Corps postpones public meetings in Lake Isabella and Kernville

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District
Published March 17, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District has postponed two public scoping meetings originally scheduled for March 18 and 19, 2020, in Lake Isabella and Kernville.

The decision follows the California governor’s State of Emergency declaration to address the global COVID-19 outbreak. It is intended to help protect the health and welfare of all participants and to help reduce the risk of infection and spread of the Coronavirus.

The meetings were scheduled to collect public input on development of a permanent U.S. Forest Service visitor center as part of the Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project and will be rescheduled as soon as safely practicable. USACE will provide notification of the new dates, when available, via public and media outreach.

Public input remains an important aspect of the dam modification project, and will still be collected as part of the visitor center site selection process, however, public safety endures as the Corps' number one priority and postponement of these meetings is the appropriate and responsible decision at this time.

Completed in 1953, Isabella Lake Dam is located approximately 40 miles northeast of Bakersfield. The reservoir is impounded by two earthen dams on the Kern River and Hot Springs Valley. Today, Isabella Lake and its dams reduce flood risk for Bakersfield and the surrounding region, and is a primary water source for water users throughout Kern County. The Isabella Lake Dam Safety Modification Project will address overtopping, seismic, and seepage issues identified with Isabella Lake’s main and auxiliary dams to reduce the likelihood of dam failure. Construction of the dam modifications began in 2017 and is estimated to be completed by the end of 2022.

For more information on the Lake Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project, visit

Rick Brown

Release no. 20-007