Many of us move around the country as we change jobs, form new relationships, or even just chase a change of scenery.
Many anglers who come from states with abundant Walleye fish populations are confused when they get to California.
What is the problem with Walleye Fishing in California? Why aren’t they biting?
You may find yourself fishing with the same fishing rod and using the same bag of tricks that has successfully landed you dozens of Walleye in the past, but you constantly go home empty handed.
If you come from the Northern States like Wisconsin or parts of the Upper Midwest or if you are a Canadian moving south of the border this situation is going to be particularly strange to you.
Yes, your states may be filled with Walleye. But not here in California. California lieks to do things a little differently.
Let me give you an insight into the reason you will have difficulty catching Walleye in California.
The Best Walleye Fishing in California
Usually this is where I tell you where the best lakes in California are to go Walleye fishing. But the fact is that you won’t find any Walleye in California. California is one of the only states in the lower 48 that does not have Walleye swimming through its lakes and rivers.
“Why not?” I hear you ask.
Put simply, Walleye are not native fish to California. This means that for Walleye to start appearing in Californian waterways that they need to be introduced.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has introduced Walleye in the past, but not for over 50 years. Walleye were last introduced into Californian lakes between 1959 and 1963. The program was designed to increase the catch for sports fisherman like you and me, but the Walleye never took hold.
The program was abandoned in the 1960’s and has never been restarted.
The CDFW has stated that
…it is unlikely that Walleye will ever be stocked in Californian waters again.
The CDFW went on to clarify that this is because Walleye are an introduced species and non-native species can cause havoc when they are introduced into areas where they haven’t previously lived.
Introduced species have been known to take over rivers and lakes from the native trout and salmon that currently thrive there, potentially leading to extinction of these other fish species.
For this reason, most environmental agencies including the CDFW try to stay away from stocking non-native species like Walleye into lakes that have native fish living in them.
Where to Catch Walleye in California?
Again this is an easy one, there are no lakes and rivers where you can go Walleye fishing in California. If you are looking to catch Walleye in California you will need to head over the border to Oregon or Nevada to do so.
Lake Mead has been known to produce the occasional Walleye if you are heading to Las Vegas. But if you are sticking to the confines of California then you will find yourself out of luck. Better to switch your attention to one of the many fish that do live in Californian waters.
I suggest going after Salmon or Trout which will yield far more fish than chasing the elusive Walleye in California will. It’s like pushing on a string, it won’t get you very far!
The Last Cast
Fisherman who come to California for a vacation, or move here for work or family will find themselves out of luck if Walleye is their fish of choice.
There is simply no Walleye Fishing in California worth talking about.
There has not been an introduction of Walleye to California since the 1960’s and there is unlikely to ever be another program of Walleye stocking in the state.
So save yourself the trouble and go chase the Trout that are prolific in California. You will have a lot more fish to take home and a lot less frustration!