Whiskeytown Lake

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Whiskeytown Lake
Whiskeytown Lake nps.jpg
Location Shasta County, California
Coordinates 40°35′58″N 122°32′28″W / 40.59944°N 122.54111°W / 40.59944; -122.54111Coordinates: 40°35′58″N 122°32′28″W / 40.59944°N 122.54111°W / 40.59944; -122.54111
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Clear Creek
Primary outflows Clear Creek
Catchment area 203 sq mi (530 km2)
Basin countries United States
Surface area 3,458 acres (1,399 ha)

Whiskeytown Lake, is a reservoir in Shasta County in northwestern California, United States, about 8 miles (13 km) west of Redding. The lake is in the Whiskeytown Unit of the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area.

Whiskeytown Lake has a capacity of 241,100 acre·ft (297,400 dam3) and is formed by Whiskeytown Dam on Clear Creek. Additional water comes from Lewiston Reservoir, supplied by the Trinity River, via the Clear Creek Tunnel, which comes from the bottom of Lewiston Lake.


There are also recreational activities available at the lake, including camping, swimming, boating, water skiing and fishing. However, personal water craft have been banned from the lake. Fishing opportunities include rainbow and German brown trout; largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass; and kokanee salmon.

Whiskeytown is favored by locals because of the 30 ft (9.1 m) visibility of its waters, and wildlife that surround the lake. There are numerous breeding pairs of bald eagles that nest on the lake's shores. Sharing the habitat are black bears, mountain lions, blacktail deer, turtles and raccoons, among other wildlife. It is mandated that the lake be at full capacity by Memorial Day, and remain full until Labor Day.

Whiskeytown Dam[edit]

Whiskeytown Dam and Reservoir

Whiskeytown Dam, an earth-fill embankment dam, is 263 ft (80 m), and was completed in 1963. It is owned and operated by the United States Bureau of Reclamation. Its purpose is to provide flood control, water for irrigation, and electricity generation.


Before entering the lake, the water generates hydroelectricity at the 154 MW Judge Francis Carr Powerhouse. Whiskey Creek also empties into the lake. A large portion of the lake's water leaves through the Spring Creek Tunnel, which delivers the water to the 180-MW Spring Creek Powerhouse, whose tailrace empties into Keswick Reservoir. The 117-MW Keswick Powerhouse at Keswick Dam empties into the Sacramento River.

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