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Lakes and Reservoirs

Contents:

10288500 Walker Lake near Hawthorne, NV

10288500 Walker Lake near Hawthorne, NV
Walker Lake, 2003; Photo Credit: Jim Crompton, USGS

Walker Lake is a natural lake located approximately 12 miles north of Hawthorne, Nevada in the geographic low point of the Walker River Basin and is the terminus of the Walker River.

The stage-capacity relation for Walker Lake was calculated from bathymetric survey data collected from February through April, 2005 (Lopes and Smith, 2007). Walker Lake is a remnant of the ancient Lake Lahontan (Russell, 1885) and as such does not have a meaningful maximum total capacity in modern times. However, restoration goals are currently being established for total dissolved solids (TDS) concentrations (mg/L) in Walker Lake and data presented on this web site represent provisional "restored" capacities for Walker Lake. For a restoration goal of 10,000 mg/L, the restored capacity of Walker Lake is 2,800,000 acre-feet at a stage of 3,964.75 feet (local datum). The bottom of Walker Lake is at 3851.5 feet (local datum; Lopes and Smith, 2007) and represents the point at which the lake would be completely dry. Walker Lake was historically used for recreation and fishing but more recently is not of adequate quality for these purposes. Stage is monitored near Sportsman’s Beach and the cliffs along the west shore of the lake.

The volume represented in the cylinder for Walker Lake is the percentage of storage capacity for the provisional restoration goal of 10,000 mg/L.

Lopes, T.J., and Smith, J.L, 2007, Bathymetry of Walker Lake, west-central Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5012, 26 p. Russell, I.C., 1885, Geologic history of Lake Lahontan-A Quaternary lake in northwestern Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Monograph 11, 288 p.
Animation of Walker Lake satellite imagery (1975 through 2013) with restoration goal TDS limit contours Legend

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10292500 Bridgeport Reservoir near Bridgeport, CA

10292500 Bridgeport Reservoir near Bridgeport, CA
Bridgeport Reservoir, June 3, 2008; Photo Credit: Tom Lopes, USGS

Bridgeport Reservoir is in Bridgeport Valley on the East Walker River northeast of Bridgeport, California. Storage began in December of 1923 and the dam was completed in November of 1924. The reservoir is formed by an earth-fill, rock-faced dam with a concrete tile bottom-water outlet structure and an emergency spillway that release flows into the East Walker River below the dam.

The stage-capacity relation for Bridgeport Reservoir was provided by the Walker River Irrigation District. Total storage capacity is 42,460 acre-feet at a stage of 6,460.0 feet (local datum) and the spillway crest is at 6461.0 feet (local datum). The minimum operating storage level for wet and normal years is 2,000 acre-feet of water at a stage of 6432.84 feet (local datum), and for dry and recovery years, (a normal year following a dry year), it is 600 acre-feet of water at 6427.39 feet (local datum, State of California Water Resources Control Board, 1990). Stage is monitored from the gate house on the northeast side of the reservoir.

The volume represented in the cylinder for Bridgeport Reservoir is the percentage of total storage capacity. Stage is reported as above 6400 feet (local datum).

Bridgeport Reservoir is owned and operated by the Walker River Irrigation District. Stored water is primarily used to supply irrigation water to the Walker River Irrigation District but is also used for recreation and fishing.

State of California State Water Resources Control Board,1990, Order WR 90-18: Order Amending License 9407 (Application 1389), Bridgeport Reservoir. 10 December. 35 p.

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10297000 Topaz Lake near Topaz, CA

10297000 Topaz Lake near Topaz, CA
Topaz Lake, June 3, 2008; Photo Credit: Tom Lopes, USGS

Topaz Lake, formerly Alkali Lake and Topaz Reservoir, is an off-stream reservoir located on the California-Nevada border approximately 36 miles south-southwest of Carson City, Nevada. Topaz Lake is located in a closed basin adjacent to the West Walker River and is separated by an alluvial fan. Water was first diverted from the West Walker River into Topaz Lake in 1921. In 1937 storage capacity was increased with the construction of an earth-fill, rock-face dam along the diversion canal. A 1,200 foot gated tunnel constructed through the northeast rim of the basin provides the only outlet from the reservoir to the Topaz Canal which conveys water back to the West Walker River.

The stage-capacity relation for Topaz Lake was provided by the Walker River Irrigation District and was calculated from bathymetric survey data collected in 1971 (Rush and Hill, 1972). At the maximum operating stage of 5005.35 feet (local datum), Topaz Lake has a surface area of 2,400 acres, a total storage capacity of 126,000 acre-feet and an available storage capacity of 61,000 acre-feet. At 4,972.3 feet (local datum), the lowest practical stage for diversion, Topaz Lake has a surface area of 1,500 acres, a storage capacity of 65,000 acre-feet and an available storage capacity of 0 acre-feet (Rush and Hill, 1972). Stage is monitored near the boat ramp on the northeast side of the reservoir.

The volume represented in the cylinder for Topaz Lake is the percentage of available storage capacity. Stage is reported as above 4,900 feet (local datum).

Topaz Lake is owned and operated by the Walker River Irrigation District to provide water for agricultural production in Smith Valley and Mason Valley, Nevada. Stored water is primarily used to supply irrigation water but is also used for recreation and fishing.

Rush, F.E., and Hill, V.R., 1972, Bathymetric reconnaissance of Topaz Lake, Nevada and California: Nevada Division of Water Resources, Information Report 12, 1 plate.

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10301700 Weber Reservoir near Schurz, NV

10301700 Weber Reservoir near Schurz, NV
Weber Reservoir, 2013; Photo Credit: Sam Driver, USGS

Weber Reservoir is in Campbell Valley on the Walker River approximately 7 miles northwest of Schurz, Nevada. Construction of Weber Reservoir was completed in 1935 but began filling prior to its completion on July 27, 1934.

The stage-capacity relation for Weber Reservoir was provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and was calculated from bathymetric survey data collected on May 22-23, 1972 (Katzer and Harmsen, 1973). Total storage capacity is about 10,700 acre-feet at its maximum operating stage of 4,208.0 feet (local datum) and the reservoir begins to spill over its radial gates at a stage of 4,210.0 feet (local datum; Katzer and Harmsen, 1973). The minimum operating stage for Weber Reservoir is 4,194.0 feet (local datum) with storage of 1,500 acre-feet to provide minimum pool for fish (oral commun, Stephen Brown, Bureau of Indian Affairs, September 2010). Stage is monitored from the gate house on the southeast side of the reservoir.

The volume represented in the cylinder for Weber Reservoir is the percentage of total storage capacity.

Weber Reservoir is owned and operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Stored water is primarily used to supply irrigation water to the Walker River Paiute Tribe but is also used for recreation and fishing.

Katzer, T.L., and Harmsen, Lynn, 1973, Bathymetric reconnaissance of Weber Reservoir, Mineral County, Nevada: Nevada Division of Water Resources Information Report 15, 1 plate.

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