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Panorama of Wild Horse Reservoir. The wisps of dark clouds is smoke from a forest fire burning in Idaho.

Wild Horse Reservoir is located 67 miles north of Elko on State Route 225.  The park is open year-round, but access may be hampered by extreme cold and snow in winter months.  Wild Horse Reservoir was constructed in 1937, covering what was once Owyhee Meadows. The reservoir was named after the wild horses that roamed abundantly in the area. Ranching has restricted the horses’ movement, but they can still be found on the Owyhee Desert west of Wild Horse.

The stored irrigation water is for agriculture on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. The original dam was found to be weak. A new one was constructed in 1969. This doubled the size of the reservoir. When full, the reservoir has a surface area of 2,830 acres and holds 73,500 acre-feet of water. The spillway elevation is 6,205 feet above sea level.

Fishing is the most popular activity at Wild Horse. Most visitors pursue rainbow trout. German brown trout, small mouth bass, wiper, yellow perch, and catfish are also in the reservoir. Fishing seems best during spring and fall. Ice fishing is popular and can be quite productive in the winter months. Fishermen should be prepared for extreme cold and harsh winter conditions.

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