Where does the Fish Derby take place?

The Fish Derby takes place at Cachuma Lake Recreation Area in Santa Barbara, CA, specifically at the Marina.

Please click here for directions


Where do I pick up my event badge and package?

Click here for badge pickup info


Badges must be worn at all times during the event in order to participate.


Should I register for the Fish Derby early?
Yes, register on or before April 6 and save up to $10.00 !


Do I need a fishing license to participate in the derby?

Yes! All participants ages 16 and up must obtain a fishing license from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife.


What are the boat requirements at Cachuma Lake? 

All vessels will have to be inspected before entering the water. There are several requirements and restrictions for all vessels at Cachuma Lake. Please read all the requirements by clicking here.


Quagga & Zebra Mussel Alert and Boating Info
Cachuma Lake has a 30-day quarantine and inspection of all boats except those with a Cachuma Lake tag and kayaks/canoes.

Please click here for boating updates & protocols.


Do I need to make a separate reservation to stay at Cachuma Lake?

Yes, and spots fill up quickly. Primitive tent sites, RV sites, cabins and yurts are available. Please click here for camping reservations.


Will there be food at the event?

There is a restaurant called HOOK’d Bar & Grill, very close by at the marina.

Snacks, beverages and other goodies are also sold at the General Store on site.


What else is there besides fishing?

We’re glad you asked! There will be raffles, kids activities, crafts, a closing ceremony, and more!

The Cachuma Lake Recreation Area offers miles of hiking/biking trails, a disc golf course, camping, and more. You can also check the Santa Barbara County website to see if there are any other activities going on during your stay.


Can I rent a boat or fishing supplies for the Fish Derby?

ExplorUS at Cachuma Lake Marina has a variety of boats for rent, fishing supplies, and licenses available at the Marina.

For special Derby boat reservations – Full-day & Full-payment only at time of reservation

(dependent on dock completion)

Call: (805) 688-4040

starting March 20 2024


 Can I sponsor the event?

YES! You can find out more on our sponsorship page and/or email julie@clnaturecenter.org


Can I cover the event for a press/media outlet?

Find more information on our press page and/or email julie@clnaturecenter.org


How is the Lake level?
Up-to-date info on water levels can be found here.


When will the lake be stocked with trout?

Trout plants occur regularly, so fishing is good! 12,000 pounds have been released in 2024, with another 4,000 planned for April 2024. Learn more about fishing at Cachuma Lake here.

Can I expect to see wildlife?
Yes! We’ve been seeing bald eagles, golden eagles, mule deer, osprey, great blue heron, red-tailed hawks, and the occasional mountain lion, bobcat, and even wild boar!


What if I have additional questions?
Email us at fishderby@clnaturecenter.org, or leave a voicemail on the Fish Derby hotline at (805) 693-8381 and we will get back to you as soon as possible.