Saturday, March 29, 2014

Are lakes in Washoe County such as Rock Lake in the Carson Range drying up?

Rock Lake in the Carson Range near Ophir Creek Trail between Davis Creek Regional Park and Tahoe Meadows
Rock Lake showing its eponymous rocks (March 16, 2014)

Lakes in Washoe County, Nevada, are showing significant variations in their water level—not only seasonably, but also when compared year by year. Washoe Lake, which is a shallow body of water with a maximum depth of just a few feet, has completely dried up in the past. Dry Pond, located southwest of Reno and northeast of Mount Rose, has been seen wet in spring 2008, but less so during spring seasons thereafter. In compliance with its name, Dry Pond mostly stays dry. Church's Pond, a few miles southwest of Dry Pond in the Mount Rose Wilderness, also seems to have, on average, less water each year.

Rock Lake, located in a fragile and mountainous landscape between Washoe Lake and the slide side of Carson Range's Slide Mountain, is known for the beautiful pads of yellow water lilies that cover the water surface between the shoreline and the multitude of rocks that characterize its lake scenery. With lower water marks, Rock Lake's rock are getting more exposed. On March 16, this year, I found the lake shrunken down to puddles, wondering if there will be blooming water lilies this summer.

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