The Eel River is a magnificent river, located on the northwestern coastal regions of California. It is a long stretch of approximately 315km. The river system along with its tributaries forms the largest watershed in California. It originates from the Bald Mountain and drains up to 3684 square miles. The river is around 95 miles from Humboldt County. Public transportation to this drive takes approximately two hours.
The Eel River has the Pacific Lamprey. It is a kind of parasitic fish which looks similar to an eel and is the primary reason behind the river being named after it. There are many other different types of fishes available here. Chinook, steelhead trout, coastal cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and Coho salmon form the major population in the river. Threespine Stickleback, Prickly Sculpin and Sacramento Sucker are the other species of fishes found here.
Fishing is a primary activity at this place. The fish population is constantly monitored and regular counts are taken and recorded. The reports pertaining to the catch and release information are published customarily. This makes it easy for anglers to plan their fishing activity. No need for a fish finder here as most fishing can be done from the shore with great success or fishing from a kayak is also popular. Shad fishing is very popular and keeps the people excited during early summer and also in the late spring season. On average, the Chinooks in Eel is about 8 – 15 lbs and the steelhead about 8 – 10 lbs.
Fish and Game Code Section provided by California Department of Fish and Wildlife defines the general rules and regulations associated with the licenses and other permits. It directs residents or nonresidents who are 18 years of age or older to get the license. As per the norms, a resident is a person who resides continuously in the state of California for six months after applying for the license to do fishing. A person on active military duty during the period can also get the license. There are different fee structures corresponding to the application criteria. It is highly recommended to go through all the necessary rules and regulation before going on a fishing expedition.
Fishing opportunities in the river has been found throughout the year. The Chinook salmon enters the river in the month of August. They are seen till December but more in quantity in the month of October. It is also called as King Salmon and many local people get into the fishing net during this season.
Steelhead is a fish of the winter season. We can see it entering the river in early November. It is found to last till March and is at its peak in January. The South fork and the Van Duzen of the Eel River system provide good opportunities for the winter steelhead. Fortuna is another important destination to catch winter wishes. It is generally called as the one-stop destination because you can find the salmon and steelhead on a walkable distance. It is worth experiencing the thrill of fishing here.