Map of Truckee River
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Truckee River was originally home to Lahontan cutthroat trout and cui-ui
sucker. During normal years, adult trout
ascended from Pyramid Lake and descended from Lake Tahoe to the Truckee River
and its tributaries to spawn. Thousands
of young fish returned as natural recruitment to these large lakes. It was probable that some young and adult
cutthroat trout also occurred in the river throughout the year. With the influx of white settlers in the mid-
to late-1800’s, water was diverted for agriculture and municipal use, stream habitats
were degraded, the river was over-fished, and other fish species were
introduced. Extinction of the Pyramid
Lake cutthroat trout had occurred by the 1930’s.
Truckee River originates at the outlet of Lake Tahoe and flows approximately
110 miles to Pyramid Lake. NDOW manages
approximately 40 miles of fisheries between the California State line and
Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. This
river is one of the most heavily fished waters in the state, supporting between
60,000 and 100,000 angler days per year. Anglers can fish for rainbow trout, brown
trout, cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish, and largemouth bass (in lower
sections) of the river. High runoff between
March and June makes it difficult to fish, but once flows return to normal in
summer, the river becomes easier to fish.
Some of the best fishing occurs in late spring and early summer and
again in fall. Nightcrawlers and Power
Bait fished in large pools work great, and fly-fishing and using small spinners
are very popular.
The Truckee River has been designated a “navigable water” which means that the state of Nevada owns the bed of the Truckee River up to the “present ordinary permanent high water mark.” This means that the bed of the river is public land; however, individuals may not cross private property to get to the river.