Mountain Meadows Reservoir- Sierra Tahoe

Mountain Meadows Reservoir

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Mountain Meadow Reservoir
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Suggested Flies for Mountain Meadow Reservoir:
Parachute Adams #12-16
Grey Wulff #12-16
Elk Hair Caddis #12-16
Parachute Madam X #12-16
Denny's Stillwater Nymph
Carey Special
Bird's Nest
Prince Nymph
Lightning Bug
Woolly Bugger, Olive or Brown, #8-10
Krystal Buggers #8-10
TS BH Bugger, Hex #8
Mohair Leech #8-10
Marabou Leech #6-10


From Interstate 5 in Red Bluff, take Highway 99/36 exit and drive east for 2.2 miles to the junction of Hiqay 99/36. Turn left on Highway 36 and continue approvimately 85 miles to Mountain Meadows Reservoir.

Mountain Meadows Reservoir is a shallow lake covering about 5000 acres, much of it is a wetland marsh. Originally, it was a meadow that was formed over an old lava flow. The area was inhabited by the Maidu tribe and later by homesteaders that entered the area after 1850. A buttress dam was built in 1924 that was about 26 feet high by the Red River Lumber Company owned by the Walker Family. Today, the reservoir is owned by PG&E which purchased the property from the Walkers in 1945. The lake is fed by Robbers Creek, Goodrich Creek, Duffy Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Mountain Meadows Creek, Greenville Creek, and Deerheart Creek. It discharges into Hamilton Creek, which feeds Lake Almanor. Hamilton Branch flows through a rocky channel surrounded by riparian and conifer forest, with several tributary streams and springs contributing to the flow along the way. The stream drops several hundred feet in elevation between the reservoir and Lake Almanor and supports naturally reproducing and stocked trout.

The lake is popular with the local community of Westwood and it is known locally as Walker Lake. It is used by PG&E for hydroelectric generation but the locals use the reservoir for fishing, duck hunting, bird watching, and kayaking. The lake contains both bass and trout. In Sept 2015, there was a problem with the drainage gate on the dam and, in conjunction with low water levels due to drought, the lake became completely drained, killing thousands of fish. Water has returned to the reservoir and efforts are being made by Mountain Meadows Conservancy, PG&E, and Calif Dept of Fish and Wildife to restore fish. A number of bass habitat structures have been placed and over a 1000 largemouth bass have been stocked as well as several thousand rainbow trout and several hundred Sacramento Perch. In December of 2018, CDFW used recycled Christmas Trees to provide structure and protection for small fish. The trees were weighted down by heavy cable. The Conservancy is also improving the public facilities and constructing trail access to the lake.

Other lakes and streams

Goodrich Creek: Much of this creek is within private property with restricted access. The creek is small, usually no more than 4 feet wide and shallow. It does contain Rainbows.

From Greenville, Take the Old Haun Road, 2.6 miles north of Greenville on CA-89. Turn right on FS 28N38 in 1.9 miles and proceed up to Greenville Saddle in 5.3 miles. Take a left on FS 28N60 and proceed just about 2 miles to the Homer/Deerheart trailhead.
Homer Lake: (6500' elevation) A glacial derived lake. Contains Rainbows. Homer Lake is 2.3 miles from the trailhead.
Deerhear Lake: (6300' elevation). Another glacial derived lake containing rainbows. Another 2.2 miles from Homer Lake on the trail.
Hidden Lake: (6700' elevation). The third glacial derived lake between Homer and Deerheart, also the smallest. Fishless.

From Indian Valley:
Taylor Lake: (6800' elevation) Taylor Lake was planted with brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) between 1953 and 2000. Rainbow trout (Onchorynchus mykiss) plants occurred in 1950-51 and 1968 through 1975. Recent surveys show that the Brook Trout are self-sustaining and will be managed as such. Contains Brookies, mostly in the 8-10 inch class. Some up to 15 inches reside as well.

Light Creek: Old fishing records show that this creek was planted with 20,000 Brown trout by J.A. Donnerwirth in 1914. Streamflow gets quite low in Summer. Numerous mining claims within the area. Brookies in the upper reaches, Browns in the lower reaches of the creek.
Cook Creek: Old fishing records show that this creek was planted with 14,000 Rainbow trout by J.A. Donnerwirth in 1914. Streamflow gets quite low in Summer. Numerous mining claims within the area. Brookies in the upper reaches, Browns in the lower reaches of the creek.



Fishing Regulations, Effective March 1st, 2021

Mountain Meadows Reservoir and other local lakes:

Open all year. No restrictions. 5 fish limit. 10 in Possession

Hamilton Branch Creek: (Tributary of Lake Almanor)

Season is the Saturday preceding Memorial Day through Sept 30th. 5 trout per day. 10 in Possession. No gear restrictions. This is summer only fishing to protect both Spring and Fall spawning for the Rainbows and Browns.

Other Tributaries: (flowing into Mountain Meadow Reservoir)

Season is last Saturday of April through Nov 15th. 5 trout per day. 10 in possession. No gear restrictions.

© 2021 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.

Mountain Meadows Reservoir Deerheart Lake Homer Lake Lights Creek Lights Creek Taylor Lake Indian Valley Lake Almanor