B F Sisk Dam

The `B. F. Sisk dam` is also known as the `San Luis Dam.`

B.F. Sisk Dam

The B.F. Sisk Dam is a 300-foot-high zoned compacted earthfill embankment located on the west side of California's Central Valley approximately 12 miles west of Los Banos, California.  The dam is over 3 ½ miles long and impounds San Luis Reservoir which has a total capacity of over 2 million acre-feet. 

Photo of the B.F. Sisk Dam (aka) San Luis DamThe dam was built between 1963 and 1967 to provide supplemental irrigation water storage for the Federal Central Valley Project and municipal and industrial water for the California State Water Project. 

Water is lifted into the reservoir for storage by the Gianelli Pumping – Generating Plant from the California Aqueduct and from the Delta-Mendota Canal via O’Neill Forebay. 

B.F. Sisk Dam (also known as San Luis Dam) is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and operated by the California Department of Water Resources.  Reservoir storage space is allotted 55 percent State and 45 percent Federal.

Recreational Opportunities

RegionFacilities in Mid-Pacific | Mid-Pacific Home Page
ProjectCentral Valley
Dam Type
ReservoirSan Luis
WatercourseSan Luis Creek
Original Construction1963-1967
Modified Construction
National ID NumberCA10183
Hydrologic Unit Code

Structural Height382.0 ft
Hydraulic Height (Normal Operating Depth at Dam)303.0 ft
Top Parapet (Elevation)
Spillway Crest Elevation544.0 ft
Crest Elevation554.0 ft
Crest Length18600.0 ft
Crest Width
Base Width
Volume of Dam Construction Materials
Streambed at Dam Axis241.0 ft
Top of Exclusive Flood Control Pool (Elevation)
Top of Joint Use Pool (Elevation)
Top of Active Conservation Pool (Elevation)544.0 ft
Top of Inactive Conservation Pool (Elevation)326.0 ft
Top of Dead Storage Pool (Elevation)273.0 ft

Hydraulics & Hydrology
Total Water Storage at Elevation
Maximum Water Surface Elevation
Normal Water Surface Elevation544.0 ft
Spillway Type
Auxiliary SpillwayNo
Spillway Capacity at Elevation1030 cfs at 545.8 ft
Auxiliary Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Uncontrolled Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Outlet Works Capacity at Elevation13120 cfs at 544.0 ft
Diversion Capacity at Elevation
Drainage Area82.6 sq mi
Hydrometeorological Report (HMR)HMR 36
Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) Report

Contact Information
TitleArea Office Manager
OrganizationSouth-Central California Area Office
Address1243 "N" Street
CityFresno, CA 93721-1813
Phone (Office)559-487-5116
OrganizationCalifornia Department of Water Resources
AddressSan Luis Field Division
CityGustine, CA 93522
Phone (Office)209 827-5150

Last updated: Aug 31, 2009