Lake Piru was created in 1955 with construction of the Santa Felicia Dam. Santa Felicia Dam can store more than 88,000 acre-feet of winter runoff from the Piru Creek watershed. This water is then released into Piru Creek and flows to the Santa Clara River where it is joined by runoff from Sespe and Santa Paula Creeks. This runoff is used to replenish underground aquifers, and is made available to municipalities, industry, and agriculture.
Hydroelectric power generation and regulatory compliance
Infrastructure of the Santa Felicia Dam provides hydroelectric power generation, and therefore, the Santa Felicia Project is regulated by a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the Federal Powers Act. The FERC license has various terms and conditions that United Water Conservation District must satisfy to remain in compliance with state and federal regulations. Some of the requirements are associated with structural engineering, water quality, and public safety, others pertain to management of biological and land resources, and recreational opportunities and facilities.
The following management, monitoring, and study plans were developed in accordance with the requirements of the FERC license for the Santa Felicia Project. The plans were developed in consultation with the appropriate federal and/or state resource agency or agencies (including, but not limited to, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Water Resources Control Board, California State Parks, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner) and have been approved, and in some cases modified, by FERC. Additional plans have been drafted and are under review. Plan documents can be accessed (available below) after they are finalized and receive approval by FERC.
FERC license and approved resource management plans
- Arroyo Toad Protection Plan (ATPP)
- FERC Order Approving ATPP
- Annual Monitoring Reports
- 2012 Combined Report: Revised Lower Piru Creek Herpetological Monitoring Plan and Arroyo Toad Protection Plan
- 2013 Combined Report: Revised Lower Piru Creek Herpetological Monitoring Plan and Arroyo Toad Protection Plan
- 2014 Combined Report: Revised Lower Piru Creek Herpetological Monitoring Plan and Arroyo Toad Protection Plan
- 2015 Combined Report: Revised Lower Piru Creek Herpetological Monitoring Plan and Arroyo Toad Protection Plan
- Plan for the Empirical Determination of the Relationship Between Discharge, Depth, and Velocity in Lower Piru Creek (Empirical Study Plan)
- Santa Felicia Dam Fish Passage Feasibility Assessment Study Plan (Passage Feasibility Study Plan)
- Study Plan to Characterize Geomorphic Effects of Santa Felicia Dam on Lower Piru Creek (Geomorphic Effects Study Plan)
- Revised Lower Piru Creek Herpetological Monitoring Plan
- Order Approving Revised Herpetological Monitoring Plan
- Annual Monitoring Reports
- Land Resource Management Plan
- Spoil Management, Erosion, and Sediment Control Plan
- Vegetation and Noxious Weed Management Plan
- FERC Order Modifying and Approving Vegetation and Noxious Weed Management Plan
- Annual Reports
- Water Release and Ramping Rate Implementation Plan (Implementation Plan)
- Santa Felicia Water Release Plan
- Santa Felicia Whitewater Boating Access Plan
- Santa Felicia Project Recreation Trail Plan (pending FERC review and approval)
Lake Piru is a popular recreation area for people from miles around. The lake is ideal for water sports, such as swimming, sailing, water skiing, and fishing. United's relaxing campgrounds offer water and electrical hook- ups for recreational vehicles at reasonable rates. Recreational users also appreciate the full- service marina and snack bar.
For more information on the recreational opportunities available at Lake Piru please click here. For more details please contact the Lake Piru Recreation Area at (805) 521-1500.