Wildlife Management Areas

Nevada's state-owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are home to many resident and migratory birds and mammals. Found throughout the state, the public can generally drive to a WMA in less than two hours from the major population centers and find great access to wildlife viewing.

The State of Nevada through the Department of Wildlife owns or has long-term leases on more than 120,000 acres of land incorporated into WMAs across the state. The primary management emphasis on WMAs is the protection of wetlands and waterfowl including the use of the areas as public hunting grounds. Hunting opportunities for sportsmen on WMAs include migratory game bird, upland game bird, furbearer, and big game hunting.

Below the map is a table of restrictions associated with each of the wildlife management areas. Please review this table and the accompanying list of hunt and use restrictions on wildlife management areas before hunting in these areas.

WMA Map

Alkali Lake WMA - Lyon County
 Bodies of Water Alkali Lake
Trespass No restrictions
Use of Vessels No restrictions
Use of Campfires Not permitted.
Camping Not permitted.
Hunting The use or possession of shells for a shotgun containing shot that is toxic or larger than standard-sized T is prohibited.

The use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited unless it is plugged with a one piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.
Bruneau River WMA - Elko County
 Bodies of Water Various streams
 Trespass No restrictions
 Use of Vessels No restrictions
 Use of Campfires Permitted.
 Camping Permitted, however, camping is not permitted in any building or other structure located within the WMA
 Hunting The use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited unless it is plugged with a one piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.
Fernley WMA - Lyon County
 Bodies of Water Various intermittent ponds
 Trespass No restrictions
 Use of Vessels No restrictions
 Use of Campfires Permitted.
 Camping Permitted.
 Hunting The use or possession of shells for a shotgun containing shot that is toxic or larger than standard-sized T is prohibited.

The use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited unless it is plugged with a one piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.
Fort Churchill Cooperative WMA
 Bodies of Water Fort Churchill Cooling Pond
 Trespass From October 1 through the Friday preceding the second Saturday of February, the area shall be closed to trespass. Fishing allowed from the second Saturday in February through September 30th each year.
 Use of Vessels No vessels allowed on Fort Churchill Cooling Pond
 Use of Campfires Prohibited
 Camping Prohibited
 Hunting Hunting is prohibited on this area.
Franklin Lake WMA - Elko County
 Bodies of Water Franklin Lake
 Trespass No restrictions
 Use of Vessels No restrictions
 Use of Campfires  Not permitted.
 Camping  Not permitted.
 Hunting The use or possession of shells for a shotgun containing shot that is toxic or larger than standard-sized T is prohibited.  The use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited unless it is plugged with a one piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.
Humboldt WMA - Pershing & Churchill Counties
General Description The Humboldt Wildlife Management Area (HWMA), also
known as Humboldt-Toulon, is located in Pershing and Churchill
counties, Nevada, approximately 10 miles southwest of Lovelock
and 80 miles east of Reno/Sparks. The area that comprises the
HWMA has a rich history of human activity starting as early as
2,000 B.C. with Native American tribes that occupied cave dwellings
in the West Humboldt Range and hunted for wetland associated
wildlife within the Humboldt Sink (Sink). In the early 1910s,
numerous artifacts were discovered in the cave sites surrounding
the Sink including the world’s oldest (at over 2,000 years) known
waterfowl decoy made from tules. During the mid 1850s, emigrants
traveling West used the Emigrant Trail which travels along the
west side of the Sink. The settlers would stop at what is now the
Toy Railroad Siding to stock up on fresh water before beginning
their trek across the Forty Mile Desert. In 1953, the Nevada Fish
and Game Commission began efforts to create a state managed
wildlife area within the Sink. Through a series of leases, purchases,
land trades and donations, the HWMA was created and today
comprises a total of 36,060 acres of land.

Download the brochure here.
 Bodies of Water Upper and Lower Humboldt Lakes and Toulon Lake
 Trespass No restrictions
 Use of Vessels Airboats are prohibited on Upper and Lower Humboldt Lakes until 1 hour after the legal shooting time on the opening day of the waterfowl season. Airboats are prohibited on the Toulon Lake portion of the area during the waterfowl season. All vessels are prohibited on the ponds 5 days before the opening day of the waterfowl season.
 Use of Campfires Permitted in those sites designated for camping.
 Camping Permitted at sites designated for camping.
 Hunting The use or possession of shells for a shotgun containing shot that is toxic or larger than standard-sized T is prohibited. The use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited unless it is plugged with a one piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.
Key Pittman WMA - Lincoln County
General Description  Key Pittman Wildlife Management Area (KPWMA) is located in the north end of the Pahranagat Valley between the Pahranagat Range to the west and the Hiko Range to the east. The WMA is approximately 135 miles south of Ely and 110 miles north of Las Vegas on Highway 318.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) currently manages 1,337 acres including Nesbitt and Frenchy Lakes and appropriated water rights totaling approximately 632 acre feet annually from Hiko Springs managed by the Hiko Ditch Company and 580 acre feet annually from Crystal Springs.

Download the brochure here.

 Bodies of Water Nesbitt and Frenchy Lakes
 Trespass Trespass prohibited from Feb. 15 through Aug. 15 in the portion of Nesbitt Lake north of the old fence line.
 Use of Vessels Vessels must be operated at a speed that leaves a flat wake, but in no case may exceed 5 nautical miles per hour.
 Use of Campfires  Not permitted.
 Camping  Not permitted.
 Hunting Overton/Key Pittman Reservation System [PDF]

  1. During the waterfowl season, hunting is permitted on the opening weekend of the duck season, odd-numbered days throughout the season, opening day of the goose season, and the closing two days of the waterfowl season.
  2. The maximum hunter capacity during the opening day of duck season and the opening day of goose season will be 55 at any time.
  3. All hunters will check-in and out at the main entrance and will park in designated parking areas only. No vehicles are allowed on the area during the hunting season.
  4. The area is closed to fishing during the waterfowl season.
    Trapping is allowed with valid permit. Permits will be issued through a drawing process and may contain designation of specific trapping areas, dates or other restrictions to ensure compatibility with other public activities.

The use or possession of shells for a shotgun containing shot that is toxic or larger than standard-sized T is prohibited.

The use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited unless it is plugged with a one piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.

Mason Valley WMA - Lyon County
General Description

The Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area (MVWMA) is located in Mason Valley in Lyon County, about 75 miles southeast of Reno via Interstate 80 and U. S. Alternate 95. The WMA area now totals 16,635 acres.

From desert shrub lands to wet meadows, the habitats of MVWMA support an abundance of fish and wildlife that contribute significantly to the biological diversity of western Nevada. The Walker River floodplain meanders through MVWMA, providing food, cover and water for a vast array of wildlife. Numerous wet meadows and ponds dot the landscape, attracting ducks, geese, swan, songbirds and wading birds. The deep-water habitat of the newly constructed North Pond reservoir is home to fish, osprey and pelicans. Alkali desert scrub, an upland plant community, covers an extensive area on MVWMA and gives shelter to many mammals including raccoon and mule deer.

Download the brochure.

Download the map.

 Bodies of Water Note: All fishable waters (listed below) at the Mason Valley WMA are open for fishing beginning the second Saturday of February and ending September 30 of every year.
  • Hinkson Slough
  • North Pond
  • Bass Pond
  • Crappie Pond
  • Walker River
 Numerous other seasonally flooded ponds.
 Trespass Trespass prohibited from Feb. 15 through Aug. 15 in the eastern portion of the main developed pond area, as posted.
 Use of Vessels All vessels are prohibited from Feb. 15 through Aug. 15 each year, except on Hinkson Slough, Bass, Crappie, and North Ponds and the Walker River. Vessels must be operated at a speed that leaves a flat wake, but in no case may exceed 5 nautical miles per hour.
 Use of Campfires Permitted in those sites designated for camping.
 Camping Permitted at sites designated by the Department.
 Hunting 1. During the waterfowl season, hunting is permitted only on Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and the following legal State holidays: Nevada Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Family Day (day after Thanksgiving), Christmas, New Years Day, and Martin Luther King Day. Hunters with a valid turkey tag for the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area may hunt each day of the established turkey season. Before or after the waterfowl season, hunting is allowed every day for wildlife species upon which there is an established open season.

2. AREAS CLOSED TO ALL HUNTING ADJACENT TO THE FT. CHURCHILL WATERFOWL SANCTUARY: Those portions of SE corner of Section 36, T.15N., R.25E; W ½ of Section 31, T.15N, R.26E, and N ½ of Section 1, T.14N, R.25E., M.D. & M. are closed to hunting as posted.

3. The following area within the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area is designated as a CONTROLLED GOOSE HUNTING ZONE and will be closed to all persons five (5) days prior to the last Saturday in November through the end of the waterfowl hunting season, except for those persons having a valid Mason Valley controlled goose hunting permit, described in #4 following. Prior to the described closure dates, all legal hunting is allowed within the CONTROLLED GOOSE HUNTING ZONE. Those portions of the Mason Valley Wildlife Management area within Sections 1, 2 and 12, T.14N, R.25E; Section 35, T.15N, R.25E; Sections 6 and 7, T.14N, R.26E, and Section 31, T.15N, R.26E, M.D.B. & M. as posted. The assigned blinds for the controlled goose hunt are located in farm fields MV-10, 11, and B-11, 12, 13, 14 and 15.

4. Hunt permit applications for the CONTROLLED GOOSE HUNTING ZONE within the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area are available through the Headquarters Office in Reno and the Western Region Office in Fallon. Unless their privilege is limited or revoked pursuant to law, any resident or nonresident is eligible to apply once for a hunt permit. A person whose name appears on more than one application will be rejected from the drawing. Permit applications will be accepted for groups no larger than four individuals, and all members of a group must hunt from the same assigned location. Applications for the Special Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area Goose Hunt shall be received at the Headquarters Office in Reno (through a postal service only) no later than the second Wednesday in October. A public drawing will be held at the Headquarters Office in Reno at 10:00 a.m. on the last Wednesday in October. Successful applicants will receive a permit by return mail.

Deer may be hunted only with a shotgun no larger than 10 gauge and no smaller than 20 guage using rifled slugs; shotgun rounds with sabots that contain rifled slugs of convential design, or a long bow and arrow. Deer may not be hunted during the season set for the general hunt for deer expect on: 1) Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays 2) Nevada Day as observed 3) November 11, Veteran's Day 4) Thanksgiving Day 5) Family Day (day after Thanksgiving). Deer may be hunted with longbow and arrow during the season set for the archery hunt for deer.

The use or possession of shells for a shotgun containing shot that is toxic or larger than standard-sized T is prohibited.

The use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited unless it is plugged with a one piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.
Overton WMA - Clark County
General Description  OWMA lies in the lower extremes of the Moapa and Virgin river valleys where they flow into the north end of the Overton Arm of Lake Mead. This is about 65 miles northeast of Las Vegas using Interstate 15 and State Route 169.
Located in the Mojave Desert, OWMA supports an abundance of fish and wildlife that contributes significantly to the biological diversity of southern Nevada. Desert riparian habitat, associated with the floodplain of the Muddy and Virgin rivers, is extremely important to wildlife populations. The dense shrubbery of desert wash habitat provides food and shelter for small mammals and many species of birds. Numerous wet meadows and ponds dot the landscape, providing food, cover, and water for birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The deep water of Lake Mead provides habitat for fish, cormorants, and diving ducks, while shallow littoral zones provide feeding areas for puddle ducks and shorebirds.

Draft - Overton WMA Conceptual Management Plan - May 2014
 Bodies of Water
  • Lake Mead
  • Honeybee Pond
  • Center Pond
 Numerous other seasonally flooded ponds
 Trespass Trespass prohibited from March 1 through Aug. 1 on Honeybee Pond and Center Pond.
 Use of Vessels Vessels are prohibited on all ponds. Vessels are allowed on the portion of the area inundated by Lake Mead, except that on Overton Hunt Days, vessels may be used only by persons authorized to hunt waterfowl.
 Use of Campfires  Permitted in those sites designated for camping
 Camping  Permitted in those sites designated for camping.
 Hunting  Overton/Key Pittman Reservation System [PDF]

1. During the waterfowl season, hunting is permitted on the Moapa Valley portion of the area only on the opening day of the duck season, even numbered days thereafter throughout the season, opening day of the goose season, and the closing two days of the duck and goose seasons. Before or after the waterfowl season, hunting is allowed every day for wildlife species upon which there is an established open season.

2. During the opening day and the first weekend of the dove season the maximum capacity for the Moapa Valley portion of the area is 60 hunters by reservation only.

3. During the waterfowl season on the Moapa Valley portion of the area, hunters must hunt from assigned hunt locations (blinds) constructed by the Department of Wildlife. A maximum of up to four hunters are permitted at each hunt location. Assigned hunt locations are marked by numbered stakes. Hunters shall hunt only within their assigned hunt location and moving to vacant locations is prohibited. The only exception involves reasonable accommodation of the disabled.

4. The hunting of upland game species is prohibited during the waterfowl season.

5. On Overton Hunt days, only persons authorized to hunt waterfowl may use vessels on the portion of the area inundated by Lake Mead.

Trapping is allowed with valid permit. Permits will be issued through a drawing process and may contain designation of specific trapping areas, dates or other restrictions to ensure compatibility with other public activities.

The discharging of a rifle or pistol is prohibited.

The use or possession of shells for a shotgun containing shot that is toxic or larger than standard-sized T is prohibited.

The use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited unless it is plugged with a one piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.
Scripps WMA - Washoe County
 Bodies of Water Washoe Lake
 Trespass Trespass prohibited from Feb. 15 through Aug. 15 in that portion of the area that lies south of Little Washoe Lake
 Use of Vessels No restrictions except as noted above
 Use of Campfires  Not permitted.
 Camping  Not permitted.
 Hunting During the waterfowl season, hunting is permitted seven days a week.

The discharging of a rifle or pistol is prohibited.

The use or possession of shells for a shotgun containing shot that is toxic or larger than standard-sized T is prohibited.

The use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited unless it is plugged with a one piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.
Steptoe Valley WMA - White Pine County

General Description
The Steptoe Valley Wildlife Management Area (SVWMA) is located immediately south of Ely, along U.S. Highway 93/50 in White Pine County. Comins Lake is located about six miles south of Ely near the ranch headquarters.

The property consists of 6,426 acres including Comins Lake and appropriated water rights of Cave Creek, Steptoe Creek, and Willow Creek. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Tamberlaine Grazing Allotment, totaling 27,306 public acres is associated with the ranch.

From wet meadows and riparian corridors to sagebrush and pinyon-juniper uplands, the habitats of SVWMA support an abundance of fish and wildlife that contribute significantly to the biological diversity of eastern Nevada. Sagebrush is important habitat for mule deer, pronghorn, sage grouse and a multitude of nongame species. Pinyon-juniper is found on the uplands surrounding the Steptoe Creek drainage. Both pinyon nuts and juniper berries are important food sources for many species of wildlife. The riparian habitats of SVWMA including cottonwood, willow, and aspen have exceptionally high value for many species of wildlife. Ponds and wet meadows dot the landscape of SVWMA, providing food, cover, and water for numerous species of waterfowl, wading birds, and mammals. The deep-water of Comins Lake provides habitat for fish and diving ducks.
Bodies of Water Comins Lake
 Trespass No restrictions
 Use of Vessels Water skiing only allowed between 11 a.m. and sunset. Flat wake restrictions in effect for boats during other hours.
 Use of Campfires  Not permitted.
 Camping  Not permitted.
 Hunting  The use or possession of shells for a shotgun containing shot that is toxic or larger than standard-sized T is prohibited.

The use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited unless it is plugged with a one piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.
Wayne E. Kirch WMA - Nye County
General Descriptions
The Wayne E. Kirch WMA is located in the White River Valley in northeastern Nye County. State Route 318 is the major access route to the area. Today, KWMA is composed of a total of 14,815 acres, including five major reservoirs.

From sagebrush to wet meadows and grasslands, the various habitats of KWMA support an abundance of fish and wildlife that contribute significantly to the biological diversity of central Nevada. Wetlands are among the most productive wildlife habitats in Nevada. They provide food, cover, and water for numerous species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Tule, Adams-McGill, Cold Springs, Dacey and Haymeadow reservoirs, developed by NDOW, provide deep water habitat for fish and diving ducks. The edges of the reservoirs provide feeding areas for puddle ducks and shorebirds. The White River bisects the area and provides wetlands and deep water habitats. Uplands on KWMA include sagebrush, alkali desert scrub, annual grassland and desert wash. Sagebrush provides important habitat for mule deer, pronghorn, sage grouse and nongame species. The desert wash habitat is found in narrow corridors around intermittent streams carrying runoff from the Egan Range into the White River Valley.

Download the brochure here.

Download the map here.
 Bodies of Water Dacey Reservoir
Tule Reservoir
Cold Springs Reservoir
Haymeadow Reservoir
Adams-McGill Reservoir
 Trespass Trespass prohibited from Feb. 15 through Aug. 15 in the upper portion of Adams-McGill, Cold Springs,  Haymeadow and Dacey reservoirs, and all of  Tule reservoirs
 Use of Vessels Vessels must be operated at a speed that leaves a flat wake, but in no case may exceed 5 nautical miles per hour. Only vessels without motors are allowed on the lower portion of Dacey Reservoir from February 15th through August 15th
 Use of Campfires Permitted within the Dave Deacon Campground.
 Camping Permitted within the Dave Deacon Campground.
 Hunting Trapping is allowed with valid permit. Permits will be issued through a drawing process and may contain designation of specific trapping areas, dates or other restrictions to ensure compatibility with other public activities

The use or possession of shells for a shotgun containing shot that is toxic or larger than standard-sized T is prohibited.

The use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is prohibited unless it is plugged with a one piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.