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  1. #10
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    Re: Kokanee in Lake Sonoma?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac47 View Post
    Didnt see it mentioned, so I thought I remind everyone that the limit for the steelhead in Lake Sonoma is two not five! It is a great fishery and we anglers must protect it as CF&W does not.
    I second that, Mac47. These are special fish--used to be steelhead when they had a chance to run down to the ocean. Now they are landlocked and self-sustaining. While technically they are not steelhead, because they haven't been to the ocean, they are beautiful fish and a cherished fishery. I've had fish up to six pounds, bright and full of spunk. Be careful with these fish, guys. We want to be able to fish them forever.

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  3. #9
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    Re: Kokanee in Lake Sonoma?

    Didnt see it mentioned, so I thought I remind everyone that the limit for the steelhead in Lake Sonoma is two not five! It is a great fishery and we anglers must protect it as CF&W does not.

  4. #8
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    Re: Kokanee in Lake Sonoma?

    Quote Originally Posted by LineStretcher View Post
    Here's the best advice I can give you for fishing the trout. 65 feet is the magic depth, FinJunky tube fly's are the magic lure (get them at Outdoor Pro Shop in Cotati). Blue/Silver in the spring and then just keep going darker through the fall. Troll them at 1.5mph and stay in the old Dry Creek or you'll be in the trees. The creeks are all closed to trout fishing from Nov 15 to April 15. If you don't have a chart plotter with Navionics fishing charts then you'll need to get a map of the lake and do some research to find the path of the old creek. Twice a year the smaller trout gather in the far cove next to the dam and then work their way across and under the bridge. Once they figure out they're at a dead end they head back. They'll do that in the spring and in the fall you just have to be there when it happens and they're mostly smaller fish so I don't waste my time when there's better fish to be had.

    Mid April through late June is the first good trout bite and then it shuts down until late August. It fishes good from then until early November. Once you know the lake, you can catch trout all year round but it can be tough at times so persistence is the key. You now know what to use to catch the nice ones, all sorts of lures will catch the little ones.

    The trout spawn in the creeks so if you're going along and smell a rotten smell in the air and see yellowish brown foam along the shore line, that's bass eggs hatching and the foam is the remnants. The bass are guarding the fry at that point so the trout are long gone but if you can make the bass mad enough with something, you can have a blast with the smallies. The Crappie are mostly bedding up in the flats after Yorti Creek towards Cherry Creek. Typically they spawn between Feb and March and are pretty hard to not catch. Other times of the year you'll find them in the coves and in the creeks.

    There's some big LMB's in there too, mostly up Cherry Creek. The Smallies are all over, sometimes you have to work for them but sometimes you stumble across a boat load of them and wear your arm out.

    There are some big channel cats in there also. Old Grandpa hangs out under the bridge and you'll see him on your finder occasionally. Don't bother trying to catch him, there's a reason he's so big, he's never been caught. The Cat's are scattered around but there seems to be more of them up in the creeks.

    There's also Blue Gill and Red Ear Perch in the Lake. If you fish in the trees you can do pretty well with them.

    If you fish the Smallies, you'll notice that there are several different species. That's because fisherman have brought them in from other lakes. There weren't any spots in there and hopefully nobody is dumb enough to try to bring them in. Squaw fish started showing up a few years ago so I suspect someone was trying to plant carp and didn't know the difference. It wouldn't surprise me if there were carp in there, I've just never caught one.

    Good luck, I went from having Lake Sonoma 45 minutes away to having Pyramid Lake 45 minutes away. I'm just about ready to start fishing it again. As soon as the over night temps start staying in the 30's I'll be a regular up there.
    Great info thanks, the trout bite was hot late September last year. Put alot of time in, the dam is the most consistent, but it's not much fun when afternoon rolls around and the skiers come out.

    I don't target cats often, maybe twice a year when its 100 degrees in town and is too hot to sleep. My ol lady caught this cat on a senko bass fishin in spring on the warm springs side. Boy that was a surprise. I'd like to hear more about old grandpa. 2 years ago I hooked a cat under the bridge from my boat it was the only fish to ever break me off on the lake. as soon as it was hooked it went straight towards the pylon and it got deep. My drag was screaming 20lb maxima, it was over in less than a minute. I may have to set up some braid and get after that monster, tell me more!

    Caught this sqaw trolling near smiths creek on a needlefish, I did not know they existed in the lake before that. Thought it was a cat before I put it in the boat.

    Ill be on the lake sunday and will log a report. The weather is too nice not to be out fishing!
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  6. #7
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    Re: Kokanee in Lake Sonoma?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisheries Advocate View Post
    FISH and Wildlife will not allow Kokanee due to the endangered steelhead below the dam

    So they are scared that the kokanee will get into the river? That interesting. I don't think they have much to fear, the river is full of every type of fish imaginable. I once saw a purple carp in there the size of a salmon. I thought I was in Japan for a second

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  8. #6
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    Re: Kokanee in Lake Sonoma?

    Thats some intel Steve, thanks! I think Id fish most species in the old boat for now but will definitely target the bigger trout later in the year. Weve done well every time weve gone but nothing over 19 yet. It will take a few trips just to digest everything in your post! So many lakes, so little time off....


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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  10. #5
    aka sschefer
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    Re: Kokanee in Lake Sonoma?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimochou View Post
    I didnt know you used to guide Sonoma Steve! Its the closest lake to me and I only started fishing it the end of last year. Id love to hear some stories. Biggest crappie Ive ever caught came out of there on Christmas Eve.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Here's the best advice I can give you for fishing the trout. 65 feet is the magic depth, FinJunky tube fly's are the magic lure (get them at Outdoor Pro Shop in Cotati). Blue/Silver in the spring and then just keep going darker through the fall. Troll them at 1.5mph and stay in the old Dry Creek or you'll be in the trees. The creeks are all closed to trout fishing from Nov 15 to April 15. If you don't have a chart plotter with Navionics fishing charts then you'll need to get a map of the lake and do some research to find the path of the old creek. Twice a year the smaller trout gather in the far cove next to the dam and then work their way across and under the bridge. Once they figure out they're at a dead end they head back. They'll do that in the spring and in the fall you just have to be there when it happens and they're mostly smaller fish so I don't waste my time when there's better fish to be had.

    Mid April through late June is the first good trout bite and then it shuts down until late August. It fishes good from then until early November. Once you know the lake, you can catch trout all year round but it can be tough at times so persistence is the key. You now know what to use to catch the nice ones, all sorts of lures will catch the little ones.

    The trout spawn in the creeks so if you're going along and smell a rotten smell in the air and see yellowish brown foam along the shore line, that's bass eggs hatching and the foam is the remnants. The bass are guarding the fry at that point so the trout are long gone but if you can make the bass mad enough with something, you can have a blast with the smallies. The Crappie are mostly bedding up in the flats after Yorti Creek towards Cherry Creek. Typically they spawn between Feb and March and are pretty hard to not catch. Other times of the year you'll find them in the coves and in the creeks.

    There's some big LMB's in there too, mostly up Cherry Creek. The Smallies are all over, sometimes you have to work for them but sometimes you stumble across a boat load of them and wear your arm out.

    There are some big channel cats in there also. Old Grandpa hangs out under the bridge and you'll see him on your finder occasionally. Don't bother trying to catch him, there's a reason he's so big, he's never been caught. The Cat's are scattered around but there seems to be more of them up in the creeks.

    There's also Blue Gill and Red Ear Perch in the Lake. If you fish in the trees you can do pretty well with them.

    If you fish the Smallies, you'll notice that there are several different species. That's because fisherman have brought them in from other lakes. There weren't any spots in there and hopefully nobody is dumb enough to try to bring them in. Squaw fish started showing up a few years ago so I suspect someone was trying to plant carp and didn't know the difference. It wouldn't surprise me if there were carp in there, I've just never caught one.

    Good luck, I went from having Lake Sonoma 45 minutes away to having Pyramid Lake 45 minutes away. I'm just about ready to start fishing it again. As soon as the over night temps start staying in the 30's I'll be a regular up there.

  11. #4
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    Re: Kokanee in Lake Sonoma?

    Quote Originally Posted by LineStretcher View Post
    I guided that lake for several years. CDFW doesn't stock anything in that lake. Lots of controversy about the trout too. There's a lot of fish in that lake that aren't supposed to be there but Kokanee aren't one of them. CDFW doesn't plant the lake at all. They've thought about it a couple of times and accidently did it once when the hatchery had a problem (now you know why those trout are so special). Ever wonder why the Steelhead limit is the same as the trout limit at Sonoma.. LOL..
    I didnt know you used to guide Sonoma Steve! Its the closest lake to me and I only started fishing it the end of last year. Id love to hear some stories. Biggest crappie Ive ever caught came out of there on Christmas Eve.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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  13. #3
    aka sschefer
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    Re: Kokanee in Lake Sonoma?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIrishBean View Post
    I fish lake Sonoma often its the closest lake to me, the native rainbows are second to none. But I've often wondered while on the search for the elusive trout, why hasn't this lake been stocked with kokanee, it has great creeks to spawn and is very deep. I know they stopped stocking trout long ago due to disease, is that why no kokes have even been dropped here? Sure would be fun to catch some salmon here. Anyone know why?
    I guided that lake for several years. CDFW doesn't stock anything in that lake. Lots of controversy about the trout too. There's a lot of fish in that lake that aren't supposed to be there but Kokanee aren't one of them. CDFW doesn't plant the lake at all. They've thought about it a couple of times and accidently did it once when the hatchery had a problem (now you know why those trout are so special). Ever wonder why the Steelhead limit is the same as the trout limit at Sonoma.. LOL..

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  15. #2
    inland fisheries advocate
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    Re: Kokanee in Lake Sonoma?

    FISH and Wildlife will not allow Kokanee due to the endangered steelhead below the dam

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  17. #1
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    Kokanee in Lake Sonoma?

    I fish lake Sonoma often its the closest lake to me, the native rainbows are second to none. But I've often wondered while on the search for the elusive trout, why hasn't this lake been stocked with kokanee, it has great creeks to spawn and is very deep. I know they stopped stocking trout long ago due to disease, is that why no kokes have even been dropped here? Sure would be fun to catch some salmon here. Anyone know why?

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