Coyote Lake (Santa Clara County, California)

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Coyote Lake
Aerial view of Coyote Lake.JPG
Aerial view, May 2014
LocationSanta Clara County, California
Coordinates37°05′39″N 121°32′13″W / 37.09417°N 121.53694°W / 37.09417; -121.53694Coordinates: 37°05′39″N 121°32′13″W / 37.09417°N 121.53694°W / 37.09417; -121.53694
Primary inflowsCoyote Creek
Primary outflowsCoyote Creek
Catchment area119.8 sq mi (310 km2)
Basin countriesUnited States
Managing agencySanta Clara Valley Water District
Max. length3.5 mi (6 km)
Max. width0.5 mi (0.8 km)
Surface area635 acres (2.6 km2)
Water volume23,666 acre⋅ft (29,192,000 m3)
Surface elevation774 feet (236 m)[1]

Coyote Lake (also known as Coyote Reservoir) is an artificial lake in Santa Clara County, California, between Morgan Hill and Gilroy.

The reservoir is impounded by Coyote Dam, a 140-foot (43 m) high, 980-foot (300 m) long, earth and rock dam built in 1936. It holds 23,244 acre feet (28,671,009 m3) of water when full. It is the second largest reservoir owned by the Santa Clara Valley Water District.[2]

A 4,595-acre county park ("Coyote-Bear") surrounds the reservoir[3], and provides camping (RVs and tents), fishing[4] ("catch-and-release"), picnicking, and hiking activities. Swimming is not allowed by order of the Santa Clara Valley Water District.[5] Power boating, jetskiing, waterskiing, sailing, canoeing/kayaking and fishing are all allowed in the reservoir.[6] The boat launch ramp is located two miles north of the visitor center. It has two docks, a 3-lane concrete ramp, paved parking and a restroom. For fisherman, the lake contains bluegill, black crappie, channel catfish, carp and black bass. The reservoir is closed to all boating between mid-October and mid-April.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Coyote Lake". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ a b "Santa Clara Valley Water District: List of Reservoirs". Archived from the original on 2017-06-20. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
  3. ^ "Santa Clara County Parks: Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch". County of Santa Clara. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  4. ^ "Santa Clara County Parks: Fishing Guidelines". County of Santa Clara. Retrieved 2017-07-02.
  5. ^ "Santa Clara Valley Water District: Recreation Restrictions". Archived from the original on 2017-06-20. Retrieved 2017-07-04. Swimming at Almaden, Coyote, Anderson and Calero reservoirs is prohibited by the state Department of Health to protect the drinking water supply from potential bacteriological contamination.
  6. ^ "Santa Clara County Parks: Boating Guidelines". County of Santa Clara. Retrieved 2017-07-03. Boating is permitted from 8am to ½ hour before sunset in the following reservoirs: Calero, Coyote Lake, Anderson, Stevens Creek and Lexington.