Matilija Dam, located in the Ventura River watershed on Matilija Creek north of Ojai, is a concrete arch dam built in 1947. Infamous for the scissors painted on the dam by graffiti artists in 2011 that have become an iconic symbol for dam removal, it was originally designed for water storage and flood control.


Ventura County Watershed Protection District

Matilija Dam Location:

Ventura River, north of Ojai

Completion Date:



Height: 168 ft, Length: 620 ft, Total designed capacity: 7,018 acre ft., Current capacity: less than 500 acre ft.


Ventura County Watershed Protection District, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Matilija Coalition, Patagonia, CalTrout, State Coastal Conservancy, Surfrider Foundation, National Marine Fisheries Service, Wildlife Conservation Board, Pew Charitable Trust, Resource Legacy Fund, Ojai Valley Land Trust.

Land Acknowledgment

Matilija Dam is located on the ancestral lands of the Chumash Tribe including the Barbareño Band of the Chumash Tribe and the Barbareño/ Ventureño Band of Mission Indians.

Voice of Matilija Dam

Tom Maloney Ojai Valley Land Conservancy

Get Involved, Take Action!

Help build the Matilija Coalition: Show your support for the removal of Matilija Dam as a sign-on group or individual. Vote for natural resource funding. Contact your local representative and ask for the line items in budgets that designate funds

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Fish Affected:

Learn More

Learn more about Matilija Dam by checking out our Dams Out StoryMap.

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