Check out SLO County rainfall totals, reservoir levels

January 7, 2024

Lopez Lake


San Luis Obispo County rainfall totals are well above average for this time of year with Paso Robles at 156% of normal. Local reservoir levels remain flat, though healthy.

Climate scientists track rain from July 1 through June 31.

Rainfall totals from July 1 through Jan. 7, along with average yearly rainfall:

Arroyo Grande – 6.30 inches to date – average 14.09 inches

Atascadero – 4.57 inches to date – average 12.06 inches

Lopez Dam – 7.90 inches to date – average 18.48 inches

Los Osos – 5.93 inches to date – average 15.77 inches

Nipomo – 7.89 inches to date – average 12.62 inches

Oceano – 6.13 inches to date – average 12.26 inches

Paso Robles – 7.27 inches to date – average 14.08 inches

Rocky Butte – 29.15 inches to date – average 34.75 inches

San Luis Obispo – 5.02 inches to date – average 16.82 inches

San Simeon – 7.43 inches to date – average 15.12 inches

Santa Margarita – 7.11 inches to date – average 16.96 inches

Shandon –4.56 inches to date – average 8.44 inches

Templeton – 6.24 inches to date – average 13.05 inches

Current Central Coast and major state reservoir levels:

  • Santa Margarita Lake at 90.6%, SLO County
  • Lake Nacimiento at 58%, SLO and Monterey counties
  • Lopez Lake at 96.1%, SLO County
  • Whale Rock Reservoir at 91.97%, SLO County
  • Cachuma Lake at 90%, Santa Barbara County
  • Gibraltar Reservoir 98%, Santa Barbara County
  • Jameson Reservoir 100%, Santa Barbara County
  • San Antonio Lake at 65%, Monterey County
  • Oroville Dam 69%, Butte County
  • Trinity Lake at 53%, Trinity County
  • Don Pedro Reservoir at 80%, Mariposa County
  • New Malones Lake at 83%, Calaveras County
  • Shasta Dam at 69%, Shasta County
  • San Luis Reservoir at 57%, Merced County

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Good. Build more housing.

Now, I don’t know about the other lakes, but I can say, that Lopez is NOT at 96%.

If they are measuring from the spillway, I suppose the number looks correct.

However, at least 1/3 of the original lake is gone, due to heavy silting and debris flow. The French arm is a meadow now, with the former Boy Scout camp waterfront filled with rocks for a couple decades now. The cliff with 20′ of water beneath, where legions of Scouts dove and jumped, hasn’t been part of the lake for a long time.

The Wittenburg arm, has not been navigable for decades also. Boaters can barely enter the narrows, and go no further. Time was, when you could nearly reach far enough up the creek, that a short walk would take you to the Church camp. You would have to make a concerted and prepared hike, to get there today.

When measured against the 1969 level, the lake would be roughly half full.

I would guess, that the other lakes have fared silting and debris flow levels, that would change their capacities too.