Topaz Lake

Map of Topaz Lake


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History

Topaz Lake was impounded in 1922 to store irrigation water and is part of the West Walker River Drainage. It is situated in Nevada (Douglas County) and California (Mono County) and both states contribute to the management of the fishery.

Pertinent Information

Topaz Lake is relatively large with a maximum pool of 126,000 acre-feet, 2,410 surface acres, a length of 3.5 miles, a width of 1.5 miles, and maximum depth of 92 feet. The water level typically remains high throughout winter and spring and reaches its lowest level in summer. After the irrigation season in October, the lake begins refilling. Rainbow trout is the dominant sport fish, but brown trout and an increasing smallmouth bass population is being targeted by anglers. Recent Angler Questionnaire data found anglers averaged 1.5 fish per day. Boaters should troll the top 20 ft of the water column; a fish finder will help determine depth. Troll Rapalas with flashers for best results. Shore anglers should fish with Power Bait or worms and cast out as far as possible for best results. The annual average size of rainbow trout is usually around 12 inches, but trout commonly range in size from 10 to 18 inches. Several 5 pound or larger fish are caught each year. Topaz Lodge and Casino has a weekly fishing derby and winners’ photographs are posted at the lodge. Most of the property around the lake, both in Nevada and California, is open to the public. Only portions of the west shore in Nevada and California and the far south end of the lake in California are private property. Boat launching is available at Topaz Marina and Douglas County Park. Douglas County Park additionally provides camping, electrical hook-ups, bathrooms, picnic tables, and a playground. Topaz Marina has fishing boat rentals, boat slips, and drinks.

Stocking

40,000 rainbow trout will be stocked at a size from 10 to 12-inches during the closed fishing season (October through December), An additional 2,000 tagged trout were stocked and anglers catching one should report the tag number and total length to NDOW (phone number is on the tag). An angler can also report the tag number on the backside of the forms provided at the angler drop-box located at the Douglas County boat ramp.

Regulations

The season is open January 1 through September 30, 1 hour before sunrise to 2 hours after sunset, except for the area within the jetties of Topaz Marina, which is closed to fishing. Daily and possession limits are 5 trout, 10 mountain whitefish, and 15 warmwater game fish of which not more than 5 may be black bass. Persons under 16 years of age are not required to have a fishing license. Those anglers, 16 years of age and older, must have a Nevada fishing license and a trout stamp, a Nevada short term fishing permit, or a California fishing license. Two-rod stamps are valid in both states.
habitat for black bass.

Boating Regulations

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. Vessels are prohibited in areas within the signs or buoys located at the county swim beach. There are no restrictions to the size of boat or motor used. Anglers trolling with 10 to 14-foot boats are prevalent and float tube fishing is becoming more common. Water skiing and use of personal watercraft is a popular recreation when the weather begins to warm.

Access

Access to Topaz Lake is excellent for all types of vehicles. From Carson City, travel south on Highway 395 for approximately 40 miles. Turn east on Topaz Lake Park Rd. to reach the Douglas County Park at the far east end of the reservoir or turn east on Mark Twain Ave. (just past Topaz Lodge and Casino) and follow the road to Topaz Marina. Shore access is available along Topaz Lake Park Rd., within Douglas County Park, and farther south on Highway 395 in California.


Species

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass

  • Regions

  • Western Nevada

  • Counties

  • Douglas