Lopez Lake overflows for first time in 25 years

March 23, 2023

Lopez lake


Lopez Lake reached 100% capacity Thursday morning, and water began flowing down the lake’s spillway for the first time in 25 years, according to the San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services.

Earlier this week, officials issued an evacuation warning for Oceano residents who live near the Arroyo Grande Creek Levee, saying Lopez Lake was expected to overflow and spill into Arroyo Grande Creek, significantly increasing the creek’s water levels. The evacuation warning currently remains in place.

Officials are monitoring the Lopez Lake spillway, creek levels and any debris that must be cleared as water travels to the ocean.

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Ahhh. I remember the fun days of past, when we would slide down the moss and algae slimed Lopez spillway, to the catch pool below. Right about then, the Boogie Board hit the scene, and the ride down was accelerated to “ludicrous speed”, as you could skip across the catch pool, and fly down into the stream bed itself.

Of course, that was when Lopez held hundreds more acre feet than it does now, and could drain all Summer, much to our amusement.

Some entrepreneur missed an opportunity. They should have collected the first water to flow over the spillway and then bottle and offer it for sale on line. Too late now.

With climate change making it more dry or more wet or more of both, I forget which of the three, it probably will not be the last time.