Hinkson Slough

– Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area (MVWMA) was purchased by the state in 1955 to develop wetlands for waterfowl. As the wetlands expanded, ponds and sloughs were created, which became ideal for warmwater fish such as largemouth bass and catfish. With the completion of the Mason Valley Hatchery in 1990, a constant supply of water was ensured and led to the expansion of the Fish Series ponds.


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Type of water
Lake or Reservoir
Fishing Report

Hinkson Slough fishing pond will remain closed through Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area’s (WMA) fishing opener on Saturday, February 10 as the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) takes proactive measures to address ongoing challenges at the pond. Bass, Crappie, and North Pond are all unable to be stocked in addition to Hinkson due to low water levels.


Following last spring’s flooding that affected the entire WMA, NDOW initiated plans for habitat improvements and Common Carp removal efforts at Hinkson Slough. However, water quality issues that had previously been impacting the fishery were exacerbated by the flooding and slowed progress through the summer


In response, NDOW commenced a thorough assessment post-flood and created a plan to restore the pond. This plan includes draining Hinkson Slough to repair the aging outlet structure, eliminate carp populations, and provide a fresh start for the fishery.


Despite ongoing efforts over the past months to dry up the pond, excessive inflow has prevented progress. However, last week, NDOW’s Mason Valley WMA and Hatchery staff developed an innovative water management strategy, aiming to effectively mitigate the inflow challenges. While significant water remains in Hinkson Slough and draining the pond will still take time, NDOW remains optimistic about the success of this solution.


Looking ahead, NDOW is taking this opportunity to implement new stocking strategies and will even be tagging fish for Hinkson Slough in the fall of 2024. Anglers catching tagged fish are encouraged to report tag color, number, and fish length to the provided phone number on the tag. Tag reporting forms will also be available at the Angler Information Center at the pond entrance.


“We understand the anticipation surrounding the fishing season, and we’re committed to restoring Hinkson Slough to provide anglers with an enhanced and sustainable fishing experience,” said NDOW Fisheries Biologist Kris Urquhart. “We appreciate the patience and support of the angling community as we work towards restoring this popular fishing spot.”


NDOW hopes to have the fishery back in action by next spring. For anglers interested in casting their lines elsewhere for Mason Valley WMA’s fishing opener next month, NDOW is stocking up the Fort Churchill Cooling Pond with trout. NDOW anticipates fishing conditions to be great and encourages anglers to get in on the action! Anyone can take part by purchasing a fishing or hunting/fishing combination license at ndowlicensing.com. Kids under the age of 12 can fish for free.



Stocking Updates

Stocked Species Inches Date Stocked Year to Date
544Rainbow Trout9.704-10-20233591
257Rainbow Trout11.902-07-20233047
2790Rainbow Trout1102-07-20232790

Pertinent Information

The Fish Series Ponds include Hinkson Slough, Bass Pond, Crappie Pond, and North Pond and are the primary ponds that anglers fish. The ponds range from 15 to 200 acres and depths are generally less than five to eight feet deep, although North Pond is 13 feet deep. Management emphasis is generally toward quality largemouth bass angling, however, trout are stocked in North Pond and Hinkson Slough. Trout include bowcutt (rainbow trout x cutthroat trout hybrid), rainbow trout, brown rout, and tiger trout, with Hinkson Slough producing trophy-sizes. Channel catfish and bluegill are also present, with bluegill reaching over one pound. North Pond has an improved boat ramp, and paved parking, and Bass Pond and Hinson Slough have a padded and gravel boat ramp, respectively. Restrooms are placed throughout the management area and at North Pond and Hinkson Slough. Camping is only allowed at Sandridge and North Pond campground on the management area.