Pardee Reservoir

On February 16, the 2024 season will open with limited day use, fishing, and boating only, no camping. Pardee Recreation Area and Reservoir construction crews continue work to upgrade the park’s drinking water treatment facility. For additional information, contact the Mokelumne Watershed & Recreation Department at (209) 772-8204.

Pardee Reservoir, the heart of EBMUD’s drinking water supply, can be found nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of Northern California. Popular recreational activities include fishing, boating and hiking. Swimming pools located next to the café are available for your enjoyment seven days a week. To comply with state law prohibiting body-water contact, personal watercraft, water skiing and lake swimming is not allowed. 

Things to do


A total of 141 beautiful, oak-studded camp sites are located within two separate campgrounds that offer plenty of shade. They each contain a picnic table and fire ring. Running water, flush restrooms, laundry facilities and other amenities are available within a short walking distance. Two ADA, wheelchair-accessible sites are also available. The newly renovated RV Park features 56 sites with their own picnic tables, fire rings and fully modernized electrical, water, and sewer connections. RV Park guests can also enjoy a new group gathering area. 


About 90 percent of Pardee Lake anglers fish for trout, both from the shore and from boats. Other available species include Brown Trout, Kokanee salmon, Black Bass, and three kinds of catfish. Children will particularly enjoy the fast-paced fishing for crappie, bluegill and sunfish.

A valid California fishing license is required for individuals 16 years of age or older. In addition, there is a Pardee fishing access fee of $7.25 per day for each individual 16 years of age and older. Up to 4 children, 15 years of age and younger, may fish without a daily fishing access permit as long as they are accompanied by a licensed adult with a valid fishing access permit. The Pardee access permit funds are used to re-stock the lake with fish.

Boat rentals

Motorboats, deluxe boats, pontoon boats and deluxe pontoons are available daily.

Boat launch

There is a 10-lane launching facility that is open daily. All boats must be surveyed and are subject to inspection before launching to prevent invasive Quagga Mussels from entering EBMUD waters. Vessels from Southern California and out-of-state are prohibited from launching on Pardee Reservoir unless they have gone through a decontamination process. 


The entrance fee includes access to the hiking trails along Pardee’s shorelines. These trails have portable toilets for your convenience.


Café Pardee offers hearty breakfasts and offers other specials throughout the afternoon. The café also has a store that stocks ice, wood, beverages, groceries and other supplies for camping needs.

Bring your dogs

Dogs are welcome (fee required) in developed areas, but must always be leashed and controlled.


Many species of birds reside at Pardee Lake. Keep an eye out for ducks, geese, eagles, ospreys, hawks, owls, and wild turkeys. Other animals include squirrels, rabbits, and deer. Less likely is the possibility of spotting a coyote, bobcat, rattlesnake, or mountain lion, all of which possess a solitary, elusive nature.


State law prohibits lake swimming. Two swimming pools, one for children and one for adults, are available seven days a week.