License Requirements in Nevada

  • Any resident aged 12 or older must possess a fishing license to fish in Nevada.
  • Nonresident anglers under 12 are exempt from licensing requirements, but their catch must not exceed 50 percent of the limit.
  • This applies to all Nevada waters except for certain "interstate waters" like Lake Tahoe, Topaz Lake, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, and the Colorado River. (See NRS 502.010 for more details)

Daily Limit Regulations

  • The "Daily Limit" refers to the maximum number of game fish that can be legally caught and kept by an individual in one day.
  • This limit applies uniformly across all water bodies.
  • It is prohibited to reach the daily limit of fish in one body of water and then move to another body of water to reach the limit again for the same species.
  • However, if the daily limit for a specific species is higher in a particular body of water, anglers can catch their limit from the body of water with the lower limit and then move to the one with the higher limit to catch additional fish, up to the daily limit.
  • For instance, if one body of water has a daily limit of 1 fish per day and another has a limit of 5 fish per day for the same species, anglers can catch 1 fish from the former and 4 more from the latter to reach the daily limit of 5.
  • Once an angler reaches the daily limit in a specific body of water, they cannot harvest additional fish from that water until the following day.
  • Fish caught and immediately released back into the water alive are not counted toward the daily limit.

Possession Limit Regulations

  • Introduction of Possession Limit: In 2024, Nevada introduced a "Possession Limit," allowing anglers to retain twice the daily limit for the specific body of water where the fish were caught.
  • Application of Possession Limit: The Possession Limit applies to the water body being fished.
  • Example Scenario:
    • Day 1: An angler fishes at Knott Creek Reservoir with a daily limit of 1 trout and harvests 1 trout. Later that day, they move to Onion Reservoir with a daily limit of 5 trout and harvest 4 more.
    • Day 2: Returning to Knott Creek Reservoir, the angler harvests 1 trout, reaching their Possession Limit for that reservoir. They then move to Onion Reservoir, harvesting another 4 trout, hitting the total daily limit of 5 for the second consecutive day.
    • Day 3: Fishing at Onion Reservoir again, the angler harvests 2 trout, totaling 10 over 3 days and reaching their Possession Limit for Onion Reservoir. Their overall harvest, now totaling 12 trout (10 from Onion and 2 from Knott), is reduced to possession in their cooler. They are prohibited from fishing Knott Creek Reservoir or Onion Reservoir until they have consumed or given away at least one fish.
  • Adherence to Limit: Anglers must not reduce game fish to possession if they already possess the maximum allowed for that specific water body. This limit includes fish caught in Nevada that have been processed or preserved and are stored at any location.
  • Regional Limits: General limits are outlined by region, with exceptions listed under "special regulations" for individual waters.

Size Limit

Nevada Fishing General Laws & Regulations

Unless otherwise noted under Region General Regulations or Region Special Regulations, there is no size limit. Where size limits do apply, this shall mean the total length of the fish including the head and tail, measured as illustrated in the diagram.

Seasons and Hours

Unless otherwise noted under Region Special Regulations, the season is open year-round, and fishing hours are any time of the day or night. Where specified, “open season” includes the first and last day designated.

“Fishes,” “Fishing,” “Fished” and “To Fish” Defined

The words “to fish” and their derivatives, “fishes,” “fishing,” and “fished,” mean catching, taking, capturing, killing, injuring, or crippling of a fish and every attempt to do so.

Filleting Fish

Nevada Fishing General Laws & Regulations

Where size limits apply, fish may be filleted before transport if the remainder of the carcass of each fish filleted is kept in one piece so size and possession limits can be immediately determined. It is unlawful for any person to cause through carelessness, neglect, or otherwise any edible portion of any game fish to go to waste needlessly. In the case of game fish, the fillet meat from the operculum (gill plate) to the caudal fin (tail fin) as shown below.

Methods of Fishing

Fish may be taken only with hook and line attached to rod or reel and closely attended in the manner known as angling. No more than three baited hooks, nor more than three fly hooks, or two lures or plugs irrespective of the number of hooks or attractor blades attached thereto, may be attached to the line. No more than two lines may be used.

Spearfishing/Bowfishing

Persons may spearfish for unprotected fish in all Nevada waters except Lake Tahoe and Topaz Lake. Spearfishing for striped bass in Lake Mead and Lake Mohave from Cottonwood Cove to the cable below Hoover Dam is allowed. However, spearfishing for striped bass is prohibited in certain areas of Lake Mohave. In Lakes Mead and Mohave and the Colorado River system, spearfishing is prohibited within 1/2 mile of any dock or swimming area. When spearfishing, a person must display, within 100 feet, an appropriate diver’s flag. Fishing license regulations apply to persons taking fish by means of spear or bow and arrow. Only unprotected fish may be taken with a bow and arrow except where prohibited. Please contact the county you’ll be fishing in prior to assure you are in compliance with county regulations.

General Statewide Bait Use

Any person possessing a fishing license or permit, or otherwise exempted from such licenses, may capture, transport, and use live baitfish, aquatic bait, or commercially prepared and preserved baitfish for fishing or personal consumption where specified by Region.

Live baitfish means live, unprotected species of freshwater fish.

Aquatic bait means live, unprotected amphibians (such as bullfrogs), crustaceans (such as crayfish), mollusks (such as clams and snails), insects (such as grasshoppers), or worms (such as natural earthworms or purchased nightcrawlers or redworms).

The use of any game fish or protected species as bait and parts thereof is prohibited, except preserved salmon eggs.

Commercially Prepared and Preserved bait means dead dried, frozen, or liquid (such as in mineral oil, isopropyl alcohol, or ethyl alcohol), dry (such as in salt or borax), or other proprietary preserved or cured fish or their parts or aquatic bait.

Any bait obtained from a licensed dealer of live bait fish must be accompanied by a current dated receipt by that dealer. See Fishing with Bait Fish for regulations for bait fishing by region.

Chumming

“Chumming” means placing fish, parts of fish, or other material upon which fish feed, in the water for the purpose of attracting fish to a particular area so that they may be taken. Chumming is prohibited in Lake Tahoe, Topaz Lake, Spooner Lake, and the entire Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Unprotected Fish

Unprotected fish are all species not classified as game or protected. Unprotected fish may be taken by bow and arrow, hook and line, dipnet, cast net, minnow seine or minnow trap, and, except where prohibited, by spear. In the Colorado River and Lakes Mead and Mohave, the taking of fish by bow and arrow is prohibited within 1/2 mile of any dock or swimming area. Fishing license regulations apply to persons taking unprotected fish by means of hook and line, bow and arrow, or spear.

Ice Fishing

For the purposes of ice fishing, holes cut through the ice must not exceed 10 inches in diameter.

Artificial Lures

“Artificial Lures” means any device with a hook or hooks attached which is made partly or entirely of rubber, wood, metal, glass, plastic, or feathers. PowerBait® or similar products are not considered artificial lures.

Artificial Lure Regulations by Location

  • Only artificial lures may be used in the following waters:

    • The Collection Ditch at Ruby Lake NWR in Elko County.
    • Dacey Reservoir on the Kirch WMA in Nye County.
    • Hinkson Slough on the Mason Valley WMA in Lyon County.
    • Tonkin Springs Reservoir in Eureka County.
  • Only artificial lures with single barbless hooks may be used in these waters:

    • Knott Creek Reservoir including inlet and outlet streams in Humboldt County.
    • Hobart Reservoir (Washoe County), its tributaries, and Franktown Creek downstream to Red House.
    • Catnip Reservoir in Washoe County.
    • South Fork of the Humboldt River (Elko County) from the access causeway for the Lucky Nugget subdivision upstream to Lee.
    • East Walker River (Lyon County) from 1/4 mile above the confluence of the East Walker River and Sweetwater Creek downstream to 1/2 mile below the confluence of the East Walker River and Red Wash Creek.
    • Marlette Lake including tributaries and outlet stream in Washoe County.
    • Smith Creek Reservoir in Lander County.
    • Truckee River (Washoe and Storey County) in that portion from E Mustang Road bridge (1-80 Exit 23) to Derby Dam and from 1,000 feet downstream of Derby Dam to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation boundary.

Artificial Lures with Single Barbless Hooks

Nevada Fishing General Laws & Regulations

A “single barbless hook” refers to a fish hook having one point, manufactured without barbs or on which the barbs have been bent completely closed or filed off. Double or treble hooks having a common shank are not considered a single barbless hook, even when the barbs are closed or filed off. When single barbless hooks are required, only one single barbless hook may be attached to each hook eye or ring of the lure. 

Northern Pike

Northern pike are not classified as game fish; they are a prohibited species. Anglers wishing to keep northern pike to eat are required to kill them upon capture. There is no limit for northern pike, and anglers who wish to assist in the removal of northern pike from the waters of the state and who wish to dispose of them may do so without regard for Nevada’s wanton waste laws. The importation, transportation, or possession of live northern pike is prohibited.

Game Fish Transportation

Game fish taken under the authority of a fishing license or fishing permit may not be transported alive from the body of water where the game fish is taken. It is legal to keep game fish alive and in a live well or a net while at the body of water from which they are caught. Anglers must kill fish to be transported away from the body of water. Under no circumstances can game fish be transported in a manner that would allow for their release alive at another body of water. The transport and release of live wildlife without a permit is illegal.

Bullfrogs

There is no license requirement or limit on bullfrogs if they are taken by gig, spear, bow and arrow, or by hand. However, a fishing license is required to take bullfrogs by hook and line. The season is open year-round, anytime of the day or night in waters that are open to fishing or frogging. Bullfrogs are a non-indigenous species that may not be transported alive from the body of water where taken.

Crayfish

A fishing license is not required to capture crayfish for personal consumption or use as bait. When used as bait, crayfish may only be used in the water where captured, and other bait restrictions apply. There is no limit on crayfish. A license is required to take crayfish by hook and line. A permit is required to take crayfish for commercial purposes at Lake Tahoe (crayfish may not be taken for commercial purposes from any other Nevada water).

Coldwater Game Fish

Coldwater game fish include:

  • Bonneville cutthroat trout
  • Lahontan cutthroat trout
  • Yellowstone cutthroat trout
  • Kokanee salmon
  • Brook trout
  • Brown trout
  • Bull trout
  • Lake trout (Mackinaw)
  • Rainbow trout
  • Redband trout
  • Mountain whitefish
  • Any hybrid thereof

Warmwater Game Fish

Warmwater game fish consist of:

  • Black bullhead
  • Brown bullhead
  • Channel catfish
  • White catfish
  • Striped bass
  • White bass
  • Black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted)
  • Black crappie
  • White crappie
  • Tiger muskie
  • Yellow perch
  • Sacramento perch
  • Bluegill sunfish
  • Pumpkinseed sunfish
  • Green sunfish
  • Redear sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Any hybrid thereof

Protected Fish and Amphibians

Protected fish and amphibians are those species listed in NAC 503.065, 503.075, and 503.067. There is no open season on fish or amphibians classified as protected.

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How to Get Started

Visit Fish.WildlifeNV.com to begin your exploration.

Key Features

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.