Pajaro River Guide

Guide created on 2017-11-06


Place Exceptions

Hatchery trout

Dates:
Dec. 1 through Mar. 7, but only on Sat., Sun., Wed., legal holidays and opening and closing days
License:
Sport fishing license required
Bag Limit:
2
Method:
Only barbless hooks may be used
Possession Limit:
4
Species:
Trout
Special:
from mouth to Uvas Creek. Also see Low-Flow Restrictions, Section 8.00(c)(5). Hatchery trout or steelhead in anadromous waters are those showing a healed adipose fin clip (adipose fin is absent). Unless otherwise provided, all other trout and steelhead must be immediately released. Wild trout or steelhead are those not showing a healed adipose fin clip (adipose fin is present).

Hatchery steelhead

Dates:
Dec. 1 through Mar. 7, but only on Sat., Sun., Wed., legal holidays and opening and closing days
License:
Sport fishing license required
Bag Limit:
2
Method:
Only barbless hooks may be used
Possession Limit:
4
Species:
Steelhead
Special:
from mouth to Uvas Creek. Also see Low-Flow Restrictions, Section 8.00(c)(5). Hatchery trout or steelhead in anadromous waters are those showing a healed adipose fin clip (adipose fin is absent). Unless otherwise provided, all other trout and steelhead must be immediately released. Wild trout or steelhead are those not showing a healed adipose fin clip (adipose fin is present).

Only barbless hooks may be used

Dates:
Dec. 1 through Mar. 7, but only on Sat., Sun., Wed., legal holidays and opening and closing days
License:
Sport fishing license required
Special:
from mouth to Uvas Creek. Also see Low-Flow Restrictions, Section 8.00(c)(5). Hatchery trout or steelhead in anadromous waters are those showing a healed adipose fin clip (adipose fin is absent). Unless otherwise provided, all other trout and steelhead must be immediately released. Wild trout or steelhead are those not showing a healed adipose fin clip (adipose fin is present).

Closed to all fishing

Dates:
Mar. 8 through Nov. 30
License:
Sport fishing license required
Special:
from mouth to Uvas Creek. Also see Low-Flow Restrictions, Section 8.00(c)(5). Hatchery trout or steelhead in anadromous waters are those showing a healed adipose fin clip (adipose fin is absent). Unless otherwise provided, all other trout and steelhead must be immediately released. Wild trout or steelhead are those not showing a healed adipose fin clip (adipose fin is present).

County Exceptions

Sport fishing license required

Dates:
All year
Special:
The South Central District consists of the inland waters of all of Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties; all of Alameda County west of Interstate 680, and that portion of Alameda County which is both east of Interstate 680 and south of Interstate 580; all of Contra Costa County west of Interstate 80, and that portion of Contra Costa County which is both south of Highway 4 and west of Interstate 680.

Region Exceptions

Salmon

Dates:
All year
License:
Required
Method:
Closed
Special:
That portion of any stream west of any Highway 1 bridge except those listed by name in the Special Regulations.

Trout

Dates:
All year
License:
Required
Bag Limit:
5
Possession Limit:
5
Special:
All lakes and reservoirs except those listed by name in the Special Regulations.

Hatchery trout

Dates:
Dec. 1 through Mar. 7, but only on Sat., Sun., Wed., legal holidays and opening and closing days
License:
Required
Bag Limit:
2
Method:
Only barbless hooks may be used
Possession Limit:
4
Species:
Trout
Special:
That portion of any stream west of any Highway 1 bridge except those listed by name in the Special Regulations.

Hatchery steelhead

Dates:
Dec. 1 through Mar. 7, but only on Sat., Sun., Wed., legal holidays and opening and closing days
License:
Required
Bag Limit:
2
Method:
Only barbless hooks may be used
Possession Limit:
4
Species:
Steelhead
Special:
That portion of any stream west of any Highway 1 bridge except those listed by name in the Special Regulations.

Closed to all fishing all year

Dates:
All year
Special:
All other streams and portions of streams except those listed in subsection (e)(2) above or by name in the Special Regulations.
License:
Required

Low-flow restrictions

Dates:
December 1 through March 7
Special:
the following streams (subsections (1) through (7)) will be closed to fishing when the department determines that stream flows are inadequate to provide fish passage for migrating steelhead trout and salmon. Closed streams will be reopened when the department determines flows are adequate for fish passage. (1) Upper Penitencia Ck. (Santa Clara Co.) and Lower Coyote Ck. below its confluence with Upper Penitencia Ck (U.S.G.S. gauging station on lower Coyote Ck. above St. Highway 237 in Milpitas). (2) Pescadero Creek and all anadromous reaches of San Mateo Co. coastal streams normally open for fishing, from Elliot Ck. through Milagro Ck., shall be closed to all fishing when the department determines that the Pescadero Ck. flows are impeding fish passage. (U.S.G.S. gauging station is on Pescadero Ck.) (3) The San Lorenzo River and all its tributaries, as well as all anadromous reaches of coastal streams normally open for fishing in Santa Cruz Co. from the San Lorenzo R. on North through Wadell Ck., shall be closed to all fishing when the department determines that the San Lorenzo flows are impeding fish passage. (U.S.G.S. gauging station in Henry Cowell Redwood State Park). (4) Aptos and Soquel Creeks (Santa Cruz Co.) shall be closed to all fishing when the department determines that the Soquel Ck. flows are impeding fish passage. (U. S. G. S. gauging station on Soquel Ck.). (5) The Pajaro River and Uvas, Llagas, and Corralitos Creeks, (Santa Cruz, Monterey, & Santa Clara Co.) shall be closed to all fishing when the department determines that the Pajaro River flows are impeding fish passage. (U.S.G.S. gauging station on the lower Pajaro River). (6) The main stem of the Salinas River (Monterey Co.), below its confluence with the Arroyo Seco River shall be closed to all fishing when the department determines that the flows are impeding fish passage (U.S.G.S. Spreckels gauging station on the Salinas R.). (7) The Arroyo Seco River (Monterey Co.) shall be closed to all fishing when the department determines that the flows are impeding fish passage. (Flows to be evaluated at U.S.G.S. Spreckels gauging station on the Salinas R. and the U.S.G.S. gauging station near Geenfield on the Arroyo Seco R.). (8) The Carmel River main stem, and the adjacent waters of San Jose, Gibson, Malpaso, Soberanes creeks that are West of Highway 1 (Monterey Co.), shall be closed to all fishing when the department determines that the flow at the U.S.G.S. gauging station near Carmel is less than 80 cfs. (9) The Big Sur River main stem west of the Highway 1 bridge, all of Limekiln Ck and its tributaries, and the anadromous portions of all other Big Sur Coast streams west of Highway 1 in Monterey Co., from Granite Ck. south to Salmon Ck., shall be closed to all fishing when the department determines that the flow at the U.S.G.S. gauging station on the Big Sur River is less than 40 cfs. The stream flow gauges referred to above in subsections (8) and (9) will be checked on Tuesday and Friday of each week. The decision as to whether these rivers will be open or closed to fishing will take place only on Tuesday and Friday of each week. In the event that river flow differs later in the week, the fishing status for each specific river will not change until the day following the next scheduled reading. It shall be the responsibility of the angler to use the telephone number designated in the sport fishing regulations booklet to obtain information on the status of any of the rivers or creeks listed above in subsections (1) through (9). The number to call for information is (831) 649-2886.

Live bait

Special:
Live or dead fin fish shall not be used or possessed for use as bait in the South Central District . (a) Live or dead golden shiner, fathead minnow, mosquitofish, longjaw mudsucker, and staghorn sculpin, and dead threadfin shad, Mississippi silverside and lamprey may be used in all South Central District waters except those listed in subsection (f) below. (d) In addition, except for trout and salmon, fin fish lawfully taken in the following waters by angling or with bait fish methods approved in Section 4.05 may be used, only in the waters where taken: (1) Carquinez Strait and Suisun Bay and their tributaries and saltwater tributaries. (2) Sacramento River and tidewater of tributaries downstream from the Highway 32 bridge near Hamilton City, Feather River downstream from the Oroville Hatchery Fish Barrier Dam, and American River downstream from Nimbus Dam. (3) San Joaquin River and tidewater of tributaries downstream from Interstate 5 bridge. (e) Live threadfin shad, Mississippi silverside and lamprey may be used only at the location where taken. (f) Fin fish may not be used in Keller Lake (Glenn Co.), Letts Lake (Colusa Co.), Merced Lake (San Francisco Co.), Upper and Lower Plaskett Meadow Ponds (Glenn Co.), Whale Rock Reservoir (San Luis Obispo Co.).

Special:
Live or dead fin fish shall not be used or possessed for use as bait in the South Central District . (a) In Donner, Fallen Leaf and Tahoe lakes Lahontan redside, tui chub, Tahoe sucker, Lahontan speckled dace, mountain sucker and Paiute sculpin may be used only in the same lake where taken. (b) In Shasta Lake only golden shiner, red shiner, fathead minnows, mosquitofish and threadfin shad may be used or possessed for use as bait. (c) Crayfish shall not be used for bait in the Pit River and all tributaries between Pit 3 Dam (Lake Britton) and the Fall River-Cassel Road Bridge at Fall River Mills, California (includes Hat Creek and Fall River and their tributaries).

Sport fishing license required

Dates:
All year
Special:
The South Central District consists of the inland waters of all of Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties; all of Alameda County west of Interstate 680, and that portion of Alameda County which is both east of Interstate 680 and south of Interstate 580; all of Contra Costa County west of Interstate 80, and that portion of Contra Costa County which is both south of Highway 4 and west of Interstate 680.

Fresh water fishing

When Hour:
Night fishing allowed but no trout or salmon may be taken
Special:
All waters except Coyote Lake (Santa Clara Co.)

Activities Available

Fresh Water Fishing
Amphibian Collecting
Reptile Collecting

Methods Available

Barbless Hook
Only Barbless Hooks May Be Used
Live Bait
Closed To All Fishing
Bow And Arrow Fishing
Taking Fish Near Dams, Fishways, Screens And Egg-Taking Stations
Closed
Hook And Weight Restrictions
Dip Net
Only One Single Point, Single Shank, Barbless Hook May Be Used On A Line When Taking Sturgeon. The Sturgeon Must Voluntarily Take The Bait Or Lure Inside Its Mouth.
Special Closures
Gaffs
Chumming
Computer Assisted Remote Fishing
Use Of Lights
Catch And Release Only
Low-Flow Restrictions
General Methods
Crayfish May Be Taken Only By Hand, Hook And Line, Dip Net Or With Traps Not Over Three Feet In Greatest Dimension. Any Other Species Taken Shall Be Returned To The Water Immediately. Traps Need Not Be Closely Attended.
Live Bait Capture Methods
Filleting Of Salmonids In Inland Waters
Artificial Lures
Closed To All Fishing All Year
Movement Of Live Fish
Anadromous Waters
Reptiles May Be Taken Only By Hand, Except As Provided In Subsections (e)(2) And (3) Below, Or By The Following Hand-operated Devices: (A) Lizard Nooses. (B) Snake Tongs. (C) Snake Hooks
By Hand, Hand-held Dip Net, Or Hook And Line
Hand, Hook And Line, Spear, Bow And Arrow Fishing Tackle, Or Dip Net.
Possession Of Illegal Gear
Angling Only
Hand, Spade, Shovel, Hoe, Rake, Or Other Appliance Operated By Hand
No Sturgeon May Be Taken By Trolling, Snagging Or By The Use Of Firearms. Sturgeon May Not Be Gaffed, Nor Shall Any Person Use Any Type Of Firearm Or Snare To Take Any Sturgeon.
Salmon Spawning Areas
Bow And Arrow Fishing Tackle
Any
Hook And Line. Fishing Methods Described In Section 2.00 Apply To The Take Of Spiny Softshell Turtles, Slider Turtles And Painted Turtles

State-wide Species Available

American Bullfrog
American Shad
Aquatic Gartersnake
Arboreal Salamander
Baja California Brush Lizard
Baja California Collared Lizard
Baja California Treefrog
Black Bass
Black Salamander
Bonytail Chub
Bullfrog
Bullhead
California Kingsnake
California Lyresnake
California Mountain Kingsnake
California Slender Salamander
California Spiny Lobster
California Treefrog
Candlefish
Carp
Catfish
Checkered Gartersnake
Clams
Clouded Salamander
Coachwhip
Coastal Giant Salamander
Coast Nightsnake
Colorado Pikeminnow
Common Chuckwalla
Common Gartersnake
Common Sagebrush Lizard
Common Sharp-tailed Snakes
Common Side-blotched Lizard
Cottonball Marsh Pupfish
Crappie
Crayfish
Crustaceans
Desert Horned Lizard
Desert Iguana
Desert Night Lizard
Desert Nightsnake
Desert Pupfish
Desert Spiny Lizard
Dunn’s Salamander
Ensatina Salamander
Eulachon
Finfish
Forest Sharp-tailed Snake
Gilbert’s Skink
Glossy Snake
Goldfish
Gophersnake
Granite Spiny Lizard
Grass Carp
Great Basin Collared Lizard
Great Basin Spadefoot Toad
Great Plains Toad
Green Sturgeon
Hardhead Sacramento Pike
Humpback Sucker
Lamprey
Long-nosed Leopard Lizard
Long-nosed Snake
Long-tailed Brush Lizard
Lost River Sucker
Marine Fin Fish
Mearns’ Rock Lizard
Modoc Sucker
Mohave Chub
Mohave Rattlesnake
Mojave Rattlesnake
Mollusks
Mountain Whitefish
North American Racer
Northern Alligator Lizard
Northern Pike
Northern Rubber Boa
Northern Three-lined Boa
Northwestern Gartersnake
Northwestern Salamander
Ornate Tree Lizard
Owens Pupfish
Owens Tui Chub
Pacific Treefrog
Painted Turtle
Panamint Rattlesnake
Pond Slider
Pygmy Short-horned Lizard
Rattlesnake
Red-spotted Toad
Red Abalone
Red Diamond Rattlesnake
Reptiles
Ring-necked Snake
Rio Grande Leopard Frog
Rough-skinned Newt
Rough Sculpin
Sacramento Blackfish
Sacramento Pike Minnow
Salmon
Salmonids
Shortnose Sucker
Sidewinders
Sierra Gartersnake
Sierran Treefrog
Smith’s Black-headed Snake
Sonoran Lyresnak
Sonoran Lyresnake
Southern Alligator Lizard
Southern Leopard Frog
Speckled Rattlesnake
Spiny Softshell
Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake
Steelhead
Steelhead Trout
Striped Bass
Striped Racer
Striped Whipsnake
Sunfish
Terrestrial Gartersnake
Tiger Whiptail
Tilapia
Trout
Turtles
Unarmored Threespine Stickleback
Wandering Salamander
Western Banded Gecko
Western Black-headed Snake
Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake
Western Fence Lizard
Western Groundsnake
Western Patch-nosed Snake
Western Rattlesnakes
Western Shovel-nosed Snake
Western Skink
Western Sucker
Western Threadsnake
Western Toad
White Bass
White Sturgeon
Woodhouse’s Toad
Yellow Perch
Zebra-tailed Lizard

Always check your state's official documentation. See our list of state regulations.