Cachuma is only closed to boating if your boat cannot be certified at the lake entrance. A sign at that entrance says: “Boats must be inspected for Quagga mussels before launching. All wet wells and bilges must be dry. Please contact staff for further information.”
That situation has become moot, however, because the second rumor about the lake being closed is true. Cachuma is now off-limits to all boats requiring launching facilities until further notice. What that further notice means is not certain at this time and it has nothing to do with the Quagga.
As most Cachuma goers know, there is a gigantic project nearing completion that will provide a super-class launching facility. But, therein lies the problem: nearing completion. It is not a done deal. The recent rains elevated the lake to a level that interfered with that project, and while those rains were providing water for 2009, 2010 and 2011, they were slowing the ramp project while also inundating the older and lower level ramps to the extent that they now are all underwater. Rain always has something good and something bad.
So, the new ramp is not available and the lower ramps are submerged, creating a Catch 2-08 dilemma. As a result, no available boat launching until further notice.
However, and this is critical, Lake Cachuma is otherwise in full-blown operation. The shoreline is clearing and settling, and there are a lot of trout and bass ready for action. There are rental boats available, the marina, store, gas pump and Nature Center are operating, camping is ongoing (no reservations), and it can be assumed you can still get the best cheeseburger around.
But call the lake and get the latest information, it seems to be changing rapidly. That’s enough rumor for now — please!
For more information, call the Marina/Boat Rentals at 805.688.4040.