Fish Stocking Updates

Stocking helps maintain trout population in Nevada's waters. Click on a region below to see available stocking reports for that area.

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Nevada Fish Stocking Program 

For more than 50 years, and with a few exceptions, Nevada laws and regulations have prohibited the release of any fish or other aquatic wildlife into any body of water. Exceptions are made for releases conducted by the Division of Wildlife (NDOW), other permitted releases, and some bait releases (see below). These regulations were developed to protect native or other legally established populations of fish.

There are numerous examples of the illegal release of sport fish, aquarium fish and other exotic aquatic life into Nevada waters, and in almost every case the result has been a negative impact to sport fisheries, sensitive and protected species, and other aquatic resources important to the public and Nevada anglers. Nonnative species introductions in the wrong places can have serious impacts.

Tilapia is a prohibited species in Nevada, and for good reason because it has the ability to out compete and prey on more desirable fish species. Since 1995, when they were first identified in the Muddy River of Clark County, this exotic species has successfully reproduced and spread throughout Lake Mead, seriously impacting many endangered native fish and hampering NDOW’s efforts to protect them. Tilapia are a difficult fish for anglers to catch and their effect on other sport fish is still unknown.

Another way that nuisance species have been introduced to Nevada is through the release of live bait. Such releases have resulted in numerous introductions of detrimental aquatics such as crayfish and bullfrogs. In response, the State Legislature and the Nevada Wildlife Commission have enacted laws and regulations limiting the use of live bait (NRS 503.300; NAC 500.500-510). In most waters such use is limited to bait captured within the same water, and in many areas of the state the use of live fish as bait is prohibited.

Eradication projects are very costly, not to mention the loss of fishing opportunity for a year or two. Your license and tax dollars pay for these projects. The options for controlling undesirable species are limited to actions such as physical removal, draining or drying of smaller water bodies, or the use of chemical toxicants, such as rotenone. All of these are expensive, time consuming, and very difficult to accomplish in some areas. The control of northern pike illegally released into Frenchman and Davis Lakes near Reno recently cost the California Fish and Game Department, and the sportsmen of that state, millions of dollars. Prevention is a much more cost effective means to protect our sport fisheries and native aquatics. Nevada anglers are key players in the prevention strategy.

Nonnative species, in the appropriate places, play a very important role in sport fishing for Nevada and other states. The Department of Wildlife is committed to stocking waters for sport fishing where appropriate. But, the stocking of fish should be left to the experts-our fisheries biologists. They know what other species are present and what the impacts of an introduction could be, positive or negative. If you have a fish you would like to see introduced, call or visit one of NDOW’s offices and find out if that species has merit, or if it might possibly cause problems in Nevada waters.

Another way you, the angler, can help prevent harmful aquatics, including plants, from becoming established in Nevada is to carefully clean boats before launching into or leaving any water body. Boat and trailer “hitchhikers” such as zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, and hydrilla have been spread to new waters in the US as boats are moved around. These “carry alongs” have caused serious damage and adverse economic impacts by clogging waterways and negatively affecting sport fisheries. Five simple steps to take to help prevent their spread are:

  • REMOVE all plants and animals from the boat, motor and trailer.
  • DRAIN lake or river water (including the live well).
  • DISPOSE of unwanted live bait on shore in a receptacle.
  • RINSE your boat and equipment with high pressure hot water if possible, especially if moored for more than a day.
  • DRY everything for at least 5 days.

Thanks for doing your part to protect our waters!