Lake Management, MWD Big Bear

Lake Management, MWD Big Bear Municipal Water District manages Big Bear Lake, an alpine lake located at an elevation of 6,743 in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California. Big Bear Lake was created in 1884 with the construction of the first Bear Valley Dam. This Dam was replaced in 1912 with a new Dam, located about 100 yards downstream. The new Dam impounds more than 73,000 acre-feet of water with a height of 72’4”.

The Municipal Water District (MWD) was formed in 1964. The primary goal of the MWD is the stabilization of Big Bear Lake at as constant a water level as possible. A more consistent Lake level increases recreational opportunities, stabilizes property values, and supports a healthier fish and wildlife environment. Lake releases to Bear Valley Mutual Water Company (they own the Bear Creek water rights) and Bear Creek fishery are made through the outlet works located near the bottom of the downstream side of the dam. The lake is not a source of water for the local water supply. The only water taken from the Lake is by the two local ski areas for making artificial snow. They may each purchase up to 500-acre ft. per ski season.

Mike Stephenson is the current General Manager, James Bellis is Lake Analyst, Tim Bowman is Facilities Manager and there is a 5 member Board of Directors. Lake management includes Lake Patrol services, Lake use permits, Private dock licensing, Boating safety education, Management of special events on the Lake, Oversight of private marina permits, Operation of public launch ramps.

Phone: 909 866-5796


Monday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Location & Directions

40524 Lakeview Drive Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

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Contact Us

(909) 866-5796