Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival

Save the date:  Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017!

That's when we'll do it all again at the fantastic Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival, held on the grounds of the Milt Brandt Visitors Center!  Rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Food, wine, beer, silent auction, live music, archery, fishing, tours, demonstrations -- just about anything you can imagine, and it is FREE!.


Record crowd enjoys 2016 Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival!

An estimated 6,000 people attended the Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival this year on Feb. 13. 

Superhuman efforts from our Steelhead Festival Committe made it all happen -- and the weather gods helped out by sending sunshine and warm weather!

Thanks to our GOLD Sponsor, Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, and our SiLVER sponsor, American AgCredit, plus Brandt Insurance of Healdsburg, The Belli Corporation (also known as Westec Tank & Equipment Company), also of Healdsburg, Bowland Vineyard Management of Santa Rosa, Exchange Bank, Lake Sonoma Marina, Russian River Watershed Association, Sonoma Counmty Airport Express and Vineyard Industry Products of Windsor We're also thrilled that Bear Republic Brewing was our beer sponsor, and the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley was our wine sponsor.

Read all about it here:


We Need Your Help!  Become a Sponsor of the Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival!

Come run with us and participate in the 9th Annual Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival by becoming a sponsor.  This festival is one of California's biggest and best celebrations of the endangered Steelhead Trout, which return annually to the Congressman Don Clausen Fish Hatchery at Lake Sonoma to spawn the next generation of fish.

This free event attracts more than 5,000 people to the grounds of the Milt Brandt Visitors Center at Lake Sonoma. Adults and children enjoy tours of the hatchery and watch one of nature's most fascinating species -- Steelhead pushing upstream and leaping out of the water as they climb the fish ladder.

On hand to educate and entertain are more than 40 exhibitors.  Activities and entertainment include archery, art projects, a casting pond, food vendors, local beer and wine booths, a live band and a silent auction benefiting Friends of Lake Sonoma.

The Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival is hosted by the Friends of Lake Sonoma, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Sonoma County Water Agency and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.  This event allows us to provide educational elements critical to increasing understanding of threatened and endangered species of not only the Steelhead, but also the Coho Salmon, and to increase awareness of water conservation and our watershed.

To keep this festival growing -- and allow us to offer this FREE to everyone that attends -- we appreciate the support of our business community.  Sponsorship levels range from $1,000 to $7,500.  Benefits include your company logo on all advertising and promotional materials, banners at the festival, a booth at the festival and other special rewards.

For more information and to find out how you can help, please contact Marinda Freeman, festival coordinator, at 415-924-9145.


Want to Exhibit at the Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival?

The Friends of Lake Sonoma invites community non-profits and local businesses to exhibit at the 2016 Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival.  Cost for a table is $50 for non-profits and $100 for small, local businesses.  You are in charge of setting up your table and providing approriate display materials.  Please contact us at if your group our business would like to participate.



Ready? Set? Here comes the 2017 Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival!


Check out the new Steelhead Festival video!

Videographer George Dondero captured the spirit of the 2015 Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival in this fantastic video, which provides a brief snapshot of all the fun activities.  Thanks to the Sonoma County Water Agency for providing this footage! salutes the Steelhead Festival

Check out what they say about us!


Saluting our 2016 Sponsors!

We thank the following companies and organizations who are on board as sponsors of the 2016 Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival:

Platinum Sponsors:

  • Californai Department of Fish & Wildlife
  • Friends of Lake Sonoma
  • Sonoma County Water Agency
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley

Gold Sponsors:

  • Sonoma County Winegrape Commission

Silver Sponsors:

  • American AgCredit
  • Bear Republic Brewing Company

Steelhead Sponsors:

  • Belli Corporation (Westec Tank)
  • Bowland Vineyard Management
  • Brandt Insurance
  • Exchange Bank
  • Lake Sonoma Marina
  • Russian River Watershed Association
  • Sonoma County Airport Express
  • Vineyard Industry Products


Vendors & Performers for 2016 

  • Healdsburg Kiwanis -- Food Vendor
  • Ultimate Souvlaki -- Food Vendor
  • The Bun Slinger -- Food Vendor
  • Chicago Hot Dogs -- Food Vendor
  • El Coyote -- Food Vendor
  • Got Balls Meatballs -- Food Vendor
  • Friends of Lake Sonoma -- Beer, Coffee and Water
  • Just POPPED Up -- Kettle Corn
  • Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley
  • Bear Republic Brewing Company

Silent Auction Donors

  • Cliff House 
  • Jane Young & Joe Montana, Sr.
  • Napa Auto Parts, Cloverdale
  • Eagles Nest Deli
  • Savvy on First
  • River Rock Casino
  • Clover Theater
  • Cloverdale Cyclery
  • Hamburger Ranch
  • Pick's Drive In
  • Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley
  • Kelley/Young Wines
  • Jean Herschede
  • Bolt Fabric & Home
  • Finishing Touches
  • Papa's Pizza
  • The Clover Theater
  • Catelli's Restaurant
  • Bosworth & Son General Store
  • Cloverdale Ace Hardware
  • Linda Clapp

Booth Sponsors

  • California Department of Fish & Wildlife
  • Fishing in the City
  • Sonoma County Bird Rescue
  • Sonoma County Waste Management Agency
  • Sonoma County Water Agency
  • Sonoma County Bowmen
  • Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley
  • Geyserville Fire Protection Unit 
  • Lake Sonoma Marina
  • Redwood Empire Trout Unlimited
  • The Ranch at Lake Sonoma
  • The Salvation Army
  • Town of Windsor Parks and Recreatiion Department
  • Blue Feather Organics
  • Blue Waters Kayaking
  • California Conservation Corps
  • Cal Fire - Sonoma, Lake & Napa Unit
  • Mussel Dogs
  • Farm Fresh to You
  • NOAA
  • North Coast Resource & Conservation Development Council
  • The Ranch at Lake Sonoma
  • Redwood Empire Chapter of Trout Unlimited
  • Russian Riverkeeper
  • Russian River Wild Steelhead Society
  • Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District
  • Sonoma County Mycological Associatiion
  • Sonoma County Regional Parks/Environmental Discovery Center
  • Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
  • United Anglers of Casa Grande High School
  • U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
  • Bookmobile of Sonoma County
  • Cindy Fox, Trout Artist
  • Kenyon Lewis, Artist
  • Clementine the Amazing, Face Painter
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Friends of Lake Sonoma
  • Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy
  • Mr. Music, Jim Corbett
  • North Coast Resource Conservation & Development Council
  • Russian River Watershed Association
  • Sonoma County Winegrape Commission
  • Bear Republic Brewing
  • Sonoma County Sheriff's Office
  • Sonoma Resource Conservation District
  • United Anglers of Casa Grande High School

Board of Directors

Linda Clapp, chairman

Rich Thomas, vice chairman

Tony Pettis, treasurer

Mark Thayer, secretary


Directors: Dora Azevedo, Nikki Baxes, Harry Bosworth, Joe Brandt, Jayson Collard, Dan Harting, Rick Herbert, Donna Meier, Brad Sherwood, Kasey Wade and Burrell Wyle.


Directors Emeritus:  Gordon Amrein, Paul Finn, Dave Harmeson, Phil Pinto, Arnold Santucci, Ken Screechfield

Tax Status

The Friends of Lake Sonoma is recognized as a non-profit cooperative association under section 501 (c) 3 of the United State Internal Revenue Service tax code.  Our tax identification number is 94-2260679.  We operate on a fiscal year from January 1 to December 31.  Monetary and in-kind donations to the Friends of Lake Sonoma are considered to be tax deductible, unless limited by law.


The Friends of Lake Sonoma relies on strong partnerships with key govenmental agencies and businesses, including:

United States Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District

Sonoma County Water Agency

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

National Environmental Education & Training Foundation

Toyota Motor Sales USA

Back Country Horsemen of California -- North Bay Chapter

Bike Monkey

Sonoma County Bowmen

United Flyers of Sonoma County

Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley




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