Lake Davis

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Lake Davis
Location of the artificial lake in California, USA.
Location of the artificial lake in California, USA.
Lake Davis
Location of the artificial lake in California, USA.
Location of the artificial lake in California, USA.
Lake Davis
LocationPlumas County, California[1]
Coordinates39°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]
Primary inflowsBig Grizzly Creek, Freeman Creek, Cow Creek, Dan Blough Creek
Primary outflowsBig Grizzly Creek[2]
Catchment area44 square miles (110 km2)[2]
Basin countriesUnited States
Max. length5 miles (8.0 km)
Max. width2 miles (3.2 km)
Surface area4,026 acres (1,629 ha)[2]
Average depth21 feet (6.4 m)
Water volume83,000 acre feet (102,000,000 m3)[2]
Surface elevation5,777 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 as part of the California Water Project. 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
CountryUnited States
LocationPlumas County, California
Coordinates39°52′54″N 120°28′34″W / 39.88167°N 120.47611°W / 39.88167; -120.47611
Opening date1966
Owner(s)California Department of Water Resources
Dam and spillways
Type of damEarth and rock
ImpoundsBig Grizzly Creek[2]
Height115 feet (35 m)[2]
Length800 feet (240 m)[2]
Elevation at crest5,785 feet (1,763 m)[2]
Width (crest)30 feet (9.1 m)[2]
Dam volume253,000 cubic yards (193,000 m3)[2]
CreatesLake Davis
Total capacity83,000 acre feet (102,000,000 m3)[2]
Catchment area44 square miles (110 km2)[2]
Maximum length5 miles (8.0 km)
Maximum width2 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]

After the first attempt failed to eradicate the pike and the population rebounded, the DFG again utilized rotenone in September 2007, after lowering the water level.[5] DFG's justification for the action was their concern 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.

Since the 2007 treatment, there have been no confirmed cases of northern pike in the lake.

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.