Compete For Trophy Trout At Rancho Seco Lake

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Cast your line in SMUD’s annual Trout Derby April 2 and 3

Seco Trout

Win cash prizes plus a Lowe aluminum boat, trailer and electric motor, a fishing kayak, fishing equipment and much more during the Rancho Seco Recreational Area Trout Derby set for April 2 and 3, 2016.

The 160-acre fresh water lake is also home to bass, bluegill, red-ear sunfish, crappie and catfish. So pack up the tackle box, load up the rod and reel and head out to SMUD’s Rancho Seco Recreational Area on April 2 and 3.  You can win a prize for hooking the heaviest trout, and so can your kids.

Cast your line from the shore or one of six fishing piers. Fish from your small boat [electric motor only] or rent a fishing boat at the lake — or a kayak, rowboat, or paddleboat.  If you want to stay overnight, you’ll find eighteen RV sites with barbecues, fire pits, picnic tables, drinking water and electrical outlets, plus an additional 25 camping sites for those who like to sleep under the stars.

For family members not lured by fishing, the 400-acre park offers much more. You’ll find covered picnic facilities, 36,000 square feet of sandy beach, and excellent bird-watching, since the park is a winter refuge for ducks, geese, hawks, bald eagles, blue heron and migratory birds. Hikers may enjoy the seven-mile Howard Ranch Trail, which begins at the lake and meanders across beautiful grassland habitat and blue oak woodlands dotted with vernal pools and–at this time of year–an abundance of native wildflowers.

And for any non-nature-lovers in the group, a Wi-Fi hotspot is available in the recreation room and office area.



Gates open at 6 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., rain or shine. You can buy your $5 derby ticket (good for both days) at the park gate when you pay the park fee.

Park entry fees (annual passes are also available)

Daily Senior/Disabled/Car/Day Use $10 $8

Boat Launch/Trailer $15 $10

Motorcycle $5

Unless you’re under 16 years old, be sure to bring your valid California State Fishing License. The heaviest trout wins. To bag a prize, check in your fish before 5 p.m. on the day of the catch. If you win, we’ll contact you after April 10 to arrange for you to receive your prize.

This year for the first time, grand prizes will be given, courtesy of Lowe Boats and The Fish Sniffer magazine.

Trout Derby prizes  will feature an Adult Grand Prize: Gregor 14’ aluminum boat, trailer and electric motor package for the heaviest fish caught.

The Youth and Kids Grand Prize will be a fishing kayak for the heaviest fish caught.

The prizes for adults will be $100 for first place; $75 for second place; $60 for third place, $25 plus a 2 day park pass for fourth and fifth places; and $20 plus a 1 day park pass for sixth through seventh places.

The Youth (11 to 17 years) will be $50 for first place, $40 for second place; $30 for third place; $20 for fourth place and $10 plus a 1 day pass for fifth place.

The Kids (10 and younger) will be $35 for first place, $30 for second place, $25 for third place, $20 for fourth place and $15 for fifth place.

For safety reasons, youth and kids grand prize will only be released into custody of the winning participant’s parent or legal guardian.

You’ll find Rancho Seco Recreational Area 25 miles south of Sacramento at 14440 Twin Cities Road in Herald, CA. From Sacramento, take Highway 99 south to the Highway 104 exit. Go east on Highway 104 about 15 miles to the park entrance.

For more information about the Trout Derby or camping, visit or call 1-209-748-2318.