Redwood National Park
Surf and sand with fishermen.


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Like ocean fishing? How about fishing for steelhead and salmon as they cruise the rushing rivers during the spawn? Redwood offers a shocking amount of variety. Anyone over the age of 16 is required to have a California fishing license. You can purchase a California fishing license here.

The Smith River: This magnificent 20 mile long river flows from the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains and into the mighty Pacific. The Smith is the largest r undeterred river system in California, flowing freely along its entire course. The Smith is designated National Wild and Scenic River. The Smith River has three forks. The North Fork begins in Oregon's Chetco Peak. The Middle Fork originates 60 miles northeast of Crescent City, and the South Fork originates 30 miles northeast of Crescent City. The main branch of the Smith enters the Pacific at the town of Smith River 10 miles north of Crescent City.

The Smith River is home to steelhead, Chinook salmon, cutthroat trout and coho salmon. Cohos cannot be kept under any circumstance, and are protected as a threatened fish. Please release any coho you may catch. You can read all of the Smith River regulations at this link.

Redwood Creek: This beautiful, large stream originates in the Coast Range at 5,000 feet and flows for 50 miles before entering the Pacific ocean just west of Orick. The fishery of Redwood Creek has been severely degraded due to roadbuilding and logging. The Army Corps of Engineers levees, channelized, and dredged the last 3 miles of the creek, ultimately reducing flow and thus causing sedimentation problem for cold water species such as salmon and steelhead. 90% of the upper creek is privately owned, with most of that timber company land. Continued heavy logging impacts the quality of the fishery. Despite that, hatchery trout and steelhead hang on, along with the occasional coho and Chinook salmon. You cannot take any of these species from Redwood Creek, and both of these fish are listed as threatened species. If you happen to accidentally hook one, please release it immediately. You can read the full Redwood Creek fishing regulations at this link.

Tiny trout in crystal clear creek with various sized pebble bottom
A trout in an unnamed creek.

Freshwater Lagoon: located at the mouth of Redwood Creek (Orick), Freshwater Lagoon is a popular fishing area for trout and black bass. Coastal waves created sandy bars which separate the lagoons from the ocean. The lagoons are open to fishing all year for trout, bullhead and black bass. You are allowed to fish for trout between one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunrise Bullhead can be fished all day and night, as well as black bass. An angler may only keep 5 trout daily. There are no daily bag limits foe bullhead. You are allowed to take 5 black bass daily with a 12 inch minimum size limit.

Klamath River: A gigantic river flowing 263 miles across northwest California, finally meeting the Pacific at Requa. The mighty river drains 15,000 square miles including several counties in southern Oregon while providing an important home for species such as Chinook salmon, coho salmon, rainbow trout and steelhead. As is the normal case, damn building almost destroyed the fishery, and it isn't nearly as good as it once was. Even more disturbing is the massive amount of pesticides which reach the river, and when released from damns these toxins simply kill salmon as far as 100 miles downstream. Because of these foolish behaviors, the Klamath coho salmon is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. You may be familiar with the disastrous move of former Secretary Interior Gale Norton, who in 2002 ordered the Klamath controllers to provide full water resources to irrigators during an intense drought. The result? 34,000 dead salmon - one of the largest fish disasters of all time. This is the price of agriculture where agriculture does not belong.

The Klamath has been called "an upside down river" due to the unusual nature of being developed in its upper reaches and relatively wild in its lower reaches in Redwood country. The Klamath National Forest, Six Rivers National Forest, Klamath Wildlife Refuge complexes are all located in the watershed.

Prairie Creek: Last Saturday in April to September 30th. In this beautiful creek you can find Chinook salmon, coho salmon, cutthroat trout and steelhead. You may not keep any of the salmon and limit is two trout.

Wilson Creek Pond: Last Saturday in April to November 15th. Steelhead, coho salmon, Chinook salmon. 2 trout limit, no salmon allowed.

Wilson Creek Beech: Open all year. Littleneck clams, rockfish, redtail surf perch, surf smelt.

Enderts Beach: Open for razor clams on even years. Limit is 20.

The Pacific Ocean: Redwood contains 37 miles of pristine beaches, most of which are open to shore fishing. Species range from salmon, abalone, Dungeness crab, sea bass, rockfish, mussels, spiny lobster, surfperch, halibut, numerous species of shark, spiny dogfish, leopard shark, California scorpionfish, lingcod, ocean whitefish, California sheephead, Cabezon and rockfish.

Please be sure to view the current California ocean recreational fishing regulations at this link.

We plan to add more information to this page as conditions and seasons change.


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