Map of Topaz Lake
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Lake was impounded in 1922 to store irrigation water. It is part of the West Walker River drainage
and is situated in Nevada (Douglas County) and California (Mono County). The Walker River Irrigation District operates
water storage and Nevada Department of Wildlife and California Department of
Fish and Wildlife jointly manage the fishery.
Topaz Lake is relatively large with a surface
area of 2,410 acres, a length of 3.5 miles, a width of 1.5 miles, and maximum
depth of 92 feet. Rainbow trout is the
dominant sport fish, but bowcutt trout, brown trout, and occasionally tiger
trout are stocked. Smallmouth bass and
to a lesser degree, largemouth bass are also popular for angling. Boaters should use a fish finder to determine
the depth fish are occupying, which is usually in the upper 20 feet of the
water column, and troll Rapalas or nightcrawlers with flashers to catch trout. Shore anglers do best with Power Bait or nightcrawlers
and cast out as far as possible. The
average size of rainbow trout is usually around 12 inches, but they commonly
range from 10 to 18 inches. Several five
pound or larger fish are caught each year. Black bass are commonly caught with rubber
worms, jigs, and crankbaits along the shoreline or off deeper points. Most of the property around the lake 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 provides camping,
electrical hook-ups, bathrooms, picnic tables, playground, and a fish cleaning
station. Topaz Marina has fishing boat
rentals, boat slips, and food and drinks.
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 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.