The construction of the concrete gravity arch dam, Exchequer Dam, in 1924-1926 created a 280,000-acre foot water storage reservoir behind the dam 14 miles long. For the first few years, the lake was known as Exchequer Reservoir, but the name was changed to Lake McClure in 1926 to honor California State Engineer W.F. McClure.
In 1968, the dam was raised to increase the storage capacity of the lake and was renamed New Exchequer Dam. Lake McClure offers more than 80 miles of delightful shoreline.
The sparking clear water of the Merced River flows from Yosemite Park into the lake, which has a maximum elevation of 867 feet above sea level. The 26-mile lake has a surface area of over 7,000 acres, enough room for enthusiasts to enjoy his/her favorite water sport.
Wildlife flourishes along the scenic shoreline. You'll often see deer, raccoon and foxes roaming the water's edge, while eagles and hawks soar above. Heron and other aquatic birds drink from the lake's crystal waters. Lake McClure beckons its guests to enjoy themselves with fishing, camping, houseboating or just a relaxing day at the lake with the family.Activities abound on the lake, Boating on Lake McClure is both pleasurable and convenient. Large concrete boat ramps and first-class boarding floats are available at each recreation area, with comfort stations, fish cleaning facilities and plenty of parking for cars and trailers nearby. Convenient marinas provide mooring, boat rentals, bait and tackle, ice, gas, oil and groceries.
Lake McClure is a water skiing enthusiast's dream! McClure's often-glassy surface provides runs that are both smooth and picturesque. Ski boats and houseboats are available for rent at Barrett Cove Marina. Lake McClure also enjoys the reputation of being known as one of the very best fishing lakes in California. This may be due to the elaborate trout, king salmon and Florida largemouth bass stocking programs. Or perhaps it is because so many fish call our lakes home, including rainbow trout, black bass, spotted bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, salmon and shad.