South Fork Reservoir
South Fork Reservoir
View Nevada Fishing Map in a larger map
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. .
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.
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.