Construction of Rye Patch Dam began in 1935 and was completed the following year. The 75-foot-high, earth-filled dam was built to control floods on the Humboldt River and provide more dependable irrigation for agricultural land. Rye Patch visitors enjoy camping, picnicking, fishing and water-skiing at the recreation area’s 22-mile long reservoir on the Humboldt River just west of Interstate 80, between Lovelock and Winnemucca. The reservoir has 72 miles of shoreline and 11,000 acres of water surface when full.

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