Lake Tulloch, California, USA

Also known as:  Tulloch Lake

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Tulloch — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Lake Tulloch cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Tulloch

An impoundment of the Stanislaus River, Lake Tulloch is part of a much larger water system and provides water for both irrigation and recreation. With its recreational boating, fantastic fishing, and local gold rush history, Lake Tulloch has something for everyone.

Created in 1958 with the construction of the Tulloch Dam and power plant, Lake Tulloch is one if three reservoirs in Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties, California that make up the Tri-Dam Project. The three reservoirs, including Beardsley Reservoir and Donnells Reservoir, are operated by the Oakdale and South San Joaquin Irrigation Districts. Together the three provide water to irrigate 117,500 acres in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. The farms raise almonds, walnuts, grapes, and grass for pasture.

Lake Tulloch is on the middle fork of the Stanislaus River downstream from the much larger New Melones Lake. The New Melones Dam is managed by the Bureau of Reclamation, and water levels on Lake Tulloch fluctuate based on the need of New Melones. Fishing on the lake benefits from the cold water releases from New Melones Dam. The California Department of Fish and Game stocks Lake Tulloch with rainbow trout, and there are also healthy populations of German brown trout. Trolling for trout is productive, and shore fishing in the fall and winter is also good. Crappie fishing is best in late winter and spring, while bluegill fishing is best in spring and summer.

In addition to fishing, Lake Tulloch is popular during summer for recreational boating, waterskiing, wind surfing, wake boarding, sailing, and swimming. Most of the private land around the lake is residential development, but there is public access for a fee on the North and South shores. There is also a public marina.

Development around the area that became Lake Tulloch started with the gold rush in the 1840’s. The nearest town to the lake, Copperopolis, started for a different reason. As the name suggests, Copperopolis in Copper Valley, Calaveras County, was developed for copper ore. Previously known as Copper Canyon, the town started in 1861 and grew as demand for Civil War bullets increased the need for copper. Today Copperopolis Town Square, a planned community, is a charming place to visit. The town has restaurants, shops and various accommodations all while maintaining its historic flavor.

In addition to exploring the historic gold rush towns, the area around Lake Tulloch has a variety of winter sports including both downhill and cross-country skiing. Accommodations in the area include private vacation rentals, camping, hotels and motels. There is also an RV Campground on the shore of Lake Tulloch.

Although started for the purely practical reasons of irrigation and power generation, the benefits of Lake Tulloch have grown. Fishing, boating, and water sports along with the rich history of the surrounding area make Lake Tulloch a destination for the entire family.

Things to Do at Lake Tulloch

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Wind Surfing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cross-Country Skiing

Fish Species Found at Lake Tulloch

  • Bluegill
  • Brown Trout
  • Crappie
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Sunfish
  • Trout

Find Places to Stay at Lake Tulloch

If you’re considering a Lake Tulloch lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Tulloch Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Tulloch lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Lake Tulloch Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Oakdale and South San Joaquin Irrigation Districts

Surface Area: 1,260 acres

Shoreline Length: 55 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 504 feet

Maximum Depth: 80 feet

Water Volume: 59,935 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1958

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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