Walker River - West Fork
Map of Walker River - West Fork
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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
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.
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.