With 14.9 miles of shoreline and 383 surface acres, Canyon Lake is surrounded by 4800 custom built homes and lots within a private gated community. The lake, which was formed by a dam constructed in 1927, had been filled by rainwater coming from the San Jacinto Mountains and surrounding valleys until a 1955 agreement between the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and Temescal Water Company brought a more stable supply to the reservoir.
Currently, the Property Owners Association leases the lake's surface rights for the enjoyment of its membership. Lakeside parks, swimming areas, fishing “holes”, beaches, a slalom course, a jump lagoon, a gas dock, and rental slips make the lake a busy place.
To accommodate the fishermen, the Association stocks the lake with a generous supply of catfish and bass which accompany the existing crappie and bluegill
For the first time in a half-dozen years, water flowed over Canyon Lake’s dam in the last few days, rushing downstream into Lake Elsinore.
“Watching the water come over the dam on Christmas Day and flow into the lake was quite the Christmas miracle for us,” Mayor Bob Magee said. (Williams, M.J., Press-Enterprise, 12/27/16, http://www.pe.com/articles/lake-821818-water-feet.html)
Canyon Lake continued to spill over its dam and Lake Elsinore’s level has risen well over a foot as a result of recent storms, officials representing both bodies confirmed Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016.
A series of storms starting in mid-December that brought several inches of rain filled up Canyon Lake and caused it to overflow, sending much-needed water downstream into Lake Elsinore for the first time in six years.
Canyon Lake was created in the late 1920s by the construction of a dam blocking the San Jacinto River. The lake is used as a drinking-water reservoir by its owner, the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District.
District statistics show Canyon Lake rose nearly 5 feet from 1,376.9 feet above sea level Dec. 12 to slightly under 1,382 feet by 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The top of the dam is 1,381.8 feet, about 70 feet above the lake bottom.
The increase of about 2,500 acre feet of water provides the district an abundant supply to filter through its treatment plant and distribute to customers, while easing reliance on costly imported water. An acre foot is about equal to the size of a football field covered with 1 foot of water and serves two households for a year.
“The benefit to us as far as Canyon Lake filling up is we’ll have water to draw from over the next six to 12 months to continue to add to the drinking water supply,” Elsinore Valley Public Affairs Representative Bonnie Woodrome said. (Williams, M.J., Press-Enterprise, 12/29/16)