ABSTRACT: The fate and effect of sodium chloride applied to Californian highways in the Lake Tahoe, Truckee River, and Yuba River watersheds were studied over a period of 14 months in 1974–75. Chloride levels in streams below major freeways were found to be elevated during the winter. The high chloride levels occurred after the application of salt to roads, decreasing as the time from application increases. Small lakes receiving runoff from major highways were also enriched with chloride. Several of these lakes displayed a temporary chemocline, which was sufficiently strong to stabilize a temperature inversion in one lake.