Millerton Lake is an artificial lake near the town of Friant about 15 mi (24 km) north of downtown Fresno. The reservoir was created by the construction of 319 ft (97 m) high Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River which, with the lake, serves as much of the county line between Fresno County to the south and Madera County to the north.
Part of the Central Valley Project, the dam was built by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) and was completed in 1942 with the exception of the drum gates being installed in 1947. The lake stores water for irrigation, which is distributed by the Madera and Friant-Kern Canals to the San Joaquin Valley. It has an instantaneous capacity of 520,528 acre⋅ft (0.642062 km3).
Secondary uses include flood control and recreation, including swimming, fishing, water skiing and camping. A 25 MW hydroelectric plant operated by the Friant Power Authority produces electricity from large releases and two smaller plants use water released for a fish hatchery and to maintain minimum-flow in the river.
Prior to the construction of Friant Dam, the current lake bed was the site of the town of Millerton, the first county seat of Fresno County.
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has issued a safe eating advisory for fish caught in the Millerton Lake due to elevated levels of mercury.
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- California State Parks
- Booking site: https://reservecalifornia.com/Web
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