Kelsey Reservoir is a 125-acre lake located on the beautiful 7,000-acre Kelsey Ranch in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Located close to Merced, Modesto, and Turlock, California. The ranch has been in the Kelsey family since 1852. The lake is over 70 years old, originally built by the Yuba Dredging Company, and enlarged later by the Kelsey family to supply irrigation water for farming activities on this working cattle ranch. Today the lake holds over 1000-acre feet and is fed by both the local watershed in the winter and the Merced River in the summer.
Over a decade ago, the lake was drained and refilled. Then for the next three years, the Kelsey family stocked 5,000 Florida Bass each year for a total of 15,000 Florida Bass planted. Along with the hard fighting Florida Bass, Bluegill, Catfish, and Trout were planted as well.
Today, the lake is filled with a large number of beautiful, healthy Florida Bass. The Lake has proved itself to be a wonderful fishery with great bass spawns each year. Fish in the 3- to 5‑pound class are common. The current lake record is 16 pounds 12 ounces caught in January of 2014.
Several 25 to 35-pound channel cats have been caught over the years, sometimes these monsters go for bass lures too, so watch out!