Are There Sharks in Lake Tahoe?

Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is a vast, freshwater lake that borders the state lines of California and Nevada.

Among the many things to do in this area are going to the beach or taking a ski trip.

Lake Tahoe’s beaches and ski resorts are world-class, and there are countless natural locations to discover during your visit.

Concerns about the presence of sharks in Lake Tahoe are common.

The resounding answer is no, there are no sharks in Lake Tahoe. That’s great news, but the even better news is the fact that there are many types of fish here, so anglers can have the time of their lives.

We’re talking about Mackinaw, trout, bass, and more.

Keep reading as we tell you more about Lake Tahoe, its activities, and the amazing fish species found here.

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Should I Be Worried about Sharks in Lake Tahoe?

fish lake tahoe

No! You’ll find scores of people swimming, sunbathing, and fishing in the pristine waters, but you won’t see any shark fins to scare anyone.

What you will find though are anglers having a field day catching all types of fish.

What is Lake Tahoe?

Lake Tahoe is a huge freshwater lake that crosses the state boundaries of California and Nevada in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

It is well-known for its beaches and ski resorts.

In Emerald Bay State Park on the southwest shore, you’ll find the early 1900s Nordic-style home Vikingsholm.

Sand Harbor Beach and Spooner Lake, the latter of which is a trailhead for the Tahoe Rim Trail, are two of the park’s most popular attractions.

Lake Tahoe is a popular tourist destination in both California and Nevada for a variety of reasons.

This area has it all: winter sports, summer outdoor activities, and breathtaking scenery. The region’s economy is strongly linked to its reputation as a popular spot for winter sports.

On the Nevada shoreline, there are several lakefront casinos, all of which have year-round entry via major highways.

Sand Harbor Beach

The Mountains Surrounding Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, at 6,225 feet above sea level and ringed by the snow-capped pinnacles of the Sierra Nevada as well as Carson Hills, spans the California-Nevada state line and is one of the world’s most recognized tourist destinations.

The peaks ranging between 9,000 and 11,000 feet are visible from here. Crater Lake in Oregon is the deepest in the United States, whereas Lake Tahoe is the nation’s biggest alpine lake, as well as the second deepest in the nation.

The depth of Lake Tahoe is 1,645 feet, with a depth of approximately 1,000 feet. The 39 trillion gallons of fresh water in Lake Tahoe are enough to completely submerge the region of California by 14 inches.

The Best Catches in Lake Tahoe

Because of its location on the California-Nevada state line, The Big Blue is ideal for freshwater fishing enthusiasts.

Additionally, you may fish here all year long! During late spring and summer, your chances will be better.

Mackinaw (lake) trout is the most popular local fish, followed by rainbow, brook, and brown trout.

As with many other species, kokanee is a popular choice during the hottest months of the year.

Mackinaw (lake) Trout

The following are some of the best things you can expect to see.

The Mackinaw Trout Rules in Lake Tahoe

Mackinaw, the lake trout that is a staple in the Tahoe area, is synonymous with the lake. Since you can catch them year-round, it only enhances their popularity in the area.

To find the ideal temperature, the Mackinaw trout travels across the lake, preferring 52°F and lower.

The year-round occurrence of these organisms is due to their ubiquity in various sections of the water column.

Mackinaw fishing is at its peak from March through June, when you’ll be able to reel in some truly impressive specimens.

For slightly smaller catches, the summer and fall months are also good options.

Macks can range in weight from 5 to 20 pounds, and catching a large one is difficult.

In 1974, someone caught a Mackinaw weighing more than 37pounds in Lake Tahoe.

That’s the heaviest Mackinaw ever caught in California.

Ways to Catch Mackinaw


Trolling as well as Jigging using downriggers are two popular methods for catching Mack. It’s easy to learn by doing, and it’s a lot of fun, too.

Starting at 70–80 feet is an excellent starting point for divers. To get the most out of your time on the water, try trolling in the middle of the water in the 60–200-foot range.

Because the Mackinaw trout has such a delicate mouth, it’s critical to set the hook slowly and gently while attempting to land one.

If you’re reeling in a monster fish, use a net to bring it aboard.

Kokanee Is Among the Most Popular Fish at Lake Tahoe

It’s hard to envision Lake Tahoe fishing without kokanee. Since being brought to Tahoe in the mid-1900s, these fish have flourished.

The peak fishing period for kokanee is typically between July and October. At the beginning of spring, you may be able to get some decent fish, but they prefer warmer weather.

There are very few chances of catching one from shore because they’re usually in the two-pound range and like deep seas.

Thousands of Kokanee become crimson in October as they make their way to Taylor Creek, where they will spawn and spend their final days.


It’s a rare treat to catch a glimpse of their blood-red bodies amidst the deep blue sea.

Fishing for these guys is best done by trolling, drift fishing, and jigging when the water is at least 90 feet deep.

Evening crawlers, minnows, and brightly colored lures work well for catching fish in the open seas.

They’re a lot of fun to catch, and even better, they’re delicious!

Trout of Every Shade at Lake Tahoe

The Lake Tahoe angling event may be headlined by Mackinaw trout. However, these waters are also ideal for other species of trout.

Brook, brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout, are among the top catches.

Rainbows and Macks

Due to their size and fighting prowess, rainbows and macks are two of the most sought-after species.

It’s best to target them between May through mid-November when the water temperature is just right for them to feed.

Their preferred habitat is deep water. However, they can be found near rocky beaches that are well-protected.


Brook and Brown

It’s much more difficult to come by brown and brook trout, though they can be found on occasion throughout the year.

Unlike brown trout, brook trout are more likely to be found in the lake’s upper elevation streams.

Early June is the prime fishing season for both of these species.


So you can come upon a few cutthroat trout in the lake because of their reputation for fighting among themselves.

You can still find them in the spring and summer, and catching them is a blast. Night crawlers and worms are excellent baits for cutthroats, who are drawn to them.

The Abundance of Bass at Lake Tahoe

In Tahoe, there’s a good area to go if you’re a serious bass fisherman. Largemouth and smallmouth bass can be found in the Tahoe Keys area of the lake.


Fishing in the Keys is a great opportunity to catch bass because the waters are warm and shallow.

In warmer months, the breeding season for these fish, they are most active.

Even though these aren’t monster bass fish, they may weigh anywhere between two and seven pounds.

Most smallies, as well as large ones, become active when the temperature of the water is in the 60s.

Get the fish’s attention by tying your line to the foliage and rocks beneath the surface.

Fishing for trout can lead you to encounters with bass fish, according to a few knowledgeable locals.

This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen.

The greatest time to go bass fishing in the Keys is always in the summertime.

Various Fish Species in Lake Tahoe

Fishermen of all skill levels will find plenty to keep them busy on Lake Tahoe. It doesn’t matter if you’re fishing for trout or Kokanee; this lovely lake has a great deal to offer.

The fact that Tahoe is a good freshwater fishery means that you can catch a variety of different species.

Tiny catfish, sculpin, and whitefish, are also common catches, as are crappie and bluegill.


There are even large goldfish in the lake since someone accidentally released one without recognizing the extent of its invasiveness.

When you’re reeling in your catch, don’t be astonished whenever you see sparkling gold. They can get quite large these days (up to many pounds).

Where to Fish at Lake Tahoe

Because Lake Tahoe is so vast (191 sq miles), and because 90 percent of the lake’s fish stay in 10 percent of the lake, it’s critical that you do your homework before you go out on your trip.

It’s a good idea to research the sites and strategies that can help you capture the fish of your dreams.

Different Means of Fishing in Lake Tahoe

From the shoreline to charter vessels, kayaks, and more, you can fish almost any way you like at Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe offers shore fishing for those who want to remain on firm ground. Most of the time, the steep and inaccessible lakeshores aren’t ideal for fishing, although there are a few exceptions.

For shore fishing, you’ll want to get to the east side, which is well-known among anglers. There’s a lot of action at South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Keys, Kings Beach, and Cave Rock.


May through September is the finest time of year for shoreline anglers to try their luck. It’s a great time of year to catch brown and rainbow trout, as well as crappie and bass.

A Mackinaw may be in your future if you venture out at the crack of dawn. To be certain, you must give it a go for yourself.

Lake Tahoe Sees a Variety of Visitors

Attracting visitors from all over the world to its peaceful and fragrant pine-scented ambiance, Lake Tahoe is a stunning cobalt blue gem nestled in the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Tahoe, a well-known tourist spot, is a year-round attraction that never ceases to excite visitors. Because of its depth, Lake Tahoe has long been used as a transcontinental transportation hub, first for railroads and then for roads.

Travelers were enchanted by the lake’s natural beauty and plenty of recreational opportunities as the number of roadside rest areas grew.

Throughout the 1900s, the neighborhood became a popular destination for tourists and residents alike.

Discovering Lake Tahoe’s Towns

Depending on your mood, visiting the communities that surround Lake Tahoe can either evoke a sense of the Old West’s flair or the laid-back West Coast attitude so prevalent in the area.

Tahoe epitomizes what it means to have everything that you need. Enjoy a day of hiking in the beautiful setting of Tahoe City.

Incline Village, Nevada

Soak in the sun on the sands of South Lake Tahoe’s beaches. Ride the gnar across Squaw Valley’s terrain covered in snow.

Truckee has a slew of unique shops worth checking out. In Incline Village, Nevada, dine on fine food while watching the sun appear to descend into the lake at sunset.