Nevada Boating Regulations Summary
For anglers using boats in Nevada, it's crucial to understand and adhere to the state's boating laws and regulations to ensure safety on the water. Here's a summary of key points:
Safety Equipment Requirement: All boats in Nevada must carry safety equipment suitable for the type and size of the vessel. This equipment helps ensure the safety of passengers and crew in case of emergencies.
Practice Safe Boating: Every boater should prioritize safe boating practices, including understanding and following the rules of the road on the water. Safe boating not only protects individuals but also promotes responsible use of water resources.
Learn More: To gain a comprehensive understanding of boating regulations in Nevada, anglers can contact the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) and request a copy of the Nevada Boater’s Handbook. Additionally, they can visit Nevada’s safe boating website at www.ndow.org for valuable resources and information.
Reduced Speed Areas in Nevada Waters
To ensure safety and minimize disturbances, certain waters in Nevada have designated reduced speed areas where vessels must operate at speeds that leave a flat wake. Here's a list of these areas:
Waters Requiring Reduced Speed:
- Bassett Lake in White Pine County
- Cave Lake in White Pine County
- Knott Creek Reservoir in Humboldt County
- Jakes Creek Reservoir in Elko County
- Onion Valley Reservoir in Humboldt County
- Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area in Nye County
- Laughlin Lagoon in Clark County
- Likes Lake in Churchill County
- Pitt-Taylor Arm of Rye Patch Reservoir in Pershing County
- Illipah Reservoir in White Pine County
- Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area in Lyon County
- Upper Wall Canyon Reservoir in Washoe County
- Echo Canyon Reservoir in Lincoln County
- Silver Creek Reservoir in White Pine County
- Jiggs Reservoir in Elko County
Designated Zones Requiring Reduced Speed:
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Clark County
- South Fork Reservoir in Elko County
- Wildhorse Reservoir in Elko County
- Lake Tahoe and designated areas in Douglas County
- Washoe Lake State Park Boat Ramps in Washoe County
- Walker Lake State Recreation Area and Sportsmen’s Beach in Mineral County
- Lahontan Reservoir and designated areas in Churchill County
- Rye Patch Reservoir and designated areas in Pershing County
- Topaz Lake boat ramps in Douglas County
- Colorado River, adjacent to specific locations in Laughlin and Clark County
- Big Bend of the Colorado River State Recreation Area in Clark County
In these areas, vessels must not exceed a speed of 5 nautical miles per hour to maintain a flat wake. Compliance with these regulations ensures safety and protects the environment for all users of Nevada's waters. (Refer to NAC 488.455)
Prohibited Boating Areas in Nevada
Certain areas in Nevada's water bodies are designated as prohibited for vessels, as indicated by signs or buoys. Here are the areas where boating is prohibited:
Lake Mead National Recreation Area:
- Designated areas within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area are off-limits to vessels.
- Vessels are prohibited below Davis Dam on the Colorado River.
- The swimming area of Harrah’s Casino in Laughlin is also off-limits to vessels.
- Boating is prohibited at various locations on Lake Tahoe, including:
- Main beaches at Sand Harbor and Divers’ Cove within Lake Tahoe State Park
- Swimming areas at Incline Village General Improvement District and Burnt Cedar Beach
- Swimming area at Galilee at the Episcopal Camp and Conference Center
- Swimming area at Lakeridge General Improvement District
- Swimming area at Glenbrook Homeowner’s Association
- Swimming area at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe
- Swimming area at Zephyr Cove Marina
- Swimming area at Crystal Shores West
- Swimming and beach area adjacent to Nevada Beach as described in 33CFR 162.215.
Other Designated Areas:
- Prohibited boating areas also include:
- Dam and swim beach at Rye Patch Reservoir State Recreation Area
- Lahontan Reservoir Dam
- South Fork Reservoir Dam
- Wildhorse Reservoir Dam
- Eagle Valley Dam at Spring Valley State Park
- Chimney Reservoir Dam in Humboldt County
- County swim beach at Topaz Lake
- Swimming and diving areas at Sparks Marina Park.
In these designated areas, vessels are not permitted to ensure safety and preserve the recreational environment. (Refer to NAC 488.465)
Boating Restrictions in Wildlife Management Areas
Boating regulations vary within Nevada's Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Here are the restrictions imposed on vessel usage in certain WMAs:
Overton Wildlife Management Area (Clark County)
- Vessels are prohibited on all ponds within the Overton WMA.
- However, vessels are permitted on the portion of the area covered by Lake Mead, except during Overton Hunt Days, when only authorized waterfowl hunters may use vessels.
Humboldt Wildlife Management Area (Churchill and Pershing Counties)
- All vessels are prohibited on ponds in the Humboldt and Toulon Sink areas five days before the opening day of the waterfowl season.
- Airboats are prohibited on the Humboldt Sink until one hour after the legal shooting time on the opening day of the waterfowl season.
- Additionally, airboats are prohibited on the Toulon portion of the area during the waterfowl season.
Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area (Lyon County)
- From February 15 to August 15 of each year, all vessels are prohibited in the Mason Valley WMA, except in specific areas:
- Hinkson Slough
- Bass Pond
- Crappie Pond
- Beaver Slough
- The Walker River
- North Pond
Fort Churchill Cooling Pond Cooperative Wildlife Management Area
- All vessels and floating devices are prohibited on the pond, except those used by NV Energy employees for official duties.
Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area
- Only vessels without motors may be used on Dacey Reservoir from February 15 to August 15 of each year.
These restrictions do not apply to vessels owned, operated, and used for official purposes by the Department of Wildlife. For the purposes of these regulations, a vessel is considered in use if it is on the state's waters and not grounded on the shore. (Refer to NAC 488.467)