Lakes and reservoirs
Besides its many rivers, northern California boasts sources of fresh water in mountain lakes, such as Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada range, and in reservoirs, such as Lake Shasta — the largest reservoir in California — near Redding.
Until the end of the 19th century, California's Central Valley boasted the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, Tulare Lake (pronounced tooLAIRee). At its largest, Tulare Lake probably covered 760 square miles (four times the size of Lake Tahoe). It was a rich source of freshwater fish, turtles, and frogs, many of which were consumed in the restaurants of San Francisco. The lake was drained for farmland during the mid-1800s.