Jumbo Reservoir, Colorado, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - Colorado - Northeast -

Also known as:  Julesburg Reservoir

Jumbo Reservoir is a 1,200-acre lake located in the northeast corner of Colorado. In the summer of 2006, severe drought drained the reservoir and all fish that could not be saved were lost. In the winter of 2006, the reservoir was refilled and the Colorado Division of Wildlife restocked the lake with sizeable rainbow trout and other game fish. Today the reservoir is a popular outdoor recreation spot known for its camping, boating and year-round fishing.

There are several campgrounds on Jumbo Reservoir, also known as Julesburg Reservoir, and public boat launches enable visitors to get out on the lake. The reservoir is filled by a canal in the winter and drawn down for irrigation during the summer. Water levels vary, so boaters must be aware of water hazards during the summer months. Fish in the lake include trout, crappie, carp, smallmouth bass, saugeye, walleye, channel catfish and bluegill. Note: Although most fish taken from Colorado lakes and streams are safe to eat, refer to the Colorado Fish Advisory (link below) before eating fish caught from Jumbo Reservoir or any Colorado waterway.

The spacious campgrounds around Jumbo Reservoir offer shaded picnic areas, restroom facilities and cool, clean drinking water. There are no designated swimming areas, but taking a refreshing dip in the crystal clear lake is permitted. Water skiing is another favorite way to have fun on the water. During certain times of the year, the reservoir allows kids of all ages to enjoy the thrill of flying over the water.

Along with fishing and boating, hunting is a popular pastime at the Jumbo Reservoir State Wildlife Area and adjacent Red Lion State Wildlife Area. Small game, pheasant and a number of waterfowl can be found in the wildlife areas. These heavily wooded and gently rolling open sections are also a great place for wildlife viewing and photography. Bird watchers will be delighted by the number of snow and Ross’s geese that use the lake in the spring and throughout the winter when there is open water.

Hunters preferring larger game can head to the Sedgwick Bar State Wildlife Area, located just east of Jumbo Reservoir. This 885-acre State Wild Life Area offers deer, antelope, small game, pheasant, bobwhite quail, dove, turkey, and waterfowl hunting. There is no camping allowed at Sedgwick Bar SWA, but you will find an RV park, lodging, and vacation rentals and real estate in the nearby towns of Sedgwick, Sidney, Chappel, and Julesburg.

For an interesting daytrip, the Pawnee National Grasslands are located 70 miles west of Jumbo Reservoir. The grasslands consist of 193,000 acres of public land for biking, wildlife viewing, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, and fishing. Camping is allowed in designated areas. The main feature of the grasslands are the Pawnee Buttes, rising 350 feet above the surrounding plains. A walking trail will lead you to the base of the buttes where bird watching is at its best. Wildlife in the grasslands is abundant. Just east of the grasslands is the town of Sterling, where you can visit the Overland Trail Museum to learn more about life on the range.

The South Platte River Trail begins in Julesburg, east of Jumbo Reservoir, and offers a 19-mile loop that follows the main route westward that was once used by tens of thousands of pioneers lured by the promise of wealth, land, and freedom. Markers along the way commemorate the original Julesburg town site, the location of Colorado’s only Pony Express home station, and Fort Sedgwick (where the film “Dances With Wolves” was filmed).

If peace and solitude are what you seek, a visit to Jumbo Reservoir and the northeast region of Colorado is exactly what you are looking for. Beautiful sunsets, scenic landscapes and an area rich in history are enhanced by all the fishing, camping, and hunting you can handle to make this vacation destination a must for the outdoor lover.

Things to do at Jumbo Reservoir

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum

Fish species found at Jumbo Reservoir

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Saugeye Perch
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Jumbo Reservoir Photo Gallery

    Jumbo Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links

    divider

    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Colorado Division of Wildlife

    Surface Area: 1,200 acres

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 3,661 feet

    Maximum Depth: 24 feet

    Water Volume: 28,178 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1906

    Spread the word! Share our Jumbo Reservoir article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.