Englebright Dam

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Englebright Dam
2.10.06 NarrowsFlowBypassProject Rock Scaling.JPG
A miner scaling the rock face below the dam during installation of the Narrows II Powerhouse Flow Bypass System in 2006
Official name Englebright Dam
Location Nevada / Yuba counties, California
Opening date 1941
Dam and spillways
Impounds Yuba River
Height 260 ft (79 m)
Width (base) 1,142 ft (348 m)
Reservoir
Creates Englebright Lake
Total capacity 70,000 acre feet (86,000,000 m3)
Surface area 815 acres (3.3 km²)

Englebright Dam is a 280 ft (85 m) high variable radius concrete arch dam on the Yuba River in the Sacramento River Basin, located in Yuba and Nevada Counties of California, USA. It was put into service in 1941 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

The dam was constructed in 1941 for the primary purpose of trapping sediment derived from anticipated hydraulic mining operations in the Yuba River watershed. Hydraulic mining in the Sierra Nevada was halted in 1884 but resumed on a limited basis until the 1930s during the great depression under the California Debris Commission. Although no hydraulic mining in the upper Yuba River watershed resumed after the construction of the dam, the historical mine sites continued to contribute sediment to the river. Today, Englebright Lake is used primarily for recreation and hydropower.

Englebright Lake is nestled in the scenic Sierra foothills east of Marysville. Constructed for the storage of hydraulic gold mining debris, Englebright Dam is a concrete arch structure. It spans 1,142 feet (348 m) across and is 260 feet (79 m) high. The dam is in the steep Yuba River gorge known as the Narrows, holding back a 9 mile (14 km) long lake with a surface area of 815 acres (3.3 km²). The lake is unique in that it offers boat-in camping only.

The 70,000-acre-foot (86,000,000 m3) Englebright Reservoir provides water-based recreational benefits to the region and provides 45,000 acre feet (56,000,000 m3) of stored water-right capacity, which is released each year through dam operations to benefit fish downstream. Water is also diverted for regional domestic and agricultural uses. Hydroelectric generation from water stored behind Englebright produces about 294 million kilowatt hours of energy each year, or enough for the annual energy needs for 50,000 homes.[1]

A new flow bypass system was installed in 2006 by the Yuba County Water Agency and Mitchell Engineering so that river flow requirements can be met during shut-downs of the Narrows II Powerhouse at the base of the dam.

Narrows 1 Powerhouse is further downstream and smaller than Narrows 2 Powerhouse.

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Coordinates: 39°14′24.08″N 121°16′9.83″W / 39.2400222°N 121.2693972°W / 39.2400222; -121.2693972