Irvine Lake is finally reopening – however, there are some strings attached

An Orange County favorite fishing destination will allow shoreline fishing only beginning on Aug. 17.

SANTIAGO CANYON—Shortly after this issue of FishRap hits stands, Irvine Lake will be back in business – at least partially. Several news outlets have already picked up this story and the website has provided some details about the lake’s reopening.

There will be some conditions when Irvine Lake opens again to the public on Aug. 17. During this time, shoreline fishing only will be allowed. All on-water activities, such as boat rentals, will not be up and running just yet. The park will also only be open during the weekend from Friday until Sunday. Hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. – just enough time for anglers to spend a day casting their rods on the quest for a fish jackpot.

On a Facebook group called SoCal SportFishing Club, more than 80 people reacted to the news that Irvine Lake was reopening.

One angler Paul Kleinhenz commented, “Three years of no fishing. That place is going to be a honey hole.”

Another person tagged a friend and said, “After 3 years buddy. Them fish aren’t going to know what hit them.”

Parimal M. Rohit has penned a story about Irvine Lake, including coverage on the sage that led to its closing in February 2016. Since 1933, Irvine Lake has been open to recreational boating and fishing activities on its waters, but in recent years water quality, an alarmingly low water and other events had to these pastimes ceasing.

In terms of anglers wracking their brains about what kinds of fish might be in the lake, Rohit stated freshwater anglers could find the opportunity to catch catfish, crappies, largemouth bass and trout. Before the lake closed, one fisherman hauled in an 80-pound sturgeon.

No fishing license is required to fish, but the following regulations, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, will apply:

  • There is a five fish limit.
  • Bass must be released.
  • Any catfish measuring more than 24 inches must be released.
  • One rod per person is the maximum.
  • No live bait is allowed; only worms, mackerel, dough baits, artificial lures and only approved bait can be used.

Parking gates will open at 6 a.m. and costs $5 per vehicle, but there is no charge for fishing. Dogs and other pets are not permitted. Bait and snacks are available for purchase.

For more information, visit Call 714-649-9111 or email for more details.

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