The Lahontan National Fish Hatchery Complex
Pacific Southwest Region

Desert Terminal Lakes Program Walker Lake

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 water samplesprovided 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.
 Walker Basin
For more information on the Desert Terminal Lakes Program, visit the following websites:

http://www.usbr.gov/mp/lbao/desert_terminal/desert.html external link

http://nevada.usgs.gov/walker/fs2005-3124.pdf external link

Last updated: March 10, 2010