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Piru Creek is a large stream in Northern Los Angeles County and Eastern Ventura County, California. It is a tributary of the Santa Clara River, the largest stream system in Southern California that is still relatively natural. It drains an area of about 497 square miles (1,290 km2) and is about 50 miles (80 km) long.
The creek's headwaters are near Lockwood Valley, an upland basin in the southern section of the Los Padres National Forest about 5,200 feet (1,600 m) above sea level. The river flows south into Pyramid Lake, formed by Pyramid Dam. The lake stores water from the California Aqueduct, which continues in a pipeline from Pyramid Lake to Castaic Lake. The lake is also the upper reservoir in a pumped-storage hydroelectric system, the lower reservoir being Castaic Lake.
Downstream from Pyramid Dam, the creek meanders south until it reaches Lake Piru, which is formed by Santa Felicia Dam. The dam was built by United Water Conservation District, which provides flood storage for seasonal groundwater recharge. Then the creek flows roughly south to its confluence with the Santa Clara River, just south of Piru. Below Pyramid Dam, flows are mostly controlled by releases from the two lakes, though an effort is made to simulate natural drainage.
Piru Creek is also a hot spot for trout fisherman year round as it contains both wild and hatchery-raised rainbow trout. The fishing is generally good all year, but the best fishing can be found from January to April using a variety of baits including nightcrawlers, artificially scented trout doughs and metal lures.
Below Pyramid Dam, a cement culvert adjoining the remains of Highway 99 creates a 15-foot (4.6 m) waterfall. This is the uppermost limit of natural fish spawning on the creek below Pyramid Dam.