Derby Diversion Dam
"I think the largest fish I've ever caught in the Truckee River was around this spot, about a quarter mile south of this dam. The lower Truckee Is crowned with lots of slackwater, ideal for big bruiser Brown Trout, Carp, and Catfish. For as long as I can remember, this marker has always stood here, and although I've acknowledged it in the past, reading its text was never a part of my interest. Needless to say, that has changed. #43, a hidden little marker right off the interstate, records an important event that single-handedly allowed commercial agriculture to the Silver State. What's funny is that while this marker praises the Newlands Reclamation Project, it fails to acknowledge its life-altering impact on Pyramid Lake to the north, specifically, the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, Nevada's State Fish. After diversions began here on the river to send water eastward to the Lahontan Valley, lake levels at Pyramid began to recede, so much in fact that Pyramid's native fish population was wiped out. Gone. Kaput. What took eons to evolve, man had destroyed within a year. It's only after re-introduction of Lahontan Cutthroat from Walker Lake that this endangered fish species was saved and the great fishery continues (better than ever) at Pyramid Lake. As an angler, my allegiance stands against Newlands. As an historian, however ... my allegiance is torn, commanding steadfast neutrality." -- Journal Entry, August 2007
Original Date Visited: 8/14/07
Notes: Finding this marker can be a bit tricky. Leave the interstate at Exit 36 and turn right (westbound) onto a very discreet frontage road that hugs the freeway. Proceed 1 mile to the marker on your left. From here, more adventure awaits you! The frontage road loses pavement just past the marker and makes a swift left underneath the railroad tracks to access the dam itself. The road is extremely rough and not worth the trouble since visitors cannot access the dam anyway. Keep in mind that at least a dozen exits in the Truckee River Canyon are there for a reason. Use them to find some very pretty and secluded points along the river!
Currently Missing -- Last Seen: January 2011
Updates will be posted once I have more information. As always, my search will continue as diligent as ever. In the meantime, pay your respects to this sudden murder should you visit this neck of the woods Until then, if you happen to find out any information in regards to this case, please let me know so I can update this information with full credit given to you!
Derby Dam, constructed under specification Number 1 and Drawing 1 of the U.S. Reclamation Service, now the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, diverts the flow of the Truckee River for irrigation use. It was the forerunner of such mighty structures as Hoover, Grand Coulee, Shasta and Glen Canyon Dams.
Derby Dam was authorized by Secretary of the Interior E.A. Hitchcock on March 11, 1903. It is part of the Newlands Project, named in honor of Nevada Senator Francis G. Newlands who worked for passage of the reclamation laws in 1902. Derby takes it name from a nearby Southern Pacific Railroad station of the day.
Charles A. Warren & Co. of San Francisco, the contractor, started work on the dam on October 2, 1903 and finished May 20, 1905. Operational water diversions began in 1906.
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