ELKO COUNTY, Nev. — Authorities say an equipment failure drained a popular Nevada reservoir stocked with fish.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife said Thursday the Willow Creek Reservoir had been rebounding nicely from an extended drought when parts of the dam gate broke and got stuck open.

Authorities say they couldn’t fix the equipment without draining the Elko County reservoir to reach it.

The malfunction was discovered in mid-November and the reservoir leaked until it was drained completely.

New stocking of white crappie, channel catfish and black bass helped make the reservoir particularly popular this year, but wildlife officials weren’t able to save the fish due to shoreline conditions.

Fishing officials plan to begin restocking the reservoir next spring, and expect it to take at least three to five years to return fish populations to sustainable levels.