Lake Tahoe- Sand Harbor

The Washoe Tribe of Native Americans was the first inhabitants of the Tahoe Basin, and General John C. Fremont became the first of the white explorers to discover Lake Tahoe in 1844. The lake was named Lake Bigler in 1870 and it was not changed to Lake Tahoe until 1945. A dam was built at the Truckee River outlet in 1909 raising the lake an additional six feet. The lake is known for its deep blue color and sits in a beautifully forested basin. Lake Tahoe borders Nevada and California, with about 1/3 of the lake in Nevada.

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Type of water
Lake or Reservoir
Fishing Report

Fishing has been fair on Tahoe, the cold has brought some bigger fish close to shore but access has been impossible with the snow. The few boat anglers out there are finding good size rainbows, browns, and macs near the surface.


Stocking Updates

Stocked Species Inches Date Stocked Year to Date
725Cutthroat Trout10.506-14-2022725
3223Cutthroat Trout8.406-14-20223948
6441Cutthroat Trout9.107-14-202210389
5400Cutthroat Trout8.607-23-202215789
1400Cutthroat Trout9.407-23-202217189
5000Cutthroat Trout9.108-18-202222189
2045Rainbow Trout 9.408-23-20222045

Pertinent Information

Lake Tahoe, located in the Sierra Nevada, covers 192 square miles and has a maximum depth of 1,646 feet. Several introduced sport fishes inhabit the lake including lake trout (mackinaw), rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee salmon, and to a lesser extent largemouth bass. At times, Lahontan cutthroat trout have been stocked, but they are rare. Mackinaw is the most caught and popular species and generally ranges between 16 and 25 inches. Rainbow trout are the next most sought after fish that usually average from 10 to 14 inches. Fishing success throughout the year varies, but fishing during July and August are the most productive times. Cave Rock and Sand Harbor State Parks produce the best catches for small rainbow trout since they are stocked from these locations. Shore access is limited around most of the lake due to private property and limited parking. Standard shore baits include nightcrawlers, Power Bait, salmon eggs, and minnows. Lures such as Mepps, Panther Martins, Rapalas, and Dardevles often catch active rainbow and brown trout. Top-line trolling for rainbow and brown trout is the most productive method for boaters, while deep-line trolling, jigging, and fishing with live minnows are the most widely used techniques for mackinaw. Numerous commercial guide services are available for anglers that lack the extensive fishing setups or angling knowledge required for catching fishes in Lake Tahoe. Nevada Division of State Parks has two public boat launching facilities at Cave Rock and Sand Harbor State Parks. Included are parking, picnicking sites, restrooms, and sandy swim beaches.