Eagle Lake, off-channel from the Colorado River near the town of Eagle Lake in eastern Colorado County (at 29°34' N, 96°20' W), is supposed to have been named from an Indian legend of a young girl who chose between two suitors by having them cross the lake, climb a tree, and return with a young eagle. The Eagle Lake project was first owned by William Dunovant, then by Rineyard-Walker and Company, and later by Eagle Lake Rice Irrigation Company, which became Lakeside Irrigation Company. The project was begun in 1899 and completed in 1900, with impoundment beginning in that year. Water was diverted for the irrigation season of 1900. Eagle Lake has a capacity of 9,600 acre-feet and a surface area of 1,200 acres at an elevation of 170 feet above mean sea level. The earthfill Eagle Lake Dam is 5,300 feet long. The lake stores water diverted from the Colorado River when excess flood flows occur. The early pumps were rope-driven by Corlis steam engines. They were later replaced by modern electric pumps that lift water from the Colorado River to a canal system that supplies water to the lake or directly to the land to be irrigated. The drainage area of the lake is twenty square miles, but the area is relatively unimportant as a water supply source.