Deer Creek Reservoir is the principle feature of the Provo River Project and was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation in the late 1930s. Because of desperate water shortages along the Wasatch Front, the reservoir was approved by congress in 1935. Construction started in the spring of 1938 and was finished 17 years later in 1955, although water was available for use as early as 1941. Under contract with the BOR, the Provo River Water Users Association agreed to repay the construction costs of the project as well as operate and maintain the facilities. Under early administration of the reservoir, water sports were prohibited on the lake and it was used primarily for fishing. In January 1971, a cooperative agreement was signed delegating the division of Parks and Recreation the responsibility for the administration, development and operation of recreational use on the reservoir and adjoining state lands. Deer Creek State Park was established, and at this time the parks board opened the lake to other recreational uses and programmed expenditures for capital improvements.