Topaz Lake to open |

Topaz Lake to open

Don Quilici

Topaz Lake, which is located on the Nevada-California Stateline, along U.S. 395, will open for the 2000 fishing season, one hour before sunrise, on Jan. 1.

That very popular opener annually attracts many hundreds of anglers from far and wide.

If you’ve never been at that New Year’s Day opener and if you’re interested in fishing on that day, here’s some basic general information to help you:

– To get there:

Take U.S. 395 south from the Carson City area for about 40 miles.

– Once you’re at the lake:

You can fish either from shore or from a boat.

From shore: Your best bet is the north end or along the highway side of the lake.

From a boat: Troll along the shoreline on the far side of the lake. Or, near the rocky point by the Douglas County Campground. Or, on the south end of the lake near the mouth of the West Walker River.

– Here’s how to fish:

From shore: Bait fishermen successfully use Power Bait or nightcrawlers on the bottom. Spincasters use small lures such as Daredevils, Tor-P-Dos, Kastmasters, Super Dupers, etc. Fly fishermen cast small flies such as hares’ ears, Prince Nymph or stone flies.

From a boat: For best results, troll with silver flasher blades plus nightcrawlers or with lures such as a No. 5 Count-Down Rapala, different colored Kwikfish or U-20 Flatfish. You can also anchor near the mouth of the West Walker River and fish on the bottom with Power Bait or nightcrawlers.

– If you’re successful:

You’ll catch German brown trout and rainbow trout, up to about five pounds. However, the average size will be much closer to about 1-1 1/2 pounds for the rainbows.

There are also a few Tiger Trout remaining in the lake. That special type of trout is a sterile, hybrid crossbreed between a male Eastern brook and a female German brown.

Special regulations: The limit is five trout, 10 mountain whitefish and 15 warmwater game fish, of which not more than five may be black bass. The area within a 100-yard radius of the Topaz Marina is closed to fishing, year-round.

Special note: Either a California or Nevada fishing license is valid anywhere at Topaz Lake. You will need the brand-new 2000 California license or the 1999-2000 Nevada license, which is valid until the last day of February.

Topaz Lake will remain open to fishing through Sept. 30.

For information, call the Fisheries Bureau of the Nevada Division of Wildlife in Reno at 688-1500 during regular hours, Chuck or Linda Fields of the Topaz Lake Marina at (775) 266-3550 or the Topaz Lodge at (775) 266-3338.