Places to Enjoy
Catfish Dreamin’

The bodies of water and waterways identified below, from the confluence of Bell Creek and Arroyo Calabasas where the Los Angeles River begins to Puddingstone Reservoir near San Dimas, form a loose network from Pasadena to Pomona, the two sites where Alison Saar’s exhibition Of Aether and Earthe is on view through December 2021, and the mountains to the Pacific Ocean. These Los Angeles County sites were chosen for their beauty and social, historical, or ecological significance. While there are many, many more we could have named, these are just a few of the sites we recommend to see and enjoy the works by Neelanjana Banerjee, Carolina Caycedo, Carmina Escobar with Wesam Nasser, Kate Lain, and Alison Saar presented as part of Catfish Dreamin’. 

Click here to download a printable PDF of the Catfish Dreamin’ map.

1. Bell Creek (Bell Canyon Park)

Bell Creek, along with Arroyo Calabasas, is one of the two tributaries of the Los Angeles River. The confluence of the two, in Canoga Park, is where the L.A. River begins. Bell Creek runs through Bell Canyon Park, a large open-space park that was once home to Hu'wam village where the Chumash-Ventureños people lived and traded with the Tongva-Fernandeño tribe.

2. Lake Balboa

Lake Balboa is a 27 acre lake filled with water from the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant and is the centerpiece of Anthony C. Beilenson Park in the Los Angeles San Fernando Valley. 

3. Ballona Creek

Ballona Creek is a nine-mile-long flood control channel that is home to the Ballona Wetlands State Ecological Reserve, some of the last natural coastal wetland habitat in L.A. County.

4. Kuruvungna Sacred Springs

The springs, on the grounds of University High School, once supported the Tongva village of Kuruvungna as a source of fresh water since at least the 5th century B.C, producing up to 25,000 gallons daily.

5. Hansen Dam

Hansen Dam is a flood control dam built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1940 following the Los Angeles flood of 1938. The recreation area around the dam includes a lake that offers fishing and boating.

6. Hollywood Reservoir

Also known as Lake Hollywood, this reservoir in the Hollywood Hills is created by Mulholland Dam and offers ample views of the iconic Hollywood sign. It has appeared in films such as Chinatown.

7. Los Angeles River 

There are many trails, bike paths, parks, and access points along the L.A. River to walk, bike, bird watch, fish, or horseback ride including the Elysian Valley Bicycle and Pedestrian Path, identified here.

8. Lower Arroyo Seco Trail

Spanish for “dry creek”, the Arroyo Seco was once home to the Hahamog'na, a band of Tongva people. The Lower Arroyo Trail in Pasadena runs along the arroyo from Colorado Bridge to South Pasadena.

9. Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon is a 198 acre natural area in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains that features running streams, a 50-foot-drop waterfall, native plants and wildlife, and a visitor center.

10. Whittier Narrows

Whittier Narrows is a water gap and large natural area, through which the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel Rivers flow, with a 1,492-acre park, multiple lakes, a dam, and a water reclamation plant.

11. Santa Fe Dam

Santa Fe Dam is a flood-control dam on the San Gabriel River. The recreation area adjacent to the dam features a 70-acre lake with boat rentals, fishing, and a swimming beach.

12.  Puddingstone Reservoir

Puddingstone Reservoir is a 250-acre artificial lake within Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas created with water from Puddingstone Dam. Park activities include sailing, windsurfing, and fishing.