Nevada Freshwater Fishing
Welcome to Nevada
On behalf of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, we would like to welcome you to fishing in the Silver State. Although Nevada is widely known as a dry state, it is also home to over 200 lakes and reservoirs and more than 600 streams and rivers, providing nearly 400,000 surface acres of sport fishing opportunities.
Nevada is a land of contrasts, from high alpine lakes in Elko’s Ruby Mountains to desert lakes such as Lake Mead near Las Vegas. The majority of Nevada’s fishable stillwaters consist of man-made reservoirs that vary in size from one acre to the 115-mile-long Lake Mead. A good portion of the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe are within Nevada. The majority of Nevada reservoirs can be reached by road, but many of the 600 streams that crisscross the state can only be reached by hiking trails.
The fish species in the Silver State are as diverse as the geography. Coldwater species include native cutthroat trout, redband trout and mountain whitefish. Non-native species include rainbow, brown, brook and Mackinaw trout. Hybrid species include bowcutts (rainbow/cutthroat) and tiger trout (brook/brown).
Warmwater species vary from catfish to bluegill. Smallmouth bass and spotted bass represent a couple of our more recent introductions. Lake Mead and Lake Mohave are best known for their stripers that average close to two pounds, although 20- to-30-pound fish are occasionally caught. Wipers, a cross between a striped bass and a white bass, can be found in Lahontan, Rye Patch, Wildhorse, South Fork and Chimney reservoirs. In northeastern Nevada, Wildhorse Reservoir, traditionally a trout fishery, is also known as a great spot for yellow perch, especially in winter. Largemouth bass and channel catfish are found throughout the state including Lakes Mead and Mohave, and Lahontan, Rye Patch and South Fork reservoirs.
Want to fish closer to home? There are several beautiful lakes and urban ponds in and around our cities and towns. Rivers such as the Carson, Truckee, Humboldt, and Walker offer nearby fishing for several small and large communities along their path. The agency, with cooperation and encouragement from local governments, has developed over 20 urban ponds across the state, so you don’t even need to leave the city to have access to some fantastic fishing opportunities. Trout and catfish are the primary fish stocked in these ponds.
There are many waters around the state that offer great access for launching boats, camping, fishing, and other recreational activities. These may include larger lakes and reservoirs such as Lakes Mead and Mohave in the Southern Region of the state; Ruby Marshes and Wildhorse and South Fork Reservoirs in the Eastern Region; Rye Patch and Lahontan State Parks and Pyramid Lakes in the Western Region.
As you read through this magazine, be sure to check out the articles. You can read about the restoration efforts at Zunino/Jiggs Reservoir (30 miles south of Elko). Learn about all the angling opportunity that Lincoln County offers at Eagle Valley and Echo Canyon reservoirs, two reservoirs separated by no more than 10 miles. Or you can read about the Truckee River making a strong comeback after four years of drought.
This publication is intended as a reference for any questions you might have regarding fishing the Silver State. Statewide regulations and license information can be found near the front of the magazine, with a region by region breakdown of all available waters throughout the magazine. The Nevada Fishing Guide also includes information from boating regulations (38-39) to Wildlife Management Areas (40-41) to our Trophy Fish Program (42-43). If there is anything you can’t find in this publication, check out the Nevada Department of Wildlife website at ndow.org.