Lake Davis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lake Davis
Location Plumas County, California[1]
Coordinates 39°54′45″N 120°30′38″W / 39.91250°N 120.51056°W / 39.91250; -120.51056[1]Coordinates: 39°54′45″N 120°30′38″W / 39.91250°N 120.51056°W / 39.91250; -120.51056[1]
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Big Grizzly Creek, Freeman Creek, Cow Creek, Dan Blough Creek
Primary outflows Big Grizzly Creek[2]
Catchment area 44 square miles (110 km2)[2]
Basin countries United States
Max. length 5 miles (8.0 km)
Max. width 2 miles (3.2 km)
Surface area 4,026 acres (1,629 ha)[2]
Average depth 21 feet (6.4 m)
Water volume 83,000 acre feet (102,000,000 m3)[2]
Surface elevation 5,777 feet (1,761 m)[1]

Lake Davis is an artificial lake in Plumas County, California near the Sierra Nevada community of Portola. Its waters are impounded by Grizzly Valley Dam, which was completed in 1966. The lake is named for Lester T. Davis (1906-1952).[1]


The lake discharges into Big Grizzly Creek,[2] a tributary of the Middle Fork Feather River.

Grizzly Valley Dam[edit]

Grizzly Valley Dam
Country United States
Location Plumas County, California
Coordinates 39°52′54″N 120°28′34″W / 39.88167°N 120.47611°W / 39.88167; -120.47611
Opening date 1966
Owner(s) California Department of Water Resources
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Earth and rock
Impounds Big Grizzly Creek[2]
Height 115 feet (35 m)[2]
Length 800 feet (240 m)[2]
Elevation at crest 5,785 feet (1,763 m)[2]
Width (crest) 30 feet (9.1 m)[2]
Dam volume 253,000 cubic yards (193,000 m3)[2]
Creates Lake Davis
Total capacity 83,000 acre feet (102,000,000 m3)[2]
Catchment area 44 square miles (110 km2)[2]
Maximum length 5 miles (8.0 km)
Maximum width 2 miles (3.2 km)

Grizzly Valley Dam is an earth-and-rock dam 800 feet (240 m) long and 115 feet (35 m) high, with 10 feet (3.0 m) of freeboard. The California Department of Water Resources owns the dam.[2]


Located in Plumas National Forest, Lake Davis is the centerpiece of the Lake Davis Recreation Area, which supports boating, campground camping, cross-country skiing, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, picnicking, snowmobiling, swimming, and wildlife viewing.[3]

Northern pike[edit]

During 1996-97 Lake Davis was in the national spotlight due to controversy over northern pike and the possibility of poisoning the lake. Following an explosion of the pike population, and the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) decided to treat the reservoir with rotenone, a naturally occurring poison deadly to gilled creatures.[4]

In September 2007, the DFG again attempted to eradicate northern pike by lowering the water level and treating the remaining water with rotenone.[5] DFG feared that pike might escape the lake and enter the Sacramento River system, potentially harming native anadromous fish species such as steelhead and salmon. The effort was controversial because pike are popular gamefish and considerable effort had already been spent on unsuccessful attempts to rid the lake of pike using explosives, nets, shocking, and poison.

Late in 2009, pike began showing up again in angler catches.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Lake Davis". 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Grizzly Campground". Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Lake Davis Fisheries Management". Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ Keith, Tamara (2007-09-25). "California Poisons Lake, Targeting Invasive Pike". All Things Considered. National Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-09-25.