Marlette Lake

History – Marlette Lake was constructed in 1873 when a small earthen dam was erected at the outlet of a broad glaciated-basin that naturally drained into Lake Tahoe. In 1959, the dam was raised reaching its present height of 45 feet. The lake has several uses; water is conveyed via a series of open flumes and pipes (inverted siphon) to Virginia City for domestic water use, along with supplying Carson City with drinking water. The State of Nevada purchased Marlette Lake and the surrounding land in 1963, allowing for backcountry recreation. Fishing was then allowed in 2006. Finally, the lake is used as a brood lake for rainbow and cutthroat trout where spawning operations occur annually and offspring are used to stock waterbodies around the state.

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Region
Western
County
Washoe
Type of water
Lake or Reservoir
Fishing Report

Marlette is closed to fishing for the season. The season opens July 15th, 2023

11-15-2022

Stocking Updates

Stocked Species Inches Date Stocked Year to Date
3210Rainbow Trout10.508-15-20223210
714Rainbow Trout10.208-15-20223924
2410Rainbow Trout10.108-18-20226334
1052Rainbow Trout9.808-18-20227386
8192Cutthroat Trout7.9 08-30-20228192

Pertinent Information

Marlette lake covers 381 surface acres and has a maximum depth of 45 feet. Brook trout were introduced in the 1880’s, Lahontan cutthroat trout in 1964, and Tahoe strain rainbow trout in 1984. Rainbow trout range between 12 and 18 inches, cutthroat trout between 12 and 20 inches, and brook trout between 10 and 18 inches. Successful lures include small spinners and spoons and popular flies include wooly buggers, leech patterns, pheasant tail, hare’s ears, Sheep Creek specials, and prince nymphs. Marlette Lake is closed to vehicles and anglers must walk, mountain bike, or ride horseback about of 5 miles (from Spooner Lake, the most popular route) to reach the lake. Although it is extra work, some anglers still pack in a float tube to make fishing easier in open water. There are no services or overnight camping at the lake, but Nevada State Parks allows backcountry camping at nearby Marlette Peak, which has water, a restroom, tables, fire rings, and bear resistant storage boxes.