White River (Nevada)

White River (Nevada)

The White River is a small and discontinuous river located in southeastern Nevada, United States. Although a 200-mile-long channel can be traced from the White River to the Colorado River, it is permanently dry south of Lower Pahranagat Lake, and so the White River is typically considered part of the Great Basin. It is notable not only as the only river in the southeastern part of the Great Basin, but also for several endemic species of fish.

The river begins on the eastern slopes of the White Pine Range near Ely, where it is fed by snowmelt and springs on Currant Mountain. It passes by Preston and Lund, flowing south through the White River Valley more-or-less continuously for about 40 miles. Along the way it receives water from various springs on the slopes of the Grant Range to the west and the Egan Range to the east. It supplies a string of reservoirs in the Sunnyside area, the largest being Adams-McGill Reservoir. State Route 318 runs mostly parallel to the river.

The river channel is dry for some distance, then the water flows again in the Pahranagat Valley for about 30 miles, from the vicinity of Hiko and Nesbitt Lake, passing close by Alamo, feeding Upper Pahranagat Lake and the marshes between it and the lower lake (which collectively form the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge). The channel continues into Coyote Springs Valley (location of the planned community Coyote Springs), becoming the Pahranagat Wash, which in turn connects to the Muddy River and thence to the Colorado.

Many of the springs supplying the river are now used for irrigation, so it is likely that its flow was greater formerly. A number of the springs are warm, with temperatures over 100 degrees F in some cases.fdlk;


The White River system features several endemic fish species:

* White River mountainsucker "Pantosteus intermedius"
* White River Colorado gila "Gila robusta jordani"
* White River speckled dace "Rhinichthys osculus velifer"
* White River spinedace "Lepidomeda albivallis"
* Pahranagat spinedace "Lepidomeda altivelis"
* White River springfish "Crenichthys baileyi"

In addition, the Railroad Valley springfish "Crenichthys nevadae" is considered part of the White River fauna.


* Ira La Rivers, "Fishes and Fisheries of Nevada" (Nevada State Fish and Game Commission, 1962) pp. 107-110

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