TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Tempe Town Lake is celebrating 20 years of boating, fishing and more!

The lake's capacity is 977 million gallons and it's located in the heart of downtown Tempe. It is a 2-mile-long reservoir and covers 220 surface areas. Tempe Town Lake was officially opened to the public on Monday, Nov. 7, 1999.

[WATCH: A day on Tempe Town Lake as it celebrates 20 years]

The original concept for the lake was created in 1966 at Arizona State University.

The lake is easily accessible via local freeways, city streets and the local light rail. It is home to several events per year including Oktoberfest and concerts.

[READ MORE: Good Morning Arizona stories]

The water to keep the lake full comes from reclaimed water, recharge and recovery, and water exchanges. Water quality is maintained by keeping the water well mixed, proper aeration, and chemical controls. Thanks to a recovery system that pumps water back into the lake, the lake does not lose water to seepage. And evaporation costs the lake about the same amount of water used by two golf courses each year or consumed by a 1,000-acre alfalfa field. 


The lake is visited by millions every year. More than 2,000 rowers use Tempe Town Lake each year. Visitors can also sail, row a dragon boat or outrigger canoe with one of the many other boating clubs, or people may bring their own boats after purchasing a permit.

The Tempe Town Lake Marina includes five lanes of boat launches, boat storage, and a safe harbor. Many of Tempe's boating programs operate from Tempe Town Lake Marina and boat storage is available for a fee. You can learn more at tempe.gov/lake.


Tempe Town Lake is the ultimate fisher's getaway without actually having to getaway!

There are more than a dozen different types of fish stocked in the lake - largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel and flathead catfish, black crappie, rainbow trout, bluegill and yellow bass. Fishing is permitted with standard Arizona Fishing license.

Walking paths line both sides of the lake, providing easy access for fishing from the bank.

According to Tempe, the lake has one of the best catch rates in the state.


To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Tempe is throwing a birthday party with Zumba, zip lining and rock wall adventures, free live music and much more.

The event is free and will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Food and beverages will be available via food trucks on the north and south shores. The event will be alcohol-free.


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