There has been some confusion about fishing in the Middle Bar section of the Mokelumne River (between Highway 49 and Middle Bar Bridge). This page is intended to help clarify what anglers can and can't do at Middle Bar.
Here are the basic facts (please read them all):
- You can legally fish in the Mokelumne River up to the ordinary high water mark.
- Body contact with the waters of Pardee Reservoir is against state law. However, you can fish in the Middle Bar Mokelumne River section of Pardee provided you are wearing waders, are in a boat, or are using a float tube while wearing chest waders.
- The body contact restriction for Pardee Reservoir does not apply to the river upstream of the east end of the reservoir (the point Pardee reaches when full).
- You cannot legally hike on East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) lands at Middle Bar (except the Coast to Crest Trail, which requires a permit) or fish on those lands above the ordinary high water mark.
- There is a short gravel path between Middle Bar Road and the river, near the Middle Bar Take-Out parking lot and sanitary facilities. You may use that path to reach the river below the ordinary high water mark. Please stay on the path until you are below the high water mark.
- Updated spring 2011: EBMUD is proposing construction of a trail that will allow access to the river between Highway 49 and Middle Bar, starting at Middle Bar. It will be part of the Coast to Crest Trail. Use of EBMUD trails requires a permit. See www.ebmud.com.
Please use common sense and courtesy to avoid conflict with other river users, including rafters, kayakers, and people fishing from the Middle Bar Bridge. And keep our rivers clean!
For more information
To request information on EBMUD rules and programs, please call EBMUD's Mokelumne Watershed and Recreation office at 209-772-8204.
If you have a Middle Bar Mokelumne River access problem or question and cannot resolve it by calling EBMUD, send us an e-mail. Please describe the issue and include your phone number.
For general information on river access law and the public trust doctrine, see the websites of American Whitewater and National Rivers.
Note: East Bay MUD constructed the path as part of the Middle Bar Boating Takeout Facility, for boaters to use when leaving the river. However, EBMUD staff assures us they will not stop or cite anglers who use the path to reach or exit the river. You must follow all other EBMUD rules.