Lake Mendocino Kayak, Canoe, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information
Lake Mendocino is tucked in the foothills of the Northern Coastal Range, surrounded by wine country, It is about five miles from Ukiah in Mendocino County, and about two hours north of the San Francisco Bay area.
Many recreational activities can be enjoyed here such as hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and swimming. The northwest shore has a designated swimming beach, but swimming is allowed almost everywhere in the lake. The sandy beach swimming is located at the Pomo day-use picnic area.
The northern upper creek that feeds into Lake Mendocino is one of the prettiest spots on the lake. It is an ideal location for beginning paddlers who aren’t up for a fifteen mile paddle around the entire lake perimeter.
Lake Mendocino’s shape does not allow for easy crossover access to the opposite shoreline. In addition, the 55 m.p.h. boat speed limit should discourage anyone from cutting across the lake’s main body of water. All types of boating are allowed. NOTE: While swimming watch out for the aggressive man-biting catfish.
Wildlife is prevalent in Lake Mendocino's 700 acre wilderness area. There are bobcats, bear and mountain lions in the wildlife management area on the east side of the lake.
Lake Mendocino boosts its excellent fishing opportunities for striped bass, sunfish and catfish. It also offers a good population of bluegill, crappie, and smallmouth bass. The best location for kayak fishing is in the coves around the lake where bass, sunfish and bluegill tend to hang out, providing the water is still calm. On hot summer weekends the lake can become congested with people and watercraft, so plan your arrival at daybreak.
Open: The campground is closed October 15th to April 15th. Boating is allowed daily year-round, 24 hours a day except on holidays. The boat speed limit is 55 m.p.h.
Lake Facilities: The facilities include restrooms, two boat launches, power boating, jet and waterskiing, windsurfing, swimming, fishing, hiking and horseback riding trails, groceries, a snack bar, picnic area, and a visitors center. Leashed pets are permitted.