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Western Region Regulations

Fishing Regulations Nevada Freshwater Fishing

Truckee River: Let the Comeback Begin

By Alejandro Portillo

It’s no secret that Nevada has undergone a severe drought in the past couple of years. With some of the hottest summer air temperatures on record, you can clearly see why fish, and the people who angle for them, have been battling through some tough conditions. Although the drought continues, Mother Nature did help the state with a winter snowpack that measured 100 percent of average in 2015-16.

The Truckee River, very visible as it flows through Reno, was a major point of concern as low flows had it looking more like a rock garden than a river for the better parts of 2014 and 2015. People feared the worst for the fishery, wondering how any fish could survive in the remaining stream flow.

It was obvious to Nevada Department of Wildlife, Truckee River biologist, Travis Hawks that the fishery had been severely affected but to what extent? Only a thorough electrofishing survey of the river could provide an answer to that question. The chance came in mid-Fall 2016, with enough water flow to allow for a complete population survey, which covers all nine historic transects on the Truckee. “This is the first time in four years we could complete a full survey of the river,” said Hawks.

The three day survey found encouraging numbers of both sportfish (wild rainbow and brown trout) and nongame species such as Paiute sculpin and Lahontan redside (shiners). “The preliminary results have been positive, now it’ll be up to Mother Nature to provide more much needed moisture this winter for the fishery to fully rebound,” Hawks reiterated.

Electrofishing is a safe and reliable way to survey fish. Biologists can quickly determine abundance, density, and species composition in a body of water. Electrical currents are discharged underwater using a probe, which causes any fish within a certain radius to become temporarily stunned, making it easier to net. The fish are placed in a large container that has water with an aerator hose to give the fish constant fresh oxygen. Once a transect is complete, biologists measure and count the fish by species, then the fish are released back into the wild.

NDOW biologists could immediately tell that conditions of the Truckee had drastically improved. “The project paints an awesome picture of the river. What we see while we are working is great. As we are getting fish we can tell we got older age class fish in this section that hung on. We also found younger fish that survived. The initial outlook is pretty good. Lots of reports of good fish being caught and lots of them, things in early and late summer have been really good as far as the fishery is concerned.” Hawks stated.

NDOW public information officer Chris Healy adds “We are rooting hard for a good winter and fall. We need a good snow pack. The rains are nice but snow pack is easier to manage because we have the system to store snow melt in the upstream mountain reservoirs in the Truckee River system. We need cooperation from Mother Nature in the form of snow.”

Biologists believe it will take three to four years of good water flows to return the Truckee River fishery to what it was before the drought.

Western Region Fishable Waters

Body of Water

County/Location

Species

Baily Fishing Pond Carson City Co. rb, bn
Bilk Creek Reservoir Humboldt Co./Bilk Creek Mtns. rb, bc, lmb
Blue Lakes Humboldt Co./Pine Forest Range rb, bk, ct, bc, tt
Boulder Reservoir Washoe County/North of Gerlach rb
Carson River, East Fork Douglas Co./Carson Range rb, bn
Carson River, Main Carson/Lyon/Douglas/Churchill Co. rb, bn, bb, cc, wc, gs, yp, wp, smb, lmb
Catnip Reservoir Washoe Co./Sheldon ct
Chimney Reservoir Humboldt Co./Little Humboldt River wp, cc, cr, wi, tm
Davis Creek Park Pond Washoe Co./Washoe Valley rb
Desert Creek Lyon Co./Sweetwater Mtns. rb, bn, bk, tt
Dufurrena Ponds Humboldt Co./Sheldon lmb, cr, yp, gs, rs
Fort Churchill Cooling Ponds Lyon Co./Mason Valley lmb, cc, bg, rs, rb
Hobart Reservoir Washoe Co./Carson Range rb, bk, bc, tt
Humboldt River Humboldt Co. lmb, smb, cc, bb, cr, wp, bg
Humboldt River Pershing Co. lmb, cc, wp, smb, sb, wi
Knott Creek Reservoir Humboldt Co./Pine Forest Range rb, bc, tt
Lahontan Reservoir Churchill Co./Lahontan Valley rb, cc, bb, lmb, wb, sb, yp, wp, wc, cr, wi
Lake Tahoe Carson City/Douglas/Washoe Co. rb, bn, mt, ks, w, lmb, bb
Liberty Pond Churchill Co./Fallon rb, cc, wc, bg
Little Humboldt River, NF Humboldt Co./Santa Rosa Mtns. rb, bk, bn, ct
Marilyn’s Pond Washoe Co. rb, bk
Marlette Lake Washoe Co. bk, ct, rb
Martin Creek Humboldt Co./Santa Rosa Mtns. rb, bn
Martin Slough Douglas Co. rb, cc
Mason Valley/North Pond Lyon Co. rb, bn, lmb, bg, cc
Mitch Park Pond Douglas Co. rb, cc, bg, bn, lmb
Mountain View Park Pond Lyon Co./Yerington rb
Onion Valley Reservoir Humboldt Co./Pine Forest Range rb, bk, tt
Paradise Park Pond Washoe Co./Reno rb, bn, cc, lmb, gs, bg, bc
Pyramid Lake Washoe Co./Near Nixon ct, sp
Quinn River, East Fork Humboldt Co./Santa Rosa Mtns rb, bk, bn
Rose Creek Reservoir Mineral County/Mount Grant tt
Rye Patch Reservoir Pershing Co. rb, cc, wp, lmb, sb, cr, bb, wc, wi, sb, smb
Sparks Marina Washoe Co./Sparks rb, bn, cc, smb, sb, gs, tt
Spooner Lake Washoe Co./Carson Range ct, bn, tt, rb
Squaw Creek Reservoir Washoe Co./Near Gerlach rb, bn, lmb, sb, bb, gs, cc
Star Creek Pershing Co./Humboldt Range rb
Topaz Lake Douglas Co./Highway 395 rb, bn, bc, bb, tt, lmb, w, smb
Truckee Canal Lyon Co./Fernley rb
Truckee River Washoe/Storey Co. rb, bn, ct, w, cc, lmb, bb, gs
Verdi Pond Washoe Co. ct
Virginia Lake Washoe Co./Reno rb, bn, cc, bc, lmb
Walker River, East Fork Lyon Co./Walker River Valley rb, bn, w, lmb
Walker River, West Fork Lyon/Douglas Co. rb, bn, w, lmb
Wall Canyon Reservoir Washoe Co./North of Gerlach rb, bn, bc, smb
Washoe Lake Washoe Co./Washoe Valley cc, wb, sp, bb
Weber Reservoir Mineral Co./Walker River lmb, cc, wc, cr
Whites and Thomas Creeks Washoe Co./Carson Range rb, bk
Wilson Common Pond Washoe Co./Washoe Valley rb, cr

Species Abbreviations

bbbullhead catfish

bcrainbow/cutthroat hybrid

bgbluegill sunfish

bkbrook trout

bnbrown trout

btbull trout

ccchannel catfish

crcrappie

ctcutthroat trout

gsgreen sunfish

kskokanee salmon

lmblargemouth bass

mtmackinaw trout

rbrainbow trout

rsredear sunfish

sbspotted bass

smbsmallmouth bass

spSacramento perch

stbstriped bass

tmtiger muskie

tttiger trout

wwhitefish

wbwhite bass

wcwhite catfish

wiwiper

wpwalleye

ypyellow perch

The Western Region includes the nine counties of northwestern Nevada: Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Humboldt, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and Washoe. Several popular fishing waters are located within this region including Lake Tahoe, Topaz Lake, Knott Creek Reservoir, Pyramid Lake, and the Truckee, Carson and Walker River systems. Waters that are popular for warmwater species are Lahontan, Chimney and Rye Patch Reservoirs, Humboldt River, Washoe Lake, Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area and several canals and drains in the Lahontan Valley. The Western Region office is located at 1100 Valley Road, Reno, NV 89512, (775) 688-1506.

Important Note: Within the Western Region the following general fishing seasons, hours, limits, and regulations apply to all waters EXCEPT those listed under “Western Region Special Regulations.” If the water in which you intend to fish is not listed under the Region’s Special Regulations, then the General Regulations shall apply.

All game fish must be dead before being transported away from the body of water where caught.

Western Region General Regulations

Open year around, any hour of the day or night.

Western Region Limits

Except as noted under “Special Regulations” the limits are as follows:

Carson City, Douglas County, Mineral County, Storey County and Washoe County: The limit is 5 trout, 10 mountain whitefish and 15 warmwater game fish of which not more than 5 may be black bass.

Churchill County and Lyon County: The limit is 5 trout, 10 mountain whitefish and 15 warmwater game fish of which not more than 5 may be black bass and 5 may be walleye.

Humboldt County: The limit is 5 trout and 15 warmwater game fish of which not more than 5 may be black bass and 5 may be walleye.

Pershing County: The limit is 5 trout and 15 warmwater game fish of which not more than 5 may be black bass, 5 may be walleye and 5 may be white bass or white bass hybrids over 14 inches total length. White bass or white bass hybrids under 14 inches total length may be included in the 15 game fish limit.

Artificial Lure Waters

Tackle Restrictions

In the waters of the Truckee River, from 1000 feet below Derby Dam downstream to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation boundary, only artificial lures with single barbless hooks may be used from February 1 through May 31. Only one single barbless hook may be attached to each hook eye or ring of the lure.

Bait Regulations

Western Region Special Regulations:

Carson City

Baily Fishing Pond in Carson: Season is open year around during the hours the park is open to the public. Limit is 3 game fish.

Lake Tahoe: Persons under 16 years of age are not required to have a fishing license. Persons 16 years of age or older must have either a Nevada fishing license or a Nevada Interstate Boundary Waters license and a Trout Stamp; a Nevada short-term fishing permit, a “Take Me Fishing” Group permit, or a California fishing license.

Lake Tahoe and Tributaries: Season is open year around, 1 hour before sunrise to 2 hours after sunset, except for the following closed areas: within a 200 yard radius of the mouths of Third, Incline and Wood Creeks; 500 yard radius from Sand Harbor Boat Ramp; and within the boat launch area inside the jetty at Cave Rock Boat Ramp. Limits are 5 game fish of which not more than 2 may be mackinaw (lake trout).

Marlette Lake, tributaries and outlet stream: Season is July 15 through Sept. 30, 1 hour before sunrise to 2 hours after sunset. Limit is zero (0) fish, catch and release fishing only. Only artificial lures with single barbless hooks may be used.

Churchill County

Lahontan Reservoir: Season is open year around, any hour of the day or night except for the Lahontan Dam spilling pool (bowl) which is closed to fishing. Limit is 15 warmwater game fish of which not more than 5 may be black bass, 5 may be walleye, and 2 may be white bass or white bass hybrids (wiper) longer than 15 inches total length.

Carson River below Lahontan Reservoir and all waters in Lahontan Valley: Season is open year around, any hour of the day or night. Limit is 25 game fish of which not more than 5 may be black bass and 5 may be walleye.

Liberty Pond: Season is open year around, during public park hours. Limit is 3 game fish.

Douglas County

Lake Tahoe and Tributaries: See Carson City County.

Mitch Park Pond, Lampe Park Pond, Martin Slough Pond: Season is open year around, hours when park is open to the public. Limit is 3 game fish.

Spooner Lake: Season is open year around, 1 hour before sunrise to 2 hours after sunset. Limit is 5 trout.

Topaz Lake: Season is open January 1 through September 30, 1 hour before sunrise to 2 hours after sunset, except for the area within the jetties of Topaz Marina which is closed to fishing. Limit is 5 trout, 10 mountain whitefish and 15 warmwater game fish of which not more than 5 may be black bass. There is no chumming at Topaz Lake. Persons under 16 years of age are not required to have a fishing license. Persons 16 years of age or older must have either a Nevada fishing license or a Nevada Interstate Boundary Waters license and a Trout Stamp; a Nevada short-term fishing permit, a “Take Me Fishing” Group permit, or a California fishing license.

Humboldt County

Big Springs Reservoir: Season is open the second Saturday in May through the last day of February, any hour of the day or night. Limit is 5 trout.

Bilk Creek Reservoir: Season is open year around any hour of the day or night. Limit is 5 game fish.

Blue Lakes: Season is open the second Saturday in June through November 15, any hour of the day or night. Limit is 5 trout. Only boats without motors are permitted and the area is closed to vehicular traffic.

Chimney Reservoir: Season is open year around any hour of the day or night. Limit is 15 gamefish of which not more than 5 may be black bass, 5 may be walleye, 2 may be white bass hybrid (wiper) and zero (0) may be tiger muskie (catch and release only). The minimum length for white bass hybrid is 15 inches total length.

Knott Creek Reservoir including inlet and outlet streams: Season is open the second Saturday in June through November 15, any hour of the day or night. Limit is 1 trout, minimum size 18 inches total length. Only artificial lures with single barbless hooks may be used. Boats must be operated at a speed that leaves a flat wake.

Onion Valley Reservoir: Season is open the second Saturday in June through November 15, any hour of the day or night. Limit is 5 trout.

Lyon County

East Walker River: Season is open year around, any hour of the day or night. Limit is 5 trout, 10 mountain whitefish and 15 warmwater game fish of which not more than 5 may be black bass except in that portion of the East Walker River which is from ¼ mile above the confluence of the East Walker River and Sweetwater Creek downstream to ½ mile below the confluence of the East Walker River and Red Wash Creek, which is catch and release fishing only. Only artificial lures with single barbless hooks may be used.

Fort Churchill Cooling Pond Cooperative Management Area: Season is open the second Saturday in February through September 30, 1 hour before sunrise to 2 hours after sunset. Limit is 15 game fish of which not more than 2 may be black bass and 5 may be trout. Minimum size for black bass is 14 inches total length. Fishing is prohibited from the center dike and posted areas. Wading or the use of boats and other floating devices is prohibited.

Lahontan Reservoir: See Churchill County

Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area: Season is open the second Saturday in February through September 30, any hour of the day or night on the following waters: Bass, Crappie, North Pond, Beaver Slough and that portion of the Walker River within the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area: Limit is 5 trout and 15 warmwater game fish of which not more than 2 may be black bass. Minimum size for black bass is 14 inches total length.

Hinkson Slough: Same season as above; limit is 2 trout and 15 warmwater gamefish of which not more than 2 may be black bass. Minimum size for trout is 16 inches total length. Minimum size for black bass is 14 inches total length. Artificial lures only.

Eastside Waterfowl Series Ponds: Season is open Aug. 16 through Sept. 30, any hour of the day or night. Limit is 5 trout and 15 warmwater game fish of which not more than 2 may be black bass. Minimum size for black bass is 14 inches total length.

Kuenzli Pond, Hatchery Outpond 1, Hatchery Outpond 2 and Hatchery Outpond 3: Season is open on the first Saturday in May, from sunrise to sunset. Limit is 3 game fish of which not more than 1 may be black bass. (Note: These ponds are open for one day only.) All other waters of the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area are closed.

Mountain View Park Pond: Season is open year around during public park hours. Limit is 3 game fish.

Mineral County

Rose Creek Reservoir: Season is open year around, any hour of the day or night. Limit is 3 game fish.

NOTE: Anglers must obtain permission from the Hawthorne Army Depot at
(775) 945-7555.

Pershing County

Rye Patch Reservoir and Humboldt River: Season is open year around, any hour of the day or night. Limit is 25 game fish of which not more than 5 may be trout, 5 may be walleye, 5 may be black bass and 2 may be white bass or white bass hybrids over 15 inches total length. White bass or white bass hybrids under 15 inches total length may be included in the 25 game fish limit.

Storey County

Truckee River: Season open year around, any hour of the day or night, except in that portion from Derby Dam downstream 1,000 feet, which is closed to fishing. Limit is 3 game fish except in that portion 1,000 feet downstream of Derby Dam to the boundary of the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, only 3 game fish of which zero (0) may be trout (catch and release only) from February 1 through May 31. In that portion 1,000 feet downstream of Derby Dam to the boundary of the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation only artificial lures with single barbless hooks may be used from February 1 through May 31.

Washoe County

Catnip Reservoir, tributaries and outlet stream: Season is open the second Saturday in June through November 15, any hour of the day or night. Limit is 1 trout. Only artificial lures with single barbless hooks may be used.

Hobart Reservoir and tributaries and Franktown Creek downstream from Hobart Reservoir to Red House: Season is open May 1 through September 30, 1 hour before sunrise to 2 hours after sunset. Limit is 5 trout, only one of which is longer than 14 inches. Only artificial lures with single barbless hooks may be used.

Lake Tahoe and Tributaries: See Carson City.

Marlette Lake, tributaries and outlet stream: See Carson City.

Truckee River: Season open year around, any hour of the day or night, except in that portion from Derby Dam downstream 1,000 feet, which is closed to fishing. Limit is 3 game fish except in that portion 1,000 feet downstream of Derby Dam to the boundary of the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, only 3 game fish of which zero (0) may be trout (catch and release only) from February 1 through May 31. In that portion 1,000 feet downstream of Derby Dam to the boundary of the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation only artificial lures with single barbless hooks may be used from February 1 through May 31.

Washoe County Urban Ponds: Sparks Marina, Davis Creek Park Pond, Marilyn’s Pond, Paradise Pond, Virginia Lake, Idlewild Ponds, Rancho San Rafael Pond, Wilson Common and Verdi Pond: Season is open year around, during public park hours. Limit is 3 game fish.

Washoe Lake: Season is open year around, any hour of the day or night. Limit is 10 game fish of which not more than 5 may be catfish. (Scripps Wildlife Management Area is closed to trespass February 15 through August 15).

Western Region Closed Waters

The following waters are closed to all fishing:

Churchill County

Lahontan Dam Spilling Pool (bowl) on the Carson River below Lahontan Dam.

Douglas County

Lake Tahoe within the boat launch area, inside the jetty at the Cave Rock boat ramp, north end. Glenbrook Creek from Lake Tahoe to Hwy 50. Topaz Lake within the jetties of Topaz Marina.

Humboldt County

All tributaries to Summit Lake. All waters of the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge (within Humboldt County) except Big Springs Reservoir and Dufurrena Ponds. Crowley Creek in the Montana Mountains. Eightmile Creek in the Santa Rosa Range. Donnelly Creek in the Calico Range.

Lyon County

All waters within the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area except for those listed as open.

Mineral County

Rose Creek Confluence from the diversion pipe downstream to Walker Lake and Walker Lake within a 100-yard radius of the inflow.

Storey County

Five Mile Reservoir, and the Truckee River from Derby Dam downstream 1,000 feet.

Washoe County

Third Creek and its tributaries from Lake Tahoe to the Mt. Rose Highway No. 431. Incline Creek and its tributaries from Lake Tahoe to Ski Way and the Mt. Rose Highway No. 431. Wood Creek from Lake Tahoe to the Mt. Rose Highway No. 431. Lake Tahoe within a 200-yard radius of the mouths of Third, Incline and Wood Creeks. A 500-yard radius from Sand Harbor boat ramp. Truckee River from Derby Dam downstream 1,000 feet.

Health Advisory

The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health has issued health advisories that recommend limiting consumption of fish species from seven Northern Nevada waters, due to elevated methylmercury levels.

In the Western Region the health advisories recommend no consumption of any fish from the Carson River from Dayton to Lahontan Dam and all waters in Lahontan Valley. No consumption of white bass from Little and Big Washoe Lakes; no consumption of wipers and walleye and no more than one eight-ounce meal per week of any other fish from Rye Patch Reservoir and no consumption of walleye from Chimney Dam Reservoir. For more information, go to www.ndow.org.