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Mono Lake Level and Tributary Stream Flows
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Mono Lake Level
And Tributary Stream Flows



Level (ft) Date
6427 1919
6417 1941
6392 approx. future management level
6391.0 target/trigger
6385.1 highest level reached since 1994


3/4/2019 (recent)
6381.6 3/1/2018 (1 year ago)
6381.5 2/1/2019 (1 month ago)


trigger: April 1st export restriction
6377.0 trigger: minimum level
6374.6 9/28/1994 (D-1631 was issued)
6372.0 Lowest level (1/1/1982)


Monthly Levels since 1979

Yearly Levels since 1850

Water Board Decision Background









The Mono Lake Committee's March 15, 2019 Mono Lake projection (PDF with details):

2019-2020 Mono Lake level forecast

The Mono Lake Committee's March 15, 2019 Mono Lake projection (image):

Mono Lake level since 1980 - click to enlarge

Mono Lake rises in wet summers and years and falls in dry summers and years. It also tends to rise in the winter and spring, and declines in autumn.

How is Mono Lake's level measured?

The lake level gage is a staff gage located near Old Marina that is demarcated in tenths and hundredths of a foot. DWP surveys the elevation of the gage each time it puts one in. The Mono Lake Committee and the Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve try to read it at least once a month. DWP reads it approximately weekly.

Current gage:

  • 5/23/14 gage 1S installed with a zero elevation of 6377.79 USGS.
  • 9/23/09 gage 1R adjusted and surveyed about a mile east of Old Marina and all other gages at this location removed. Zero elevation is 6379.997 feet above sea level USGS. Underwater as of July 2011 and on dry land as of July 2014.
  • Old Marina Gage 2A installed March 14, 2007, resurveyed 8/1/07, zero elevation 6382.06 USGS. Mono Lake dropped below zero on this gage in August 2009 and the staff plate was removed in September. In 2011 the staff plate was reinstalled and the new zero elevation was 6382.059.

Former gages:

  • Installed July 13, 1998 (1M), zero elevation of 6,383.82 (in 2007 revised to 6383.76) USGS
  • Installed June 25, 2001 (1N), zero elevation of 6382.01 USGS (lake elev. Dec. 2005) Note: Gage 1N read 0.07 feet too low prior to its January 2007 removal.
  • Installed August 12, 2002 (1P), zero elevation of 6380.37 USGS Note: Discontinued in late January 2007, perhaps read 0.1 feet too high immediately prior. As of August 2009 reads about 0.5 feet too high.


Lowest recorded lake levelCurrent lake levelTarget Lake LevelPrediversion lake level
6381.9 ft
Mono Lake is on the Rise

"Target" level: 6391'
Mono Lake is currently in a long-term transition to higher lake levels. 6391' is a target level that triggers changes in water export rules. Models indicate it could take over 20 years to reach this level. If it is not achieved by 2020, the State Water Board will hold a hearing to consider the condition of Mono Lake and determine if further license revisions are appropriate.

Management level: 6392'
Once the 6391' target is achieved, the water export rules change in order to maintain a long-term average lake elevation—or "management level"—of 6392'. It is anticipated that this level will maintain a healthy lake ecosystem and provide protection for the basin's resources such as the quality of the air.


conditions snapshot link

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