Map of Spooner Lake
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Spooner Lake is a small impoundment constructed in 1927 to store irrigation water. In 1973, Nevada Department of Fish and Game developed the lake into a trout fishery. Regulations changed from general (allowing harvest) to zero-harvest in 1982 and then to a 5 fish limit in 2006. Spooner Lake is located in Douglas County and situated within Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park at an elevation of 6,980 feet.
The reservoir, at maximum legal capacity, covers about 78 surface acres and has a depth of nearly 20 feet. Lahontan cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, bowcutt trout (rainbow x cutthroat), brook trout, and tiger trout (brown x brook) have been stocked over the years. Lahontan tui chub, however, dominate the lake. Anglers generally catch between 5 and 7 fish per day. Rainbow trout are generally less than 13 inches, but some get to 16 inches. Tiger trout grow to 14 inches. Anglers use lures or flies by wading the shoreline or fishing from float-tubes. Nevada Division of State Parks charges a fee to enter Lake Tahoe State Park at Spooner Lake. Picnic tables, barbecue pits, restrooms, water, and a phone are available. Vehicle parking is within a couple hundred yards of the lake and there is a groomed trail with a moderately sloping downhill leading to the shoreline. Most angling occurs during the ice-free period from May or June through October. Other activities include mountain biking and hiking the many backcountry trails that begin at Spooner Lake. In winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular.
6,000 rainbow trout and 4,000 bowcutt trout are scheduled for stocking this spring and fall.
Limit is 5 fish, utilizing any legal method (bait included). The season is open to fishing year around, 1 hour before sunrise to 2 hours after sunset.
Boats with electric motors are permitted. Float-tube and canoe fishing are popular.
Access to Spooner Lake is excellent for all types of vehicles. Restrictions, however, may occur during winter from heavy snowfall. From Carson City, travel 3 miles south on Highway 395 to Highway 50. Head west on Highway 50 approximately 10 miles to Spooner Summit, along the eastern edge of the Sierras. Turn north on Highway 28 for ½ mile to the Spooner Lake Park entrance.