Fishing with Bait Fish: Regulations and Guidelines
Eastern Region Restrictions
In the Eastern Region, strict regulations govern the use of bait fish. Generally, the capture, possession, or use of fish as bait, whether dead or alive, is prohibited except for preserved salmon eggs. Additionally, aquatic bait may only be utilized in the water body from which it is extracted.
Bait Regulations in the Southern and Western Regions
In Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, and the Colorado River, specific bait fish species are allowed for use:
Species Approved for Use as Live Bait (Taken Only):
- Gizzard Shad
Species Approved for Use as Live Bait (Taken or Purchased):
- Fathead Minnow
- Golden Shiner
- Threadfin Shad
In these waters, live bait fish can be taken for personal use using specific methods such as dipnets, cast nets, seines, or minnow traps. Additionally, commercially prepared and preserved baitfish or their parts may be used as bait.
For all other waters in the Southern Region, the capture, possession, or use of baitfish, other than preserved salmon eggs and commercially prepared and preserved baitfish, is prohibited. Aquatic bait may only be used in the water from which it is taken.
Where Live Bait Fish May Be Used
Carson River Basin:
- Live bait fish and aquatic bait may be used only in the river basin from which it is taken. Commercially prepared and preserved baitfish or their parts may be used as bait.
Humboldt River Basin:
- Live bait fish and aquatic bait may be used within the Humboldt River from Stall Diversion Dam downstream, including in Rye Patch Reservoir, Pitt-Taylor, and Chimney reservoirs, as well as all waters of the Lovelock Valley and the Little Humboldt River downstream of Chimney Reservoir.
Lake Tahoe Basin:
- Located in Carson City and Douglas and Washoe Counties.
Truckee River Basin:
- Except in the Truckee River from the E Mustang Road bridge downstream to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation boundary.
- From the railroad bridge near Wabuska downstream to and including Walker Lake, excluding waters on the Walker River Paiute Tribe Reservation.