Comins Lake

Comins Lake was built in 1953 from the realignment of Highway 93, which created the dam for this impoundment. The Department of Wildlife acquired the reservoir as part of the 3-C Ranch purchase in 1999, which is situated on the Steptoe Valley Wildlife Management Area. The reservoir has been chemically treated twice to remove northern pike, first in 1989 and most recently in the summer of 2015. In both instances, northern pike decimated the reservoir’s trout and bass populations through predation. Predictably, once pike exhaust their food supply, they turn cannibalistic. This results in a population crash and development of stunted-sized pike. Since its most recent renovation, Comins Lake has been restocked with trout and largemouth bass. Largemouth bass are self-sustaining and generally need on further stocking, while trout are stocked annually in the spring and fall.

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White Pine
Type of water
Lake or Reservoir
Fishing Report

Comins Lake is near capacity with water temperatures sitting in the low to mid 50s.  Fishing has significantly improved compared to last year. Rainbow trout catches are ranging from 16 to 21 inches and between 1.5 and 4 pounds. Nightcrawlers are producing trout for anglers, as well as spinner lures, wooly buggers, scud patterns, and midge patterns.

Black bass activity is starting to pick up with increased water temperatures.  There is a limited bluegill fishery, and anglers are encouraged to release bluegill catches so that their population can become better established.

Pike are post-spawn right now and should be moving into deeper water. They will begin actively feeding now that spawning is not at the forefront of their mind.  Please note that NDOW has placed radio tags in several Northern Pike. Any pike over 24 inches in length that have transmitters can be removed from the lake. These pike will have an orange floy tag near their dorsal fin and a small antenna (~ 7 inches long) coming from their stomach.  Please return these fish to the water for research purposes.


Stocking Updates

Stocked Species Inches Date Stocked Year to Date
5256Rainbow Trout9.506-18-202427500
5460Rainbow Trout9.305-14-202422244
3472Rainbow Trout8.010-25-202316784
4774Rainbow Trout8.310-25-202313312
3532Rainbow Trout8.805-16-20238538
5006Rainbow Trout9.605-08-20235006

Pertinent Information

Comins Lake is fed by Steptoe and Cave creeks from the east and occasionally by Willow Creek from the south. At capacity, the lake covers 410 surface acres, has a maximum depth of 14 feet, and an average depth of about 8 feet. Rainbow trout, brown trout, and largemouth bass currently inhabit the reservoir. Due to the tremendous amount of feed, fish grow very rapidly and reach healthy sizes. Fishing for trout is usually best in the spring and fall while bass fishing is most productive during the warmer summer months. Bait anglers find Power Bait, salmon eggs, or night crawlers fished off the bottom with minimal weight is best for trout. Small spinners and spoons are also popular with casters, but a fly behind a bubble can produce excellent results. Fly-fishing is popular for trout and anglers have the best success using wooly buggers and damsels in the spring as well as nymphs and midges under a strike indicator the rest of the year. Remember to use a heavy leader. For those willing to brave the elements, weighted jigs (green or yellow) seem to work best for ice fishing. There is a primitive boat launch along the west side of the reservoir along with restrooms. Overnight camping and fires are not allowed.