Piru Creek

Piru Creek is a large stream in Northern Los Angeles County and Eastern Ventura County, California. It is a tributary of the Santa Clara River, the largest stream system in Southern California that is still relatively natural. It drains an area of about convert|497|sqmi|km2 and is about convert|50|mi|km long.

The creek's headwaters are in Lockwood Valley, an upland basin in the southern section of the Los Padres National Forest about convert|5200|ft|m above sea level. The river flows south into Pyramid Lake, formed by Pyramid Dam. The lake stores water from the California Aqueduct, which continues in a pipeline from Pyramid Lake to Castaic Lake. The lake is also the upper reservoir in a pumped-storage hydroelectric system. The lower reservoir being Castaic Lake. Downstream from Pyramid Dam, the creek meanders south until it reaches Lake Piru, which is formed by Santa Felicia Dam. The dam was built by United Water Conservation District, which provides flood storage for seasonal groundwater recharge. Downstream of the dam, the creek flows roughly south to its confluence with the Santa Clara River, just south of the town of Piru. Below Pyramid Dam, flows are mostly controlled by releases from the two lakes, though an effort is made to simulate natural flows.

Piru Creek is also a hot spot for trout fisherman year round as it contains both wild and hatchery raised rainbow trout. The fishing is generally good all year, but the best fishing can be found from January to April using a variety of baits including nightcrawlers, artificially sented trout doughs and metal lures.

Below Pyramid Dam, there is an old flooded section of Highway 99 that creates a little convert|15|ft|m|sing=on waterfall. This is the uppermost limit of natural fish spawning on Piru Creek.

References

* [http://www.lake-piru.org/ Lake Piru]
* [http://www.friendsoftheriver.org/site/PageServer?pagename=FORCalRiversPiruCreek Friends of the River]
* [http://wwwoandm.water.ca.gov/pirucreek/pirucreek.cfm California Department of Water Resources]
* [http://www.wrpinfo.scc.ca.gov/watersheds/sc/sc_subprofiles.html Southern California Coastal Watershed Inventory]

*Waterfalls of Southern and Central California, Chris Shaffer, 1997


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