After 40 years, Marlette to open for trout fishing |

After 40 years, Marlette to open for trout fishing

Emma Garrard / North Lake Tahoe Bonanza/ A volunteer checks the "clips" on a rainbow trout.

Trout beware.

For the first time, Tahoe area anglers are salivating to (legally) fish the waters of Marlette Lake at the Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park.

As of July 15, Marlette Lake, which has not been fished since acquired by the state of Nevada in the 1960s, will provide an opportunity for anglers to fish an untapped resource in the high Sierra.

Located five miles from the shores of Spooner Lake, Marlette is teeming with trout that have never seen the end of a fishing line. The majority of fish occupants at Marlette are rainbow trout, which were introduced into the lake in the early 1980s. Other trout active in the lake include Lahontan cutthroat and brook trout – all species are fair game for fishing.

Fishing regulations are set on the lake to ensure the health of the brood stock (fish harvested for their eggs) and to maintain the pristine nature of the lake.

The fishing season is limited in time, July 15 to Sept. 30, and in what you can take home – it is catch-and-release only.

The lake is also an artificial lure only lake; anglers beware: Only lures with single barbless hooks are allowed.

“We want people to enjoy the actual catching of the fish and to let them go to be caught another day,” said Reid Varble, a game warden for the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Other representatives from the agency said they feel the fishing the lake is also unique because of its surroundings.

“What makes Marlette unique is that there aren’t too many places in Nevada where you have the alpine forest and the alpine lake coming together,” said Chris Healy, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “It’s a tremendous experience for the anglers to go in there and fish the lake for the first time in a long time.

“We’re just excited that we can offer that to the anglers.”

For almost 40 years, Marlette has been managed by NDOW and until this year has served as a safe home to adult rainbow trout, which are artificially spawned each season.

The lake is one-of-a-kind for the department because of the amount of eggs that are harvested annually, Healy said.

The trout in the lake provide eggs each season. The eggs are harvested and shipped from Marlette to the Mason Valley Hatchery. The eggs are hatched and raised for a year, then introduced back into local freshwater including Lake Tahoe, Spooner Lake and Marlette.

“Marlette Lake is highly important to this agency because of the amount of rainbow trout eggs, (about 500,000 to 1 million), we can take out of it,” said Kim Tisdale, fisheries biologist for the department. “It is a very important brood stock for our agency and we feel we can open it for fishing and keep it as a quality brood stock too.”

Along with the opening of Marlette to fishing, NDOW is also lifting the fishing regulations on Spooner.

The lake is no longer catch-and-release, but will have a fish limit.

The use of live bait will also be allowed at Spooner, so those who don’t want to hassle with the artificial lures can drop a worm into Spooner.

Department of wildlife officials urge anyone who goes into the Spooner Lake National Park to fish Marlette to abide by the rules and regulations of the Nevada State Parks, and that anyone who is going to fish the lake will need a valid Nevada fishing license with a trout tag or a short-term fishing permit.

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