Lahontan Reservoir is situated in west central Nevada, approximately 50 miles southeast of the Reno/Sparks area. It is part of the Newland?s Irrigation Project that stores water from the Carson River and Truckee River (via a canal) to be used to irrigate the arid Fallon area. The quality of the fishing depends on water levels, which depend on snow pack in the nearby Sierra Range. Continuing battles over water allocations in the Truckee River have jeopardized the future of Lahontan Reservoir, with the promise of less water being available in the future.

Pertinent Information

At maximum storage, Lahontan Reservoir contains 320,000 acre feet of water with a maximum depth of 85 feet in the lower basin near the dam. There are approximately 10,600 surface acres and nearly 65 miles of shoreline to fish. The length of the reservoir is slightly more than 17 miles with a maximum width of 2.5 miles. The reservoir contains sandy beaches and rock outcroppings, flooded woody debris, a flooded river channel and various islands made out of rock and sand. Water quality is considered good, with the exception of the constant turbidity and dense algae blooms of late summer. The reservoir is a very popular recreation location for boaters, skiers and personal watercraft users, which at times limits the quality angling opportunity.
The primary game fish species include wipers (white bass x striper hybrid), white bass, walleye, channel catfish, bullhead, largemouth bass, spotted bass, and crappie. The best fishing occurs from April through July and October. Angler use for the five year period (1998-2002) averaged 5,567 anglers fishing 46,639 days and capturing 106,199 fish for 2.26 fish per angler day. Trophy Book entries include a 7-pound, 12-ounce largemouth bass, a 2-pound, 15-ounce smallmouth bass, a 4-pound white bass (State Record), a 31-pound, 1-ounce channel catfish (State Record), a 2-pound, 8-ounce white crappie, a 9-ounce yellow perch, a 15-pound, 4-ounce walleye (State Record) and an 18-pound, 8-ounce wiper (State Record). Walleye are captured in the spring with normal walleye gear: jigs, worms trolled in a worm harness behind flashers, and live minnows. Wipers are captured with plugs and live minnows. White bass are caught on spinners (Mepps) and using live minnows. Channel catfish are caught with dead minnows, worms, prawns, liver and worms fished off the bottom. Camping: Lahontan is a Nevada State Park. Fees are charged to enter the park. Camping, toilets, showers, picnic tables, and boat launching facilities are available. The town of Silver Springs is only a few miles from the reservoir with gasoline and groceries available.


Lahontan Reservoir is stocked with walleye fry, wiper fry, and channel catfish on occasion.


Season is open year around, any hour of the day or night, except for the spillway pool, which is closed to fishing. The limit is 5 trout, 15 warmwater game fish, of which not more than 5 may be walleye and 5 may be largemouth bass.

Boating Regulations

No boating is allowed within the buoys located in front of the dam. All boats must be operated at a flat wake or less than 5 mph in and around boat launching facilities and beaches.

Biologist Prediction

Fishing should be good for walleye, catfish, crappie, and wipers. White bass angling should be fair to poor. Success for largemouth bass and spotted bass is expected to be limited. The reservoir is expected to be low by August, leaving the boat ramps out of the water.