Virginia Ranch Dam

A Few Facts:
The Dam is named for Virginia Ranch, which was inundated by the lake.

The Lake (Collins Lake) is named for the Ag Commissioner that helped convince the landowners in the District that a new dam was a great thing, Merle Collins.

Construction of Virginia Ranch Dam was started in 1959 and was completed in October 1963. It filled for the first time in January 1965.

Construction costs totaled in excess of 3.3 million (1963).

The Dam is 152’ high with a crest length of 2,800’.

The Spillway elevation is 1,183’ above sea level.

Merle Collins Reservoir (Collins Lake) stores 57,000 acre feet of water and covers an area of 975 acres when full.

The outlet works include a 42” Howell-Bunger valve and a 3,800’ tunnel to the west of the Dam. This tunnel is used to deliver water to the landowners of Browns Valley Irrigation District.

French Dry Creek continues its flow south of the Dam until if flows into the Yuba River some 12 miles downstream.

FERC Project No. 3075, CA Inventory of Dams CA00842.