The beautiful photographs in the Big Lagoon article were taken
Photo Credit Phil Guiterrez
Lake Talawa Kayak, Canoe, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information
Lake Talawa is located about five miles from Crescent City, near Pacific Shores, in the Coast Ranges. At one time the Smith River emptied to the sea through these lagoons but it has now cut an outlet channel several kilometers north. Portions of the area surrounding Lake Talawa and Lake Earl are private.
Lake Talawa and Lake Earl are connected by a channel are similar to the shallow lagoons found in other parts of California. The water varies from relatively saline in Lake Talawa, the smaller of the two and the closest to the ocean, to fresh in Lake Earl in the vicinity of the tributary creek.
Lake Talawa is bordered by salt marsh, with salt grass and picklewead, Potamogeton pectinatus forms dense blooms in the summer that may cover up to two-thirds of the surface of Lake Earl and Lake Talawa, making power-boating virtually impossible.
To the west of the lagoons there is a series of wind-and-wave-formed dunes. These lagoons are important stops on the Pacific Flyway and during the migratory season up to 100,000 birds may be seen in the area. Ducks are abundant. 250 species of birds have been observed in the vicinity of the lagoons, as have at least 50 species of mammals.
At one time the Smith River emptied to the sea
through these lagoons but it has now cut an outlet
channel several kilometers north. For much of the
year the lagoons are landlocked and have a depth of
between 30 centimeters (12 inches) and 1.2 meters (4
feet); however, during the winter floods the depth
increases, and if the water does not breach the
dunes to drain naturally, before flooding the
surrounding area, a channel is bulldozed. Thus,
during the winter months there is some tidal action.
Paddling on Lake Tawala with your line in the water can be quite mesmerizing as you gaze into forests and watch the animals frolicking along the shore, the shadows dancing on the water surface, until you feel that big tug that says you have a caught a big one.
Fishermen will find a variety of fish including bull trout, and Sacramento perch here, so grab your favorite fishing gear, and kayak and head out to the lake. If all goes well, the fish will be biting your fry and the Sacramento perch will be grabbing your bait. Some of the more common fish species in Lake Talawa are the king and silver salmons, and the cutthroat and steelhead trout..
There is a hand launch access at the narrows where Lake Earl becomes Lake Talawa. Fishing may not alwys be good here, because the lake undergoes water fluctuations as a result of hot dry summers, and cool wet winters.
Open: Boating and camping is permitted all year. Day use hours are from sunrise to sunset. A permit is required to camp. There is no posted boat speed limit.
Lake Facilities: The lake facilities consist of beach launch access, fishing, swimming, biking, hiking and horseback riding trails. Jet and waterskiing are not allowed.