Timeline History of Matilija Dam old

  • September 2015
    September - Draft Report presented to Design Oversight Group
  • 2014
    February – Board of Supervisors approves contract
  • 2013
    December – Final Statement of Work negotiated
    June – Consultant team selected
  • 2012
    December – TAC Scope of Work finalized
  • 2011
    October – Technical Advisory Committee formed
    August – Fine Sediment Study completed
  • 2010
    September – Fine Sediment Study Group convened
    January – USA presentation to DOG
  • 2008
    September – MODA vs BRDA analysis
  • 2007
    WRDA 2007 – congressional authorization
    Fine Sediment controversy emerges
  • 2004
    US Army Corps of Engineers Completed Feasibility Study
  • 2000
    BuRec Appraisal Study completed
    Bruce Babbitt Dam Busters Tour
    Matilija Coalition formed
    County Resolution
  • 1998
    Study begins on dam removal
    BEACON Resolution
  • 1978
    Dam notched second time
  • 1973
    Study on littoral processes highlights impact to beaches
  • 1965
    Bechtel safety study condemns dam safety - dam is notched to 65% capacity
  • 1959
    Casitas Municipal Water District assumes responsibility
  • 1952
    Reservoir filled - county sued
  • 1949
    Fish kill behind dam due to stagnant/hot water
  • 1948
    March 14 - dam completed - study estimated 39 years before siltation would eliminate capacity
  • 1947
    Mr Harold E Burket, architect - warns County Supervisors of alkali-reactive aggregate
  • 1946
    June 18 - construction begins
  • 1945
    County Bond issue passed - cost for Matilija to be $682,000
  • 1941
    Corps of Engineers Study - concludes that Matilija would not provide adequate benefits to be cost effective (flood control & water supply)
  • Prior to 1940
    Steelhead/salmon population and other wildlife/natural resources

Buried Treasure - Hanging Rock

As Matilija reservoir slowly filled with water in 1948-1952, a Ventura County landmark was submerged. The Hanging Rock of Matilija Canyon, also referred to as Overhanging or Leaning Rock, was enjoyed for decades by residents and visitors to the resort at Matilija Hot Springs, located closely downstream. Historical photos reveal that Hanging Rock survived the blasting necessary for construction of the dam, and it now lies deeply buried beneath a half-century of fine silt deposits near the dam. Hanging Rock will one day be resurrected as sediment is removed for the deconstruction of Matilija Dam, and future generations will again be able to enjoy this historical landmark.

Postcard of Hanging Rock, ca. 1900