Drought May Close Lake to Swimmers

The lower lake at Castaic, used by nearly 200,000 carloads of bathers every year, may have to be closed for swimming this summer because of dropping water levels caused by the drought, county officials said Thursday.

Boating on the larger, upper lake also was restricted this week and could be cut back even more dramatically during the dry summer months, said Brian Roney, assistant superintendent of parks for the Castaic Recreation Area. Starting this weekend, only 350 boats will be allowed instead of the usual 500. Only 50 jet skis will be permitted, down from 75.

“A lot of people are surprised, shocked,” Roney said.

The county’s only remaining hope of operating at full potential through the peak season is additional water from the State Water Project, which controls the water flow into the area because the larger lake doubles as a reservoir.


But state water authorities said the lower lake is particularly unlikely to receive water because it is not connected to a usable water source.