Lake Piru readies for a peaceful alcohol free summer

May 26, 2010
Santa Paula News

Visitors and employees can look forward to a relaxing and peaceful summer at Lake Piru.

This will be the first alcohol-free summer at the Lake Piru Recreation Area where campers, boaters and picnickers come to enjoy the lake, taking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

On January 1, 2010, United Water Conservation District implemented a ban on the consumption of alcohol at the lake. The Water District’s Board of Directors approved the ban to curtail the increasingly disruptive behavior experienced at the lake that accompanied the irresponsible use of alcohol on the part of some visitors. According to Mary Lindley, administrative services manager for the Water District, “The abusive use of alcohol led to a number of boating accidents and camper injuries and had a negative impact on other visitors, hurting the lake’s reputation. The Board took the action to ban alcohol to return the lake to the family-friendly park it has historically been.”  Clayton Strahan, supervising ranger at Lake Piru, reports that he has received a number of positive comments about the alcohol ban from visitors. “They appreciate the more relaxed atmosphere and quite evenings without the loud parties we experienced when alcohol was allowed.”

In addition to the more relaxed atmosphere, visitors to the Lake Piru Recreation Area will be greeted with improved boating, camping and day use facilities. The marina has new boat docks, with 84 boat slips, 18 more than the previous docks, expanding private boat slip rental opportunities.  Other recreation area improvements include a nine-hole Frisbee golf course, a recently upgraded and expanded menu at the Condor Point Snack Bar offering visitors variety of “east coast” food items, including fresh cut fries, Philly cheese steak, Italian sausage and pepper hoagies, as well as choose from a selection of vegetarian items.

The swim beach at the Juan Fernandez Boat Launch area is currently undergoing enhancement to enlarge the size of the beach, providing visitors more room to enjoy the sand, sun and water. Evening and day fishing tournaments have also been added to the list of activities at the lake. These tournaments include prizes and are open to the public.

Lake Piru Reservoir was created in 1955 when the Santa Felicia Dam was constructed north of the community of Piru. The lake has the capacity to store more than 84,000 acre-feet of winter runoff from Piru Creek and its tributaries. The water retained in the lake is released each fall to replenish groundwater aquifers along the Santa Clara River from Piru to the Oxnard Plain. Lake Piru hosts overnight camping, a day use picnic area, a marina and boat docks and a five-lane launch ramp. Boats are also available for rental.

Lake Piru is open all year. For additional information about hours, amenities and reservations at Lake Piru, please call 521-1500 or visit

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