New Melones Lake is the 4th largest man-made lake in California. Built in 1983, it has more than a 100 miles of shoreline covered with trees and brush. New Melones Lake attracts visitors from all over for its beautiful scenery, boating, swimming, water skiing, camping, fishing and more. You can even rent houseboats!
But what really sets New Melones Lake apart from others is its trophy size fish! Dream of catching a double-digit size Brown or Rainbow trout? Then New Melones Lake is the place for you!
The lake is set in the foothills of the Sierra Mother Lode along Hwy 49 between Angel's Camp and Sonora. New Melones has the size, depth and food sources capable of producing trophy size trout.
On December 2nd, 2006 non-profit organization, Kokanee Power, started the first pen-culture in California for Brown trout. Kokanee Power has already been successful in raising trophy-size Rainbow trout in New Melones Lake. Spokesman Gary Coe stated the goal was "quality, not quantity". Each pen is raising 300 Brown trout. He also stated that they hoped to release them next Spring when they've reached about 5 pounds.
Making the trophy trout program work involves the cooperation of the Department of Fish and Game, which provides the fish; New Melones Lake Marina, which provides the boat slip for the fish-rearing pens and employees to feed the trout each day; and Kokanee Power, which provided the materials and built the pens.
New Melones Lake is also the only lake in the Mother Lode that doesn't charge entry or boat launching fees. There are picnic, horseback and riding trails and shoreline camping.
Winter fishing is excellent at New Melones Lake. Folks are catching 3-5 pound Rainbow trout in Angels Cove using PowerBait and anything else that floats.
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