Fishing on the LA River?

Actually, fishermen are a frequent sight along the banks of the Los Angeles River, where they use canned corn, tortillas, and commercial bait to catch mostly carp. Even the occasional fly fisherman can be seen casting along the river.

Historically, the Los Angeles River supported a seasonal recreational fishery, with an annual winter run of steelhead trout. Following its channelization, the trout disappeared, replaced by carp, tilapia, and other non-native species.

Today, although fishing in the river is not an officially-sanctioned activity, since it is currently illegal to walk in the river channel below the bike paths, officials rarely cite the many anglers regularly seen along the soft-bottom sections where fish are to be found.

The only approved place to fish near the river is at Lake Balboa, within the Sepulveda Basin, which is stocked with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and other game species. There and elsewhere on the river, a valid California fishing license is required for anyone over 16 years of age. Licenses are reliably available at sporting-goods stores and Wal-Mart.