San Joaquin River Facts
Season: Fishing in the San Joaquin River below Friant Dam is open year round. The Department of Fish and Game plants the River with catchable rainbows every week at Lost Lakes County Park and the bridge below Friant Dam. A trophy trout program began in 2006 has been discontinued as the San Joaquin River Restoration Program proceeds forward.
Species: Rainbow trout are the main species found in the cool water of the upper section of the river below the dam. Bass provide the most consistent action from the Highway 41 Bridge to Highway 99. Largemouths to 14 pounds have been caught here, but average 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 pounds. Flipping jigs and throwing spinnerbaits and Brush Hogs are among the more popular methods. This is a trip for the adventurous angler, since most of the river is located on private property and access is limited to just a few areas, such as the Fresno Sportsmen’s Club or Sycamore Island.
Lost Lake Recreation Area: This is the main access for trout fishermen on the river below the dam, in addition to the Friant Road Bridge below the dam and the San Joaquin River Fish Hatchery in Friant.
The recreational area was established in 1959 with the signing of a lease agreement with the State Wildlife conservation Board for 76 acres. An additional 229 acres was subsequently purchased, bringing the total acquisition of this popular San Joaquin River Park to 305 acres.
Among the attractions to the river area, located 19 miles north of Fresno below Friant Dam, is a 70-acre primitive nature study area and 38-acre lake. Fishing, hiking, picnicking, bird watching and nature study activities combine to make Lost Lake Park one of the most popular areas in the parks system.
A 42-site campground is available. In the day-use area there are picnic facilities, including group areas and a beach volleyball complex.
Directions: From downtown Fresno, drive north on Freeway 41, 7.7 miles to Friant Road, exit right. Drive 9.5 miles on Friant Road to the park entrance on the left.
Fishing Information: Fisherman’s Warehouse, 4320 West Shaw Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722, (559) 225-1838, Valley Rod & Gun, 2704 Clovis Avenue, Clovis, CA 93612, 559-292-3474Back To Reports