Lake County Information
Lake County is conveniently located about two hours driving time from both the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sacramento metropolitan area. Approximately 110 road miles north of San Francisco, 100 road miles northwest of Sacramento and 80 miles east of the Pacific Coast, Lake County is bordered by Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Glenn, Colusa and Yolo Counties.
The region enjoys year-round moderate temperatures and rainfall, as well as excellent air quality (the cleanest in the state!). Average temperatures range from a low of 32 degrees and a high of 60 degrees during the months of January through March, to a low of 57 degrees and high of 95 degrees July through September. The average yearly rainfall measures 25 inches in the Clear Lake basin to almost 60 inches in the Cobb Mountain area.
(County) Naturally endowed with scenic mountains, the largest natural fresh water lake in California, several other lakes and reservoirs and forestlands teeming with wildlife, Lake County covers an area of 803,840 acres or 1,261 square miles.
Clear Lake is California’s largest natural lake with 43,785 surface acres and is a capacity of 1,155,000 acre feet, and is possibly North America’s oldest lake, dating back some 2.5 million years. The lake elevation is 1,326 feet, has depths up to 60 feet with an average of 28 feet, an average temperature of 61 degrees, infrequent fog and the prevailing winds are mild westerlies. Fishing season is 365 days a year with species including bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill (the lake record bass is 17.52 lbs.)
The Department of Finance estimates 55,600 people reside in Lake County, with 12,400 living in the City of Clearlake, 4,720 living in the City of Lakeport and 39,350 living in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Elevations in the county range from 1,326 feet in the Clear Lake basin to 7,056 feet at the peak of Snow Mt. in the Mendocino National Forest, located in the northwest area of the county. Mount Konocti, on the southwest shore of Clear Lake, reaches 4,300 feet. Cobb Mountain in the southwest area of the county is at an elevation of 4,722 feet.
General Law governs Lake County. A five person Board of Supervisors oversees the workings of the county government offices. The City of Lakeport, on the west shore of Clear Lake, is the county seat and the oldest (incorporated in 1888) of the two cities. The city of Clearlake, on the south shore of Clear Lake, was incorporated in 1980.
Lake County has an average labor force (in 1994) of approximately 23,980, with 21,170 employed and 2,810 unemployed for an average unemployment rate of 11.7%.
The county’s total number of homes exceeds 31,600 as of January 1, 1996 with 19,245 single-family detached units, 1,952 multi-family units and approximately 10,416 mobile homes.
Dial-A-Ride service is available 1n both cities, as are transit lines for the developmentally disabled and senior citizens. Greyhound service to San Francisco is offered daily. Truck service and overnight delivery to western states is provided by local businesses. State Highway 29 runs through the county south to Napa and Vallejo. State Highway 175 links Lake County with US 101 to the west. State Highway 20 runs east and west through the county eventually linking Interstate 5 east of Lake County and US 101 to the west. One airport is located in the county and maintained by the county. Lampson Field is located south of Lakeport. It has a paved, lighted runway, fixed base operation, auto rental, fuel and servicing provisions. In addition, seaplanes are allowed to land on Clear Lake.
There are twelve elementary schools, five middle schools, six high schools, five continuation high schools and one independent study school in seven school districts in Lake County. The Lake County Office of Education oversees the seven districts. There are also two community colleges – Mendocino College and Yuba College – that offer classes at their centers located in Lakeport and Clearlake, respectively.
Community Hospitals are conveniently located in the north and south regions of Lake County. Both Sutter Lakeside Hospital in Lakeport and Redbud Community Hospital in Clearlake offer 24-hour emergency care. Sutter Lakeside also just opened their brand new birthing center. Several skilled nursing facilities and convalescent care homes are also located in the area, and the Lake County Health Department conducts public health clinics monthly at various locations throughout the county.
Major industries in the region include agriculture, tourism, health services, business services, retail sales, geothermal development, gold mining and light manufacturing.
Available utilities include electricity (Pacific Gas & Electric Co.), telephone (Pacific Bell is the local carrier), cable television and propane. Water is supplied by special district, mutual or privately owned companies. The City of Lakeport supplies water and sewer services to its residents. Sewer system districts are in place around Clear Lake and in the incorporated cities. On-site septic systems are used in outlying areas.
Fire protection is furnished by local special Lake County Districts, the California Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service. Law Enforcement is provided by the County Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol, and the Lakeport and Clearlake City Police Departments.
Three local newspapers are published in Lake County. The Clear Lake Observer-American is published two days a week; the Lake County Record-Bee is published five days each week; and the Middletown Times Star is a weekly. Many residents also subscribe to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and the Ukiah Daily Journal, both dailies. Radio stations include KNTI (99.5 FM) and KXBX (98.3 FM & 1270 AM) out of Lakeport, and KQPM (105.9 FM), KUKI (103.3 FM & 1400 AM), and KWNE (94.5 FM) of Ukiah. Lake County Television (LCTV) is the only local broadcaster, and Mediacom provides cable television services.
Lampson Field, located just south of Lakeport, has a runway length of 3,600 feet, runway width of 60 feet, displaced threshold of 85 feet and a 12,500 lbs. weight limit for any aircraft. Airport elevation: 1,380 feet MSL. Airplane fuel: 80 & 100 Octane. Airplane tie-downs: 15 (nominal county fee).