Clear Lake Dam

clear lake dam, modoc county, california. tulelake california. photo by anders tomlinson
This Is Big Sky Country –
The sign reads that the dam is 28 feet above streambed with a capacity of 526,800
acre-feet. The reservoir area is 24,800 acres. The crest of the dam is 840 feet
and the width is 20 feet. Crest elevation is 4,552. The dam is owned by the United
States Bureau of Reclamation.

clear lake dam. east side, modoc county california, tulelake california.  photo by anders tomlinson.
The 2001 Water Shutoff Brought Attention to the Old Clear Lake Dam –
A new roller-compacted concrete dam replaced the original earth and rock-fill dam in 2002
due to earthquake safety issues. The watershed area is 1,707 sq. miles.
GPS: 121° 10′ 11.70″ W, 41° 48′ 1.59″ N.

old channel for the clear lake dam and reservoir.  clear lake national wildlife refuge, modoc county california, tulelake california.  photo by anders tomlinson
This Is Where The Original Dam Stood –
The original dam was constructed of rockfill and was completed in 1910. It was
42 feet (13 m) tall from the bottom of the foundation to the crest, 32 ft (10 m)
if measured from the crest to the original streambed. It was replaced with a
concrete dam near the old dam. The old dam had deteriorated and the water level
was kept low to prevent it from failing. Its crest is at the same height as the
old dam and the reservoir’s capacity is about the same.
To see more about the Klamath Reclamation Project

three views of the lost river dam in clear lake national wildlife refuge, modoc county california.  tulelake california.  photos by anders tomlinson
Water Comes, Water Goes, Seasons Come and Season Go –
The average depth at maximum capacity of Clear Lake is only about 20 feet. It has a
very high rate of evaporation. In 1998, 74,500 acre feet of water from the reservoir
evaporated, more than any other lake in the state besides Shasta Lake, which has
over eight times the volume. This is a problem since the dam now provides water for
irrigation of the eastern half of the Klamath Basin.

clear lake dam on the clear lake national wildlife refuge is headwaters for the lost river.  modoc county california, tulelake california.  photos by anders tomlinson
Clear Lake Dam Is The Lost River Headwaters –
Historically, water that became the Lost River rarely reached the Klamath River
and rarely reached the Pacific Ocean. The Lost River would drain into Tule Lake.
The dam was built to specifically reduce water flows into the reclaimed
wetlands of Tule Lake

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To see more about Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge

To see more about Pelican Banding

©2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.