Recent rule changes at Cachuma Lake will allow the use of kayaks and canoes for the first time. The new uses at the lake were considered to be compatible with current lake activities and an opportunity to expand the recreational experience at the lake.

The new rules allowing canoes and kayaks were approved by the county Board of Supervisors on March 15 and will take effect this Friday, April 15.

Lakes surrounding Cachuma already offer kayaking and canoeing, including Lake Casitas, Lake Lopez, Lake Nacimiento, Lake Piru and Santa Margarita Lake. Cachuma will be one of the only public freshwater kayaking and canoeing opportunities in Santa Barbara County.

“Adding the use of kayaks and canoes at Cachuma Lake is long overdue and will provide a wonderful opportunity for kids, fishermen and nature enthusiasts alike,” county Supervisor Doreen Farr said. “It is a great way to enjoy what Cachuma Lake has to offer and to see the lake from a different perspective.”

Farr will hold a short news conference at Cachuma Lake at 10 a.m. Friday followed by the official launching of the first kayaks and canoes at Cachuma Lake. Kayaks will be available to rent through the Cachuma Lake marina concessionaire, Rocky Mountain Recreation. Click here for prices and more information.

Click here for the rules and regulations. Canoes and kayaks must pass an inspection for Quagga Mussel and other aquatic nuisance species before launching. The fee for launching is $5, and annual passes are available.

Cachuma Lake is still a nonbody contact lake, and swimming from boat, shore or kayak/canoe is prohibited.

— Thomas Fayram is interim director of Santa Barbara County Parks.