History of the Lake

D. K. Ludwig, an oil tanker and shipping magnate, also owned a development company called American- Hawaiian. He bought the area of Westlake Lake in the early sixties when it was known as the Russell Ranch for the then unheard of whopping price of $2,500 per acre. At that time Potrero Creek ran the length of the entire property and often flooded the valley whenever it rained hard. Half of the property was too rugged or too steep for real estate development and many of the locals were sure old Ludwig had gotten the short end of the deal. But Ludwig knew it was only a matter of time before a new freeway would run right past his property and, since it was only 35 miles from the largest population center in the state, he knew that "if he built it, they would come."

In 1964, American-Hawaiian commissioned Bechtel Corporation to perform a comprehensive planning study for the entire 11,780 acres of the Albertson Ranch. Pascal and Ludwig Engineering Company started construction in 1966.

Upon its completion the 125 acre lake had an average depth of 10 feet and was stocked with 3,000 largemouth bass and 3,000 blue channel catfish. Currently the lake is home to a large bird population as well as catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill and a substantial variety of turtles.

The above lake history is an excerpt taken from the Westlake Lake Management Association website.

Then & Now

Westlake YC 1968
In 1968, Ludwig formed and initially controlled Westlake Lake Management (WLMA), a nonprofit California corporation, to ultimately own and manage the lake.  In 1974, Ludwig turned over all membership and control of WLMA to area homeowners and a commercial property owner adjacent the lake, and transferred ownership of Westlake Lake to WLMA.

Ludwig had set up WLMA's membership structure to consist of over 1300 members when development was built out – compromised of the homeowners owning property in seven residential districts laid out around the lake including on the island, and one commercial district called the The Landing.  Each of these eight districts is represented on the WLMA Board of Representatives which consists of 33 members.  The Board also works with the leadership of the seven homeowners association governing the residential districts around the lake.

Over 1300 homes front on or have ready access to the lake within the seven districts; many of the residents own electric or sailboats for recreational use or fishing.
Westlake Yacht Club