- Heron Lake (New Mexico)
lake_name = Heron Lake
Rio Arriba County, New Mexico
coords = coord|36.675|N|106.726|W|region:US_type:waterbody|display=inline,title
basin_countries = United States
length = convert|4|mi|km|0|abbr=on
width = convert|3|mi|km|0|abbr=on
area = convert|5900|acre|km2|0
elevation = 7,186 feet (2,190 m)
Heron Lake is a
reservoirin Rio Arriba County, in northern New Mexicoin the southwestern United States. The lake is part of the San Juan-Chama Diversion Project, which transfers water from the upper reaches of the San Juan River through the convert|12.8|mi|km|1|sing=on Azotea Tunnel (and under the Continental Divide), into Willow Creek and the Rio Chama (and ultimately into the Rio Grande). Water is impounded in Heron Lake by the 1,250-foot (381 m) long, 263-foot (80 m) high Heron Dam, which was completed in 1971. The convert|5900|acre|km2|0|sing=on lake is approximately convert|4|mi|km|0 long and convert|3|mi|km|0 wide (7 x 5 km), and lies at an elevation of up to 7,186 feet (2,190 m).
The southern shore of Heron Lake is a state park, featuring over 200 camping and picnic sites, and two improved boat ramps. The lake is an excellent destination for salmon and trout fishing, as well as for small boat sailing. Boat speeds are restricted by a 'no-wake' policy. A 5.5 mile (9 km) hiking trail crosses the Rio Chama Gorge via a pedestrian suspension bridge, and then runs southwest through wooded terrain to the grounds of
El Vado LakeState Park.
The lake, dam, and state park are named after Kenneth A. Heron, an engineer in the early 1900s who realized that water could be diverted from wetter areas to the north, to the benefit of more arid regions to the south.
* [http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/prd/heron.htm New Mexico State Parks]
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