Clear Lake is a city in Lake County inland in the North Coast region of California. It is located at the southern end of Clear Lake.
At one time Clear Lake was even bigger than it is now, and included the Blue Lakes (to the northwest of Clear Lake). Volcanic eruptions and subsequent landslides changed the landscape dramatically, forever separating Clear Lake from the Blue Lakes and from its former westward drainage into the Russian River.
The Clear Lake basin attracts large quantities of waterfowl, including mallards, Western grebe, coots, various species of goose, ospreys, plovers, mergansers and many others. Wild turkeys and black-tailed deer are abundant, as are opossums, red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, raccoons, and other species. The endangered northern spotted owl is seen occasionally. The county hosts a growing population of the rare tule elk, recently reintroduced after being locally hunted to extinction 100 years before. A large colony of bald eagles is found in the Cache Creek canyon.
In addition to the native Clear Lake hitch Lavinia exilicauda (called chi by the native Pomo), the lake hosts catfish, crappie, turtles, and other native fish species, as well as farmed largemouth bass, trout and carp placed by the Department of Fish and Game for sporting purposes. Lake waters host quantities of tule and other riparian plants commonly seen around California lakes, as well as the massive cyanobacteria blooms that peak in late summer.