Copco Lake

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Copco Lake
Location Siskiyou County, California[1]
Coordinates 41°58′46″N 122°18′13″W / 41.97944°N 122.30361°W / 41.97944; -122.30361[1]Coordinates: 41°58′46″N 122°18′13″W / 41.97944°N 122.30361°W / 41.97944; -122.30361[1]
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Klamath River, Beaver Creek, Raymond Gulch, Spannaus Gulch, Snackenburg Creek, Milk Creek, Parks Canyon, Indian Creek,
Primary outflows Klamath River[2]
Catchment area 4,300 square miles (11,000 km2)[2]
Basin countries United States
Max. length 3 miles (4.8 km)
Max. width 1,200 yards (1,100 m)
Surface area 1,000 acres (400 ha)[2]
Average depth 77 feet (23 m)
Water volume 77,000 acre feet (95,000,000 m3)[2]
Surface elevation 2,605 feet (794 m)[1]

Copco Lake is an artificial lake on the Klamath River in Siskiyou County, California, near the Oregon border in the United States. The lake's waters are impounded by the Copco Number 1 Dam (National ID CA00323), which was completed in 1922.[2] COPCO was an acronym referring to the California Oregon Power Company, which merged into Pacific Power and Light in 1961, and is now known as Pacificorp.[3]

Copco Number 1 and Number 2 Dams are two of the four dams in the Klamath River Hydroelectric Project which have been proposed for removal.[4][5][6] As of February 2016, the states of Oregon and California, the dam owners, federal regulators and other parties reached an agreement to remove all four dams by the year 2020, pending approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.[7]

Copco Number 1 Dam[edit]

Copco Number 1 Dam
Copco Number 1 Dam
Country United States
Location Siskiyou County, California
Coordinates 41°58′48″N 122°20′04″W / 41.98000°N 122.33444°W / 41.98000; -122.33444
Opening date 1922
Owner(s) PacifiCorp
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Gravity
Impounds Klamath River[2]
Height 132 feet (40 m)[2]
Length 415 feet (126 m)[2]
Elevation at crest 2,613 feet (796 m)[2]
Width (crest) 9 feet (2.7 m)[2]
Dam volume 70,312 cubic yards (53,757 m3)[2]
Creates Copco Reservoir
Total capacity 77,000 acre feet (95,000,000 m3)[2]
Catchment area 4,300 square miles (11,000 km2)[2]
Maximum length 3 miles (4.8 km)
Maximum width 1,200 yards (1,100 m)

Copco Number 1 Dam is a gravity dam 415 feet (126 m) long and 132 feet (40 m) high, with 19.5 feet (5.9 m) of freeboard. PacifiCorp owns the dam.[2]

Copco Number 2 Dam[edit]

Copco Number 2 Dam is a gated diversion dam located just below Dam No. 1. The dam diverts most of the flow of the river, about 2,400 to 2,500 cu ft/s (68 to 71 m3/s), through a flume and tunnels to a 27 megawatt powerhouse 1.5 miles (2.4 km) downstream, on the upstream end of Iron Gate Reservoir. The diversion bypasses a canyon section of the Klamath River that historically consisted of some steep rapids. The dam is required to maintain a minimum release of 10 cu ft/s (0.28 m3/s) to prevent this stretch from being entirely dewatered. Because it has no effective storage capacity, Dam No. 2 depends entirely on the regulated flows released from Copco Lake.[8]


The lake is used for kayaking, fishing, swimming, windsurfing, power boating, and sailing, and the surrounding area has facilities for picnicking and hiking.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Copco Lake". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Dams Within the Jurisdiction of the State of California (A-G)" (PDF). California Department of Water Resources, Division of Safety of Dams. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ "California Oregon Power Company or COPCO" (PDF). Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Klamath River Dam and Sediment Investigation" (PDF). Gathard Engineering Consulting. November 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  5. ^ Fimrite, Peter (September 30, 2009). "Deal to raze 4 Klamath dams". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  6. ^ Aschbrenner, Joel (Mar 8, 2012). "Copco Lake: Homeowners worry as property values drop". Herald and News. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Copco lake - Kayaking". Retrieved December 21, 2012. 

External links[edit]