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Urban Ponds – Small Ponds with Big Fish

Fishing Regulations Nevada Freshwater Fishing

If you live in an urban area, there’s a good chance that an epic fishing opportunity is just around the corner. Skeptical? Don’t be! You might be closer than you think to one of the numerous urban ponds in the western and southern region of the state that the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) manages and welcomes you to fish!

Urban ponds are regularly stocked with trout, and in some cases warm water species as well (see Fish Stocking). With the help of NDOW Angler Educators Jan Nemec and Abbey Czarnecki you’ll be set to get outside and catch that big fish in a small pond that you’ve been waiting for!

Western Region Urban Ponds

Baily Pond

It’s easy to be distracted while watching fisherman reel in fish after fish near one of the busiest intersections in Carson City. The only urban pond in Carson City is located on the corner of Interstate 580/395 and Highway 50 west, right next to Fuji Park and the fairgrounds. An ADA accessible dock, shaded picnic tables, and handicap accessible restrooms are all on site. Rainbow trout and brown trout are well stocked in the pond from April through September which makes for productive fishing from early spring to late fall. Bait fishing is good with salmon eggs under a bobber or spin casting small spinners. Fly fisherman do very well at the pond with small nymphs slowly retrieved or terrestrials on the surface early and late. Regulations currently allow three trout to be taken from the pond during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Davis Creek Park Pond


Davis Creek Park is hidden at the north end of Washoe Valley at the base of slide mountain, elevated just enough to be surrounded by mature pines. Onsite you’ll find improved camping, hot showers, picnic areas with barbeques, several hiking trails, equestrian friendly trails, and a beautiful little pond. The best fishing can be found immediately after NDOW stocks the pond with rainbow trout in the spring and fall. Dough baits and small spinners work well through most of the summer. Access is limited to the improved areas due to overgrown vegetation along the banks. Regulations currently allow three trout to be taken from the pond during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Idlewild Park Ponds


Under the towering hotels and casinos of downtown Reno, Idlewild park offers a multitude of outdoor activities to those inside the city. Playgrounds, skate park, volleyball courts, softball and baseball fields, swimming pool, parcourse fitness station, rose garden, kids’ train, water play feature, picnic areas, walking/bike riding paths, sensory garden, and fishing ponds are all within walking distance of downtown. Rainbow trout are stocked in the ponds during the spring when water conditions allow. Spring and early summer are the best time to fish the ponds following the trout stocking. Spin fisherman using small spinners and bait fisherman using worms or salmon eggs can do very well early in the season. Regulations currently allow three gamefish to be taken from the ponds during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

James Kinney Pond

The city of Winnemucca recently welcomed the opening of the James Kinney Pond. Located near the base of Winnemucca Mountain on the east side of town next to the Humboldt River. Anglers never know what they’ll hook at Kinney Pond since it’s home to more species than any other urban fishery in the state. Smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, sunfish, channel catfish, perch, crappie, carp, and rainbow trout have all been introduced to the little pond. NDOW is currently stocking with rainbow trout in the spring and fall. Fly fisherman looking for surface activity and spin fisherman using small spinner and jigs do very well early and late in the day. Bait fishing is almost always productive with worms or dough bait near the bottom. In addition to great fishing, you’ll find picnic tables, portable restrooms, and plenty of parking on site. Regulations currently allow three trout to be taken from the ponds during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Liberty Pond

Liberty Pond offers seasonal trout fishing to the residents of Fallon right on the edge of town. Easy access and excellent spring trout fishing can make this a popular spot. NDOW stocks the pond with rainbow trout in the spring but catfish, bass, and bluegill are also occasionally caught. The park offers picnic tables and restrooms close by. Spin fishing with small spinners can produce both trout and bass. Bait fishing seems to be best with worms or dough baits off the bottom. Fly fishing with small nymphs or streamers can also be very productive. Regulations currently allow three gamefish to be taken from the ponds during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Marilyn’s Pond

Marilyn’s Pond is surrounded by pines at the base of Mount Rose, just inside Galena Creek Park’s west entrance. At the site which once stood Nevada’s first fish hatchery, anglers can experience the alpine setting minutes from south Reno. The small pond offers restrooms and picnic area nearby, ADA accessible dock, and excellent shore fishing from ice-out in April through October. Its elevation and cool water will allow for the pond to be stocked with rainbow trout through the entire summer. The best fishing can often be found in spring and fall, primarily because of summer crowds. Fly fisherman can’t go wrong using small terrestrials on the surface and bait fisherman using salmon eggs under a bobber will often catch limits quickly. Regulations currently allow three trout to be taken from the pond during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Mitch Park Pond


In the heart of Gardnerville, Mitch Park offers a tremendous number of outdoor activities including tennis, a large children’s playground, dirt bicycle track, restrooms, shaded picnic tables, and fishing on a pond. The large pond offers ADA access in addition to plenty of shoreline access. Don’t let the turbid water here fool you, the pond holds several gamefish species making it productive from early spring to late fall. Rainbow and brown trout are stocked to ensure productive fishing during the spring and fall, while channel catfish, bluegill, and a few bass offer good fishing through the summer. Bait fisherman using worms and dough baits will regularly catch both trout and catfish near the bottom. Fly fisherman using small dark streamers and nymphs can hook one of the five species in the pond. Regulations currently allow three gamefish to be taken from the ponds during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Mountain View Park Pond

Mountain View Park Pond is located on the western edge of Yerington, a few miles from the Mason Valley Fish Hatchery. Fishing is best in spring and early summer immediately following when NDOW stocks the pond with rainbow trout. In addition to the small pond, the park offers shaded picnic areas, restrooms, and a playground. Bait fishing with worms, salmon eggs, and dough baits are the most popular method for the planted trout. Regulations currently allow three gamefish to be taken from the ponds during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Paradise Park Ponds

Like many of the Nevada’s urban fisheries, the Paradise Ponds were once used for very different purposes. Originally a gravel pit before filling with water to rear trout commercially. Now a total of four ponds make up the Paradise Pond Complex, with all four containing game fish. The ponds have been stocked with rainbow and brown trout, bluegill, and channel catfish. Currently, NDOW stocks rainbow trout in the spring and recently added aerators and structure to improve fish habitat. The park additionally offers a walking trail, covered picnic areas, barbeques, restrooms, and a playground. Bait fishing with dough bait is the most popular for trout but worms will catch every species in the pond. Additionally, small spinners, spoons, and jigs will work for both warm and cold-water species. Regulations currently allow three gamefish to be taken from the ponds during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Rancho San Rafael Park/Hermans Pond


Nestled inside the largest park in Reno near the University of Reno’s campus, anglers will find a medium size pond that is rarely ever utilized. Rancho San Rafael Park is home to Herman’s Pond among many other amenities including; hiking and walking trails, biking trails, sprawling gardens, dog park, playgrounds, barbeque pits, wetland habitat viewing, museum, and covered picnic areas. Rainbow trout are stocked in the pond every spring and a few natural reproducing bass and sunfish are all caught regularly. The best fishing for trout occurs immediately following the rainbow trout plants with dough baits and salmon eggs. Spin fishing can also be good with small spinners or spoons for planted trout or the occasional bass and sunfish. Regulations currently allow three gamefish to be taken from the ponds during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Sparks Marina

The Sparks Marina isn’t well known for its fishing, but it should be. Better known for the two-mile walking trail around the lake, IMAX movie theatre, outdoor shopping mall, world’s largest sporting goods store, or neighboring casinos. The park at the marina offers restrooms, large ADA accessible fishing dock, playgrounds, picnic tables, dog park and parking near by. Thousands of rainbow trout and brown trout are stocked in the Marina in the early Spring. In addition to the planted trout, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, green sunfish, and channel catfish are caught regularly. Fishing is not allowed at the north end of the lake near swimming areas. The fishery itself is constantly getting improvements, the most recent to improve bass habitat. Bait fishing with worms and dough baits near the bottom and spin fishing with spoons or spinners are the most consistent methods. Fly fisherman are often seen sight fishing for twenty plus pound carp or retrieving streamers for trout and bass. Regulations currently allow three gamefish to be taken from the ponds during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Verdi Pond/Crystal Peak Park


One of Nevada’s youngest and most unique pair of urban ponds can be found just ten miles west of Reno inside Crystal Peak Park. The Verdi Mill Ponds are stocked with Lahontan Cutthroat Trout from April through October by the US Fish and Wildlife service. The large ponds and park offer three ADA accessible fishing docks, several shaded picnic areas with barbeques, restrooms, and hiking trails. Prior to becoming a public park, the property and ponds have been a vacation resort, ice harvesting facility, mill and timber storage yard, and private residence. In addition to fishing the mill ponds at Crystal Peak Park, the Truckee River runs along the parks western border. Fisherman using small baits and spinners, or flies on light leaders seem to do better for the petite trout. Aquatic vegetation can help hide trout from predators but often makes fishing deep near the bottom a challenge. If trout fishing is slow, plenty of small green sunfish are eager to eat during the warmest months. Regulations currently allow three trout to be taken from the ponds during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Virginia Lake


Surrounded by homes in the shadow of the Peppermill Casino, Virginia Lake offers the big city a small dose of wildlife and outdoor recreation. Best known for the resident geese and walking trail around the perimeter of the lake, and less known for its fishing. Virginia Lake is regularly stocked late in the season with rainbow, brown, and bowcutt trout to avoid springtime predators. Channel catfish, largemouth bass, and black crappie are also naturally reproducing in the lake. The gamefish can grow very large here if water conditions allow. Bait fishing with worms near the bottom and casting spinners or jigs will work for both the bass and trout. Regulations currently allow three gamefish to be taken from the ponds during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Wilson Commons Pond


Wilson Commons Pond is very well hidden in the wide open of Washoe Valley, north of Washoe Lake. Found roughly halfway between Carson City and Reno in the middle of Washoe Valley, Wilson Commons offers tennis courts, picnic area, shaded gazebo, restrooms, and a small pond that fishes very well during the spring and fall. Rainbow trout are planted in the pond during the early spring and fall in addition to a self-sustaining population of carp and crappie. Bait fisherman using worms or salmon eggs can do very well early in the season. Fly fisherman can often cast to rising trout early and late in the day when the light is off the water. Regulations currently allow three gamefish to be taken from the ponds during the regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Southern Region Urban Ponds

Floyd Lamb Park

Floyd Lamb Park is a city park in the northwest Las Vegas Valley with four connecting fishing ponds. The park is open from 8 am – 6 pm in the summer and 9 am – 5 pm in the fall and winter. NDOW stocks rainbow trout from November to April and channel catfish from May to October. The trout will hit on worms, PowerBait, and Roostertails, while catfish will take worms and stink baits. Bass are active through the summer hitting on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Regulations currently allow three gamefish to be taken during regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Lorenzi Park

Once the vision of David G. Lorenzi, Lorenzi Park is an 80-acre site with twin lakes as its centerpiece. Centrally located in Las Vegas near the intersection of Rancho Drive and Washington Avenue, this park not only includes a fishing pond but also an island for migratory birds. The pond is surrounded by shade structures and handicap accessible fishing opportunity. Channel catfish are stocked from May to October and rainbow trout are stocked November to April. Lorenzi is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Trout are enticed by worms, PowerBair, and Roostertails, while catfish will take worms and stink baits. Bluegill and sunfish will hit on mealworms and green grubs. Regulations allow for three gamefish to be taken during regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Sunset Park

Sunset Regional Park is one of Las Vegas Valley’s oldest public parks. Founded in 1967 and located near the corner of Sunset Road and Eastern avenue, Sunset Lake is a 14-acre impoundment and a favorite destination for local fishers. Nearly the entire shoreline is open to fishing and is accessible via maintained walking path. In addition to shade trees and a maintained walkway, the shoreline also offers anglers and other visitors multiple shade structures and anglers can be found fishing from the shoreline year-round. Channel catfish are stocked from May to October and rainbow trout are stocked November to April. Trout live to chase a spinner or Lil’ Jake, or you can use PowerBait or night crawlers if they are hanging on the bottom. Catfish are best to catch during dimmer nights using night crawlers or hot dogs. Mealworms will work best for bluegill or green sunfish. Regulations allow for three gamefish to be taken during regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Boulder City Pond/Veterans’ Memorial Park

Veterans’ Memorial Park pond, also known as Boulder City Pond, offers 3-acres of fishing opportunity that is open to anglers during park hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. This popular fishery has a maximum depth of 15 feet and is accessible via a paved walking trail that lines the entire pond. In addition to other traditional fishing methods, this water is also a popular place for fly-fishers. Rainbow trout are planted from November to April when the temperatures are cooler, while channel catfish are planted from May to October. Trout will hit on worms and Roostertails, and catfish will bite on hot dogs, worms and stink bait. Bluegill and green sunfish like smaller baits like mealworms or mini grubs. Regulations currently allow for three gamefish to be taken during regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license.

Hafen Trailhead Park/Mesquite Pond

Hafen Trailhead Park is home to Mesquite Pond, a quaint 2-acre pond located in the city of Mesquite. The park is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. and from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The park offers two covered pavilions. The pond is stocked with rainbow trout and channel catfish. Regulations allow for three gamefish to be taken during regular park hours with a valid Nevada fishing license. Rainbow trout like worms and PowerBait similar to their food at the hatchery, while catfish feed off the bottom so they prefer foods they can smell like old hot dogs, night crawlers and chicken liver.