Kayaking and Canoeing Now Allowed at Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County

Lake Cachuma, located in the Santa Ynez Valley, is an artificial lake created in 1953 for the Bradbury Dam.

If you're heading to a number of freshwater lakes in Southern California--say Casitas, Lopez, Piru or Santa Margarita--you're able to go kayaking or canoeing. But for Lake Cachuma, the only freshwater lake in Santa Barbara County, that has not been the case. At least until now.

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On Saturday, after the county changed its rules, kayaking and canoeing on the 3,100-acre body of water (it has 42 miles of coastline) is no longer verboten. Boating was already allowed; swimming, however, is still not--that change basically would take an act of the legislature--but incidental contact, such as accidentally falling into the water, is okay.

Visitors bringing their own kayak or canoe must pay a $5 launch fee, in addition to entry fees, and pass an inspection for Quagga Mussel and other aquatic nuisance species. Rentals are also available, starting at $10 for the first hour.

The top photo used on this post is by Flickr user visualthinker. It was used under a Creative Commons License. The other two photos were provided by Santa Barbara County Parks.

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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