Map of Lahontan Reservoir
View Nevada Fishing Map in a larger map
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
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.
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.
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.