You Asked, We Got The Answer


Photo by Marc Laver / The Natomas Buzz

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

“I often see people fishing along the drainage canals and retention basins. Is this legal? Is a license required to fish these waterways and, if so, where do I get one?”

The city’s Stormwater Quality Improvement Program oversees retention basins located within city limits while Reclamation District No. 1000 manages the network of drainage canals throughout the Natomas Basin, so we reached out to both agencies for an answer.

Stormwater Quality Improvement Program spokesperson Jessica Hess responds:


Man seen fishing a drainage canal in Natomas catches a small catfish. / Photo by Marc Laver

“It is fine to fish in the City’s detention basins. People should remember though that there are no lifeguards and there are no motorized boats allowed in the basins themselves. They should also remember that while the basins do have fresh water pumped into them from time to time and are maintained, their function is to collect urban run-off from nearby streets and storm drains and allow those materials to naturally settle out of the water before it is released into canals and ultimately the Sacramento River. The basins follow the same rules as City parks, which do require you to have a State of California fishing license (required if over the age of 16).”

Adds Paul Devereux, General Manager and District Engineer for Reclamation District No. 1000, referring to the district’s Policy on Public Access on our District Facilities:

“We prohibit fishing on our canals and drains as a safety precaution since our operations and maintenance activities can be a safety hazard for the public fishing along our canals. However, we do not enforce this prohibition unless we are actively engaged in operations and maintenance activities or there is a flood emergency. In any case, anyone who is fishing along our canals or drains must have a State fishing license or they could be cited by California Fish and Wildlife.”

More information on state-issued fishing licenses can be found here.

 Reclamation District No. 1000 Policy on Public Access on District Facilities


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