Lake Success (California)

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Lake Success
Location Tulare County, California
Coordinates 36°04′N 118°55′W / 36.06°N 118.92°W / 36.06; -118.92Coordinates: 36°04′N 118°55′W / 36.06°N 118.92°W / 36.06; -118.92
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Tule River
Primary outflows Tule River
Basin countries United States
Water volume 82,000 acre·ft (101,000,000 m3)

Lake Success is a lake near Porterville, California on the Tule River at 36°04′N 118°55′W / 36.06°N 118.92°W / 36.06; -118.92.[1] It is formed by Success Dam and has a capacity of 82,000 acre feet (101,000,000 m3). The 156 feet (48 m) tall earth dam is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Its construction was completed in 1961.[2] The project's primary purpose is flood control, but the lake also provides water for irrigation and recreation.

In fiction[edit]

In the science fiction novel Lucifer's Hammer, written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, fragments of a comet strike the Earth, causing massive tidal waves to destroy most of the planet's coastal cities. Los Angeles is completely destroyed, and the collapse of dams throughout California causes the San Joaquin Valley to become an inland sea. The collapse of Success Dam is witnessed by two of the characters. After the disasters subside, an enclave of civilization forms in the fictional "Silver Valley", located slightly east or northeast of Springville, just north of the Middle Fork of the Tule River.


The original Success Marina was conceived and built in the early 1960s by Gerald and Della (née Bearce) Weaver of Tulare. The marina, which began as a small trailer on the eastern shore selling sodas, candy and cigarettes, quickly evolved into a modern, for the times, circular floating marina with bait and tackle shop, gas dock, walk up fast food window, and sleeping quarters. Mr. Weaver held licenses to build and sell Glaspar fishing and ski boats, and Mercury outboard engines. Boat and engine service were available as well. Also present was dock space, which became expansive, slips and boats for rent, a live bait pen, and plenty of area for houseboat moorage.[citation needed]

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers temporarily lowered the amount of water in the lake between 2012 and 2014 while tests were conducted regarding seismic faults near the dam. The marina operator moved his operation from Success at that time. Those pool restrictions have since been eased and a new marina concessionaire is being sought, possibly to begin operating by the summer of 2015.[3]

See also[edit]