Silverwood Lake
Looking north, Cedar Springs Dam at top left
Silverwood Lake is located in California
Silverwood Lake
Silverwood Lake
LocationSan Bernardino County, California
Coordinates34°18′14″N 117°19′05″W / 34.30389°N 117.31806°W / 34.30389; -117.31806
Primary inflowsCalifornia Aqueduct and West Fork Mojave River, East Fork of West Fork Mojave River and Sawpit Canyon Creek
Primary outflowsWest Fork Mojave River
Basin countriesUnited States
Water volume73,000 acre-feet (90×10^6 m3)
Surface elevation1,023 m (3,356 ft)

Silverwood Lake is a large reservoir in San Bernardino County, California, United States, located on the West Fork Mojave River, a tributary of the Mojave River in the San Bernardino Mountains. It was created in 1971 (53 years ago) (1971) as part of the State Water Project by the construction of the Cedar Springs Dam as a forebay on the 444 mi (715 km) long California Aqueduct (consequently inundating the former town of Cedar Springs[1]), and has a capacity of 73,000 acre⋅ft (90,000,000 m3).[2]


Silverwood Lake is located on the East Branch of the California Aqueduct. It is operated by the California Department of Water Resources and provides a major water source for agencies serving nearby San Bernardino Mountain and Mojave Desert areas. Some 2,400 acres (9.7 km2) of recreation land surround the lake.[3]

At an elevation of 3,355 ft (1,023 m), Silverwood Lake is the highest reservoir in the State Water Project.

Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area

Sunrise through the smoke of the Pilot Fire in Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area

The Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area is one of many California State Parks features picnicking, hiking trails, swimming beaches, and designated areas for boating, water-skiing and fishing.[4]

The Pacific Crest Trail, "the jewel in the crown of America's scenic trails" spanning 2,650 mi (4,260 km) from Mexico to Canada through three western states, passes through the Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area, with trailheads for short or long hikes.[5]

A 2009 California Water Board study found significantly elevated levels of toxic poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBS) and mercury levels in largemouth bass at Silverwood Reservoir.[6] [7] [8]

This has prompted local media to express concerns over the large number of anglers keeping and eating fish from this popular Inland Empire lake.[8] [9] [10] The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has developed a safe eating advisory for fish caught in the lake based on levels of mercury or PCBs found in local species.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "Cedar Springs (historical)". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Reservoir Information". California Department of Water Resources, Division of Flood Management. 2007-01-25. Archived from the original on 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
  3. ^ "State Water Project Recreation Sites: Silverwood Lake". California Department of Water Resources, Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
  4. ^ "California State Parks: Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area". California Department of Water Resources, Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 2007-02-01. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
  5. ^ "Discover the West on the Pacific Crest Trail". Archived from the original on 2003-02-16. Retrieved 2003-01-11. . accessed 6/20/2010
  6. ^ "CONTAMINANTS IN FISH FROM CALIFORNIA LAKES AND RESERVOIRS: TECHNICAL REPORT ON YEAR ONE OF A TWO-YEAR SCREENING STUDY" (PDF). March 10, 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2012-10-13. . accessed 10/12/12
  7. ^ "HEALTH ADVISORY AND GUIDELINES FOR EATING FISH FROM SILVERWOOD LAKE (SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY)" (PDF). August 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-20. Retrieved 2015-02-20.
  8. ^ a b Admin, OEHHA (7 May 2015). "Information about the Advisory for Eating Fish from Silverwood Lake". Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  9. ^ Edwards, Brooke (June 8, 2010). "Toxins found in fish from some area lakes". Archived from the original on 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2012-10-13. . accessed 10/12/12
  10. ^ "State issues 'don't eat' warning for Silverwood Lake". 11 August 2013. Archived from the original on 18 December 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  11. ^ Admin, OEHHA (2014-12-30). "Silverwood Lake". OEHHA. Retrieved 2018-06-13.