Lake Henshaw

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Lake Henshaw
Lake Henshaw from Mesa Grande Road
Location of Lake Henshaw in California, USA.
Location of Lake Henshaw in California, USA.
Lake Henshaw
Location of Lake Henshaw in California, USA.
Location of Lake Henshaw in California, USA.
Lake Henshaw
LocationSan Diego County, California
Coordinates33°14′30″N 116°45′47″W / 33.241706°N 116.763078°W / 33.241706; -116.763078Coordinates: 33°14′30″N 116°45′47″W / 33.241706°N 116.763078°W / 33.241706; -116.763078
Catchment area217 square miles (560 km2)
Basin countriesUnited States
Surface area1,140 acres (460 ha)
Water volume55,000 acre feet (68,000,000 m3)
Shore length15 miles (8.0 km)
Surface elevation2,723 feet (830 m)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Henshaw is a reservoir in San Diego County, California at the southeast base of Palomar Mountain, approximately 70 miles (110 km) northeast of San Diego, California and 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Los Angeles.[1]

The lake covers approximately 1,140 acres (460 ha) and holds 55,000 acre feet (68,000,000 m3) of water when full (lowered in 1978 from its original capacity of 203,581 acre feet (251,113,000 m3) out of earthquake concerns),[2] in addition to groundwater stored in its local basin. It drains an area of 207 square miles (540 km2) square miles at the source of the San Luis Rey River.

The lake was constructed in 1923 with the building of Henshaw Dam, an earth dam 123 feet (37 m) tall and 650 feet (200 m) long. It is owned by the Vista Irrigation District and used primarily for agricultural irrigation.

The lake features opportunities for fishing for both catfish and carp. Boats are available for rental through the general store nearby. There are cabins available for rent as well as a restaurant. It also is the site of The Carp Throwdown fly fishing tournament held there every year by The Fly Stop.[3] There is also a large presence of weekend motorcycle bike groups on day rides nearby.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gorman, Tom (December 8, 1985). "Agency, Indians Closer to Reaching Agreement Over Water Rights". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Zieralski, Ed (October 18, 2003). "Historic lake has suffered through low times, but new concessionaires have high hopes". San Diego Union-Tribune.
  3. ^ Austin, Matthew (December 4, 2014). "The Carp Throwdown".