Lahontan Reservoir

Map of Lahontan Reservoir

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Lahontan Reservoir is located along the Carson River and is part of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Newlands Irrigation Project for watering farmland in Lahontan Valley.  Lahontan Dam was built in 1905 and water used for irrigation first occurred in 1916.  Additionally, water is transferred from the Truckee River at Derby Dam to Lahontan Reservoir via the Truckee Canal.  

Pertinent Information

At maximum storage, Lahontan Reservoir is 17 mile long, covers 10,600 acres, and has a maximum depth of 85 feet near the dam.  The reservoir contains sandy beaches and rock outcroppings, flooded woody debris, a flooded river channel, and various islands.  The water is constantly turbid in the upper basin and dense algae blooms generally occur in summer.  Better water clarity exists in the large basin near the dam.  The primary game fish include wipers (white bass x striper hybrid), white bass, walleye, channel catfish, white catfish, largemouth bass, spotted bass, and crappie.  The best fishing occurs from April through July and October.  Walleye are caught mostly in spring with the usual gear such as jigs and nightcrawlers trolled in a harness behind flashers, and live minnows.  Wipers are caught with crank baits and live minnows.  Spinners, spoons, and live minnows are great for white bass and dead minnows, nightcrawlers, and chicken liver fished off the bottom work best for catfish.  Lahontan Reservoir is entirely located within Lahontan State Park where fees are charged to enter.  Camping, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and boat launching facilities are available.


Stocking Updates

Health Advisory

Due to elevated mercury levels in fish, the Nevada State Health Division has issued a health advisory recommending no consumption of fish from Lahontan Reservoir and the Carson River from Dayton downstream to the reservoir.

Health Advisory Western, NV Waters


Nevada Fishing Regulations

Boating Regulations

No boating is allowed within the buoys located in front of the dam. Churchill Beach and North Shore Marina in Churchill County, Silver Springs Beach in Lyon County, and all boat harbors and other areas designated by buoys are zones which vessels must be operated at a speed that leaves a flat wake, but in no case may be operated at a speed in excess of 5 nautical miles per hour.


Travel 35 miles east from Reno on Interstate 80, turning off at Fernley onto Highway 50 for 20 miles to the turnoff to Lahontan Reservoir (south). Another 8 miles will get you to the north entrance to the State Park.


  • Channel Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Spotted Bass
  • White Catfish
  • White Bass
  • Walleye
  • Crappie
  • Wiper

  • Regions

  • Western Nevada

  • Counties

  • Churchill
  • Lyon