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Lake and Dam FAQs

Where’s Benbow Lake?

The lake is not here because the dam on the Eel River is not installed.

Why isn’t the dam being put in?
In order to put the Dam back in the State needs to apply for various permits on a regular basis. In order to obtain these permits certain things need to be done first like an assessment and repair of the Dam and the fish ladder.  It is estimated that the cost for the assessment and repairs would be in the millions.  With the State's current budget crisis and the potential closing of several parks it is just not fiscally possible to put the Dam back in.

How do local residents feel about this?
Concerned, aware of the issues, and considering alternatives.

How long has the dam been going in?
Over 60 years.

Are you going to change the name of the park?
There are no plans to do so at this time.

Is there going to be a dam next year?
Probably not. As stated above, the fiscal concerns for California State Parks are high.  In these times of budget cuts and reduced revenues and the monies available are very limited.

What is the future of Benbow Lake SRA?
If the Dam does not go in, in the future, there is interest by other agencies to do a restoration to the river.  We are also looking for other ideas towards making the park into a river park with trails, both foot and bike and changing the look of the Day Use area so that it is closer to the River.