Lake Casitas, California

Lake Casitas

Lake Casitas is a lake in Ventura County, California. It was formed by Casitas Dam on Coyote Creek, two miles (3 km) before it joins the Ventura River. Santa Ana Creek and North Fork Coyote Creek also flow into the lake. The dam was constructed of earth-fill and was completed in 1959. It is 279 feet (85 m) tall and was built by the United States Bureau of Reclamation. The lake has a capacity of 254,000 acre feet (313,000,000 m³). The dam was built as part of the Ventura River Project. The project provides drinking water and water for irrigation. A secondary benefit is flood control.

Human contact with the water is prohibited since it is used for drinking water, but fishing, boating and camping are permitted. During the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Lake Casitas hosted the canoeing and rowing events.


Lake Casitas has a prolific and aggressive Yellow jacket population. Swarms are drawn towards any food, particularly apple juice. Stinging can be avoided by conducting all picnic and camping activities inside a screened tent during daylight hours. Special traps are available for capturing many species of these insects.


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