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Washoe Lake, with Slide Mt. and the Carson Range in the background.
Location in Nevada
|Location||Washoe County, Nevada|
|Primary inflows||several small streams|
|Primary outflows||Steamboat Creek|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Surface elevation||5,029 feet (1,533 m)|
Washoe Lake (Washo: c'óʔyaʔ dáʔaw ) is a lake located in the Washoe Valley of Washoe County, Nevada. It is between Reno and Carson City (nearer to Carson City). It is a very shallow lake, and the surface area can vary greatly from year to year.
Washoe Lake is fed by several small streams which issue from the Carson Range to the west as well as ephemeral streams which flow from the Virginia Range to the east. At its northern end, Washoe Lake narrows and connects to Little Washoe Lake, at whose northernmost end issues Steamboat Creek. From the Carson Range, Washoe Lake receives (from south to north) Franktown Creek, Ophir Creek, Davis Creek and Winters Creek. Steamboat Creek receives Browns and Galena Creeks in Pleasant Valley, Nevada, and then runs north to meet the Truckee River on the eastern outskirts of Reno, Nevada. Much of the water from the Steamboat Creek/Washoe Lake Watershed is diverted for irrigation use.
Washoe Lake is known for its high wind speeds.
- Mark Twain wrote:
- "A Washoe wind is by no means a trifling matter. It blows flimsy houses down, lifts shingle roofs occasionally, rolls up tin ones like sheet music, now and then blows a stage-coach over and spills the passengers; and tradition says the reason there are so many bald people there is, that the wind blows the hair off their heads while they are looking skyward after their hats."
The same high wind speeds have remained to this day and are capable of overturning commercial vehicles traveling along Interstate 580/U.S. Highway 395, which runs along the western shore of Washoe Lake.
- "The Washo Project Online Dictionary". Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Ophir Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "Davis Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "Winters Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "Galena Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- Jim G. Rigby (1998). The 1997 New Year's Floods in Western Nevada. NV Bureau of Mines & Geology. p. 31. ISBN 9781888035032. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
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