Naraghi Lake is a man made lake in northeast Modesto, California. Naraghi Lake was excavated in the 1980s as one of a planned series of water features for a large complex of residential and commercial development straddling both sides of Oakdale road. The lake is named after the Naraghi family, who were at one time large landowners in the area, and who planned the initial development. Shortly after excavating the lake, the Naraghi development was scrapped because of financial and market problems, leaving the lake as the only evidence of the plan that had been scrapped. The lake remains the property of the Naraghi family to this day, it was left open to the public for fishing and recreational use until 2004, when liability issues and problems related to people dumping invasive species into the lake including a fish related to the piranha finally prompted the Naraghi's to fence off the perimeter. Over the years, numerous proposals for the land and the lake have been discussed, including converting it into a city park, building private residences around its perimeter, and building apartment or office complexes around the property. Most of these plans are hamstrung by the now-limited amount of land available around the lake (because the surrounding land was sold off and subsequently developed), and have not been pursued beyond the discussion phase.
Most of the water in Naraghi Lake is naturally occurring due to the very shallow water table in this part of Modesto. It was built by simply excavating a hole in the otherwise flat terrain, and permitting natural groundwater to flow in. Prior to the installation of surface drainage systems for agriculture in the early 20th century, the entire area was a large natural marshland. Naraghi Lake actually benefits the surrounding neighborhoods by acting as an evaporation pond, drawing in water that might otherwise cause foundation subsidence or other problems with the streets and structures. For aesthetic reasons, the lake water is occasionally supplemented by pumped water during late summer and during dry years, when the natural water table falls.
The surface area of the lake is 13 acres. The commonly found fish in the lake are Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, Catfish, Spotted Bass, White Bass, Striped Bass, and Trout. Other wildlife like ducks and geese can also be found in and near the lake.