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Nevada

Fishing

Fishing

General Statewide Regulations

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Note: Changes to regulations are marked in blue.

Fishing regulations are effective Jan. 1, 2024 - Dec. 31, 2024.

All Regulations are applicable to CR 23-15.

License Requirements

Any resident 12 years of age or older who fishes in Nevada is required to have a fishing license. Nonresident anglers under 12 years of age are not required to have a license, but the number of fish taken must not exceed 50 percent of the limit. For example, if the limit is five fish, these young anglers may take only two fish. These license requirements are for all Nevada waters except for some “interstate waters” (Lake Tahoe, Topaz Lake, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Colorado River). (Refer to NRS 502.010)

Daily Limit

“Daily Limit” means the maximum number of game fish that may be lawfully taken and reduced to possession by a person in one day. The daily limit applies across all water bodies. You cannot take a daily limit of fish from one body of water then move to another body of water to take another limit of the same species there. However, if the daily limit of a specific species is higher in a particular body of water (for example, 1 fish per day in one body of water and 5 fish per day of the same species in another) you can take your 1 fish limit from the body of water where the limit is 1 and move to the body of water with the higher daily limit of 5 and take an additional 4 from there which would give you your daily limit of 5.

As another example, if you go to a local urban pond (daily limit is 3 game fish) and catch your limit of 3 fish in the morning, you cannot take those fish home to your freezer and then visit another urban pond which has the same 3 game fish limit in the afternoon to harvest additional fish.

Fish that are caught and immediately released back to the water alive are not considered to be reduced to possession or part of the daily limit.

Possession Limit

New in 2024! Nevada has implemented a “Possession Limit” which allows anglers to keep two times the daily limit for the water in which the fish were caught.

The “Possession Limit” is two times the daily limit for the water in which the fish are caught. Possession limits apply to the specific body of water you’re fishing. For example,

  • Day 1 - An angler is fishing Knott Creek Reservoir (daily limit 1) and harvests their 1 trout. They can then move to Onion Reservoir (daily limit 5) later in the day and harvest 4 more trout.
  • Day 2 - The angler again fishes Knott Creek Reservoir and harvests 1 trout, they have now met their Possession Limit for Knott Creek Reservoir and can no longer fish the water until they have eaten at least 1 fish. The angler moves to Onion Reservoir and harvests an additional 4 trout to reach the total allowed daily limit of 5 for a second consecutive day.
  • Day 3 – The angler fishes Onion Reservoir for a third day and harvests 2 more trout and has now harvested 10 total over 3 days to reach their Possession Limit for Onion Reservoir. Their total harvest and take is 12 trout reduced to possession in their cooler (10 from Onion and 2 from Knott). They can no longer fish Knott Creek Reservoir or Onion Reservoir until they have eaten or given away to a licensed angler at least one fish.

A person shall not reduce game fish to possession if he already has the number of that fish in possession which equals or exceeds the possession limit of the water being fished. A daily/possession limit includes fish caught in Nevada which have been processed or preserved and are stored at any location.

General limits are listed by region in Eastern Region Regulations, Southern Region Regulations, and Western Region Regulations. Exceptions to general limits are included as “special regulations” and are listed by individual water.

Check Out FishNV

This online web tool will highlight all Nevada’s Fishable waters and help users find new waters to explore based on their selections. Go to Fish.WildlifeNV.com to get started.

  • Use filters to search waters by species, water type (lakes/reservoirs/streams), region or county.
  • As filter selections are made, the list of fishable waters meeting those requirements is updated.
  • Users can select different basemaps including satellite and topographic maps.
  • Users can select between different layers including fishable waters, hunt units, and public land layers.
  • Clicking on a water brings up the water details including the game species present, the top trophy fish records for each individual species, and any consumption advisories that may be in place.
  • Buy your fishing license online right from the FishNV tool home page.

Size Limit

Unless otherwise noted under Region General Regulations or Region Special Regulations, there is no size limit. Where size limits do apply, this shall mean the total length of the fish including the head and tail, measured as illustrated in the diagram. (Refer to NAC 503.500)

Illustration showing total length.

Seasons and Hours

Unless otherwise noted under Region Special Regulations, the season is open year around and fishing hours are any time of the day or night. Where specified, “open season” includes the first and last day designated. (Refer to NRS 501.065)

“Fishes,” “Fishing,” “Fished” and “To Fish” Defined

The words “to fish” and their derivatives, “fishes,” “fishing” and “fished,” mean catching, taking, capturing, killing, injuring or crippling of a fish and every attempt to do so. (Refer to NRS 501.030)

Filleting Fish

Where size limits apply, fish may be filleted before transport if the remainder of the carcass of each fish filleted is kept in one piece so size and possession limits can be immediately determined. It is unlawful for any person to cause through carelessness, neglect or otherwise any edible portion of any game fish to go to waste needlessly. In the case of game fish, the fillet meat from the operculum (gill plate) to the caudal fin (tail fin) as shown below (NAC 503.586)

Illustration showing the location of a fish fillet.

Methods of Fishing

Fish may be taken only with hook and line attached to rod or reel and closely attended in the manner known as angling (Except as noted under Spearfishing / Bowfishing” and “Unprotected Fish”). No more than three baited hooks, nor more than three fly hooks, or two lures or plugs irrespective of the number of hooks or attractor blades attached thereto, may be attached to the line. No more than two lines may be used. Refer to Southern Region Regulations for further tackle restrictions for Lake Mead, Lake Mohave and the Colorado River.

Spearfishing/Bowfishing

Persons may spearfish for unprotected fish in all Nevada waters except Lake Tahoe and Topaz Lake. Persons may spearfish for striped bass in Lake Mead and Lake Mohave from Cottonwood Cove to the cable below Hoover Dam. Spearfishing for striped bass is prohibited in that portion of Lake Mohave from Cottonwood Cove to Davis Dam and from Davis Dam down river to the Nevada state line. In Lakes Mead and Mohave and the Colorado River system, spearfishing is prohibited within 1/2 mile of any dock or swimming area. When spearfishing, a person must display, within 100 feet, an appropriate diver’s flag. A mechanical spearing device may be used only under the surface of the water, and the spear must be attached to the device by a lanyard. Fishing license regulations apply to persons taking fish by means of spear or bow and arrow. (Refer to NAC 503.590-592) Only unprotected fish may be taken with a bow and arrow except where prohibited (Refer to NAC 503.580) Please contact the county you’ll be fishing in prior to assure you are in compliance with county regulations.

General Statewide Bait Use

Any person possessing a fishing license or permit, or otherwise exempted from such licenses, may capture, transport and use live baitfish, aquatic bait, or commercially prepared and preserved baitfish for fishing or personal consumption where specified by Region.

Live baitfish means live, unprotected species of freshwater fish.

Aquatic bait means live, unprotected amphibians (such as bullfrogs), crustaceans (such as crayfish), mollusks (such as clams and snails), insects (such as grasshoppers), or worms (such as natural earthworms or purchased nightcrawlers or redworms).

The use of any game fish (see Coldwater Game Fish and Warmwater Game Fish sections below) or protected species as bait and parts thereof is prohibited, except preserved salmon eggs.

Commercially Prepared and Preserved bait means dead dried, frozen, or liquid (such as in mineral oil, isopropyl alcohol, or ethyl alcohol), dry (such as in salt or borax), or other proprietary preserved or cured fish or their parts or aquatic bait.

Any bait obtained from a licensed dealer of live bait fish must be accompanied by a current dated receipt by that dealer. See Fishing with Bait Fish for regulations for bait fishing by region.

Chumming

“Chumming” means placing fish, parts of fish or other material upon which fish feed, in the water for the purpose of attracting fish to a particu­lar area so that they may be taken. Chumming is prohibited in Lake Tahoe, Topaz Lake, Spooner Lake and the entire Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge. (Refer to NRS 501.013)

Unprotected Fish

Unprotected fish are all species not classified as game or protected (see Coldwater Game Fish and Warmwater Game Fish sections below). Unprotected fish may be taken by bow and arrow, hook and line, dipnet, cast net, minnow seine or minnow trap, and, except where prohibited, by spear. In the Colorado River and Lakes Mead and Mohave, the taking of fish by bow and arrow is prohibited within 1/2 mile of any dock or swimming area. Fishing license regulations apply to persons taking unprotected fish by means of hook and line, bow and arrow or spear.

Ice Fishing

For the purposes of ice fishing, holes cut through the ice must not exceed 10 inches in diameter. (Refer to NAC 503.583)

Artificial Lures

“Artificial Lures” means any device with a hook or hooks attached which is made partly or entirely of rubber, wood, metal, glass, plastic or feathers. (Please note: PowerBait® or similar products are not considered artificial lures.) (Refer to NAC 503.500)

Artificial Lure Regulations by Location

Only artificial lures may be used in the following waters:

  1. The Collection Ditch at Ruby Lake NWR in Elko County.
  2. Dacey Reservoir on the Kirch WMA in Nye County.
  3. Hinkson Slough on the Mason Valley WMA in Lyon County
  4. Tonkin Springs Reservoir in Eureka County.

Only artificial lures with single barbless hooks may be used in these waters:

  • Knott Creek Reservoir including inlet and outlet streams in Humboldt County.
  • Hobart Reservoir (Washoe County), its tributaries and Franktown Creek downstream to Red House.*
  • Catnip Reservoir in Washoe County.
  • South Fork of the Humboldt River (Elko County) from the access causeway for the Lucky Nugget subdivision upstream to Lee.
  • East Walker River (Lyon County) from 1/4 mile above the confluence of the East Walker River and Sweetwater Creek downstream to 1/2 mile below the confluence of the East Walker River and Red Wash Creek.
  • Marlette Lake including tributaries and outlet stream in Washoe County.
  • Smith Creek Reservoir in Lander County.*
  • Truckee River (Washoe and Storey County) in that portion from E Mustang Road bridge (1-80 Exit 23) to Derby Dam and from 1,000 feet downstream of Derby Dam to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation boundary.

Please see Eastern Region Regulations, Southern Region Regulations, and Western Region Regulations for more information on special regulations in the eastern, southern, and western regions.

* Please consult the online fishing regulations book at NDOW.org regarding tackle restriction changes to this water expected in January 2024.

Artificial Lures with Single Barbless Hooks

A “single barbless hook” means a fish hook having one point, manufactured without barbs or on which the barbs have been bent com­pletely closed or filed off. Double or treble hooks having a common shank are not a single barbless hook even when the barbs are closed or filed off. When single barbless hooks are required, only one single b­arbless hook­ may be attached to each hook eye or ring of the lure. (Refer to NAC 503.500)

Hook Identification Diagram

Northern Pike

Northern pike are not classified as game fish; they are a prohibited species. Anglers wishing to keep northern pike to eat are required to kill them upon capture. There is no limit for northern pike, and anglers who wish to assist in the removal of northern pike from the waters of the state and who wish to dispose of them may do so without regard for Nevada’s wanton waste laws. The importation, transportation or possession of live northern pike is prohibited (Refer to NAC 503.110).

Game Fish Transportation

Game fish taken under the authority of a fishing license or fishing permit may not be transported alive from the body of water where the game fish is taken. It is legal to keep game fish alive and in a live well or a net while at the body of water from which they are caught. Anglers must kill fish to be transported away from the body of water. Under no circumstances can game fish be transported in a manner which would allow for their release alive at another body of water. The transport and release of live wildlife without a permit is illegal. (Refer to NAC 503.115)

Bullfrogs

There is no license requirement or limit on bullfrogs if they are taken by gig, spear, bow and arrow or by hand. However, a fishing license is required to take bullfrogs by hook and line. Season is open year around anytime of the day or night in waters that are open to fishing or f­rogging. Bullfrogs are a non-indigenous species that may not be transported alive from the body of water where taken. (Refer to NAC 503.580 and 503.100)

Crayfish

A fishing license is not required to capture crayfish for personal consumption or use as bait. When used as bait, crayfish may only be used in the water where captured and other bait restrictions apply (see Fishing with Bait Fish). There is no limit on crayfish. A license is required to take crayfish by hook and line. A permit is required to take crayfish for commercial purposes at Lake Tahoe (crayfish may not be taken for commercial purposes from any other Nevada water.) (Refer to NAC 503.100 and 503.540)

Coldwater Game Fish

Coldwater game fish are: Bonneville cutthroat trout, Lahontan cutthroat trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, Kokanee salmon, brook trout, brown trout, bull trout, lake trout (Mackinaw), rainbow trout, redband trout, mountain whitefish and any hybrid thereof. (Refer to NAC 503.060)

Warmwater Game Fish

Warmwater game fish are: black bullhead, brown bullhead, channel catfish, white catfish, striped bass, white bass, black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted), black crappie, white crappie, tiger muskie, yellow perch, Sacramento perch, bluegill sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, green sunfish, redear sunfish, walleye and any hybrid thereof. (Refer to NAC 503.060)

Protected Fish and Amphibians

Protected fish and amphibians are those species listed in NAC 503.065, 503.075 and 503.067. ­There is no open season on fish or amphibians classified as protected.