafted Tackle of the Finest Quality 

Our mission is simple: To make the highest quality fishing tackle on the market today....

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Tips & Tactics for French Meadows Reservoir
Heavy Metal For Trout And Landlocked Kings! Heavy Metal For Trout And Landlocked Kings!

Written By: Cal Kellogg

Take a look at the tackle assortment of a trout and landlocked king salmon troller and you’ll see a lot of spoons, such as Sep’s Pro...

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Salmon, Trout, Lingcod, Kokanee, Halibut And More: Are YOU Using Gulp! And PowerBait? Salmon, Trout, Lingcod, Kokanee, Halibut And More: Are YOU Using Gulp! And PowerBait?

Written By: Cal Kellogg

I’m of the opinion that in most situations well-presented natural baits will outperform artificials. Following this philosophy, when the...

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Hoochies For Trout And Salmon Hoochies For Trout And Salmon

Written By: Cal Kellogg

Hoochies are a killer offering for trout and salmon that won't break the bank. To learn more about trolling hoochies, check out this...

read more ››

Weather Report for French Meadows Reservoir

Todays date: Monday October 20, 2014



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