Topaz Lake

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For the community on the lake, see Topaz Lake, Nevada.
Topaz Lake
TopazLake.JPG
from the Nevada side
Location Douglas County, Nevada / Mono County, California
Coordinates 38°41′N 119°32′W / 38.68°N 119.54°W / 38.68; -119.54Coordinates: 38°41′N 119°32′W / 38.68°N 119.54°W / 38.68; -119.54
Type reservoir
Primary inflows West Walker River
Primary outflows West Walker River
Basin countries United States
Max. length 3.5 mi (5.6 km)
Max. width 1.5 mi (2.4 km)
Surface area 2,410 acres (980 ha)
Average depth 52.3 ft (15.9 m)
Max. depth 92 ft (28 m)
Water volume 126,000 acre·ft (0.155 km3)

Topaz Lake is a reservoir located on the California-Nevada border, about 75 miles (121 km) south of Reno. The census-designated place of Topaz Lake, Nevada is located along its northwest shore.

The modern reservoir was formed by diverting waters from the West Walker River into a nearby basin that had previously contained a smaller, natural lake. That lake had historical significance, as it lay on the route taken by American explorer Jedediah Smith in late spring of 1827 when leaving California at the end of his first journey, the first crossing ever of the Sierra Nevada by a non-native. Smith came south-east through Monitor Pass, then east past Topaz Lake into Nevada.[1]

The initial dam construction took place in 1922, resulting in a reservoir with a capacity of 45,000 acre feet (56,000,000 m3). In 1937, a new levee raised the capacity to its current 126,000 acre·ft (155,000,000 m3). Topaz Lake is a relatively large reservoir, with a maximum pool of 126,000 acre·ft (155,000,000 m3), with 2,410 acres (9.8 km2) surface, a length of 3.5 miles (5.6 km), a width of 1.5 mi (2.4 km) and maximum depth of 92 ft (28 m).[2] The levee and reservoir have been owned and operated by the Walker River Irrigation District since its construction.[3]

Topaz Lake is popular for boaters, water-skiers, campers, and fishermen. Fishing season runs from January 1 to September 30, and the lake is stocked with trout by the Nevada Department of Wildlife and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The lake is easily reachable by U.S. Route 395. On the northwest shore of the lake is the Topaz Lodge, and a residential area. There is also a volunteer fire station in the area.

Route 395 passes by the west side of the lake at the California-Nevada state line. The southeastern terminus of California State Route 89 is 3 miles (4.8 km) south of the state line. The western terminus of Nevada State Route 208 is 2 mi (3.2 km) north of the state line.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smith, Jedediah S., [Harrison G. Rogers], and George R. Brooks (ed.). The Southwest Expedition of Jedediah S. Smith: His Personal Account of the Journey to California, 1826–1827. Lincoln and London, University of Nebraska Press, [1977] 1989. ISBN 978-0-8032-9197-3
  2. ^ Nevada Department of Wildlife, Topaz Lake
  3. ^ Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Walker River Irrigation District - Topaz Reservoir Improvement Project

External links[edit]