Clear Creek Dam


Clear Creek Dam, a concrete thin-arch structure on the North Fork of the Tieton River about 30 miles southwest of Naches and 48 miles west of Yakima, creates a reservoir with an active capacity of 5,300 acre-feet. The dam is 83 feet high and contains 5,800 cubic yards of concrete. Originally constructed in 1914, the dam was raised 21 feet in 1918 to its present height. Rehabilitation work in 1964 consisted primarily of placing new concrete in the arch section between elevation 2,991.0 and the crest, repairing cracks and poorly consolidated concrete with neoprene and epoxies, and installing protective wire-mesh fences from the abutments to upstream areas.

As the result of investigations conducted in 1987-1989, the Bureau of Reclamation concluded there were horizontal bands of deteriorated concrete in the section replaced in 1964. These conditions could result in sudden failure of the dam. The water level of Clear Lake was immediately lowered to reduce the likelihood of dam failure. Early in 1990, two holes were cut through the dam to further drain the lake to a point that only 230 acre-feet could be stored.

Overwhelming public support was expressed for reconstructing the dam and returning Clear Lake to its original condition, due mostly to the loss of recreational value. Reconstruction was accomplished through local, State, and Federal funding and consisted of converting the dam into a gravity structure by buttressing the arch with a new concrete section immediately downstream. A new 48-inch outlet conduit was installed near the elevation of the breach (2956.5 feet) to permit discharge whenever the lake was below the spillway crest. Clear Lake is now used primarily for recreation and most of the discharge is by the spillway.


The dam foundation is composed of a metamorphosed sill of highly fractured,  basic porphyritic rock of Tertiary age, altered at the surface to serpentine and epidote. Field  examination showed this rock to be solidly keyed and fused together, competent to support the dam, and highly resistant to erosion.

RegionFacilities in Pacific Northwest | Pacific Northwest Home Page
Dam TypeConcrete Gravity
ReservoirClear Creek
WatercourseTieton River
Original Construction1914-1915
Modified Construction1918, 1964, 1990, 1993
National ID NumberWA00264
Hydrologic Unit Code

Structural Height83.0 ft
Hydraulic Height (Normal Operating Depth at Dam)57.0 ft
Top Parapet (Elevation)
Spillway Crest Elevation3015.0 ft
Crest Elevation3016.0 ft
Crest Length404.0 ft
Crest Width3.0 ft
Base Width54.0 ft
Volume of Dam Construction Materials6,000.00 cu yd concrete original arch; 7,000.00 cu yd concrete downstream
Streambed at Dam Axis
Top of Exclusive Flood Control Pool (Elevation)
Top of Joint Use Pool (Elevation)
Top of Active Conservation Pool (Elevation)3013.0 ft
Top of Inactive Conservation Pool (Elevation)
Top of Dead Storage Pool (Elevation)

Hydraulics & Hydrology
Total Water Storage at Elevation5,300 ac-ft
Maximum Water Surface Elevation
Normal Water Surface Elevation3013.0 ft
Spillway TypeRock channel overflow, Overflow spillway
Auxiliary Spillway
Spillway Capacity at Elevation4,000 cfs
Auxiliary Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Uncontrolled Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Outlet Works Capacity at Elevation1,145 cfs
Diversion Capacity at Elevation
Drainage Area16.0 sq mi
Hydrometeorological Report (HMR)HMR 57
Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) Report

Contact Information
TitleArea Office Manager
OrganizationColumbia-Cascades Area Office
Address1917 Marsh Road
CityYakima, WA 98901-2058
Phone (Fax)509 454-5611
Phone (Office)509 575-5848 x202
TitleArea Office Manager
OrganizationColumbia-Cascades Area Office
Address1917 Marsh Road
CityYakima, WA 98901-2058
Phone (Fax)509 454-5611
Phone (Office)509 575-5848 x202

Last updated: Jun 21, 2012