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Bass Lake is also known as Crane Valley Reservoir
Topo Map of Bass Lake (size 119K)  Boating Information  PG&E Weather Station & Statistics   Storage Capacity & History 
California Dept. Water Resources - Area Weather Stations
  More Dam Information   Water Sample Report
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Rules &Application

Lake Water Height
Snow & Stream Flows
As of July 28    -21' 11" @ 3354' 5
Elevation (full)  3376'  4"     

The lake is at its normal winter low point.

Season rainfall

2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013
2013-2014 2014-2015
24.76" 30.43" 34.01" 28.44" 60.63" 48.16" 17.01" 39.49" 35.79" 48.44" 64.53" 25.17"


19.20" 17.66"

The Lake was held to a lower level for contruction on the Dam from 2009 - 2012

Graph 2001-2007 
Lake level History
Raw data - Excel spread sheet

Lake Level Management

While PG&E owns the Lake, the water level is adjusted for several needs through the year. First of all, farmers need the water downstream. Around 1900, the corporation of ranch owners, Henry Miller and Charles Lux sued to stop the obstruction of the natural flow of water for the San Joaquin River and its branches. The suit resulted in the Miller-Lux Agreement. For Bass Lake this required the Lake's owner to decrease the Lake level to 60% of full by September 15th and 50% by November 1st each year. The Bureau of Water Reclamation monitors this agreement. For the last several years the Bureau has delayed the date of the agreement by 6 weeks allowing Bass Lake to remain fuller for recreation.

To provide flood control, the Lake is not allowed to fill above -10 ft before April 1st. PG&E uses the winter and spring runoff to generate power and limit the lake level below the -10 ft level. On April 1st PG&E places wooden boards in steel guide on top of the spillway to allow the water rise above the -10 level. The Boards are removed after summer when the water level fall below -10 ft. The water level is further managed by generating power to limit the water level from spilling over the top boards, thus wasting the ability to generate power. If the water level increases too rapidly while the boards are in, spillway doors can be used manage the lake level. See pictures of the Dam here.

Typically the Lake fills to within 1-4 ft of full for the summer. Most shallow water docks float at -10 ft and all the dock are floating at about -5 ft. In the summer 2007 we had only about 50% of normal rain fall and the lake still filled so almost all the dock were floating. Only a dozen docks on the very North West side were dry in 2007.


The climate offers a longer summer than higher elevation lakes due to its more temperate climate. The area sees snow briefly during the winter, and summers remain mild and comfortable. The Lake's water temperature allows contact activities without wet suites. The North Shore is made up of mostly private homes and the Pines Resort with a launch ramp and full service marina.

The South Shore is owned by the US Forest Service providing day and overnight camp sites for visitors. Millers Landing operates a marina, gas, boat rentals, lodging facilities and a general store. The Forks Resort has a general store, marina, gas, and boat rentals. Check out the famous Forks Burger.


Bass Lake was completed in 1910 to protect property downstream. Now it generates 27 megawatts of power through 5 downstream power houses and is owned by Pacific Gas & Electric. It has developed into major resort and recreation facility. This Lake features year round full contact with boating, personal water craft, fishing & water sports. More history

  Bass Lake is also known as Crane Valley Reservoir
Topo Map of Bass Lake (size 119K)  Boating Information
PG&E Weather Station & Statistics   Storage Capacity & History
California Dept. Water Resources - Area Weather Stations 
  More Dam Information Water Sample Report