Fishing & Boating

Endless rivers and lakes to explore.

El Dorado County is the heart of the most diversified recreational area in California, with approximately one million acres of national forest land.

Lakes and Reservoirs

Union Valley Reservoir

On the water, sailing, boating and swimming are very popular. For hikers and bikers, the Union Valley Bike Trail and Bassi Falls Hiking Trail are great for exploring. Fishing in the lake includes rainbow, brown, mackinaw trout and kokanee salmon. The bike trail connects with the campground, near the boat ramp, and stretches for 4.8 miles along the eastern shores of the lake. Camping is available. 

Ice House Reservoir

Enjoy swimming, fishing and boating on Ice House Reservoir. Rainbow, brown, and trout swim in these waters. A boat ramp is located on-site. Hike or bike on the Ice House Mountain Bike Trail, which stretches for 3.1 miles along ridge tops and shaded northern slopes. The trail boasts views of the reservoir and the Crystal Range. Camping is available. 

Folsom Lake

Located at the base of the Sierra foothills, the lake and recreation area offers opportunities for hiking, biking, running, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, water-skiing, and boating. Fishing offers trout, catfish, big and smallmouth bass, or perch. Visitors can also see the Folsom Powerhouse (once called “the greatest operative electrical plant on the American continent”), which from 1885 to 1952 produced 11,000 volts of electricity for Sacramento residents. For cyclists, there is a 32-mile long bicycle path that connects Folsom Lake with many Sacramento County parks before reaching Old Sacramento. The park also includes Lake Natoma, downstream from Folsom Lake, which is popular for crew races, sailing, kayaking, and other aquatic sports.

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills about 25 miles east of Sacramento, can be reached via either Highway 50 or I-80. Both Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma have many access points and entrances. The administrative offices are located at the base of Folsom Dam at the corner.

Desolation Wilderness

Desolation Wilderness is the most visited wilderness area in the state. The greater El Dorado County area features ten major reservoirs and 11,640 acres of lakes. There are family campgrounds, plus several additional picnic areas and boat ramps. In addition to the abundance of lakes, 575 miles of rivers and streams provide habitat for over 20 known fish species.

Discover Fishing and Boating Opportunities in El Dorado County