Fishing at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Young fisherman casting, water and trees in background

NPS Photo - Andrew Cattoir

Fishing is a favorite pastime here at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. With more than 290 square miles of water surface, you can be sure to find a favorite spot to catch the big one. Popular fish include rainbow trout, catfish, sunfish, largemouth bass, striped bass, smallmouth bass and crappie. Keep in mind that our park lies within two states and each has their own specific fishing regulations. We have all the information you need below to have a fantastic fishing experience.

General Fishing Information

Fishing is allowed 24 hours a day from watercraft, shores or on the park's three fishing piers located at Hemenway Harbor on Lake Mead and at Willow Beach and Katherine Landing on Lake Mohave.

You must carry a valid Nevada or Arizona fishing license to fish Lake Mead or Lake Mohave. You may purchase licenses from the concessioner at the marinas or at local bait and tackle shops.

Largemouth bass, striped bass, channel catfish, crappie and bluegill are found in both lakes Mead and Mohave. Rainbow trout can be found in Lake Mohave. They are released from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service hatchery at Willow Beach every Friday.

Lake Mead has become famous for its striped bass with an occasional catch weighing in at over 40 pounds. Fishing for striped and largemouth bass is good throughout Lake Mead with crappie, bluegill, green sunfish and catfish being more prevalent in the upper Overton Arm of the lake.

fish cleaning station

Fish cleaning stations are available at Hemenway Harbor, Las Vegas Bay, Callville Bay, Echo Bay and Temple Bar on Lake Mead and at Willow Beach, Cottonwood Cove and Katherine Landing on Lake Mohave. Please dispose of fish guts properly. Please do not place them on the ground or feed them to wild animals.

Arizona Game & Fish Dept.
5325 N. Stockton Hill Rd.
Kingman, Arizona 86401
928) 692-7700

Nevada Division of Wildlife
4747 Vegas Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada 89108
(702) 486-5127
Additional Information

Please refer to the State Fishing Regulations for possession limits.

Please clean your catch at the fish cleaning stations located at most of the marinas.

Both lakes are open to 24-hour fishing year round.

■ In the state of Nevada, fishing licenses are not required for children under 12 years old.
■ In the state of Arizona, fishing licenses are not required for children under 14 years old.

Several protected species of fish are found in the Colorado River System. Two of these, the razorback sucker and bonytail chub, may be found in the lakes. If these fish are caught, they should be returned to the water. Please report the catch to the National Park Service Resource Management office at (702) 293-8950.

■ There is no fishing within the posted boundaries of state or federal fish hatcheries.
■ There is no fishing within those areas immediately above and below Hoover Dam.
■ There is no fishing within areas designated as harbors.


Special Notice:

Invasive Mussel Found at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Live quagga mussels (a nuisance invasive species) are present in Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. In order to not spread the mussels to other bodies of water, please follow the suggestions below. Effective ways boaters (including personal watercraft, canoe and kayak users) and fisherman can ensure that their boats, vehicles, trailers and other equipment do not spread the mussels to other waters:


Remove all plants, animals, and mud from your boat, anchor, boots and other equipment before you enter and after you leave the water. If traveling to another body of water, rinse equipment and boat hulls with high-pressure, hot water at one of the park's hot water wash stations (see below).


Before leaving the park, drain all the water from your boat, including the motor, bilge, livewell, ballast, hull and anything else that traps water. Leave drain plugs out during transport.


Dry all compartments and equipment completely before entering another body of water.


Additional Related Pages

Razorback Sucker: LINK
Relict Leopard Frog: LINK
Quagga Mussels: LINK

Last updated: December 5, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005


(702) 293-8990

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