Beginning June 3, 2019, and ending on approximately August 31, 2019 , United Water Conservation District will conduct a water release from the Santa Felicia Dam located at Lake Piru. The District will provide access to whitewater boaters downstream of the dam only on Saturdays and Sundays, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. when the rate of release is above 200 cubic feet per second (cfs). Access will not be permitted without a reservation, which must be made at least 42 hours in advance of the requested put-in time. The first opportunity for whitewater boating will be Saturday, June 8, 2019 and Sunday, June 9, 2019. Below is an anticipated schedule for this year's water conservation release.
Boaters will be escorted by shuttle from the parking lot on Piru Canyon Road, at the entrance to Santa Felicia Dam, to the put-in site on Piru Creek. Boaters are responsible for getting themselves and their gear back to their vehicle from any take-out point along Piru Creek. Boaters will not be allowed access through United Water Conservation District property to Piru Creek without advance reservation and a signed waiver form.
Whitewater boating is inherently dangerous and can lead to bodily injury and injury to property. Inclement weather and water conditions may contribute to the danger. Piru Creek may contain natural and artificial hazards, such as submerged and exposed trees, fences and wires. Measuring instruments may also have been installed in multiple locations on steelhead habitat. Although such instruments have been flagged where possible, some may be submerged in the creek and may pose a hazard. Whitewater boaters accessing Piru Creek from District property must sign a waiver form.
The Santa Felicia Dam was constructed to create the Lake Piru Reservoir with the capacity to store more than 100,000 acre-feet of winter runoff from Piru Creek and its tributaries. Its purpose is to recharge groundwater basins. Each fall, United Water Conservation District releases water from the Santa Felicia Dam down Piru Creek and into the Santa Clara River where it replenishes the Piru, Fillmore and Santa Paula groundwater basins. Some of the water reaches the Freeman Diversion Facility in the Saticoy where a portion is used to recharge groundwater basins in the Oxnard plains.
Whitewater boaters wanting more information about access to Piru Creek downstream of the Dam can call United Water Conservation District at 805-317-8990 or 805-525-4431 or email Clayton Strahan.