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Fishing Donner Lake In Northern CA - 2024

AKA: Donner Reservoir

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, kokanee salmon and sockeye salmon at Donner Lake in California.

Donner Lake, CA

This picturesque, mountain lake is an excellent connection to nature and the great outdoors. Donner Lake, which covers 950 acres, is located in the northeast part of the state, just north of Lake Tahoe. This cold-water fishery serves up a nice mix of trout and salmon. Fishing from a boat is ideal, but many anglers have success fishing from shore. Kayaks and canoes are popular here as well, for fishing and sightseeing.

Lake Video

Donner Lake, nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, is a picturesque destination for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is renowned for its natural beauty and abundance of fish species, making it a favorite spot for anglers of all levels of experience. One of the prominent fish species found in Donner Lake is the lake trout, also known as Mackinaw trout. These deep-dwelling predators offer an exciting challenge for anglers, known for their size and strength.

In addition to lake trout, Donner Lake is also home to other popular fish species such as rainbow trout, brown trout, and kokanee salmon. These species attract anglers with their vibrant colors and thrilling fights. Rainbow trout are regularly stocked in the lake, providing ample opportunities for anglers to reel in their catch.

Beyond fishing, Donner Lake offers a range of recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts. The lake is ideal for swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking during the warmer months, providing a refreshing escape from the heat. The surrounding area offers opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing, allowing visitors to explore the natural wonders of the region.

With its breathtaking scenery and diverse fish population, Donner Lake is a haven for anglers and nature lovers alike. Whether you're targeting lake trout, rainbow trout, or other species, or simply seeking a serene camping experience surrounded by majestic mountains, Donner Lake offers a memorable fishing adventure in the heart of California's stunning landscape.

Primary fish species residing in Donner Lake.

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Rainbow trout Brown trout Lake trout Kokanee salmon Sockeye salmon

Donner Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: NEARBY
Bait & Tackle: NEARBY
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Donner Lake, allowing anglers to access various fishing spots and explore the lake's scenic beauty. The lake has public boat ramps where visitors can launch their boats, including fishing boats, pontoon boats, and kayaks. Anglers can cruise along the lake's crystal-clear waters, cast their lines, and enjoy the serene surroundings.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Donner Lake Marina
Rentals: Fishing boats and pontoons
530 582-5112


Donner Lake Marina
15695 Donner Pass Rd
Truckee, CA 96161
530 582-5112

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Donner Pass Road Boat Launch
Located in the northwest corner of the lake, off Donner Pass Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Click here for a California fishing license.

Camping facilities are available near Donner Lake, offering a chance to immerse oneself in nature while enjoying the fishing experience. There are campgrounds with amenities such as picnic areas, fire pits, and restrooms, providing a comfortable and convenient camping experience for visitors. Camping near the lake allows anglers to fully embrace the beauty of the surrounding landscape and enjoy peaceful evenings under the stars.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Tahoe Donner Campground - 530 587-9400

Creek Campground - 530 582-7892

Boyington Mill Campground - 530 265-4531

Donner Lake CA Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Donner Lake
Donner Lake Marina
15695 Donner Pass Rd #101
Truckee, CA 96161
530 582-5112


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Donner Lake in Northern California.

Trout and salmon fishing in northeast CA.

Fishing at Donner Lake, in California.