News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV

member station


Washoe Lake Runs Dry


Washoe Lake
Wiki Commons

Washoe Lake has run dry after an extended drought and another dry winter

Washoe Lake has run dry.

The lake between Reno and Carson City has seen its water level evaporate as almost a dozen streams feeding the lake have been reduced to a trickle.

Nevada State Parks administrator Eric Johnson told KNPR's State of Nevada said the streams are dependant on snowpack and since there was such a low snowpack this year, the streams couldn't reach the lake.

“We rely on that slow snowmelt to fill that lake back up,” Johnson said.

Johnson said it really won't fill back up unless there is a big snowfall next winter.

The lake is also used by migratory birds for nesting and for water. However, with no water the birds are having to find someplace else.

“What the birds have done is they’re by-passing Washoe Lake and going elsewhere. Where they’re finding water I couldn’t definitely tell you it so dry everywhere here,” Johnson said.

Park staff will be offering a drought program over the Memorial Day weekend to teach people about why the lake went dry.

Johnson said visitation for northern Nevada state parks is down 15 percent because so much of the activities at those lakes are based on water recreation and camping.  

Support comes from


Eric Johnson, administrator, Nevada State Parks

You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for.  If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.

More Stories