December 8, 2016 -- Walker Lake Nevada
I took this photo in 2013 when visiting my hometown of Hawthorne, Nevada. I spent many hours of recreation around this lake as a teenager. Very sad to see how far it has receded over the past 50 years.
Walker Lake is a beautiful terminus lake (end of a river) located near the town of Hawthorne, Nevada. The Hawthorne Army Depot (the world's largest ammunition depot) fills the valley to the south of the lake and U.S. Route 95 passes along the western shore of Walker Lake.
Walker Lake is a remnant of ancient Lake Lahontan that covered much of northwestern Nevada during the Ice Age. Once considered a desert paradise, the lake has been slowly dying for the last 100 years.
More than a century of upriver irrigation has reduced it to just 20 percent of its original volume and it continues to shrink due to the upstream diversions of the Walker River. The fish, including the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout, are essentially gone. The shoreline has receded far beyond most of the boat ramps. Nearly 30 miles long in the early 1950s, the lake now stretches less than 15 miles, and is surrounded by thousands of acres of barren wasteland where the shoreline has retreated.
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From 2012-17 Daily Photos