Home » Santa Clarita News » Community News » Castaic, Pyramid Lakes Release Water Due To Winter Operations Plan
An aerial drone view shows Castaic Lagoon, dam, auxiliary spillway, stream release chute, which are part of the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area in Los Angeles County, California. Photo taken November 5, 2019. Florence Low / California Department of Water Resources, FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Castaic, Pyramid Lakes Release Water Due To Winter Operations Plan

The Castaic Creek is full due to the recent storms and Castaic and Pyramid Lakes releasing water, but why?     

The Department of Water Resources is operating their Winter Operations Plan whereby they reduce storage in both Pyramid and Castaic Lakes between Jan. 1 and can be as early as Dec. 15 until the end Feb. but can also be as late as the end of March.

The Winter Operations is to ensure that they do not use the emergency spillway at  Pyramid and Castaic Lakes in a 100 year event, according to officials.

The Department of Water Resources has been operating the Winter Operations Plan since winter of 2018, according to officials.

The lake is currently above the maximum elevN/Storage levels so the releases are to ensure they can ultimately get back to the desired level, officials said.

Comparatively in April 2023, Castaic Lake’s water levels rose to 96 percent of its total capacity, according to State Water Project officials.

The water level showed a significant increase from 2022 when the lake water levels were lowered to 34 percent total capacity artificially for routine maintenance.

These levels at the time were also partially influenced by the artificial lowering of water levels by 100 feet in late 2021 due to construction on the Castaic Dam Tower Bridge Pier.

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Castaic, Pyramid Lakes Release Water Due To Winter Operations Plan


  1. You guys really need to ask more questions for your articles.

    What is the desired level? 50% of full? 60%? 85%?

    What if there isn’t anymore rain this year? And if not, why not wait to release water closer to the date of a known storm?

  2. Castaic and Pyramid Lakes both hold Aqueduct water. Pyramid Lake releases water into Piru Creek, and Not Castaic Creek. Releases from Castaic Lake flow down Castaic Creek onto the Santa Clara River.
    The two comingle near Piru where Piru Creek joins the SC River.
    State Water Project water does not flow down those creeks. There are pipes between Pyramid and Castaic Lakes.
    The releases are excess water not destined to come out taps.

  3. What’s wrong with the water going over the spillway at Castaic? Does something get worn out? I’m pretty certain I watched the water flow over it in 2023. It was kinda cool to see.

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About Dani Gallegos

Dani Gallegos has grown up living in Santa Clarita her whole life. She went to LA Baptist high school and attended The Masters University for college majoring in communications and graduating in May of 2022. Dani loves to write about news and other things. In her spare time she enjoys reading and spending time with her dog and trying new places to eat.