Topaz Lake opener Sunday |

Topaz Lake opener Sunday

Record-Courier staff report

Looking for something to do on New Year’s Day besides sitting on the couch watching football? Try heading out to the season opener at Topaz Lake. The lake has been closed to fishing since September 30, but it will be open for fishing again on Jan. 1 in one of Nevada’s more unique ways to celebrate New Year’s Day.

“To most people New Year’s Day means the Rose Parade, bowl games and recovering from the fun you had the night before,” said Chris Vasey, conservation education division chief for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “But to anglers in Northern Nevada, New Year’s Day means opening day at Topaz.”

Topaz Lake is located along Highway 395, south of Gardnerville along the Nevada-California border. Boat launching is available at Topaz Marina and Douglas County Park. Douglas County Park also offers camping, electrical hook-ups, bathrooms, picnic tables and a playground.

The Topaz opener is always a party. Many people spend New Year’s Eve at the lake and wake up the next morning to ring in the new year with some fishing. The Nevada Department of Wildlife began preparing for the opener in early fall by stocking more than 50,000 trout.

“Whether you’ve had a night out on the town or just bringing in the New Year, it’s a great way to spend the day,” said Vasey.

Once again, Topaz Lodge will be running its annual fishing derby from Jan. 1-April 16. Catch a tagged fish and win instant cash and free slot play. Each Topaz Lodge-tagged fish will be worth $100 cash, $10 in free slot play and five entries into the drawing. Learn more about the derby at

Topaz Lake is open for fishing from one hour before sunrise to two hours after sunset Jan. 1-Sept. 30, excluding the area within the jetties of Topaz Marina, which is closed to fishing. Daily and possession limits are five trout, 10 mountain whitefish and 15 warm water game fish of which no more than five may be black bass. Those younger than 16 years-old are not required to have a fishing license. Anglers 16 or older must have a Nevada fishing license and a trout stamp, a Nevada short term fishing permit, or a California fishing license. Two-rod stamps are valid in both states.