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Santa Fe Dam Fishing Guide

Mark Armstrong
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Finding a relaxing place to fish close to Los Angeles may not always be easy. But at the Santa Fe Dam, you might just find the natural surroundings and good fishing that you’ve been looking for; all in Los Angeles County.

But what is there to do at the Santa Fe Dam and is it worth the visit? We think it’s worth it, so we’ve put together some information to let you see why it should be on your radar.

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Fishing At Santa Fe Dam – What You Need To Know

Why Go Fishing At Santa Fe Dam?

Santa Fe Dam is located in Irwindale, California, just a 25 minute drive east of Pasadena and 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles.

But despite being so close to a sprawling metropolis, the Santa Fe Dam is set within an 836 acre recreational area, featuring a 70 acre lake, beautiful scenery and wildlife.

The reservoir is regularly stocked with rainbow trout, and during the summer months, it is also stocked with catfish. Bluegill, crappie, carp and largemouth bass are some of the other species you might be able to catch in the lake.

Because of the mild Southern California climate and the lake being stocked regularly, it’s possible to fish all year round at the Santa Fe Dam, which can make it an ideal spot for a fishing trip no matter what time of year it is.

Video: A Rainy Day at Santa Fe Dam

What Hours Is It Open?

The Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area is open every day of the year, except Christmas Day, from 6.30am until 6pm. However, throughout the summer months, from March 1st through October 31st, the park stays open till 8pm.

Do I Need A License/Permit?

Yes, in order to attempt to catch fish at Santa Fe Dam you will need a California fishing license. You can buy a license at the store inside the park or at the boat and bike rental store on the edge of the lake. The rental store also offers bait and tackle for sale.

What Else Is There To Do At Santa Fe Dam?

Santa Fe Dam has plenty of things to do, whether you’re on your own or with your family. There are Surrey bike rentals, where you and your family can explore the park together on the one bike, or head out on the lake on a pedal boat, paddleboard or rent kayaks.

During the summer months, there’s a swimming beach, as well as a water play area to keep kids entertained.

If you enjoy nature, there are hiking and biking trails for wildlife and bird watching, as well as a nature center.

The park also hosts Moonlight Fishing events during the summer, usually on the last Friday of the month. This fishing event includes camping in the park and is suitable for the whole family but should be booked in advance.


Fishing at the Santa Fe Dam can be a fantastic day out and with plenty of other activities on site, it can be ideal for bringing the whole family along. You can even rent a kayak or boat at the lake to help you catch more fish.

Just remember to make sure you have your fishing license before you cast your line. Have you been to Santa Fe Dam before? Tell us about your fishing trip and remember to share this with all your angler buddies in Southern California.

4 thoughts on “Santa Fe Dam Fishing Guide”

  1. About Fishing.. do you catch and release or keep what you catch? Is there a limit on the fishes that you catch. And what sizes is a keeper and what sizes is not?


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