As part of an ongoing project to restore trophy trout fishery status to Nevada’s high desert, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has stocked Comins Lake for the first time in almost a decade. In late April NDOW stocked 10,000 trout, half of their annual allotment of 20,000 fish per year, into the lake. Some of the surplus brood stock averaged a pound and a half each. This is just part of the overall restoration plan for Comins Lake as NDOW will now be stocking the lake with Largemouth Bass, Brown Trout, and potentially Tiger Trout.
Why Comins Lake Trout Were On Decline?
In 1999 there was an illegal introduction of northern pike into Comins Lake, which is a toothy predator not indigenous to this waterway. With little predators to stop them they all but destroyed the trout fishery, and without prey their numbers began to decline as well. Even with mercury concerns in Comins Lake there is still a large draw for anglers on these waters. The introduction of predator fish into enclosed water sources is not legal, but is also not uncommon.
Unfortunately, individuals not understanding the repercussions of releasing foreign species of fish into any waters reaches far beyond the boundaries of Nevada. The Great Lakes see similar issues, where foreign fish species have decimated native fish and caused environmental concerns from authorities such as the National Wildlife Federation and Environmental Protection Agency. For example, the invasion of rainbow smelt all but decimated walleye stocks in the Great Lake, and their presence was found in several inland lakes in the area. The invasive fish was also blamed for eliminating yellow perch and cisco from some lakes.
Nevada Fishing: Wet Sports in Dry Places
While most people think of Nevada as a desert there is a combined surface area of 400,000 acres of sports fishing opportunities within its borders. And our fish species are as varied as our geography. Comins Lake isn’t the only place to receive fish allotments, fish stocking happens throughout our state, and enjoying this wet sport is exercised any time of year. No matter where you live there is a way to responsibly enjoy this sport any time of year.