Sparks Marina Park Pond
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The site on which Sparks Marina Park is located was once a gravel pit owned and operated by Helms Construction Company (1968 - 1995). In 1987, petroleum products and solvents were discovered seeping into the 100-foot deep pit along the southwest wall. The contamination was traced to a massive spill at the tank farm one mile west. The site was declared a Toxic Superfund Site and a comprehensive cleanup effort was initiated. In 1996, the groundwater was reported free of petrochemicals and the property was turned over to the City of Sparks. Millions of dollars of spill mitigation money were made available to the City, which planned to construct a park and make the pit into a recreational pond. They planned on filling the pit to a depth of approximately 30 feet, however, in January 1997; the Truckee River overflowed its banks and filled Helm’s Pit creating what is now Sparks Marina Pond.
Sparks Marina is 100 feet deep and covers approximately 77 acres. In order to keep the lake at the desirable level, the city has to pump approximately 2.3 million gallons of water out of the lake and into the Truckee River each day. Rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout have been introduced into the lake, but potentially anything that was in the Truckee River at the time of the 1997 flood could be in the lake. Other species known to exist in the lake include largemouth bass, spotted bass, green sunfish, channel catfish, bullhead catfish and carp. Water records include a 12-lb 8-oz carp, an 8-lb 13-oz rainbow trout, and a 12-lb 15-oz channel catfish. Anglers generally catch an average 1-fish per day. There is a small concrete boat ramp located at the south beach on the west side of the lake. Parking lots are located on the west side by the beaches and on the southwest corner of the lake.
10,000 catchable rainbow trout will be stocked in the spring and 8,500 in the fall. 3,000 channel catfish and 3,000 brown trout will be stocked in early summer.
Season is open year around, 1 hour before sunrise to 2 hours after sunset. Limit is 3 game fish. Fishing is prohibited in the swimming and diving areas.
Only vessels without motors and vessels with electric motors are permitted on Sparks Marina. Vessels are prohibited in areas designated by signs or buoys at the swimming and diving areas.
The Park is situated alongside Interstate 80 in Sparks. Exit on East McCarran Blvd. and turn north. Turn east on Nichols.