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Swimming Banned This Summer At Castaic Lake Due To Low Water Levels

CASTAIC (  —   Officials announced Thursday that all public swimming will be banned this summer at Castaic Lake due to low water levels caused by California's drought.

"Under normal circumstances, the Castaic Lake swim beaches would be open Thursday to Sunday from the last week of May until Sept. 1," according to a county statement. "This year, receding water levels have created conditions that Department of Parks and Recreation officials have deemed unsafe, particularly for patrons who may lack advanced swimming skills."

Department director Russ Guiney said that the department's top priority is safety.

"Castaic Lake remains a wonderful place to visit, with a variety of options for fun, healthy recreation," Guiney said. "But the state drought emergency is affecting many aspects of life in California, and we will not compromise on matters of safety."

For the time being, no other activities at the lake are banned or curtailed, officials said.

"Kayaking, float-tube fishing and stand-up paddle-boarding are expected to be available as normal," the statement continued. "However, in the event that water levels continue to fall, those and other aquatic activities at Castaic Lake -- motorized boating, for example -- may also be negatively affected."

Those planning to visit the lake are urged to call ahead for a report on the latest conditions. The information number is (661) 257-4050.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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