Rivers and Fishing in Humboldt County, CA


6 Major Rivers
The Six Rivers National Forest, established in 1947, and named for the Smith, Klamath, Trinity, Mad, Eel, and Van Duzen rivers, manages more than 1,500 miles of these rivers and their tributaries, comprising nine percent of California’s total freshwater runoff. These rivers provide salmon and steelhead access to over 400 miles of their traditional spawning grounds.

Eel River
3rd Largest in California
Flow ranges from lazy curves to flows to churning whitewater
Flows thru 5 counties, cute Humboldt County in 2
Parallel’s Hwy 101 – Flows into the Pacific Ocean just North of Ferndale
When waters are high in late winter and early spring the river can turn into a rushing white water

Van Duzen River
Pours into the Eel about 14 miles from its mouth
Fishing for Chinook and Coho salmon and steelheads
September into the early spring
Crosses under Hwy 101 just before it pours into the Eel South of Eureka

Trinity River
1500 miles of fishable waters
Fly Fishing is at its best on the banks and in the streams
late summer through winter for salmon and steelhead and spring and early summer for brown trout.
Runs along Hwy 299 of which turnouts can be prime fishing spots

Klamath River

Mad River
Starts in Trinity County and winds through Six Rivers National Forest and empties into the Pacific Ocean just north of Arcata.

Smith River

Mattole River
No Dam and No hatchery fish are introduced to its waters
Steelhead – entire river is catch and release
Just over 25 miles of fishable waters
More information call the Arcata Field Office of the California Bureau of Land Management at 707-825-2300
Mad River County Park
5 miles North West of Arcata
Boat ramp available

Clam Beach
7.5 miles North of Arcata off Hwy 101
A favorite spot for beachcombing, fishing and horseback riding.
Clamming, on-shore fishing,

Moonstone Beach
One of Humboldt Counties most popular beaches

Ruth Lake
Year around – rainbow trout, catfish, small mouth and largemouth bass
Pan fish can also be found in the arms of the lake
1st week of May – annual Ruth Lake Bass Fishing Tournament
All boating permitted including jet skies and waterskiing.
More information – The Ruth Lake Community Services District Office 707-574-6332 800-840-9545

Shelter Cove
Offers outstanding fishing, whale watching, surfing, beach combing
Fishermen are drawn to this area for its deep sea salmon fishing, ling and rock cod, red and black snapper, abalone, crab and shell fish
Surf fishing for perch and rock fish
Surf netting is possible at Dead Man’s Creek and at the cove beach
In calm water, skin-diving and abalone picking are available

King Salmon
Surf and Crab Fishing
Clam digging on the beaches

Fish off the pier or charter a deep sea fishing boat
19 miles North of Eureka

Humboldt Bay
Surf and Crab Fishing
Clam digging on the beaches
Eureka is a very busy seaport with a large fishing fleet
Various activities in around Humboldt Bay including kayaking, fishing and harbor tours

Samoa Dunes Recreation Area
Offers hiking, bird watching, surfing, fishing, and beachcombing.

Fortuna’s Riverwalk
3 miles of walking and bicycling trailed on the banks of the Eel River
Fishing and Boating

Harry A. Merlo State Recreation Area
830 acres
One of the worlds greatest windsurfing spots
Adjacent to Humboldt Lagoons State Park
32 miles North of Eureka on Hwy 101

Little River State Beach
5 miles South of Trinidad and 13 miles North of Eureka just off Hwy 101

Humboldt Lagoons State Park
40 miles North of Eureka on Hwy 101
Agate hunting, bird watching, beach combing, boating, whale watching, fishing
Dry Lagoon and Stone Lagoon make up this park
6 miles of beach, a hiking trail, boat ramp, picnic area and campsites

Benbow Lake State Recreation Area
In winter months fishing for salmon and steelhead is fabulous!

The Journey’s End
9001 Mad River Road, Mad River 707-574-6441

Alans Guide Service
Drift & jet boat trips
Salmon & steelhead
Rivers of Northern California and Southern Oregon

Kenny Armstrongs Nor Cal Fishing Adventures
All of Northern California major Salmon & Steelhead streams

Salmon King Charters at The Inn of the Lost Coast
205 Wave Drive, Shelter Cove 707-986-7521 888-570-9676
BBQ Pits, Ice, Bait, Refreshments and all gear included

Browns Sporting Goods
797 Redwood Drive, Garberville 707-923-2533

Charter Fishing
The Tides Inn 888-99-TIDES

Shelter Cove Oceanfront Inn
800-824-1614 707-986-7002

Meyers Country Inn on the Avenue of the Giants
12913 Avenue of the Giants, Myers Flat 800-500-6464
Salmon and Steelhead fishing
River, Bay and Abalone diving
Boat tours and overnight trips

Trinity River Rafting
On the Trinity Scenic Byway Hwy 299 –  1-800-30-RIVER(307-4837)

Big Foot Rafting
Hwy 299, Willow Creek 800-722-2223

Ruth Store
1 Main Street, Ruth 707-574-6251

Ruth Lake Marina and Campgrounds
Reservations 800-840-9545
Marina 707-574-6194
Campgrounds 707-574-6196

Woodley Island Marina
601 Startare Drive, PO Box 1030, Eureka, CA 95502

Pro Sport Center
US 101 North, 5th & R Streets, Eureka

Humboats Kayak Adventures
Kayak, Canoe and Fishing Kayak Rentals
Daily Tours
Certified Professional Guides

Adventures Edge
650 10th Street, Arcata 707-822-4673

The Outdoor Store
On the Plaza, Arcata 707-822-0321

Redwood Trails at Stone Lagoon
265 Redwood Trails Circle, Trinidad 530-488-2061 800-443-5074

Kayaking with North Coast Adventures


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