Tahoe National Forest
Highway 89 North Area
This portion of Highway 89 extends north of Interstate 80 from Truckee, 24 miles to Sierraville and the National Forest boundary.
Independence Lake: Sierra Pacific Industries owns the land surrounding the lake. The road is gated and public access is by walk-in only. Bank fishing is very poor. The pure Lahontan cutthroat trout in the lake are closely managed by the California Department of Fish & Game (CDF&G). Special restrictions apply and all cutthroats, when caught, must be released. Brown trout up to eight pounds and brook trout up to three pounds inhabit the lake.
Lower Independence Creek (Below the lake): Brown trout inhabit this stream below the lake. Browns up to 20 inches and even larger are reported. Access is limited.
Little Truckee River: An irrigation diversion takes water from the stream from April to mid May. A private fly-fishing group owns much of the land below Webber Lake. Fishing pressure is heavy in easy access areas. Where access is difficult, large rainbow trout and a few browns have been reported. Catchables stocked near campgrounds along State Highway 89.
Cottonwood Creek: A small number of rainbow trout inhabit limited reaches of the creek. There is a low seasonal flow of water late in the summer.
Dark Canyon Creek: Self-sustaining population of native rainbow trout.
Turner Canyon Creek: Self-sustaining population of brook and rainbow trout.
Bear Valley Creek: Self-sustaining population of brown trout.
Forest Service Road 07
Perazzo Creek: Very scenic area. Brook and brown trout inhabit limited reaches of this creek. Because the fishery has declined, the Sierraville Ranger District has begun fisheries habitat improvement projects in the meadow reach of this stream.
Lake of the Woods: Popular lake. Large brown trout inhabit the lake as well as some rainbow. The CDF&G manages this lake by planting brown trout fingerlings yearly.
Long Valley Creek: A self-sustaining population of brook trout lives in reaches of the creek.
Jackson Meadows: A CDF&G target fishery for hatchery catchables. Fifteen to twenty thousand rainbow and brown trout catchables and forty to fifty thousand rainbow and brown trout fingerlings are planted each year. This lake is very popular with anglers and the CDF&G estimates over 65 percent of these fish get caught. One to two thousand catchable brown trout are also planted each year. Browns up to 14 pounds have been netted by the CDF&G. The redsided shiner is the food base for the planted rainbow and brown trout. By the end of the season the water level is drawn down, making boat launching difficult as well as limiting access for the CDF&G fish planting vehicles.
Milton Reservoir: Special fishing regulations apply to this area. Anglers may use only artificial lures with barbless hooks. A two-fish limit applies and fish must be less than 12 inches in length. Large brown trout have been reported in the creek below the reservoir. This reservoir is open to fishing only from the last Saturday in April through November 15th.
Milton Creek: Native rainbow trout up to ten inches inhabit the reaches of the creek.
Catfish Lake: Private lake with limited fishing access. A small number of rainbow trout inhabit the lake.
Tollhouse Lake: One thousand fingerling rainbows are planted every other year. Native brook trout also inhabit the lake.
French Lake: Access is limited due to the Grouse Lakes Vehicle Closure Area. Twelve to fifteen thousand fingerling hybrid Kamloops are planted every two years. Kamloops are a special strain of rainbow trout that grows to be very large.
Meadow Lake: CDF&G manages this lake with occasional catchable rainbow trout plants and annual stocking of rainbow trout fingerlings.
White Rock Lake: Very popular with anglers. Two to four thousand rainbow fingerlings are planted every year. A small number of stunted bullhead catfish inhabit the lake.
Beyers Lakes: A group of seven ponds within the Grouse Lake Vehicle Closure Area. Two thousand Lahontan cutthroat trout fingerlings in the lower lake and one thousand brook trout fingerlings in the upper lake are planted yearly.
Baltimore Lake: Supports a brook trout fishery through the planting of 1,500 fingerlings every other year. Also in the Grouse Lakes Vehicle Closure Area.
Phoenix Lake: A copper mine once operated on the bank of Phoenix Lake. The lake has been acidic in the past but is being tested with plants of rainbow trout fingerlings.
Forest Service Road 15
Bonta Creek: Brook trout live in the deeper pools, which are created by beavers.
Smithneck Road From Hwy. 49
Smithneck Creek: A self-sustaining population of brown trout. There is State-owned land near the town of Loyalton that supports a nice meadow fishery. Very good roaded access.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication