Lake Almanor, California, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - California - Shasta Cascade -

One of the largest artificial lakes in the state, Lake Almanor lays claim to approximately 28,000 acres of northeastern California. The lake was created when Great Western Power built a dam on the North Fork Feather River in 1927. The dam currrently provides hydroelectric power under the ownership of Pacific Gas and Electric. The name “Almanor” combines the names of the three daughters of one of Great Western Power’s vice presidents: ALice, MArtha, and ElaNOR. The lake’s beauty, recreational resources and excellent weather patterns have made Lake Almanor a popular weekend destination.

Safely snuggled between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Cascade Mountain Range, Lake Almanor offers its visitors and residents magnificent views and picturesque activities. Start your trip on the deep, crystal blue waters, indulging in some great boating fun. All kinds of boats dot the lake’s surface, from leisurely canoes to high-speed power boats. You can slowly and quietly investigate Lake Almanor coves in a canoe or kayak, cozying up to jutting rocks and getting up-close views of shy wildlife. If adventure is your game, a speed boat is the ticket, allowing you to visit all 52 miles of lake shoreline.

The water fun doesn’t end with a boat trip, as Lake Almanor is inviting to swimmers, water skiers, and wakeboarders alike. Hop behind a power boat and join in one of the lake’s favorite pastimes and, if you’re up for it, challenge yourself to drop a ski and slalom for a bit. When the sun has warmed your skin, find a quiet place to dive into the cool depths, refreshing yourself with a leisurely lake swim.

For anglers, Almanor Lake is an aquatic haven for brown trout, crappie, salmon, and smallmouth bass. Believed to be one of the lake’s best kept secrets, the trout and bass fishing are what anglers dream of, with great populations of large specimens. Fishing is best done in summer and fall, when the night air is cool and the fish are biting, though you can expect to get lucky any time of day or year.

A visit to Lake Almanor is not complete without a visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park, a 106,000 acre expanse of ancient and still-active volcanoes. The last eruption was on May 22, 1915, when Lassen Peak erupted with a vengeance, spreading ash over a 200 mile radius. Today, as you hike or horseback ride along the park’s 150 miles of trails, you’ll witness bubbling mud pots, boiling pools, and hissing fumaroles that all hint at the powerful natural forces that keep these volcanoes alive. Hike the “Ring of Fire”, ascending and descending the hilly terrain, and witness fields of wildflowers, a boiling coldwater lake, and spectacular panoramic views.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is truly a beautiful place, offering postcard-perfect views of cloudless sapphire skies, snow-covered mountains, and dark volcanic rock. Take advantage of your time here to go bird watching, keeping your eyes wide open for the 83 species of birds that make their homes here. Watch as hawks and eagles soar through the sky, their piercing cry echoing off the ridges. Try and catch a photo of colorful migratory birds, resting on their journey south. And when you’ve gotten a bit tired, hop in your car and take a scenic drive along the park’s 35-mile road that loops through some of the most interesting and unique terrain you will ever see.

Lake Almanor is an aquatic paradise of cool waters, warm sun, great fishing, bountiful nature, snowcapped mountains, and breathtaking sunsets.

Things to do at Lake Almanor

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Park

Fish species found at Lake Almanor

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Crappie
  • Salmon
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout

Lake Almanor Photo Gallery

Lake Almanor Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Pacific Gas & Electric

Surface Area: 28,257 acres

Shoreline Length: 52 miles

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 4,494 feet

Maximum Depth: 90 feet

Water Volume: 1,142,960 acre-feet

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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.


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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.


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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."


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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