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Stevens Creek Reservoir facts for kids

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Stevens Creek Reservoir
View from Zinfandel Trail, June 2008
Location Santa Clara County, California
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Stevens Creek
Primary outflows Stevens Creek
Catchment area 17.5 sq mi (45 km2)
Basin countries United States
Managing agency Santa Clara Valley Water District
Surface area 8,692 acres (3,518 ha)
Water volume 3,138 acre⋅ft (3,871,000 m3)
Settlements none

Stevens Creek Reservoir is an artificial lake located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains near Cupertino, California. A 1,063-acre (430 ha) county park surrounds the reservoir and provides limited fishing ("catch and release"), picnicking, hiking, and horseback riding activities. Although swimming is not allowed, non-power boating (such as a kayak) is allowed. No powered boats or jet skis are allowed.

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has issued a safe eating advisory for any fish caught in Sevens Creek Reservoir due to elevated levels of mercury.


The reservoir was formed by the Stevens Creek Dam, built in 1935 across Stevens Creek. It is one of the smaller reservoirs owned by the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Originally named Arroyo de San José Cupertino, Stevens Creek flows into the reservoir and out of the dam to San Francisco Bay. Stevens Creek and the reservoir are named after Captain Elijah Stephens who led the first wagon train across the Sierra Nevada in 1844 and settled in Cupertino.

Stevens Creek Dam

Stevens Creek Dam is an earthen dam 132 feet (40 m) high and 1,080 feet (330 m) long. Its crest is 554 feet (169 m) above sea level. In 1985, the dam's height was raised 10 feet (3.0 m) to its present height with the addition of 231,000 cubic yards (177,000 m3) of material.

Stevens Creek County Park

Stevens Creek County Park is one of 28 Santa Clara County Parks. The 1,063-acre (430 ha) park surrounds the reservoir, with the Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve adjacent to its east on the Montebello Ridge (also known as Black Mountain). An entrance to the park lies three miles from Interstate 280. Six miles of trails connect with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District's Fremont Older Open Space Preserve.


Bluegill, Koi, Asian Carp, Largemouth Bass, Crappie and other species of fish live in the reservoir. It can be fished only with a permit unless under the age of 16. However it is strictly catch and release because of problems with the concentration of mercury and PCBs in the water.

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