Wilson Reservoir

Wilson Reservoir

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Wilson Sink Reservoir was constructed in 1954 for irrigation storage and is subject to large a seasonal drawdown. The Petan Ranch owns the reservoir, water rights, and cabin, but public land surrounding the reservoir is administered by the BLM.

Pertinent Information

At a maximum capacity of 10,000 acre-feet, the reservoir covers 800 surface acres and has a maximum depth of 30 feet. Approximately 60 percent, however, is less than 12 feet deep. Wilson Sink Reservoir receives good angling pressure, estimated at 4,000 days per year. It has a “put-grow-and-take” rainbow trout fishery and a “wild, self-sustaining” largemouth bass fishery. Angler surveys in 2011 found the catch rate for trout was just over 0.5 fish per hour per angler and size ranged from 10 to 19 inches. May through June and September through October are the best months to catch trout. Fly-fishing is good from a float-tube or boat, but still-fishing using worms, corn, Power Bait, or lures works just as well. Trolling lures, flies, and flashers with bait will also catch fish. Interest in black bass angling was fair during late spring and summer, with an annual catch rate in 2011 of 1.2 bass per hour and 4.0 bass per angler. The average size caught was 13.5 inches. Shore and boat fishing are productive, however, during summer, trolling from a boat brings better success. Spinner baits, crank baits, and a variety of rubber grubs and worms are productive for bass. BLM of a campground, boat launch, water, restrooms, and a trailer dump. There is no lodging, food, or gas.


28,000 rainbow trout will be stocked during the spring and 17,000 in the fall.


Reservoir, outlet, and inlet streams up to State Route 11: Season is open year around, any hour of the day or night. The limits are 5 trout, 10 mountain whitefish and 10 black bass. Minimum size for black bass is 10 inches. The possession of bait while fishing or use of fish as bait, whether dead or alive, or parts thereof, except preserved salmon eggs, is prohibited. No boat restrictions.

Boating Regulations

No special boating regulations.


Travel north from Elko 27 miles on State Route 225, turn onto State Route 226. Continue 38 miles to the end of the pavement, turn left at the “Y” on State Route 11 dirt road (follow the Wilson Reservoir signs). Follow this for 8 miles, turn left on dirt road, and travel 3.5 miles to a “right turn” sign. The reservoir is 7 miles down the road.


  • Rainbow Trout
  • Largemouth Bass

  • Regions

  • Eastern Nevada

  • Counties

  • Elko County