Lake Casitas is a large reservoir north of the City of Ventura formed by the damming of several tributaries of the Ventura River. It is situated in a valley at the southern end of the Coast Range. The important bird habitats here include the freshwater marsh and adjoining grassland associated with Lake Casitas.

Updated by Ventura Audubon, April 2008

Ornithological Summary

Several marsh species scarce in the region occur within this IBA, including breeding Osprey and Northern Harrier, as well as a colony of several hundred Tricolored Blackbirds. The riparian habitat in the area, especially along the Ventura River, supports breeding Yellow-breasted Chat and perhaps Yellow Warbler (JG).

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Conservation Issues

The land around Lake Casitas is owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which may allow some uses of the watershed other than just water collection, given the recent upgrade of the reservoir's filtration system (fide R.Smith). The Canada Larga area, being all private ranchland, could be sold at any time.

Ownership

The land around Lake Casitas is owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which may allow some uses of the watershed other than just water collection, given the recent upgrade of the reservoir?s filtration system (fide R.Smith). The lake is managed by the Casitas Muncipal Water District. The quality of environmental protection varies with the makeup of the governing board.

Habitat

Lake Casitas is a large reservoir north of the City of Ventura formed by the damming of several tributaries of the Ventura River. It is situated in a valley at the southern end of the Coast Range, which extends south and east into an area referred to as Canada Larga. The important bird habitats here include the extensive grassland along Canada Larga Rd. and the freshwater marsh and adjoining grassland associated with Lake Casitas.

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