Attention anglers, hook a trophy trout at Rancho Seco April 6-7

Sacramento, Calif.- SMUD’s annual trout derby at Rancho Seco Recreational Area begins Saturday, April 6. Thousands of pounds of trout and prizes are up for grabs. Rancho Seco is located about an hour from Roseville and 45 minutes from Downtown Sacramento.

Anglers reeling in the heaviest catches will win cash and prizes, including an adult and youth grand prize for the heaviest trout caught awarded each day.

Grand prizes are provided by The Fish Sniffer magazine and Angler’s Press Outdoors. The fishing event has become a tradition for many and has attracted thousands of local participants since it began in 1993.


Event: Saturday & Sunday, April 6 & 7, 2024
6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (rain or shine)


Rancho Seco Recreational Area,
14960 Twin Cities Road, Herald, CA 95638

The rules

Anglers can cast a line into the 160-acre lake from the shoreline or one of six fishing piers. Small boats with electric motors are also allowed (no gas motors). In addition to trout, the freshwater lake is home to bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and crappie. In preparation for the derby, Rancho Seco Lake was recently stocked with thousands of pounds of catchable trout.


Registration takes place on both days of the derby between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., rain or shine. Derby tickets are $5 per person for the two-day event and $12 parking fee at the park gate. A valid California state fishing license is required for those 16 years of age or older. Anglers hoping to win a prize must weigh their fish at the official weigh station between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the day of the catch.

The 400-acre Rancho Seco Recreational Area offers more than just fishing. The full-service facility offers picnic areas, RV and tent camping sites, a beach and swimming spots. Kayaks, rowboats, paddleboards and fishing boats are available to rent.

Rancho Seco Recreational Area is 25 miles south of Sacramento, approximately 15 minutes east of Highway 99 on Twin Cities Road. For more information about the derby, camping and safety at the park, visit or call (800) 416-6992.

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