Walker Lake

Walker Lake is a terminal lake (lake with no outlet) that is fed by the Walker River with its headwaters in the Sierra Nevada (California). It is a remnant of ancient Lake Lahontan that once covered most of the Great Basin. Since the early 1950’s, the Lahontan cutthroat trout (LCT) fishery was maintained only through stocking. Fresh water has a total dissolved solid (TDS) of less than 1,000 milligrams per liter (mg/L), while TDS in Walker Lake now exceeds 21,000 mg/L. LCT no longer occurs in Walker Lake due to this extremely high TDS (alkalinity and salt) and even tui chub, the primary forage of LCT in Walker Lake, are unable to survive.

Type of water
Lake or Reservoir
Fishing Report

An increase in the lake level is key to the fishery rebounding.


Pertinent Information

Walker Lake is nearly 13 miles long and 5 miles wide, with a maximum depth of about 80 feet. Under better environmental conditions in Walker Lake, LCT was found to live up to nine years and achieve weights greater than 10 pounds. Over time, however, the TDS reached lethal limits for LCT and no LCT has been reported by anglers or during sampling surveys since winter of 2010. Walker Lake still has much to offer such as boating, canoeing/kayaking, wind surfing, and birdwatching. There is a basic campground at the BLM Sportsman’s Beach Recreation Site and primitive camping is allowed at many access sites around the lake. Restrooms can be found at several locations