Another reservoir overflows as Northern California receives more rain

Lake Davis in Plumas County in 2007. (Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times)
(Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times)

The milestones marking California’s wettest year in decades continued to pile up Thursday, as state water officials said a reservoir high up in the Sierra Nevada has exceeded capacity for the first time in 21 years.

Lake Davis began overflowing onto its earth-and-rock spillway Wednesday after a couple of light rainstorms this week, Department of Water Resources officials said.

“While DWR does not anticipate problems downstream of the reservoir near Portola, flows below the lake could exceed what residents, businesses and anglers have experienced over the past three decades,” the agency said Thursday.

The last time the rain-filled lake reached capacity was in May 1996, and then only about a half-inch of water pushed over the top of the lake’s dam. Data this week show the lake pushed past capacity on Monday.


Lake Davis’ water level was lowered in the 1990s to prevent invasive northern pike from swimming downstream, but DWR officials said that should not be an issue this week after an eradication effort in 2007.

It has rained more than twice the annual average in Northern California this season and more than 2 inches fell in the region this week.

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