Pyramid Lake is widely regarded as a world class fishery for the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. This is evident by many world line class records, and the world record of 41 pounds caught in 1925 by Johnny Skimmerhorn (Paiute). Pyramid Lake is the ancestral home of the Pyramid Lake Paiute People of the Northern Nevada region.
The mission of Pyramid Lake Fisheries is to operate and maintain fishery facilities at Pyramid Lake and the lower Truckee River for the purpose of enhancing Cui-ui and Lahontan Cutthroat Trout populations, while creating a balance within natural resources management actions, which reflects the social, cultural, economic, and natural resource values of the Pyramid Lake Paiute people.
Fishing Pyramid Lake NV
The goal of Pyramid Lake Fisheries is to maintain both a recreational and trophy fishery for Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, while working collaboratively with partners to protect, conserve, and restore aquatic resources, fish habitats, and water quality within the Pyramid Lake – Truckee River watershed. These goals can be achieved if a balance can be found to maintain the Tribe’s goals, while meeting the demand of upstream users of the Truckee River. This provides a unique opportunity to add a significant education feature to the general public.
Pyramid Lake is truly a World-class fishing destination, when the fishing is good. Being successful here whether you fish in a boat or from shore is a matter of knowing where, when and how to fish for the sporting fish of this picturesque desert lake.
Pyramid Lake California Fishing Tips
Pyramid Lake is the only remnant of ancient Lake Lahontan that contains Lahontan cutthroat trout and Cui-ui. Tui chub and Tahoe sucker are two other fish species that also evolved in Lake Lahontan to make up the fish community present today. There is one introduced specie, the Sacramento Perch, that was stocked into the Truckee River system in the late 1800’s that are successfully reproducing in the alkaline waters of the lake.
We invite you to become one with the seasons of this lake to gain an understanding of where feeding fish can be located. Let’s begin our annual cycle in later winter when water temperatures along the shore of the lake remain in the 40’s from January into March. During this time fish metabolism and activity is very low. Tui chub, Tahoe sucker and Cui-ui are out in deep water (up to 120 feet) maintaining a low profile from the predaceous Lahontan cutthroat trout. The trout are the only fish that are common in the shallows during this time where they cruise looking for insects and small crustaceans. Food supplies are low at this time and it’s not unusual for fish to have empty stomachs.
From March through June, as the days get longer, the inshore waters begin to increase in temperature. All fish species here are spring spawners. During March and April, as water temperatures rise to the high 40’s, fish get more active and the cutthroat trout concentrate inshore looking for running water to spawn. Some anglers say that March is the best time to catch big fish. The peak bite for shore anglers usually occurs in mid-April when most mature cutthroat trout are ready to spawn. When inshore waters approach 50 degrees, numerous schools of cutthroat can be seen cruising in very shallow water, often behind the line up of anglers on their ladders. Due to the large mass of water in the lake, storms with high winds can mix with the inshore waters and retard the warming of the lakes surface, changing the peak bite by up to 3 weeks from one year to the next.