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Lake and Dam FAQs

Where’s Benbow Lake?

The lake is not here because the seasonal dam on the Eel River is no longer being installed and most of the permanent dam structures have been removed. 

Why was the dam removed and no longer being put in? 
The estimated costs for the assessment and repairs required to obtain the dam permits were in the millions.  These costs, as well as the ongoing annual costs of maintenance, installation and removal of the dam, made the fiscal burden too great on State Parks to continue. In addition, an estimated 100 river miles of Coho salmon habitat were improved as a result of the dam removal project.

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

How long has the dam been going in? 
Dam construction began in 1931 and was completed in 1937. The last summer the dam was installed was in 2008.

Are you going to change the name of the park?
Benbow Lake State Recreation Area is now called Benbow State Recreation Area. New park signs are being manufactured to reflect this change.

What is the future of Benbow SRA?
The Campground will be re-opening for the summer 2018 camping season on a first come-first served basis. Improvements have been made to the Day Use Area and Campground to make the park’s facilities more accessible to visitors with physical disabilities. Ongoing efforts to restore the habitat in the dam removal project area will continue with planting of native trees, shrubs and grass.