Steelhead fishing in California usually heats up December–February in places like the Smith, Trinity, Mad, Eel and Russian rivers along the coast and the Feather, Yuba, American and Mokelumne rivers in the Central Valley. If you’re looking to fish for steelhead, remember a Steelhead Report and Restoration Card is required. CDFW uses data from report cards to track angling trends over time and is used in making fisheries management and regulatory decisions.
The information submitted by steelhead anglers directly influences the way steelhead rivers are managed. The steelhead reporting period runs from Jan. 1–31 and is mandatory. Reporting your card online is recommended. For more information on the Steelhead Report and Restoration Card Program and how to submit your 2023 report card at https://wildlife.ca.gov/