Environment

Santa Ynez River moves again after recent rains

Inflow to Cachuma Lake will take bigger storms

(photo: John Palminteri)

Santa Ynez Valley, Calif. - The Santa Ynez River is moving again after a long drought dry spell, but the in flow is not expected to help Cachuma Lake without more winter storms in the area.

There are several crossings along Paradise Road where the water is moving. They include the main crossing into the lower Oso and Red Rock camping areas.  Signs are posted to keep the public and their vehicles out.  The area has a coating of mud and ripped out river shrubs.

A mixed amount of rain has been falling since January 1.   Some of it has been enhanced by the Santa Barbara County cloud seeding program.

Cachuma Lake is still about 91 percent below where it was in April of 2011 when it was full.

Those who have been watching the lake and the river over the recent drought dry years say they are excited to see the water flow but say the hills are still soaking up the water for now and there's no clear runoff or waterfalls in the usual spots that they have seen over the years. 

A few more large storms and that will likely change.

Earlier this year the Rey fire burned in the area, and those hills appear to be holding up without mud flows.


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