Rye Patch Reservoir
Map of Rye Patch Reservoir
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Rye Patch Reservoir was constructed on the Humboldt River as an irrigation source for the Lovelock Valley. The Pershing County Water Conservation District controls dam operation and reservoir storage, and reservoir elevations are subject to drastic fluctuations. Nevada State Parks manages the land surrounding the reservoir.
The maximum depth is 61 feet with an average depth of less than 30 feet. Reservoir storage at bank full is 196,000 acre-ft, with a total surface area of 10,820 acres. Average annual storage throughout its year history is approximately 45,000 acre-feet. Game fishes include white crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, wipers (striper x white bass hybrid), walleye, yellow perch, channel catfish, bluegill, and white bass. Anglers generally catch an average of 2.0 fish per day. Largemouth bass reach up to 7-pounds, smallmouth bass to over 3-pounds, and spotted bass up to 4-pounds. Catfish have gotten over 30-pounds, walleye over 7-pounds, and wipers are running over 10-pounds. Best time of year to fish is late March for walleye, early April and May for channel catfish, and early May for wipers. Late summer and early fall are the best times for white crappie. Fishing methods include standard crank baits, crappie jigs, and native minnows, which all work well during early to mid-spring and fall. Channel catfish are caught on minnows, liver, worms, and shrimp. Camping occurs at developed campsites near the dam and at the Pitt-Taylor arm. Nevada State Parks charges a fee to use these areas.
500 rainbow trout will be stocked in the spring as well as one million walleye fry. Fingerling wipers may be planted this year, but it depends on the water level.
Season is open year around, any hour of day or night. The limit is 25 game fish of which not more than 5 may be walleye, 5 may be black bass and 5 may be white bass or white bass hybrids (wipers) over 14-inches in length. White bass or white bass hybrids under 14-inches in length may be included in the 25 game fish limit.
Due to elevated methylmercury levels, the Nevada State Health Division has issued a health advisory that recommends no consumption of wipers and walleye and no more than one eight-ounce meal per week of any other fish from Rye Patch Reservoir.
At Rye Patch Dam, all boat harbors, and areas designated by buoys, vessel must be operated at a speed that leaves a flat wake, but in no case may a vessel be operated at a speed in excess of 5 nautical miles per hour. On the Pitt-Taylor Arm, a vessel must be operated at a speed that leaves a flat wake, but in no case may a vessel be operated at a speed in excess of 5 nautical miles per hour. Vessels are prohibited in areas designated by signs or buoys at the dam and swim beach at the State Recreation Area in the reservoir.
Access to the camping sites and boat launching facilities can be found by taking the Rye Patch off-ramp from Interstate 80, 23 miles east of Lovelock.