Because of Shasta Lake’s remote location and 370 miles of shoreline, this northern California region is brimming with wildlife of all varieties.
Wildlife viewing areas and nature trails abound in this scenic destination. It’s easy for houseboat vacationers to:
- Drop anchor.
- Pick a remote area or region.
- Enjoy a hike while keeping an eye out for some of Shasta Lake’s more wild residents.
So, what can you expect to spot if you’re taking an on-land excursion? What can you expect by breaking out the binoculars while you are onboard your houseboat?
Here’s a little extra info on some of Shasta Lake’s more unique and prevalent local wildlife, as well as where and when you can spot these California natives.
Osprey and Bald Eagles
While Shasta Lake can serve as the temporary or permanent home for hundreds of different species of birds, its two most famous feathered residents are its bald eagles and osprey.
You may be able to spot osprey nests all along the shoreline, which are generally located high in the air, well above the water or ground. The Packers Bay Trail is a great spot to discover roughly 60 osprey nests and up to 20 bald eagles nests, although you may be able to spot these giant birds flying overhead throughout the Shasta Lake region.
Ospreys tend to be visible from March through October, with the peak nesting season occurring in May and June, while bald eagles are most prevalent from the fall until the spring.
Additional birds of interest for birdwatchers include:
- Double-crested cormorants
- Western grebes
- Seasonal purple martins
Many folks wonder about the larger wild residents along Shasta Lake, and this region does have its fair share of larger-than-life critters! The shoreline is home to mountain lions, bears, and deer.
And while these mammals tend to stick to land, you may catch a deer or mountain lion enjoying a quiet swim close to the shoreline. Always keep your distance and don’t feed these larger residents, but keep an eye towards the shore for a chance to spot these popular larger species.
Under the Surface
One of the best aspects of Shasta Lake for anglers is its abundance of fish that are just below the surface, and which can be reeled in throughout the year. Shasta Lake is a habitat for both warm and cold water species.
Depending on the time of year, fishermen and wildlife fans can spot:
- Rainbow trout and brown trout
- Chinook salmon
- Largemouth bass and spotted bass
- Smallmouth bass
- Black crappie and blackfish
- Bluegill and carp
- Hardhead minnow
- White sturgeon and squawfish
- White catfish and brown bullhead
- Golden shiner and green sunfish
The trout and bass species are arguably the most popular catches, and your local marina can provide all the gear you’ll need to reel in a big catch or two.
Come See Us
Shasta Lake is a natural paradise in more ways than one, and wildlife fans will have the opportunity to spot a myriad of unique species while on the water, or while exploring the shore.
Bring along a camera, binoculars, and your fishing gear, and enjoy Shasta Lake’s wild side throughout your houseboat vacation.