Topaz Lake will open to 2009 sport fishing on Jan. 1 |

Topaz Lake will open to 2009 sport fishing on Jan. 1

Don Quilici
Nevada Appeal Outdoors Editor

This is my annual reminder that Topaz Lake, located along U.S. 395 at the Nevada-California state line will open its 2009 fishing season, one half hour before sunrise, on Thursday, Jan. 1.

If the weather is decent, if you don’t have a hang-over, if you like to fish and you don’t have anything else planned, this could be a fun (and perhaps a little bit profitable) way to start the New Year.

According to Rick Ross of the Topaz Lodge and Casino, there will not be any tagged fish released into the lake as in past years.

However, the Topaz Lodge will honor any tagged fish from previous years. And, according to Ross, there is still a good number of them, somewhere out in the lake.

In addition, the Lodge will award $25 each for the biggest and second biggest fish caught each week. They will also issue certificates for any fish two-pounds and over.

So, are you interested?

Well if you are, here is some info that just might entice you to travel to Topaz Lake to fish there on Jan. 1:

How to get there:

It’s simple, just take U.S. 395 south until you reach the lake, which is about 40 miles from Carson City. Topaz Lake will be that big blue thing on your left side.

Where to fish from shore:

Your three best bets will be:

Along the beach at the north end. If in doubt on where to fish, just look for the big crowd of vehicles and fishermen.

On the far shore, past the Douglas County campground. Again, look for vehicles and fishermen.

On the California side, right under U.S. 395, anywhere in the rocky area. Be advised that if you fish on the bottom with bait, you stand a good chance of getting lots of snags. I sure do when I fish there!

Where to fish from a boat:

Along the shoreline on the back side (east) of the lake.

Near the rocky point at the Douglas County Campground.

At the south end of the lake, where the West Walker River enters the lake. Note: This area is very shallow, so don’t fish deep or you could snag up your downrigger ball or favorite lure or both.

Right down the middle of the lake (my favorite trolling location to catch fish and also avoid snags).

Special Note:

The Topaz Lake Marina boat ramp will not be operational due to low water levels, unless there are big storms to raise the water level between now and Jan. 1.

What to use from shore:

Almost all shore fishermen will be using Power Bait, red Salmon eggs or nightcrawlers.

If you use Power Bait, try orange, Chartreuse or Captain America.

If you use red Salmon eggs, try them with mini-marshmallows to float them off the bottom.

If you use nightcrawlers, be sneaky and inflate them, to float them off the bottom. You might also give them a squirt of liquid fish bait to try to entice the trout to bite.

If you are a spincaster, try tossing a lure like a Daredevil, TOR-P-DO, Kastmaster, Super Duper or Thomas Buoyant.

If you are a “Fly Guy,” try a black Woolly Bugger or try a black Woolly Worm, along a sandy bottom.

What you’ll catch:

If you’re super lucky, you might catch one of those tagged rainbows from previous years and it could be worth some instant cash. Take it up to the Topaz General Store.

However, you will most probably catch Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) planter-sized rainbow trout (about 10-13 inches in length) or an occasional larger hold-over rainbow up to about 3-5 pounds.

If you’re interested, during the three-month closure (Oct-Nov-Dec) of the 2008 fishing season, NDOW planted 6,511 rainbows on Oct. 6, another 7,832 rainbows on Oct. 8, another 8,880 rainbows on Oct. 14, another 5,200 on Oct. 21, and 1,505 rainbows on Nov. 8.

So, it would seem to me that you should not have too much trouble catching fish, unless you are lousy fisherman.

With luck, you might even catch a brown trout with an average size of about 1 or 2 pounds.

You could also catch Tiger Trout (a sterile, cross breed between a brook trout and a brown trout).

If you’re wondering where they came from, on Nov. 8, a total of 3,780 Tigers were planted in the lake by NDOW.

With lots of luck, you might even catch a bass, but don’t count on it. They are very few and far between.

If you’re unlucky, you might end up catching a huge Carp, but they don’t count as a game fish, so don’t plan to brag about catching one.

If your totally unlucky, you will get “skunked.” My advice then is to head for home, pour yourself a drink, jump in your easy chair and watch a fishing show on TV. It won’t be a totally lost day.

Special regulations:

Either a Nevada or California fishing license is good anywhere around or anywhere on the lake.

If you fish with a Nevada license, you must have a Nevada Trout Stamp.

If you fish with a California license on the California side, you will need to display that license above the waist.

The lake limit is five trout, 10 Mt. Whitefish and 15 warmwater game fish, of which not more than five may be Black Bass.

Be advised that the area within a 100 yard radius of the Topaz Marina is closed to fishing. So, don’t fish there!

Special Note:

On that Opening Weekend, there will be lots of NDOW and California game wardens, either in uniform or “civvies.”

So, don’t do something illegal.

If you get caught and fined, it is going to cost you a lot of money and I will put your name in my Outdoors page as a law breaker. That’s a promise!

For information:

Call either Chuck or Linda Fields at the Topaz Lake Marina at (775) 266-3550 or Diane Furaro at the Topaz Store at (775) 266-3337.


Merry Christmas and I hope that Santa brings whatever you want.

Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon where I’ll be on New Year’s Day.

If he grins and says, “Don Q and his favorite fishing partner Don Hettrick will probably be trolling for Lahontan cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake to avoid the huge crowds at Topaz Lake,” he could be the third person going with us.