Welcome to the Castle Lake Environmental Research and Education Program (CLEREP), North and South America's oldest, continuous mountain lake environmental program. For over 52 years we have been conducting basic and applied research and educating people about the importance of mountain environments. Our long-term data collection provides critical information related to the linkages between climate change and lake ecology. Located in a remote but accessible part of Northern California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest, our field station is a small, primarily solar powered cabin, with a simple laboratory, an ideal location for student learning and research related to problems facing our lakes today. Interested in learning more about what we do, donating, or joining us in our mission to educate people about small lake environments? Please contact us!
CLEREP’s primary research facility and base of field operations is a small research station, on the western shore of Castle Lake. Constructed in 1967, the Castle Lake Research Station was designed to provide field-based laboratory space and living accommodations for researchers and students. Included within the station floor plan are a living and kitchen space, bathroom with shower, office space, and fully functional laboratory. Although Castle Lake can be reached by car, the station is located on a woodsy point approximately 400 meters from the parking lot and accessible only by non-motorized boat or on foot via a developed but rugged trail.
Castle Lake is situated at 5400 ft (1646 m) above sea level, in a pristine but accessible area of Northern California’s Siskiyou Mountains. The Lake, formed in a glacial cirque, is the largest (by volume) of the 25 alpine and sub-alpine lakes within the larger Upper Sacramento River Watershed. This complex of lakes distinguishes the Upper Sacramento River watershed from the predominantly spring and precipitation fed McCloud and Pit Rivers, which, along with the Upper Sac constitute the main inputs to Lake Shasta, California’s largest reservoir. The largest of the three tributaries to Lake Shasta, the Upper Sacramento River is a critical water source for California and supports a large and diverse pool of state resources.