Walker River - West Fork

Map of Walker River - West Fork

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The headwaters of the West Walker River originate in the Sierra Nevada (California) at greater than 11,000 feet.  Lahontan cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish were the native salmonids, but currently rainbow and brown trout and, in places, mountain whitefish are the dominant sport fishes in the Nevada portion of the river.  Topaz Lake, created in the early 1900s, is offset from the river and stores water from the West Walker River for irrigation use downstream.  The West Walker River terminates in Mason Valley (south of Yerington) when it joins with the east fork.

Pertinent Information

Much of the West Walker River flows through private lands.  The river is non-navigable, meaning the river adjacent to private property is also private.  Public access occurs in two primary places, first, Hoye Canyon, which has about one mile of public fishing upstream from the town of Wellington.  Expect to catch rainbow trout, brown trout, and possibly largemouth and smallmouth bass in this area.  The other publicly accessible site is the Wilson Canyon/BLM Rest Area.  Rainbow trout and brown trout are stocked here as well.  Good baits to use are nightcrawlers, Power Bait, and gold-colored spinners in some of the larger pools.  Fly-fishing is also popular.  The river is generally wadeable from November through early April.  Flows are high during mid- to late spring and summer resulting from spring runoff and irrigation demands.  Primitive camping is allowed at the BLM Wilson Canyon Recreation Area and a restroom is available.


Stocking Updates


Nevada Fishing Regulations

Boating Regulations

There are no special boating regulations for the West Walker River.


In Wellington on Highway 208, turn west on Hoye Canyon Road (at Wellington Mercantile) and travel approximately one mile to public access. To reach Wilson Canyon and the BLM Rest Area from Wellington, travel east on Highway 208. The Rest Area, which is at the western mouth of Wilson Canyon, is about 5.5 miles east of the town of Smith. Scattered parking is located along the highway within the canyon. Any type of vehicle can access these sites.


  • Rainbow Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass

  • Regions

  • Western Nevada

  • Counties

  • Douglas
  • Lyon