Desert Terminal Lakes Program
The Walker River is the third-largest river system in Western Nevada, with the Basin encompassing about 3940 square miles. All photos on this page are courtesy of the USFWS
The steady decline of Walker Lake’s water level over the last century resulted in dramatic increases in salinity in the lake, severely impacting the lake’s ecosystem. Congress passed the Desert Terminal Lakes Program in 2002 to improve conditions to “at risk” lakes such as Walker. Since 2002, several laws have been enacted to provide funding and technical support to improve the health of the Walker Basin’s ecosystem.
In 2005, Public Law 109-103 passed Congress and provided funds for tamarisk eradication, riparian area restoration, and channel restoration within the Walker River Basin to enhance water delivery to Walker Lake. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Walker River Paiute Tribe, and the Nevada Department of Wildlife received funds to implement a Fishery Improvement Plan for the Walker River Basin.
Public Law 110-161, enacted in December 2007, provided
funds to the Fish and Wildlife Service to analyze the
impacts of low water flows on fish reproduction at Walker
Lake. It also allocated funds to the State of Nevada
to prepare watershed inventories for the Walker and
Carson River Basins, and provided funds to the Walker
River Irrigation District to plan and implement a weed
control program to improve conveyance efficiency of
water controlled by the Irrigation District and to improve
their water gauges to enhance the water monitoring activities.
http://www.usbr.gov/mp/lbao/desert_terminal/desert.html external link
http://nevada.usgs.gov/walker/fs2005-3124.pdf external link