Current Reservoir Level
The Whale Rock Reservoir is a 38,967 acre-foot reservoir created by the construction of an earthen dam on Old Creek near the town of Cayucos. The Whale Rock dam was designed and constructed by the State Department of Water Resources beginning in October 1958 and completed in April 1961, to provide water to the City of San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly State University and California Men’s Colony (these three groups make up the Whale Rock Commission). The Whale Rock Dam captures water from a 20.3 square mile watershed and water is delivered to the three agencies through 17.6 miles of 30-inch pipeline and two pumping stations.
StaffingWhale Rock Reservoir has a staff of three that maintains 13 miles of fence line, 1400 acres of open space, dam structure and monitoring instrumentation, two pumping stations and 18 miles of pipeline. Staff is committed to maintaining the infrastructure to insure reliable water delivery. Whale Rock Reservoir staff seeks to engage the community in order to expand recreational activities that maintain water quality and meet State guidelines for reservoir operations.
We are available to provide information, speak to interested public groups, or host tours of the dam and related infrastructure. Please contact Noah Evans to inquire about a tour, information, or speaking opportunity.
When full the City’s allocation of WRR would supply the City’s water needs for approximately 3 years.
Maximum Storage Capacity = 38,967 acre-feet
Max Water Elevation = 218.3 Feet
Whale Rock Reservoir is a great resource for the community at large to enjoy the outdoors and interact with nature in a responsible manner. Our staff seeks to engage the community in order to expand recreational activities that maintain water quality and meet State guidelines for reservoir operations.
Fishing is open all year and CA DFG fishing regulations apply. Access will be closed during significant rain events due to muddy trail conditions. There is no watercraft of any kind allowed on the lake.
Open from 6 AM till 7PM. The gate is electric and closes at 7 PM. Please exit the facility before 7 PM.
There are approx. 3 miles of hiking roads, 7 pit toilets and multiple picnic areas. Dogs are allowed, but no horses. Daily access fee is $2 and goes to support the upkeep of the public access area.
Bird watching is popular at WRR. There are 3 resident bald eagles, osprey, and many migratory birds to be observed around the lake.
Whale Rock Reservoir has limited access to the south shore for hiking and fishing from the shore.
The fish population includes steelhead, catfish, bluegill, bass, and Sacramento suckers.
NO Hunting or firearms are allowed on Whale Rock property.
Staff is available to provide information, speak to interested public groups, or host tours of the dam and related infrastructure. Please contact Noah Evans to inquire about a tour, information, or speaking opportunity.