Eastman Lake

H.V. Eastman Lake lies in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in central California, about an hour’s drive north of Fresno, California. 

H.V. Eastman Lake was created when Buchanan Dam first began storing waters of the Chowchilla River in 1976.  The dam is an earth and rockfill structure 205 feet high and 1,800 feet in length.  At maximum capacity, the lake has 1,780 surface acres and stores 150,000-acre feet of water.  At 600’ elevation, summers are warm, and the winters are mild, allowing for year-round recreation. 

Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, irrigation, recreation and wildlife management, H.V. Eastman Lake is both a functional as well as beautiful, family friendly park. 

Located in central California, the Eastman Lake is 23 miles northeast of Chowchilla. View Map

Mailing Address:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
H.V. Eastman Lake
P.O. Box 67
Raymond, CA 93653-0067

FAX 559-689-3408


Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

From Chowchilla, follow Avenue 26 east to Road 29. Turn left and follow Road 29 north to Eastman Lake.

  Current Status  

All day use facilities, campgrounds and the project office are open to the public.   

Camping reservations can be made now through Recreation.gov.

 Recreation Area Services Status

  Recreation Area Info & Fees  

There is a cumulative limit of 25 pan fish. Whether you are a beginner or an old pro, the lake offers a challenging fishing opportunity. Species include largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Rainbow trout are planted during the winter months. Taking carp by bow and arrow or spearfishing is permitted.

Hunting is permitted by archery and shotgun only. No rifles, air guns, slingshots, or other projectile devices are allowed. Hunting is permitted year-round in the Wildlife Management Area and above Raymond Bridge. Lakeview Trail is open to hunting August 1 to 30 November. All California Department of Fish and Wildlife hunting regulations apply.

 Hunting & Fishing Info

Historical Information:
The Yokut and Miwok tribes once claimed this area as their home. Evidence of their presence in the area is still evident, mostly in the form of mortar and metate areas, where they ground acorns for food. Also of historical interest is a monument to the Town of Buchanan located along the entrance road. This once thriving copper town now exists only in legend and a few tattered photos.

  Camping Reservations 
  Fun & Games for Kids
  Additional Information

Please help us make everyone's visit enjoyable by:

  • Watching children closely when around water.
  • Keeping your pets on a leash at all times.
  • Keeping fires confined to grills and pits and using only dead and down wood.
  • Maintaining quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Operating vehicles only on designated roads and parking areas provided.
  • Camping only in designated campsites.
  • Helping clean up litter and keeping a neat campsite.
  • Reporting safety hazards to project staff.
  • Reading the project rules, copies of which are posted throughout the facility.

All areas are patrolled by Corps of Engineers park rangers and deputies of the Madera County Sheriff's Department. If you need help, contact a park ranger or deputy sheriff, or dial 9-1-1.

Corps Recreation Across our Nation

Volunteer at a Corps Recreation Area

State Hunting & Fishing Regulations

Recreation on Federal Lands

Project Documents:
Rules and Regulations: Title 36 - Parks, Forests, and Public Property Chapter III - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Part 327 - Rules and regulations governing public use of Water Resources Development Projects administered by the Chief of Engineers.