Willow Creek Reservoir- Tuscarora Range

Willow Creek Reservoir was constructed in 1884, reconstructed in 1921, restored in 1999, and again in 2005. Finally, the reservoir was drained in 2007 to repair the headgate and dam. Barrick Gold Corporation, Goldstrike Complex privately owns the reservoir and surrounding land. It serves as an agricultural irrigation impoundment with large drawdowns occurring seasonally. It is open to the public for fishing, hunting, boating, and camping. In 2017, the reservoir was completely drained due to a valve breakage at the dam and the fishery was lost. Artificial habitat was added and rebuilding of sport fish populations occurred over the last two years.

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Region
Eastern
County
Elko
Type of water
Lake or Reservoir

Stocking Updates

Stocked Species Inches Date Stocked Year to Date
2000Channel catfish505-11-20222000

Pertinent Information

At maximum capacity, Willow Creek covers 640 surface acres and has a maximum depth of 40 feet. It is known primarily for white crappie; which generally range in size between 6 and 10 inches. The best time to catch crappie is from May through July and boat fishing is best, but shore fishing along deep drop-offs is also productive. Brightly colored jigs work well as does trolling small spinners and crankbaits. The reservoir also offers the opportunity to catch largemouth bass ranging in size from 8 to 12 inches and channel catfish up to 12 lbs. Fly-fishing is less productive since the water is always cloudy. Rubber worms, jigs, and crankbaits work well for bass in the spring. Stink baits, liver, nightcrawlers, and shrimp work well for catfish during spring and summer. There is primitive camping for small RVs and tents, but bring your own water and firewood. Car-topper boats, canoes, or float tubes are recommended. It is difficult to launch trailered boats when the water level is low in summer; however, a gravel boat ramp is usable during high water.