Lakes & Reservoirs
Castaic Lake and Lagoon, part of the Castaic Lake State Recreation Area, provide emergency storage in the event of a shutdown of the SWP to the north. Castaic Lagoon serves as a recharge basin for downstream water and is primarily for recreation.There are several launch ramps on the lake and the lagoon, as well as campsites for tent and RV camping. Water skiing, sailing, picnicking, personal watercraft, and sailing are allowed on the upper lake. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll enjoy being able to drive a few minutes away from downtown Los Angeles and into the woods.
Lake del Valle provides regulatory storage for South Bay Aqueduct, flood control for Alameda Creek, fish and wildlife enhancement, and recreation. Operated by East Bay Regional Park District as part of Lake Del Valle Regional Park, it's located just 10 minutes from downtown Livermore. Visitors to Lake del Valle can enjoy swimming, boating, camping, picnicking, interpretive tours, bicycle trails, and a visitors center.
Lake Oroville, located roughly 75 miles north of Sacramento and 100 miles south of Redding in Northern California, sits behind the tallest dam in the United States. The lake has more than 167 miles of shoreline and offers camping, picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, sail and power boating, water-skiing, fishing, and swimming. It's a favorite destination for thousands of visitors each year.
California State Parks manages the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. Their website contains up-to-date information on weather, launch ramps, and other activities at the lake. You can make camping reservations, including for the floating campsites, at ReserveCalifornia.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife operates the nearby Feather River Fish Hatchery and Oroville Wildlife Area. The hatchery website provides information on visiting hours and fish raised there. The wildlife area website contains information on recreation, hunting, and history of the area. To inquire about a tour of the hatchery, call our Oroville Field Division at (530) 534-2306.
Along with State Parks, we operate the Lake Oroville Visitors Center (also known as Kelly Ridge Visitors Center). It features interpretive displays, an audio visual room with on-request videos, and a 47-foot viewing tower overlooking the dam and lake.
Learn More About Lake Oroville
In addition to providing water to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Lake Perris also serves as a backdrop for movies and television shows and is one of the most popular recreation lakes along the SWP.Part of the Lake Perris State Recreation Area, it offers a wealth of recreational experiences, including sailing, power boating, water skiing, waterboarding, sailboarding, and fishing. Nonwater recreation includes horseback riding, picnicking, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, and camping. There's also a visitors center. Reserve a campsite at ReserveCalifornia.
Pyramid Lake, located in the Angeles National Forest, provides storage for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Castaic Powerplant, and recreation for boaters, swimmers, picnickers, and anglers. The lake is stocked regularly by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and at times there are trophy-sized trout planted in the lake for trophy fishing tournaments. View the Fish Planting Schedule.
Pyramid Lake also has campgrounds, including several reachable only by boat. These make an excellent way to truly enjoy the outdoors without any neighbors; the spots must be reserved in advance at (661) 295-7155. Book additional campsites through Recreation.gov.
Recently, Pyramid Lake became “infested waters” with the quagga mussel. Consequently, boats must be inspected before entering the lake to reduce the spread of this invasive species. Exiting boats should be cleaned, drained, and dried and will not receive a yellow band indicating it was in non-infested waters. For more information on avoiding the spread of quagga mussels, visit the California Department of Boating and Waterways and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.The Vista Del Lago Visitors Center is located nearby off Interstate 5. The center is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays) and admission is free.
Quail Lake is in the Tejon Ranch area of western Antelope Valley in the middle of prime fish and wildlife habitat. Located 45 miles from Lancaster and 70 miles from downtown Los Angeles, Quail Lake is a noncontact reservoir, meaning activities such as swimming, boating, and sailboarding are not allowed.
However, you can fish along the 3 miles of shoreline. The lake's variety of fish include striped bass, channel catfish, blackfish, tule perch, threadfin shad, and hitch. Many birds migrate to and from the lake so consider bringing binoculars. Hiking is also permitted.Quail Lake was originally a pond created by movement along the San Andreas fault. We enlarged the lake to move water safely across the fault. For more information about recreation at Quail Lake, contact our Southern Field Division at (661) 294-0219.
The largest off-stream reservoir in the United States, San Luis Reservoir not only serves both the SWP and federal Central Valley Project, but also offers some of the best fishing in the state.We operate the Romero Overlook Visitors Center , just off Highway 152, overlooking the reservoir. It's open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays) and admission is free.
Silverwood Lake is located in the San Gabrielle mountains, away from the hustle and bustle of southern California. With 4 campgrounds, 2 swim beaches, 3 day-use areas, and a marina where visitors can either rent a boat or launch their own, the lake has plenty for everyone.
The upper Feather River lakes - Davis, Frenchman, and Antelope - were the first lakes built as part of the SWP. Operated by the U.S. Forest Service, the lakes are situated in heavily-wooded Plumas County and provide traditional style recreation. All 3 lakes have excellent fishing, camping, and boating in relatively tranquil and uncrowded settings. You can make campground reservations by calling (877) 444-6777 or online at Recreation.gov.
- Antelope Lake is the most remote lake in the SWP. At 5,000 feet in elevation, it has 15 miles of shoreline and closes in the winter due to snow. It has 4 campgrounds that can accommodate RVs and 1 group campground.
- Lake Davis is 7 miles north of the town of Portola. There are 3 campgrounds around the lake and recreation includes boating, fishing, hunting, swimming, and wildlife viewing. Strong winds can come up suddenly, making the lake hazardous for small craft.
- Frenchman Lake is 26 miles from the town of Portola and 38 miles northwest of Reno, Nevada. It was the first lake created for the SWP in 1962, has 21 miles of shoreline, and a 129-foot-tall earthen dam. With 5 campgrounds and 2 boat launches, you can enjoy a variety of water-based recreation in a wooded setting.