Lake Nacimiento is an 18-mile long lake on the Nacimiento River in northern San Luis Obispo County, California, and is controlled by Monterey County. The size of the lake varies on the annual rainfall and conservation releases of water by Monterey County. Lake Nacimiento has a capacity of 377,000 acre feet, and can fill quickly from it’s various tributaries. The lake’s contains several arms including Snake Creek and Dip Creek, nearer the dam, and the central Las Tablas and Franklin Creeks. Because of the dragon-like shape created by the positions of these arms, it is sometimes referred to as The Dragon Lake.
The lake was originally designed for irrigation water and flood control as well as recreation. Nacimiento Dam, a 210-foot earth fill dam, forms the lake. The dam was built by the Monterey County Water Authority, which completed construction in 1961. The water authority uses the lake to recharge its groundwater.
One of the best sources for finding the lake water level is the Monterey County Water Resource Agency’s Dam and Reservoir Data sheet, listed below.