Mendocino National Forest
The lakes and streams of the Forest offer a variety of watersports, including fishing, water skiing, sailing, rafting, and swimming.
Lake Pillsbury: On the Upper Lake District, this lake has 2,280 acres of surface area and 31 miles of shoreline. The Forest manages several developed campgrounds, boat ramps, and picnic areas around the lake. There is also a private resort with guest accommodations, a grocery store, and fishing boat rentals. This is the only lake contained wholly within the forest that allows motorized boats. Good trout and bass fishing.
Letts Lake: This is a 22-acre lake on the Stonyford District for non-motorized boats only. You will find a small boat launching area, campgrounds, and a picnic area. You can swim in the lake but there is no beach. A specially designed fishing pier and trail make this lake accessible to fishing enthusiasts with disabilities. Good trout and bass fishing.
Plaskett Meadows: This recreation area on the Stonyford District has two small lakes that are planted with trout and popular with fishers.
Eel River: California's Eel River flows through canyons for most of its length but ends in a gently sloping valley with virgin redwood stands. Its salmon and steelhead fishery is of commercial importance to the local area. Rafting and kayaking are possible just outside the Forest boundary.
Stony Creek: In the Stonyford District, fishing is popular in this area, especially for trout. The Middle Fork is reportedly the best native trout fishery in the area.
Hammerhorn Lake: This three-acre lake on the Covelo District has a campground and is popular with people who fish for trout. Specially designed piers and a paved trail make this lake accessible to fishing enthusiasts with disabilities.
Howard Lake: This 24-acre lake on the Covelo District is only accessible to vehicles with good clearance such as pick-up trucks. It has no improved facilities but is popular with people who fish and want a primitive experience.
Lake Red Bluff Recreation Area: This area is located immediately east of Red Bluff. It accesses both the lake and the Sacramento River. There are boat ramps available at the lake and river, a campground, and day-use area. Popular activities include water skiing, fishing, swimming, and boating.
For More Trout
Try your hand at Plaskett Lake, Cold Creek, Black Butte River, Cottonwood Creek, Thomes Creek, Howard Lake, Hammerhorn Lake, and Keller Lake.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication