Carson River basin Still Waters

This page provides information about many of the significant public still water fisheries within the Carson River basin and a few extras.

In basin lakes:

  • Burnside Lake - A small lake above Markleevillle. Lake is stocked with rainbows but also has plenty of small rough fish in it. Accessible by maintained dirt road from Pickett's Junction in Hope Valley. Rough camping is allowed.

  • Crater Lake - A small lake, less than 10-acres, perched above Hope Valley. Full of small brookies. Can be accessed from Alpine Mine Road, 4x4 road off of CA 88. Rough camping allowed.

  • Heenan Lake - A 1,700-acre lake on the west side of Mono Pass. This is a wild trout water which provides broad stock for the Lahontan cutthroat trout for California Fish & Game's hatcheries. Best fished a float. Camping is available in nearby campgrounds.

  • Indian Creek Reservoir - A 160-acre sized lake near the Markleeville airport. Generally stocked with rainbows but occasionally Lahontan cutthroats are planted as well. Browns also exist in the lake. Generally best fished a float. Camping is available. Access from Airport Rd. off of Alpine State Highway (CA 89).

  • Kinney Lakes - Kinney Lakes are located just north of Ebbetts Pass. Kinney Reservoir has rainbows and brookies and is regularly stocked. Due to CA 4 running by the lake, it gets a fair amount of fishing pressure. For this reason, it's recommended you walk the mile into Lower Kinney or Upper Kinney lakes. Here you'll find some nice sized bowcutts in the lower lake. These lakes are best fished from a float. Camping options are available in the area.

  • Lahontan Reservoir - a 10,600-acre, 17-mile long lake located along the Carson River near Silver Springs, NV. The lake holds various species of bass and catfish, but also walleye and crappie. A number of Nevada state record fish were caught on this lake. Located within the Lahontan State Recreation Area (fee required).

  • Lost Lakes - A pair of lakes which are the headwaters of the West Carson River. They are accessible from the Red Lake or Blue Lakes using Forestdale Road. 4x4 recommended. Dispersed camping allowed.

  • Red Lake - A small lake above Hope Valley in the Red Lake Wildlife Area. Stocked with rainbows. Access from CA 88.

  • Scott's Lake - A small lake above Hope Valley. Accessible by 4x4 road from CA 88.

  • Sunset Lakes, Summit Lake, Tamarack Lake, and more - Accessible from Sunset Lakes Road off of Blue Lakes Road. Dispersed camping allowed.

A few westslope lakes that near the Carson River drainage:

  • Blue Lakes, Twin Lake, Meadow Lake - A set of out-of-basin lakes in the Carson Pass area. Regularly stocked with rainbows and Lahontan cutthroat. Accessible from Hope Valley by Blue Lakes Road. Camping available.

  • Caples Lake - A 600-acre lake just over Carson Pass. Holds rainbows and mackinaw (lake trout).

  • Granite Lake - Granite Lake is a nice mountain lake located in the Mokelumne Wilderness. It holds Lahontan cutthroats and golden trout. It is accessed by a 2 mile hike from Upper Blue Lake dam.

  • Kirkwood Lake -A small alpine lake on the far side of Carson Pass. It is stocked with rainbow trout.

  • Woods Lake - A nice place to float tube... also Woods Creek has rainbows near the lake and brookies further down. Day use fee required at lake. Camping is available.

This article was authored by Kurt Zeilenga. If you have suggestions on how to improve this article, you may contact Kurt at

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