South Fork Reservoir

South Fork Reservoir

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South Fork Reservoir was built in 1988 with recreation specifically in mind.  It lies entirely on public land managed by Nevada Division of State Parks. .

Pertinent Information

South Fork Reservoir comprises 1,640 surface acres and has a maximum depth of 67 feet at full capacity.  It stores excess flow from the South Fork Humboldt River and is operated to release only the amount of water that flows in.  The reservoir contains rainbow, brown, and bowcutt (rainbow x cutthroat hybrid) trout along with smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, wipers (striped bass x white bass hybrid), and channel catfish.  Harvested rainbow trout average about 16 inches and bowcutt trout are usually greater than 19 inches.  Black bass reach up to 21 inches and wipers range from 6 to 12 pounds.  Most bait such as nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, and Power Bait are best for trout, along with small spinner, spoons, and tied-flies.  The typical small- and largemouth bass fishing lures such as rubber worms, crankbaits, spinner baits, and topwater work great; however, the abundance of natural feed can make angling success at times tough. Catfish are caught using the typical baits such as chicken livers, nightcrawlers, and large shrimp.  Spring through early summer is the most productive time for anglers catching trout; however, fish the early morning hours in summer.  Ice fishing during the colder months has also produced good results.  The best bass fishing occurs in late spring.  The entire perimeter of the reservoir is fishable with numerous access sites, but float tubing is very popular.  South Fork State Park has a campground facility along with a few primitive camping spaces around the reservoir.  Two improved, concrete boat ramps are located within the park on both sides of the reservoir.


Stocking Updates


Nevada Fishing Regulations

Boating Regulations

Boating is permitted throughout South Fork Reservoir except the buoyed area of the spillway. Reduced speed areas occur at all boat harbors and other areas designated by buoys are zones in which 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.


The reservoir is located 10 miles southwest of Elko, off state Highway 228. There is paved access to the main boat ramp and improved campground area. The west side facilities have a new campground with a gravel road that leads there.


  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Rainbow Cutthroat Hybrid
  • Channel Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Wiper

  • Regions

  • Eastern Nevada

  • Counties

  • Elko County