Map of Dufurrena Ponds
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Dufurrena Ponds were built to deliver irrigation water to agricultural lands in Virgin Valley. They are located in the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service administers. The ponds were purchased for their wildlife and recreational value.
are nine ponds maintained at the Dufurrena complex. However, Pond 19, Pond 20, Island Pond, and
ponds found within the Magee Series contain the primary fisheries. Most ponds are less than 12 feet deep, but Magee
Pond and Pond 20 are deeper at 14 feet. Pond
size also varies, with Pond 20 the largest at 50 surface acres. Fish species most often encountered are white
crappie, yellow perch, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, and bluegill. Pond 20 has consistently produced the best
fishing, but yellow perch and white crappie dominate the catch at most ponds. The best time of year to fish for yellow
perch is early spring, while June is the best time to catch crappie and
bass. Fishing slows down during the hot
part of summer and then picks up again in fall.
Productive baits for yellow perch include worms, grubs, and
leeches. Jigs work best for crappie and the
standard lures such as crankbaits, topwater, and rubber worms work best for bass. Small poppers work well on redear
sunfish. Camping is primitive at Virgin
Creek Campground (just down the road from the ponds) at no fee. Outhouses are provided as well as a warm
water pool and an enclosed shower.
Anglers may fish from the bank, wade, use non-motorized boats, boats with electric motors, float tubes, or similar flotation devices.
Drive 31 miles north of Winnemucca along U.S. 95, turning left onto SR 140. Travel 100 miles to Denio Junction turning left and traveling 25 miles to the Virgin Creek Campground and Dufurrena Ponds.