Wild Animal Encounters on Shasta Lake

Please don't feed the animals!

As much as it seems that Shasta Lake is just a place to hop on a boat and have some fun, it is still very much a place that wild animals call home. While we must actively help maintain our waterways to make them habitable to wildlife, it is more than okay to watch these animals from afar.

Here are five wild animals you may be lucky enough to spot on Shasta Lake:

1. Deer

If your are to encounter a wild animal on Shasta Lake it will likely be in the form of thirsty deer. Many deer live in the area surround Shasta Lake and use the lake as drinking water and to cool off in the summer:

2. Mountain Lions

Another, more frightening animal you may come across at the lake is a mountain lion. While these animals typically shy away from human interaction, please show extreme caution when you come across one. Here is a mountain lion getting some drinking water from the shore:

And yes, unlike many house cats, many mountain lions like to go for a swim in the lake:

3. Bears

Another animal to be cautious around at the lake is bears. Just like mountain lions, bears typicaly shy away from any interaction but still use caution if you see them. The below photo was taken in 2014 by Tucker Hammerstrom, who witnessed a bear getting a big sturgeon meal on the shore of Shasta Lake. The sturgeon likely died and washed to shore for the lucky bear.

Here is a video of a few different run-ins with bears at the lake:

4. Otters

Otters are cute, aren’t they? See this video of some happy otters enjoying life on the lake:

But sometimes, these little creatures aren’t all fun and games. Sometimes, they will go on the attack if they feel threatened:

5. Bald Eagles

Shasta Lake is the home to many bald eagles and they are often seen perched near their homes. But one of the coolest experiences at the lake is watching a bald eagle hunt. Check this out:

Make sure to have your cameras ready in case you see a wild animal on the lake, but use extreme caution and for goodness sake, don’t feed the animals!

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


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