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Sanchez Reservoir
Sanchez Reservoir.JPG
Looking south across the reservoir.
Sanchez Reservoir is located in Colorado
Sanchez Reservoir
Sanchez Reservoir
Location in Colorado
Location Costilla County, Colorado
Coordinates 37°05′02″N 105°24′52″W / 37.08389°N 105.41444°W / 37.08389; -105.41444
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Ventero Creek
Sanchez Canal
Basin countries United States
Managing agency Sanchez Ditch and Reservoir Company
Designation Sanchez Reservoir State Wildlife Area
Built 1912 (1912)
First flooded 1912 (1912)
Surface area 3,145 acres (1,273 hectares)
Water volume 103,000 acre-feet (127,000,000 cubic meters)
Surface elevation 2,518 meters (8,261 feet)

Sanchez Reservoir lies in far southcentral Colorado, west of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Costilla County. Its inflows include Ventero Creek and the Sanchez Canal, a diversion canal that takes water from Culebra Creek and two other creeks.


The reservoir's earthen dam was built in 1912. Because the dam leaks a lot and because of ongoing drought in the region, the reservoir never really reaches its full capacity.


Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages fishing at the reservoir, which forms the Sanchez Reservoir State Wildlife Area. However, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a "Fish consumption advisory," warning of unsafe mercury levels in northern pike and walleye caught in the lake.

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