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Finding Treasure in the form of big Lahontan Cutthroat Trout at Pyramid Lake, Nevada (continued)

Many anglers donít realize that Pyramid Lake is an alkaline lake with a salinity approximately 1/6th that of se water. Although clear Lake Tahoe forms headwaters that eventually drain to Pyramid Lake, the Truckee River delivers more turbid waters to Pyramid Lake after traversing the steep Sierra terrain and collecting moderately high silt loaded  surface runoff.

Anglers have a specialized method for catching trout here at the lake and make use of ladders and special platforms to better see and cast for fish

There are no outlets from Pyramid Lake and the only way that water leaves is through evaporation. The Lahontan Trout are adapted to the alkaline water but the high salinity prevents other trout from surviving here. The lake is also inhabited by the cui-ui lakesucker which is endemic to Pyramid Lake, and the Tui Chub which Lahontans will readily feed on.

It is possible to launch boats at Pyramid to target the fish as well

When it comes to the Lahontans Pyramid has a long and storied fishing history, and one that wasnít always a happy one when it comes to the health of the Cutthroat Trout fishery. Back in 1844 explorer John C. Fremont documented "a large lake, full of salmon trout on which they feasted." The Truckee river connects both Tahoe and Pyramid and at the time wild Lahontan Cutthroat trout inhabited both lakes.

The quality fishing isn't a secret here, and all the popular spots are stacked with anglers

He witnessed massive trout being caught both in the lake and the river, and soon this fishery was being aggressively fished commercially. During the following years it was documented that over fifty tons of fish were caught each year, effectively decimating the Lahontan Cutthroat population to the point fifty years later where just about all the fish were completely gone.

Mark and Zander formulate a plan to get away from the crowds and get into some fish

The Paiute tribe took it upon themselves to bring the fish back, and initiated aggressive stocking programs. Thanks to quality management the Lahontan trout populations are now sustained by several tribally-run fish hatcheries. Though the fishing is nowhere near the splendor it was a century ago, the lake does offer world class Cutthroat Trout fishing once again.


To protect spawning fish there is a slot limit

Regulations: The Paiute Tribe goes a long way to protect spawning fish and has a slot limit to help prevent these fish from being taken. The legal keeper size for trout at Pyramid is 17 to 20 inches, and/or 24 inches & longer. Only one trout over 24 inches is allowed in possession. The catch limit is two trout per day, but not more than one of them may be 24 inches or longer. As an example, anglers may keep two trout between 17 and 20 inches; or just one between 17 and 20 inches, and one over 24 inches. There are many anglers that simply enjoy catching these large trout, and practicing catch and release is encouraged.

We started with both spoons and swimbaits in bright green patterns


Next Section: Getting into some big fish 










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