Lake Tahoe Dam (Lake Tahoe)

Field Descriptions

Dam Name: Lake Tahoe
NID ID: CA10162
Longitude: -120.14222
Latitude: 39.1671
County: PLACER
State: CA
Nearest City: TRUCKEE
Distance: 17.00 miles
Owner Name: DOI BR
Owner Type: Federal
Private Dam? No
Core: Bituminous Concrete (Type)
Foundation: RK
Purposes: Irrigation
Year Completed: 1913
Dam Length: 109 feet
Dam Height: 18 feet
Structural Height: 18 feet
Hydraulic Height: 10.1 feet
Maximum Storage: 732000 acre-feet
Normal Storage: 732000 acre-feet
Surface Area: 120000 acres
Drainage Area: 519 square miles
Hazard Potential: High
Emergency Action Plan? Yes
Inspection Date: 2011-05-01
Inspection Frequency: 1
State Regulated Dam? No
State Regulating Agency: N/A
Spillway Type: None
Spillway Width: 0 feet
Volume of Dam: 400 cubic yards
Federal Regulatory Agency: U.S. Department of Agriculture;
Forest Service
Federal Inspection Agency: Department of Interior;
Bureau of Reclamation
Federal Operating Agency: Department of Interior;
Bureau of Reclamation
Federal Owner (Agency): Department of Interior;
Bureau of Reclamation
Other Federal Agencies: Department of Interior;
Bureau of Reclamation
Source Agency: Department of Interior;
Bureau of Reclamation

Dam Safety For Boats

A large amount of water can be released from a dam without any warning at any time and by any means. For example, when the demand for electricity is high, the turbines at a dam may be turned on automatically, resulting in a significant increase in the downstream flow of water in only a matter of seconds.

If there's a need to release water through the sluiceways (outlets at the base of the dam), this operation can also create a great swell of discharged water downstream.

During flood operations, any or all spillway gates across the width of a dam can be opened to release upstream flood water that needs to pass to the next downstream reservoir. Upstream or downstream, even the most experienced boater with the strongest motor is no match for this strong flow of water plunging over a spillway of a dam. Even if you're boating far downstream of a spilling dam, recirculating current can pull a powerful boat upstream toward plunging water that could shred any boat.

Some dams equipped with navigation locks create turbulent water as well. When vessels pass through, strong flow is released near the exhaust ports of the wing wall of the lock.

Warning Systems At Dams

To warn reservoir users of potential danger, warning devices are installed at many dams:

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