New season brings new fishing regulations to Pyramid Lake |

New season brings new fishing regulations to Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake, northeast of Reno, is a prime winter fishery for anglers in our area. It is located entirely on the Paiute Indian Reservation.

As a result, a Nevada fishing license is not required, but a permit issued by the Pyramid Lake Indians is needed. A day use fishing permit will cost you $7 per day and a seasonal permit is $50. New for the seasonal permit this year is an additional $1 surcharge that we paid when picking up our permits at the Pyramid Lake store. So expect to pay $8 and $51. The surcharge is a vendor fee.

If you are a Pyramid Lake regular, you will want to take note of these changes to the regulations that were effective on Nov. 1, 2004. Fish were measured by total length, but are now required to be measured by their fork length.

The fork length means the length of any fish, measured in a straight line from the tip of the snout to the fork (notched area) of the tail.

Another regulation cleaning up language on the Fishing Season is going into effect. The new regulation states that trout fishing is prohibited from July 1 through Sept. 30.

For boating anglers, possession and/or use of downriggers are prohibited from July 1 through Sept. 30. This was permitted under the old regulations.

Also, the limit for Sacramento Perch has been raised from five fish to 10. The regulation now reads: Ten Sacramento Perch per day, not to exceed ten in possession.

The first one is probably the one that will catch most people by surprise. The difference in the total length and the fork length will make measuring your fish very important. Those used to using total length will definitely have to measure their catch if they intend to keep a fish.

The total length measures the length of a fish from the snout to either the tip or bottom of the tail fin, the longest measurement on length of a fish. The fork length measures the length from the snout to the fork or notched area at the base of the tail. This is the measurement that biologists typically use because it is the most consistent measurement on the length of a fish.

What makes this a big change at Pyramid Lake is the fact that there is a slot limit on fish that are kept. Fish less than 16-inches must be released, 16 to 19-inch fish may be kept, between 19 and 24 inches must be released, and a 24-inch or larger fish may be kept (only one trout over 24-inches is allowed in possession). Fish that were keepers before and ones that were to be released, may or may not be under the new measuring system. The only way to be sure will be to measure the fish.

Judging by a recent fishing trip, I concluded the fish are healthy and the fishing should be really good this season. Early reports are that the tui-chub population is pretty good this year. The tui-chub is the primary forage fish of the Lohantan Cutthroat Trout in Pyramid; so if they are there in good numbers, the LCT should show good growth rates. From my observation on our recent trip, this appears to be the case.

It should be a good season at Pyramid Lake. If you have never been to this lake, check it out. You can check out the Pyramid Lake Fisheries Web site at for more information.

[Bruce Ajari, a Truckee resident, is a regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.]

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