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Lake Shasta Native American Tribe History


Before the arrival of the first Caucasian people less than 200 years ago, Shasta County was inhabited by five Native American tribes, each with their
own territory. Archaeological evidence now proves and confirms that these Native American tribes inhabited the Shasta County area for over 12,500 years! The five Native American tribes were the Wintu, the Yana, the Atsugewi, the Achomawi and the Okwanuchu. The major difference between these five tribes was their language. There were two different languages that the tribes spoke; the Wintu, Atsugewi and Achomawi spoke Penutian and the Yana and Okwanuchu spoke Hokan. Other than the language differences, the tribes were very alike in every other characteristic of their lives.

The Wintu lived along the upper Trinity River, along a part of the Sacramento and McCloud rivers. mccloud_river_indiansThere were around nine groups of the Wintu. Each village had from four to 30 houses where 20 to 150 tribal members lived. A number of villages were in each of the groups. The members considered themselves part of their village, not a larger group. The leaders were expected to know how to guide the daily life of the villagers as well as be talented singers and dancers. They did not hunt, the people hunted for the leaders. The leader’s first born son inherits this position from his father. The name Wintu derives from Wintuh, which members called themselves and translates to “person”.

The Yana resided east of the Sacramento River in the foothills and valley that was the border of the Wintu territory. The large volcano, Mt. Lassen, was the main landmark of the Yana’s territory. The territory’s elevation range was between 300 and 10,000 feet. Like the Wintu, the name Yana simply means “people”. The Yana was not often kind to their neighbors, resulting in sour relations much of the time.  The Yana consisted of many villages throughout the territory. Unlike the leader of the Wintu, the leader of the Yana did not have power to control people but could only make suggestions to the community.

pitrivertribeThe Atsugewi lived in the valleys along the creeks that flowed northward into the Pit River, specifically Hat Creek, Burney Creek and Horse Creek. The villages would have from three to 25 houses. The village leaders led their people in gathering and hunting food as well as settled villager’s quarrels. The Atsugewi were known as the Pit River Indians and divided into two groups. The Atsuge, or “pine tree people”, had territory north of Mt Lassen and had a lot of lava from the volcano. The Apwaruge, or “juniper tree people” resided on the pains easy of the Atsuge.

The Achomawi resided along the Pit River as well, and along some streams and rivers that ran into it. Much of the land they had away from the rivers was high elevation mountain country – forested with pine and fir. Other parts were covered in lava from Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen eruptions. The Achomawi had nine villages in their territory. Each village had their own leader, chosen by the people of the tribe. When addressing someone in the tribe, a member would always refer to them as their relationship ( such as mother, aunt, cousin), not their personal name. It was considered rude to call someone by their actual name. The name Achumawi means “river people” originated from the people’s name of the villages, located along the Fall River. The Achumawi were also known as Pit River Indians. The river received its name from the people’s practice of digging holes and pits multiple feet deep and covering them with brushwood in order to trap deer.

The Okwanuchu lived at the northern end of the Sacramento River and covered a heavily treed and mountainous area around 60 square miles starting at the north fork of Salt Creek and the upper Sacramento River, to the headwaters of the Sacramento River to the McCloud River from its junction with Squaw Creek Valley. Not much information is known about the Okwanuchu – even the origin of their name is unknown. Their population was estimated to be no more than 200 to 300 people in the late 19th century and by 1918 the Okwanuchu were thought to be extinct.Okwanuchu_Tribal_Territory

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How to Clean Your Catch: Part 1

Along the same lines as our last two blogs, this one will give you information about properly cleaning your catch to be cooked!

Fishing offers not only an awesome outdoor voyage, but also a wonderful dinner for you and your loved ones. However, before you are allowed to relish in it, you first must properly clean your catch. (more…)

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Jake Owen: Boating Inspiration

There are many thoughtful and peaceful moments that happen while boating, but there is never a dull moment. This is a distinguished fact to practiced boaters, but could you imagine never having experienced the pleasures of being out on the water?

Discover Boating, who’s purpose is to promote the hobby, created a sequence of videos emphasizing the amazing life boating offers this past summer. Included in the videos was superstar country artist Jake Owen. Boating is a very important aspect in his life – he fishes, wakeboards, wake surfs and rafts. He is well known for singing songs about the lake and boating, and it’s no wonder why.

Jake Owen’s video is one of three of Discover Boating’s Stories of Discovery – check it out:

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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



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Your Shasta Lake Fishing Guide

We have just added more information and resources to the Fishing page on 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.

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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


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6 Romantic Dates on a Houseboat


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.)

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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

Photo courtsey of

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