Many geographic features in California were named directly or indirectly after the coyote. The Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza named the river Arroyo del Coyote after coyotes seen during his journey. The Coyote Reservoir is located on the former Rancho San Ysidro, a cattle ranch that belonged to Ygnacio Ortega in the early 1800s. Coyote Dam and Reservoir is one of original six reservoirs approved for construction by voters in May 1934. Construction of the dams began in 1934, after the PWA approved a grant for $673,000. Its capacity is 23,244 acre-feet of water. Its surface area is 635 acres*.
*Reservoir storage values have been updated to reflect recent survey results.