What’s up with Shasta Lake’s water level?

Over the past year there has been a lot of discussion about Shasta Lake’s water level. Contrary to popular belief, there is plenty of water and the level continues to rise today.

As of today, March 4, 2015 Shasta lake’s elevation is at 990.48 feet and rising. Full lake elevation and dam crest is 1067 feet. There are countless miles of shoreline to discover and more.

Seasonal rainfall totals for northern California have been normal for months now. San Jose is 106% of normal and Moffett Field in Mountain View is 117%. Shasta Lake has almost 1 million acre feet more water than a year ago and will continue to fill for months.

Check out these pictures of Shasta Lake’s current lake level from fellow instagramers:

via @complexstevee

via @complexstevee

Beautiful spring scenery!

via @jesse_saeteurn90

via @jesse_saeteurn90

via @jesse_saeteurn90

via @jesse_saeteurn90

Plenty of water to recreate in!

via @kellyyybee

via @kellyyybee

Great fishing!

via @nareshdhall1

via @nareshdhall1

Miles of shoreline to discover!

via @rochvillarreal

via @rochvillarreal

via @solrac_figgy

via @solrac_figgy

via @wander.with.me

via @wander.with.me

Your Shasta Lake Fishing Guide

We have just added more information and resources to the Fishing page on houseboats.com. See below to read your updated Shasta Lake fishing guide.

Shasta Lake Fishing

Shasta Lake is a two level impoundment that offers habitat for both cold and warm water fish. There are numerous parts all over Shasta Lake of sheer rock walls, large boulders, submerged islands and long points that will attract and hold fish. The habitat for cold water fish is considered respectable; however, habitat for the warm water fish is limited by the absence of shade & cover, water level fluctuations and steep-sided banks.

Trout and bass are caught most often by anglers. Although there is a bit of natural reproduction, the cold water fish inhabitants within Shasta Lake are mostly maintained through annual stocking with help from the California Department of Fish and Game. The warm water fish inhabitants are self-perpetuating.The species of fish in Shasta Lake are plentiful and diverse. Rainbow trout, brown trout, chinook salmon, largemouth bass, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, carp, Sacramento sucker, Sacramento squawfish, riffle sculpin, black fish, hardhead minnow, white sturgeon, channel squawfish, threadfin shad, white catfish, brown bullhead, golden shiner and green sunfish are a few examples of the many species that inhabit Shasta Lake.

Jones Valley Resort is one of the three locations where annual stocking takes place on Shasta Lake. The project is a co-op between the Jones Valley Resort, California Fish & Wildlife, Kokanee Power and the U.S. Forest Service. Each year, 450 to 650 rainbow trout are raised and released. The fish cage is stocked the first of November and the matured fish are released in the first part of April. Over the last couple of years, Jones Valley has assisted in the release of rainbow trout that range between 4 to 5 pounds.

Fishing Tips

Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Salmon: On the McCloud River Arm, trolling from Turntable Bay to Hirz Bay will typically yield brown trout. The Sacramento River Arm, Dry Fork, Little Squaw creek and Big Backbone Creek will typically yield some rainbows. Fishing for rainbows is generally best at Shasta Dam when the releases are high. Mooching for salmon is best in spring and early summer. During early spring, before the water

2/22/15: This fish was caught on the squaw arm out of a Jones Valley rental fishing boat! Way to go!

2/22/15: This fish was caught on the squaw arm out of a Jones Valley rental fishing boat! Way to go!

temperatures begin to warm up, bank anglers can typically catch rainbows, brown and Chinook salmon in the sports mentioned above. By late spring and early summer the trout are moving to deeper, cooler water. Marshmallow and egg mixtures and live minnows, from both shore or boat, two to three feet below a bobber in the spring, or 50´ to 100´ deep in the summer, generally work well. Minnows survive for a longer time and will have more mobility if they are hooked under the spine in front of the dorsal fin. Lures that are confirmed and established producers are: Thinfins in varying colors, Kastmasters, Rebels, Flatfish in Z-r or X-5, Rapalas, and Z-Rays. Trolling at depths of 30´ to 70´ is also effective. During the summer it is suitable to use a diving plane or down riggers.

Bass, Catfish and Crappie: Bass fishing on Shasta Lake is good year round. Fishing is finest in the spring and early summer. Spotted Bass are the most common, but Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass are also caught. Plastic worms, spinner baits, swim baits and live bait produce the most, depending on the time of year. Catfishing is best during the spring and summer. Anchovies, chicken liver and “stink” baits are most effective. Fishing after sunset is permitted for catfish. Channel Catfish, White Catfish and Bullheads are all found in Shasta Lake. Crappie can be abundant some years. Crappie populations cycle dramatically, so check with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine availability. Crappie jigs and minnows work best.

The 4 Most Useful Fishing Apps You Need To Download

Fishermen have been outwitted and skunked by fish since the beginning of time. And these same fishermen are always happy to tell you that they will do whatever it takes to outwit the fish and reel ‘em in. Well, how about these 4 Useful Fishing Apps? We know that having a phone nearby may contradict with the fishing bible, but if helps a little, we arent in any place to tell you no…

Fishing Spots

These are the fishing spots logged on Shasta Lake!

1. Fishing Spots – Free

With half a million users and hundreds of thousands of fishing spots, this app is the easiest and most convenient way to find the nearest fishing spot. Use from home or on the go! Some fun and useful attributes include:

  • Share a picture and location of your catch as you are reeling in and have others comment on it
  • Current Weather and forecast for every spot
  • Stocking schedules for most states
  • Fish ID charts, fishing knot Guides
  • Tide Charts and Best Fishing Times for any spot or current location
  • Very active discussion forums

 

2. iSolunar Hunting & Fishing Times — $4.99

trophy room

Show off what you caught in your Trophy Room!

This app boasts being the #1 solunar tables app and determines the best hunting times and best fishing times for any date, any location – worldwide.

Based on the original solunar theory, iSolunar Hunting & Fishing Times determines the peak feeding and activity times for all types of fish and wildlife based on the moon position and lunar phase. With this app you’ll have all the solunar table information you need to know exactly when the best fishing times and best hunting times will occur for your exact location.

  • Provides all peek feeding and activity times, which apply to ALL wildlife and fish
  • Major and Minor feeding/activity periods
  • Moon phase, sun/moon rise, sun/moon set times
  • Calendar for checking solunar data in advance
  • Send results via text
  • Trophy room to share via FB or email

 

 

3D Knots

Knots 3D Home Screen

3.  Knots 3D – $0.99

Tie, untie and rotate more than 100 knots with just your finger. Knots3D boasts that they will give you a whole new perspective on knots. If you’ve ever been interested to see what a specific knot looks like from a certain angle, this is the app to have. Use your finger to spin the knot and see how it looks from any angle in 3D! Some features and functions include:

  • Learn to tie 101 unique knots
  • Watch knots tie themselves and pause or adjust the speed of the animation at any time
  • Zoom in on a knot to see greater detail
  • Interact with the knot on screen: pinch to zoom, swipe to tie/untie
  • Browse knots by category or search by name
  • No internet required!

 

 

Bluegill description

Bluegill description on Fish ID Pro

4. Fish ID Pro – $1.99

With this app you will never have to wonder about your catch again. This app is packed with 100 Freshwater Fish to help you identify your mystery catch by detailed descriptions and zoomable images.

  • Search by fish name of even local nicknames
  • Detailed information on each fish
  • Habitats
  • Temperature preferences
  • Hints and Tips
  • Fishing Log/Journal

 

6 Romantic Dates on a Houseboat

valentines

At first you may not think of houseboating as the most romantic adventure a couple could have. Hot weather, busy marinas and lots of people sounds more like fun than romance. But what if you could have both?

Houseboating with your honey is a well kept secret that only the most in love couples know about. But if you think about it, houseboats are an ideal place for a romantic vacation getaway – romantic sunsets and scenery, peace and quiet, hot tub, fishing, kayaking… and it feels like you have the whole lake to yourselves! Here are 6 amazing dates while on a houseboat for you to try:

  1. The Fishing Date: Have a cute fish-themed lunch packed – some suggestions include Tuna Fish Sandwiches, Goldfish Crackers and Swedish Fish. Cast a line, hang out, talk, laugh, and make bets about who would catch the first fish. You can set up some fun little winning-favors between both of you such as the first person to catch a fish receives a back rub later!
  2. Rooftop Date: Move some patio furniture to the top deck. If you don’t want to bring patio furniture up, bring up a blanket and some big pillows for picnic style or to sit and talk after dinner, or hop in the hot tub. Grab battery-operated candles, a string of Christmas lights and turn on some music.  If you charge your laptop you can even bring it up to watch a movie! Make a simple dinner and enjoy!
  3. S’more Love: Print your printable and jot down a few reasons why you love your spouse.  Everyone always loves to hear “s’more” reasons why they are so awesome!  Then, cut out the printable and fold it into a box.  This box can now be stuffed with all the fixin’s for s’mores!  Enough graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows for two! Once you give it to your partner, head out to dry land for a bonfire and s’more lovin’.
  4. Movie on the Move: After the sun goes down, choose a scary movie and start the faux fireplace. Cuddle up on the couch with your wine or drink of choice and prepare for a frightfully good time!
  5. Sunrise and Sunset Date: We are positive you have witnessed many sunrises in your lifetime together with your spouse… Have any of them been on purpose? If you take a moment to really watch the sunrise, you’ll see just how beautiful and romantic it truly is as it warms you inside out.  So set your alarm for before sunrise and get dressed! Grab a comfortable blanket, your coffees and walk up to the top deck of the houseboat. Lay the blanket on the ground and snuggle up to witness the romantic sunrise. That evening, grab your drinks and head back up to your blanket on the top deck.  The sunset reflects such beautiful light on the lake. Your night may be full of great conversation and you may end up staying way past sunset…
  6. Fate Burger Date: This one is great for groups. First, make a long list of burger toppings, including non-traditional ones(For example, bacon, different types of cheese, onions, mushrooms, tomato, fried egg, onion rings, avocado, french fries, grilled pineapple, A1, Ranch, and BBQ sauce). Split all the toppings up with your group so everyone contributes. The girls prepare the toppings while the men grill the burgers and buns. Then assign each topping a number on a dart board. If you don’t bring a dart board you could pull them out of a hat, use cards, or put them on a spinner – anything that puts fate in charge. Then for the fun part – throw darts for 3-4 different toppings. You can swap one of the toppings but it is encouraged that everyone stick with their FATE BURGER. (Tip: Sometimes it is fun to throw for toppings for your spouse’s burger.)

Rocky the Puggle’s Houseboat Christmas Story

Photo courtesy of Anda Stavri Flickr

Photo courtesy of Anda Stavri Flickr

Rocky awoke to the soft scent of baking cinnamon rolls. His eyes popped open and he instinctively licked his chops. He looked out the Escapade houseboat’s stateroom window for a moment, viewing Shasta Lake outside… smooth as glass, with the young sun just rising in the east. Surrounding the houseboat were the many winter colors that blanketed Shasta’s shoreline. He hopped down from the stateroom’s bed and tapped his way to the kitchen galley, where Mom was leaning over the sink.

Mom turned from the sink smiling as she heard the clack of Rocky’s nails on the floor.

“Good morning Mr. Rocky,” Mom said as she leaned down and to give him a few scratches behind the ear. “You must have caught the scent of cinnamon rolls in the oven, didn’t you?”

Mom stood up and walked to the fridge and pulled out a big juicy ham and set it on the counter, beginning to prep the next meal.

Must. Stare. At. Ham. Rocky concentrated at nothing but the scrumptious ham for as long as he could.

Fishing in the morning

Fishing in the morning

After a sufficient amount of begging and receiving no hand-outs, Rocky decided to explore the cabin further this morning. He stuck his squished nose down to the floor and sniffed, catching Dad’s scent. He followed it through the hallway, passed the stairs, staterooms and beds, and through the sliding glass door at the back. On the deck, he saw Dad sitting in his favorite folding chair, bundled up with a fishing pole between his paws.

Once Rocky caught sight of him, his tail began to wag and he wiggled excitedly towards the chair. Dad reached down and gave Rocky some loving pets and then continued to fish. Rocky laid down next to Dad and gazed at the water, still as a mirror with steam rising all around from the cool morning air. Surrounding the water was a vast shoreline that Rocky loved to explore, with its many trees and hillsides. The sun continued to rise behind the trees, brightening the shoreline with yellow light, while they sat in much enjoyed silence. Across the lake was but only one other houseboat, with a man fishing off the back.

Suddenly Rocky heard the door behind him slide open and the two girls came out. Olivia and Carly stood clutching towels and were already in their bathing suits. Both girls pat Rocky on the head and kiss Dad on the cheek on their way up the stairs to the upper deck of the Escapade. As they run up the stairs, Rocky decided it was best he follows to make sure they didn’t get into any trouble.

Eagles on Shasta Lake

Eagles on Shasta Lake

Rocky jolted up the stairs in hot pursuit, but once he makes it up to the top deck he lost their scent in the cool morning breeze. Where could they have gone? Rocky shoved his snout onto the deck and sniffed around, tail wagging in deep concentration.

“Whoa, look!” Olivia yelled in excitement. Rocky perked up, hearing Olivia’s voice and located the girls in the hot tub, bubbles stirring all about, steam and warmth floating around them like a mist. Olivia was pointing to the sky as Rocky trotted up.

“An eagle! Wow!” Olivia’s sister, Carly called out.

Atop one of the trees along the shoreline was a majestic eagle, perched in all its magnificence, gazing over Shasta Lake as the wildlife began to waken under the warming sun.

Rocky’s ears perked up when he heard the penthouse loft stir behind the hot tub. All of the commotion had awoken Frank, the eldest of the kids. He stepped out of the loft, rubbing the sleep from his eyes and stretching. He let out a big, noisy yawn while Rocky greeted him, wagging his tail and patiently looking up.

“Good morning Rocky,” Frank yawned as he squatted down to meet Rocky. “Merry Christmas boy!”

Paddleboarding on Shasta Lake

Paddleboarding on Shasta Lake

A rush of scent burst through the door behind Frank. Could it be? Could I not have recognized this holiday because we aren’t at home? It certainly smells like Christmas…

Once Rocky arrived back at the main cabin, he spied the fireplace roaring, with many stockings hung above it. A small Christmas tree sat near it, sparkling with lights and ornaments; a few presents scattered beneath it.

Before Rocky can get back to begging from Mom, Aunt Kendra came out of her stateroom holding a leash. “Now, the leash is definitely something I recognize!”, thought Rocky.

Aunt Kendra hooked him to the leash and they walked out to the shoreline together. As Rocky sniffed and explored the shore, he heard Aunt Kendra yelling out to someone. Rocky perked his head up and saw a figure paddle boarding out on the still water. With the sun now reflecting off the water, it made it difficult to see who it was. But upon hearing the voice that came from the paddle board, Rocky realized it was definitely Uncle Dave.

After a nice morning walk along the quiet shore, catching sight of deer, jumping fish, and enjoying the crisp morning air, Aunt Kendra took Rocky back inside the Escapade. By the time they were back, the whole family had gathered in the kitchen galley and main cabin, relaxing while drinking coffee and talking with each other. A Christmas movie played in the background.

As Rocky closed his eyes for a nap on the couch by the fire, he released a sigh of content, thinking this was the most exciting Christmas he’d ever had. And he knew the whole family would agree.

Photo courtsey of aplacetolovedogs.com

Photo courtsey of aplacetolovedogs.com

Cyber Monday 2014

CyberMonday2014

My Thanksgiving with a view

Celebrating gratitude has never been better than the time my family and I decided to try Thanksgiving on a houseboat.

The road to Jones Valley Resort

The road to Jones Valley Resort

I woke up Thursday morning to something delicious baking in the oven, the marvelous aroma wafting through the houseboat as I roused to the solitude of Shasta Lake on Thanksgiving.

I looked outside and soaked in the view – I’m on the water! I realized how quiet it was outside, the lake was all ours. It seemed that my family and I had the whole place to ourselves. The fish were pretty much the only thing making wrinkles in the water.  In the afternoon that would change, as we decided to make splashes of our own by using the waterslide. But for the morning I just slipped into the hot tub and welcomed the morning with a delicious cup of coffee and allowed the bubbles to stir around me.

From the hot tub I viewed the beautiful fall colors, watched wildlife stir, and savored the quiet.

A few of the benefits of Thanksgiving on a houseboat didn’t come to me until I went on the trip myself. Consider a few of my notes:

1. Turkey and pumpkin pie was provided: it was a great help to have those staple items already bought, waiting for us when we arrived.

View treasures you wouldn't normally see in the summer

View treasures you wouldn’t normally see in the summer

2. We still had the option to bake the turkey the traditional way: we did have the option, but we opted to grill it. A pie in the oven and a turkey on the grill was the way to go!

3. Avoiding the traditional dishes that I don’t like: For example, we conveniently roasted all of our marshmallows over a bonfire Wednesday night – that meant no marshmallows to make Aunt Kim’s baked sweet potatoes!

4. Don’t need to do the dishes: Let me explain – Of course there are a complete set of dishes on board to use if you do so choose, and the dishwasher is available to clean most of them… but a houseboat trip gave us the excuse to not use our fine china and to opt instead for ‘oh-so-fine’ paper plates.

5. No unexpected drop-ins: I don’t know about you, but during the holidays we get many a neighbor, friend and relative (the one you try to avoid) who walk in unannounced, which can be fun most of the time. However, it is amazing to have the break from the people you didn’t plan for.

6. We could still watch the big game on TV all afternoon – Dad would have survived without watching the Big Game on Thanksgiving, but he would have been grumpy! If we decided to endure Dad’s grumpy mood we could have hid the remote (ahh, just like home).

All in all, the oven is on standby for your pies, the grill is primed for your turkey, the water is patiently waiting, and your crew will be hungry after a day cruising on the water. The vote is in – enjoy your Thanksgiving, the houseboating way!

Fall at JV

Fall Bass Fishing Cheatsheet

Bass fishing by houseboat

Bass fishing by Jones Valley Resort’s houseboat

The 2 best times of year for fishing are in the early spring and the early fall, before the winter weather.

And with fall arriving this week, it’s time to grab your gear, cooler and binoculars and read over this fall fishing cheatsheet!

Why Early Fall?

In order to be the best fisherman you can be, it is best to understand why early fall is the best time for bass fishing.

To put it simply, bass fish school together in the early fall when the weather cools down. When the weather cools down, so does the water, which equals more oxygen in the lake. With more oxygen in the lake bass become more active!

Get those bass hooked!

This is the season when bass will strike at about anything you throw at them. However, some patterns work better than others.

You need to know these 3 things in order to catch premium bass:

fishing boat bass fishing

Bass fishing on Jones Valley Resort’s fishing boat

1. Understanding the natural feed in the lake.
2. Awareness about marine plant life in the lake.
3. Knowledge of areas of the lake where shallow water is closer to deep water.

Colder temperature makes bass more active, and with more activity comes a higher energy burn, thus the need to seek more food. Familiarizing yourself with the natural forage and plant life in the lake assists in picking out correct bait and finding the bass. Bass is usually found chasing shad or other forage fish, in their normal habitat of deep water with close proximity to shallow water.

 Apply what you know on Shasta Lake

The best place to start when going out to hook some bass is to locate the bait. Bass feed on the shad in Shasta Lake. The Jones Valley area offers the finest entrance to the Pit and Squaw Arms, which are considered the best areas for overall fishing.

Other common areas are located where the streams and rivers fill into the lake – McCloud Bridge, on the McCloud, and Riverview (Lakehead) on the Sacramento Arm. However, the Jones Valley area of Shasta Lake is known as the best bass habitat on the lake.

Head out from Jones Valley and look for bird feeding activity or where bait balls are pushed to the surface by feeding trout and bass.

Once you find your spot, its time to imitate the bait. We recommend using small blue and silver spoons like Hopkins “Shorty” spoons. To attract strikes, some people use rip bats through the schools.

Bass fishing with Hopkins "Shorty" spoons

Bass fishing with Hopkins “Shorty” spoons

This cheatsheet has provided you with all the information you need to catch “the big one” this fall – except patience!

4 Ways to get your kids to love fishing

Fishing is a great bonding experience to have with kids; the memories made last a lifetime. However, sometimes it is a difficult task to get kids to love something that requires so much patience.

1. Get their attention: Since kids nowadays are more tech savvy than many adults, going the internet route can really kickstart a child’s interest. fishingkids.com is a great resource to introduce your kids to the world of fishing in a manner that is informative but will also keep their attention. The website includes a glossary, characters, and many affordable books with exciting and informative information. You can also psych kids out by telling them your most exciting fishing experience. 2. Set them up: Kids love brand new gadgets! They are always way more excited about brand new gear rather than dad’s old stuff. There are many different types of kids gear available including Fishing Kids Box Sets, compasses, tackle boxes and a large selection of kids fishing poles and rods at the Jones Valley Resort store or your local sporting goods store. And don’t forget about fishing licenses if they are over 14 years old – Jones Valley Resort has those too!

3. Make it special: Fishing as a kid creates memories for years to come … if you make it a special time.  Maybe the night before the fishing adventure, get kids excited by going to the store to get special snacks for when you’re on the boat, you can even keep it themed with goldfish, swedish fish, or gummy worms! Once you get home you can make the trip feel special by preparing the fishing gear with the kids while watching “Finding Nemo” or your favorite fishing movie. Making fishing seem special will make fishing feel special to kids and keep them wanting more. Young girl with a fish 4. Positive reinforcement: If a fish bites on your first fishing outing with your child, they will be hooked (no pun intended)! But if the fish aren’t biting and patience is waning, try  taking a few breaks for your kids to rejuvenate. Kids do get bored easily, so add to the fun by  taking an afternoon swim break and enjoying the snacks you packed with the kids. And remember, keep the pressure off and the patience up. Kids will remember this time for the rest of their lives,  and may even carry on the tradition someday with their own children!

Lake Level & Our Guarantee to You

We all know California needs water…now let’s do something about it and take advantage of the sun while it’s shining.

The water is calm, the fish are biting. And rates are at their rock-bottom lowest this time of year.

So come on, help us make it rain! Just book and take a trip on any houseboat now until May 2, and while at Jones Valley Resort, do a rain dance before embarking on your houseboat trip and receive a certificate for 33% off a second trip to be taken prior to 12/31/2014.*

Excludes existing reservations.

Lake Level & Our Guarantee to You

As all Californian’s are painfully aware, a drought has brought our lake levels down. However, we are confident that Lake Shasta has adequate water storage to last through the 2014 recreation and boating season.

With the current depth of 380’ of water in Shasta Lake and 211 miles of shoreline (full pool boasts 365 miles), there is plenty of water for boating, fishing, and watersports. It is about 130′ from crest at this time, and water outflows have been drastically reduced in the past week or so.

To help alleviate concerns regarding prepayment of rent (our policy is full payment is due 75 days prior to your houseboat embarkation date), here’s your guarantee should Mother Nature fail to produce the needed rainfall:

During the 2014 season, Jones Valley Resort(Shasta Lake Resorts LP/houseboats.com) guarantees a refund of the full rental fee up until one day prior to your vacation start date if the marina is unable to operate houseboat rentals due to low water and unsafe navigation.* 

We hope Mother Nature changes course soon!

*No other circumstances will be eligible for refund, including guest’s decision to cancel based on low water level or any other reason (certain circumstances are insurable, we encourage you to explore and purchase trip insurance). Only applies to trips scheduled after  the point at which the marina(s) can no longer operate, if houseboat rentals take place for a partial season, all trips prior to the non-operation date will be subject to current reservation terms.