Northern California January 11, 2017
The Oldest Lake In America Is Right Here In Northern California And It’s Amazing
Other parts of the country have the oldest bookstore, the oldest airport, the oldest who knows what, but here in Northern California, we have the oldest lake in North America. Pretty cool, right? I bet you didn’t know Clear Lake is nearly a half million years old! And that’s not the only interesting thing about it.
Clear Lake is about 68 square miles, making it one of the largest lakes in the state.
Due to a geological fluke, the lake sits on a huge block of stone which slowly tilts in the northern direction at the same rate as the lake fills in with sediment. The water stays roughly the same depth when other lakes would have dried up years ago.
Some experts feel that Mono Lake, to the east of the Sierra Nevada in California, is older than Clear Lake. However, the sedimentary history of Clear Lake is unbroken, while Mono Lake's sediments have been disturbed by past eruptions of the Long Valley Caldera and associated volcanoes.
Even though it is a very impressively sized lake, at one time it was even larger and encompassed the nearby Blue Lakes, located to the Northeast.
With over 100 miles of shoreline, Clear Lake is a popular destination for recreation enthusiasts.
It's known as the "Bass Capital of the West." Fishermen and women love Clear Lake for its largemouth bass, which are farmed and planted in the lake by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Crappie, catfish, bluegill, and rainbow trout are also stocked here.
Unfortunately, the lake was contaminated by the nearby Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine in the 1990s. Children and women who are or may become pregnant should probably avoid eating fish caught here, but it's still really fun to catch and release!
The local wildlife is a fun sight for boaters and fishermen alike.
In the summertime, the docks, waters, beaches and boats are full of people relaxing and having a good time.
Seaplanes are a fun sight for Clear Lake visitors, but you can also rent boats and other equipment for water sports.
The Clear Lake basin is located within the Upper Cache Creek Watershed and the lake drains to the Sacramento River through Yolo County.
It's a really amazing spot full of interesting geology, recreation and history.
What are your favorite memories about summers at Clear Lake?