Lake Mead Aquatic Life

By Bill

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Important regulations are strictly enforced at Lake Mead and Lake Mojave. Below is a list of the aquatic life found in the Lakes as well as laws concerning spearfishing.

  1. Nevada and Arizona State fish and game regulations are in effect. A combination Nevada/Arizona fishing license is required.
  2. Spearfishing is legal for carp and striped bass ONLY. Spearfishing for striped bass is permitted throughout Lake Mead but only from the cable below Hoover Dam to Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave. Spearfishing is prohibited within 1/2 mile of any dock or swimming area.
Fish - the following species of fish may be found in the two lakes:
  1. Largemouth Black Bass: During the spring and summer they can be observed guarding their egg nests or schools of fry. During this period their behavior is aggressive. No spearfishing.
  2. Striped Bass: Impressive silver fish seldom seen by divers. Up to 50+ pounds. Legal to spear.
  3. Channel Catfish: Average 4 pounds. No spearfishing.
  4. Black Crappie: Average one pound. No spearfishing.
  5. Rainbow Trout: Up to 5 pounds in Lake Mohave. No spearfishing.
  6. Razorback Sucker: Usually found only in Lake Mohave. Under federal law, it is classified as an endangered species, and is one of the few remaining original Colorado River residents. No spearfishing.
  7. Bluegill Perch: Found in shallow waters around rocks and vegetation. No spearfishing.
  8. Green Sunfish: Found in shallow waters in rock holes and cracks, very shy and colorful. No spearfishing.
  9. Threadfin Shad: About 3 inches, the predominate "food" for game fish, usually found in large schools.
  10. Carp: Up to 20 pounds, legal to spear.
Other Aquatic Life
  1. Crayfish: Found in heavy bottom vegetation, rarely seen.
  2. Asiatic freshwater clam: Found in abundance in both lakes. Legal to collect.
  3. Freshwater sponge.
  4. Eel Grass: Usually found above Willow Beach on Lake Mohave, often grows to 15-20 feet long, undulating in the current.
  5. Algaes: Growing or hanging from submerged bushes and trees, are often found hanging on strands of monofilament fishing line.
  6. Soft shell turtles.
Information provided by Lake Mead National Recreational Area

Last Updated: 2/2/2012

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