Lake Havasu

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Lake Havasu
Lake Havasu 1.jpg
Lake from Parker Dam
Location Arizona, California
Coordinates 34°29′N114°23′W / 34.483°N 114.383°W / 34.483; -114.383 Coordinates: 34°29′N114°23′W / 34.483°N 114.383°W / 34.483; -114.383
Type Reservoir
Primary inflows Colorado River
Primary outflows Colorado River
Basin  countriesUnited States
Max. length26.3 miles (42.3 km)
Max. width2.85 miles (4.6 km)
Surface area19,300 acres (7,800 ha)
Average depth35 ft (11 m)
Max. depth90 ft (27 m)
Surface elevation448 ft (137 m)
Islands 1
Settlements Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Lake Havasu is a large reservoir formed by Parker Dam on the Colorado River, on the border between California and Arizona. Lake Havasu City sits on the lake's eastern shore. The reservoir has an available capacity of 619,400 acre feet (764,000,000 m3). The concrete arch dam was built by the United States Bureau of Reclamation between 1934 and 1938. The lake's primary purpose is to store water for pumping into two aqueducts. Prior to the dam construction, the area was home to the Mohave Indians. The lake was named (in 1939) after the Mojave word for blue. [1] In the early 19th century, it was frequented by beaver trappers.[ citation needed ] Spaniards also began to mine the areas along the river.[ citation needed ]

Reservoir A storage space for fluids

A reservoir is, most commonly, an enlarged natural or artificial lake, pond or impoundment created using a dam or lock to store water.

Parker Dam dam in San Bernardino County, CaliforniaLa Paz County, Arizona

Parker Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam that crosses the Colorado River 155 miles (249 km) downstream of Hoover Dam. Built between 1934 and 1938 by the Bureau of Reclamation, it is 320 feet (98 m) high, 235 feet (72 m) of which are below the riverbed, making it the deepest dam in the world. The dam's primary functions are to create a reservoir, and to generate hydroelectric power. The reservoir behind the dam is called Lake Havasu and can store 647,000 acre⋅ft (798,000,000 m3) or over 210 billion US gallons. The dam straddles the state border at the narrows the river passes through between the Whipple Mountains of California and the Buckskin Mountains of Arizona.

Colorado River major river in the western United States and Mexico

The Colorado River is one of the principal rivers in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The 1,450-mile-long (2,330 km) river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states. Starting in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the river flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau and through the Grand Canyon before reaching Lake Mead on the Arizona–Nevada border, where it turns south toward the international border. After entering Mexico, the Colorado approaches the mostly dry Colorado River Delta at the tip of the Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora.

Contents

Aqueducts

Mark Wilmer Pumping Plant pumps water into the Central Arizona Project Aqueduct. Whitsett Pumping Plant is located on the lake, and lifts the water 291 feet (89 m) for the Colorado River Aqueduct. Gene Pumping Plant is just south of Parker Dam, and gives the water an additional boost of 303 feet (92 m). The Colorado River Aqueduct has three more pumping plants: Iron Mountain (144 feet (44 m)), Eagle Mountain (438 feet (134 m)), and Julian Hinds (441 feet (134 m)). The total lift is 1,617 feet (493 m).

Colorado River Aqueduct water conveyance in Southern California

The Colorado River Aqueduct, or CRA, is a 242 mi (389 km) water conveyance in Southern California in the United States, operated by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). The aqueduct impounds water from the Colorado River at Lake Havasu on the California-Arizona border west across the Mojave and Colorado deserts to the east side of the Santa Ana Mountains. It is one of the primary sources of drinking water for Southern California.

Natural history

Lake Havasu with Lake Havasu City, Arizona on the east shore (right) and Havasu Lake, California on the western shore (left). LkHavasu.jpg
Lake Havasu with Lake Havasu City, Arizona on the east shore (right) and Havasu Lake, California on the western shore (left).

The shorelines are in the ecotone (transition zone) of the higher Mojave Desert to the lower Sonoran Desert and its Californian Colorado Desert ecoregions.

Ecotone transition area between two biomes

An ecotone is a transition area between two biomes. It is where two communities meet and integrate. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local or regional. An ecotone may appear on the ground as a gradual blending of the two communities across a broad area, or it may manifest itself as a sharp boundary line.

Mojave Desert desert in southwestern United States

The Mojave Desert is an arid rain-shadow desert and the driest desert in North America. It is in the North American Southwest, primarily within southeastern California and southern Nevada, and it occupies 47,877 sq mi (124,000 km2). Very small areas also extend into Utah and Arizona. Its boundaries are generally noted by the presence of Joshua trees, which are native only to the Mojave Desert and are considered an indicator species, and it is believed to support an additional 1,750 to 2,000 species of plants. The central part of the desert is sparsely populated, while its peripheries support large communities such as Las Vegas, Barstow, Lancaster, Palmdale, Victorville, and St. George.

Sonoran Desert North American desert

The Sonoran Desert is a North American desert which covers large parts of the Southwestern United States in Arizona and California and of Northwestern Mexico in Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur. It is the hottest desert in Mexico. It has an area of 260,000 square kilometers (100,000 sq mi). The western portion of the United States–Mexico border passes through the Sonoran Desert.

The Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is located at the upper end and upriver. Lake Havasu State Park is along the eastern shore in Arizona. The Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge extends southeastward up the riparian zone of the Bill Williams River canyon from the southeastern end of the reservoir and dam.

Havasu National Wildlife Refuge National Wildlife Refuge in California and Arizona in the United States

Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge on the lower Colorado River in Arizona and California. It preserves habitat for desert bighorn sheep to the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher, birds and other animals. The refuge protects 30 river miles - 300 miles (480 km) of shoreline - from Needles, California, to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. One of the last remaining natural stretches of the lower Colorado River flows through the 20-mile-long (32 km) Topock Gorge.

Lake Havasu State Park

Lake Havasu State Park is a state park located on Lake Havasu in Mohave County, Arizona, USA. The park provides outdoor recreation opportunities such as camping, boating, and fishing. The Arroyo-Camino Interpretive Garden displays local desert flora.

Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge

The Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge protects the lower course of the Bill Williams River, to its mouth at Lake Havasu reservoir, in western Arizona. It is located within eastern La Paz and Mohave Counties, in the Lower Colorado River Valley region.

Fish

Lake Havasu is well known for its recreational fishing and boating, which bring in around 750,000 visitors a year. [2] Fishing tournaments are often held on the lake, where bass are the main catch.

Bass is a name shared by many species of fish. The term encompasses both freshwater and marine species, all belonging to the large order Perciformes, or perch-like fishes. The word bass comes from Middle English bars, meaning "perch".

Fish list : Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, Striped bass, Carp, Catfish (Channel), Catfish (Flathead), Crappie, Razorback sucker, Redear Sunfish, Sunfish (Cetrarchidae).

Largemouth bass species of fish

The largemouth bass is a carnivorous freshwater gamefish in the Centrarchidae (sunfish) family, a species of black bass native to the eastern and central United States and northern Mexico, but widely introduced elsewhere. It is known by a variety of regional names, such as the widemouth bass, bigmouth bass, black bass, bucketmouth, largies, Potter's fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, bucketmouth bass, Green trout, gilsdorf bass, Oswego bass, southern largemouth and (paradoxically) northern largemouth, LMB. The largemouth bass is the state fish of Georgia and Mississippi, and the state freshwater fish of Florida and Alabama.

Smallmouth bass species of fish

The smallmouth bass is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of the order Perciformes. It is the type species of its genus. One of the black basses, it is a popular game fish sought by anglers throughout the temperate zones of North America, and has been spread by stocking—as well as illegal introductions—to many cool-water tributaries and lakes in Canada and more so introduced in the United States. The maximum recorded size is approximately 27 inches and 12 pounds. The smallmouth bass is native to the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, the Saint Lawrence River–Great Lakes system, and up into the Hudson Bay basin. Its common names include smallmouth, bronzeback, brown bass, brownie, smallie, bronze bass, and bareback bass.

Striped bass species of fish

The striped bass, also called Atlantic striped bass, striper, linesider, rock or rockfish, is an anadromous Perciforme fish of the family Moronidae found primarily along the Atlantic coast of North America. It has also been widely introduced into inland recreational fisheries across the United States. Striped bass found in the Gulf of Mexico are a separate strain referred to as Gulf Coast striped bass.

White sturgeon were stocked in Lake Havasu in 1967 and 1968 from stock obtained from San Pablo Bay, California. While some dead sturgeon were found downstream from Havasu (probably killed during passage over dams), living fish have not been recorded, but may still exist along the southern end of Lake Havasu near Parker Dam. [3] Sturgeon have been known to grow upwards of 20 feet (6 meters) and can live in excess of 100 years and many in and around Lake Havasu continue in their efforts to catch a glimpse of the majestic animal.

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has developed a safe eating advisory for Lake Havasu based on levels of mercury found in fish caught from this water body. [4]

Robert Paxton McCulloch was an American entrepreneur most notable for purchasing the old London Bridge and moving it to one of the cities he founded in Arizona. Lake Havasu sparked the imagination of McCulloch, who purchased 3,500 acres (1,400 ha) of lakeside property along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the island".

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References

  1. Gudde, Erwin G. (1959). 1000 California Place Names (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 33. ISBN   0-520-01432-4.
  2. according to the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau
  3. "Acipenser transmontanus" . Retrieved 2008-01-05.
  4. Pham, Huyen Tran (2017-01-24). "Lake Havasu". OEHHA. Retrieved 2018-06-13.