The site on which Sparks Marina Park is located was once a gravel pit owned and operated by Helms Construction Company (1968 to 1995). In 1987, petroleum products and solvents were discovered seeping into the 100 feet deep pit. Contamination was traced to a massive spill at the fuel-tank farm to the west. It was declared a Toxic Superfund Site and a comprehensive cleanup was initiated. In 1996, the groundwater was reported free of petrochemicals and the property was turned over to the City of Sparks. Millions of dollars of spill mitigation money were made available to the City, which was used to construct the park and make the pit into a recreational pond. They also planned to fill the pit to a depth of 30 feet; however, in January 1997, the Truckee River overflowed its banks and filled Helms Pit creating what is now Sparks Marina Pond. The pond is a natural aquifer and in order to keep it at a desirable level, the city pumps 1 to 2 million gallons of water daily into the Truckee River.
- Type of water
- Community Pond
Bait fishing with worms off the bottom or under a bobber should continue to be productive through the end of winter. Spin fisherman willing to put in the time are doing well working dark jigs. A few carry-over fish are starting to show up off the fishing dock. Stocking will begin very soon on the Marina.02-14-2023
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The lake is 100 feet deep and covers approximately 77 surface acres. Rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout, spotted bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, green sunfish, channel catfish, bullhead catfish, and carp occur in the lake. The typical baits and lures for trout work such as Power Bait, salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, small spinners and spoons, and flies (hare’s ears, prince nymphs, and Sheep Creek specials). Channel catfish are caught on nightcrawlers, liver, and shrimp off the bottom. Large carp over 15 pound recently have been popular to fish for. There is a small concrete boat ramp located at the south beach on the west side of the lake and parking lots are located on the west side by the beaches and on the southwest corner of the lake. There are restrooms and a fishing pier.