Cuyama River


Cuyama River Watershed
Cuyama River Watershed

The Cuyama River Watershed starts in Ventura County. The river generally flows northward, and then in a westerly direction to a point of confluence with the Sisquoc River near the town of Garey where it joins the Santa Maria River. The San Luis Obispo County line approximately follows the Cuyama River. A portion of the northern tributaries and part of the Cuyama River are within the southwestern part of San Luis Obispo County. The northern tributaries rise to a maximum elevation of almost 4,950 feet above sea level at Caliente Mountain with their headwaters in the La Panza and Caliente Mountain Ranges. Twitchell Reservoir is near the downstream end of the Cuyama River Watershed, formed behind Twitchell Dam. The watershed is dominated by rural and agricultural land uses including ranches, orchards, vineyards and row crops. Other land uses include oil and gas production, Los Padres National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands.

Watershed Overview
Hydrologic Unit Name:  Santa Maria HU 12
Water Planning Area:  Cuyama Valley WPA 9 Huasna Valley WPA 8
Acreage:  729,600 acres total / 140,408 acres within San Luis Obispo County
Flow to:  Santa Maria River
Groundwater Basin(s):  Cuyama Valley, Santa Maria Valley
Jurisdictions: County of San Luis Obispo Los Padres National Forest
Watershed Plans: None


View list of subwatersheds

  1. Brown Canyon
  2. Buckhorn Canyon
  3. Canada de los Coches
  4. Carrizo Canyon
  5. Chimney Canyon
  6. Clear Creek
  7. Cuyama Valley
  8. Gypsum Canyon
  9. Lower Aliso Cnayon
  10. Lower Schoolhuose Canyon
  11. Miranda Canyon
  12. Moon Canyon
  13. Morales Canyon
  14. Morales Canyon Oil Field
  15. Mouth of Cuyama River
  16. Padrones Canyon
  17. Pearson Spring
  18. Post Canyon
  19. Quail Canyon
  20. Rice Ranch
  21. Saltos Canyon
  22. Stubblefield Road
  23. Sulfur Canyon
  24. Sycamore Canyon
  25. Taylor Canyon
  26. Twitchell Reservoir

Full Data Snapshot

Download the Watershed Snapshot for more detailed information such as:
Watershed Snapshot

  • Rainfall
  • Geology
  • Hydrology models
  • Vegetation
  • Special status wildlife and plants
  • Land use
  • Demographics
  • Major changes in the watershed
  • Watershed health
  • Groundwater