Logo

Boating Regulations

Fishing Regulations Nevada Freshwater Fishing

The following information provides a summary of some of the boating laws and regulations for Nevada anglers who use boats. Safe boating in Nevada starts with knowing Nevada’s boating regulations. All boats in Nevada are required to carry safety equipment appropriate to the type and size of vessel used, and every boater should know and practice safe boating, including learning the rules of the road. To learn more about boating in Nevada, contact NDOW and request a Nevada Boater’s Handbook or visit Nevada’s safe boating website: www.ndow.org.

Reduced Speed Areas

  1. On the following waters, a vessel must be operated at a speed that leaves a flat wake, but in no case may a vessel be operated at a speed in excess of 5 nautical miles per hour:
    1. Bassett Lake in White Pine County
    2. Cave Lake in White Pine County
    3. Knott Creek Reservoir in Humboldt County
    4. Jakes Creek Reservoir in Elko County
    5. Onion Valley Reservoir in Humboldt County
    6. Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area in Nye County
    7. The lagoon south of Laughlin in Clark County within Section 33, T 32 S. R. 66E. M.D.B.&M., as marked with signs or buoys, or both
    8. Likes Lake in Churchill County
    9. The Pitt-Taylor Arm of Rye Patch Reservoir in Pershing County
    10. Illipah Reservoir in White Pine County
    11. Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area in Lyon County
    12. Upper Wall Canyon Reservoir in Washoe County
    13. Echo Canyon Reservoir in Lincoln County
    14. Silver Creek Reservoir in White Pine County; and
    15. Key Pittman Wildlife Management Area in Lincoln County
    16. Colorado River, the backwater south of Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area within sec. 5, T. 33 S., R. 66 E., M.D.B. & M., as marked with signs or buoys, or both
    17. Jiggs Reservoir
  2. All boat harbors and other areas designated by buoys on any of the following waters are zones in which a vessel must be operated at a speed that leaves a flat wake, but in no case may a vessel be operated at a speed in excess of 5 nautical miles per hour:
    1. Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Clark County
    2. South Fork Reservoir in Elko County
    3. Wildhorse Reservoir in Elko County
    4. Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Cove, Cave Rock, Round Hill Pines Beach and Glenbrook Bay in Douglas County; Sand Harbor, Incline Village General Improvement District Boat Ramp and Crystal Shores West in Washoe County
    5. Washoe Lake State Park Boat Ramps in Washoe County
    6. Walker Lake State Recreation Area and Sportsmen’s Beach in Mineral County
    7. Lahontan Reservoir, Churchill Beach, and North Shore Marina in Churchill County; Silver Springs Beach in Lyon County
    8. Rye Patch Reservoir, Rye Patch Dam Access in Pershing County
    9. Topaz Lake boat ramps in Douglas County
    10. Colorado River, adjacent to Harrah’s Casino in Laughlin in Clark County; and
    11. Big Bend of the Colorado River State Recreation Area in the lagoon used for launching boats in Clark County

(Refer to NAC 488.455)

Boating Prohibited Areas

Vessels are prohibited in areas which are designated by signs or buoys as follows:

  1. Within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area;
  2. On the Colorado River:
    1. Below Davis Dam; and
    2. The swimming area of Harrah’s Casino in Laughlin;
  3. On Lake Tahoe at:
    1. The main beaches at Sand Harbor and Divers’ Cove within Lake Tahoe State Park;
    2. The swimming area of the Incline Village General Improvement District and Burnt Cedar Beach;
    3. The swimming area of Galilee at the Episcopal Camp and Conference Center;
    4. The swimming area of the Lakeridge General Improvement District;
    5. The swimming area of the Glenbrook Homeowner’s Association;
    6. The swimming area of the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe;
    7. The swimming area of the Zephyr Cove Marina;
    8. The swimming area of Crystal Shores West; and
    9. The swimming and beach area adjacent to Nevada Beach described in 33CFR 162.215.
  4. At the dam and swim beach at the state recreation area in Rye Patch Reservoir;
  5. At Lahontan Reservoir Dam;
  6. At South Fork Reservoir Dam;
  7. At Wildhorse Reservoir Dam;
  8. At Eagle Valley Dam at Spring Valley State Park;
  9. At Chimney Reservoir Dam in Humboldt County;
  10. At the county swim beach at Topaz Lake; and
  11. At the swimming area and dive area at Sparks Marina Park.

(Refer to NAC 488.465)

Boating Restrictions in Wildlife Management Areas

(See Wildlife Management Areas for table of restrictions.)

  1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, use of vessels is restricted in the following Wildlife Management Areas:
    1. In the Overton Wildlife Management Area, located in Clark County, vessels are prohibited on all ponds. Vessels are allowed on the portion of the area inundated by Lake Mead, except that on Overton Hunt Days, vessels may be used only by persons authorized to hunt waterfowl;
    2. In the Humboldt Wildlife Management Area, located in Churchill and Pershing Counties:
      1. All vessels are prohibited on the ponds in the Humboldt and Toulon Sink areas 5 days before the opening day of the waterfowl season.
      2. Airboats are prohibited on the Humboldt Sink until 1 hour after the legal shooting time on the opening day of the waterfowl season.
      3. Airboats are prohibited on the Toulon portion of the area during the waterfowl season.
    3. In the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area, located in Lyon County, all vessels are prohibited from February 15 through August 15 of each year, except on:
      1. Hinkson Slough;
      2. Bass Pond;
      3. Crappie Pond;
      4. Beaver Slough;
      5. The Walker River; and
      6. North Pond.
    4. In the Fort Churchill Cooling Pond Cooperative Wildlife Management Area, all vessels and floating devices, except for vessels used by employees of NV Energy in the performance of their official duties, are prohibited on the pond.
    5. In the Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area, only vessels without motors may be used on Dacey Reservoir from February 15 through August 15 of each year.
  2. The provisions of subsection 1 do not apply to vessels owned, operated and used for official purposes by the Department.
  3. For the purposes of this section, a vessel is being used if the vessel: (a) is upon the waters of this state, including, without limitation, if it is tied or fastened to a dock, mooring or shore; and (b) is not aground on the shore.

(Refer to NAC 488.467)

Areas Limited to Boats without Motors and Boats with Electric Motors

  1. Only vessels without motors are permitted on the following waters: Waters County(a) Angel Lake Elko(b) Blue Lakes Humboldt

    (c) Marlette Lake Washoe

  2. Only vessels without motors and vessels which are powered by electric motors are permitted on the following waters:
    1. Groves Lake in Lander County
    2. Sparks Marina Park in Washoe County
    3. The Lagoon South of Laughlin within section 33, T. 32 S., R66 E., M.D.B. & M., as marked with signs or buoys, or both in Clark County.
    4. Spooner Lake in Douglas County

(Refer to NAC 488.470)

FEDERAL BOATING REGULATIONS

Informational Note: The following areas are subject to Federal Regulations in addition to the general provisions of the Nevada Boat Act, which include rules for registration, equipment, and operation. Please contact refuge managers for descriptions of restricted zones and/or motor and speed regulations prior to your visit. Regulations are subject to change.

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
Phone: (775) 725-3417

Boats without motors (except electric motors) are permitted on the Upper Lake, Middle Ponds, and Lower Lake.

The North Marsh is closed to boating, including float tubes.

Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Phone: (775) 779-2237

  • North of Brown Dike
    No boats permitted. Float tubes permitted in Unit 21 as posted.
  • South of Brown Dike (South Marsh)
    • January 1 through June 14: Boats prohibited. Float tubes permitted at Main Boat Landing, as posted; at Narciss Boat Landing, as posted; and at mouth of Collection Ditch at west end of Brown Dike, as posted.
    • June 15 through July 31: ONLY motorless boats, float tubes and boats with electric motors are permitted. Boats with gas motors prohibited.
    • August 1 through December 31: Motorless boats, float tubes and boats propelled by motors with 10 h.p. or less are permitted.

Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge
Phone: (775) 941-0199

Big Springs Reservoir, Dufurrena Ponds and Catnip Reservoir: Anglers may bank fish, fish by wading, or use nonmotorized boats, boats with electric motors, float tubes and similar flotation devices only.

Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge
Phone: (775) 423-5128

Special boating regulations are now in effect at Stillwater NWR. Contact refuge manager before operating a boat in this area. Fishing is not allowed.