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What's New at the City Reservoir Lakes

Updated 9/09/14

There are currently concession services at Murray, Miramar, Lower Otay, El Capitan, and Hodges reservoirs. Please see the individual reservoir information below for days and hours of operation. There is bait available - shiners, crawdads, nightcrawlers, meal worms and wax worms. Patrons can use credit cards for boat rentals and other purchases, but permits are cash only. Concession phones are only answered on days and hours of operation and may be out of serive in between seasons, see each reservoir for individual schedules.

Dogs must be on a leash at all times and kept at least 50 feet away from the water. They are not permitted on private or rental boats.

Reservoir hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on open days only, except for Barrett, Miramar and Murray (see reservoir sections below for their individual times).

There is no swimming or wading allowed at any of the San Diego City Reservoirs.

None of our reservoirs currently permit Stand Up Paddle boarding.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks El Capitan, Murray and Otay reservoirs with Rainbow Trout during the winter months. Please see DFW Fish Stock Schedule.

NOTICE: Due to increased security measures, vessels may be inspected as a requirement for entry into the reservoirs.

Current Operating Schedules

For general City Reservoir information not found on these pages, please call our office (Monday through Friday) at (619) 668-2050 or email water@sandiego.gov.

Holidays

All City Reservoirs are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Miramar and Murray will be open for shore fishing, walking, picnicking, but parking lots will be closed, so no boating.

All City Reservoirs, except Barrett, are open for regularly scheduled activities on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

All other holidays, City Reservoirs that are normally open on that day of the week, will be open. Reservoirs that are normally closed on that day of the week will be closed.

Barrett

Barrett is open for fishing May Through September on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Reservations go on sale on the second Tuesday of the month prior at 7:00 p.m. through Ticketmaster (phone 800-745-3000 or web site www.ticketmaster.com). One reservation per household on the first day of sale. For ticket availability please call Ticketmaster. Ticket purchases must be made no later than 2:00 pm the business day prior (Tuesdays for Wednesdays and Fridays for the weekend). There are no physical tickets issued, bring photo ID for check-in purposes. For map, directions, regulation of entry and other rules and regulations please see Barrett Reservoir Fishing and Rules.

Waterfowl hunting is offered on a Wednesday and Saturday schedule October through January. For more information call the Reservoirs & Recreation Program Office at (619) 668-2050.

El Capitan

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks El Capitan with Rainbow Trout during the winter months.

El Capitan is open on its summer schedule one half hour before sunrise to sunset as follows:

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: fishing, general boating and water contact (water-skiing, wakeboarding, jetskiing, etc.)

Monday: fishing and general boating, no water contact activities

Tuesday and Wednesday: closed

Stand-Up Paddleboards are not permitted at any time.

Maximum speed limit is 35 mph.

NOTICE: Due to the effects of dropping water levels effective May 27, 2014 water skiing, wakeboarding and all other towable devices will be limited to the front bay. The north arm of the reservoir will be closed to water contact towing of any kind. Boat launches for towing will be limited to 25 vessels per day. Once the 25 vessel capacity is reached, there will be no permits sold for water contact towing. Towable devices include Traditional Water Skis, Training Water Skis, Air Chairs, Wakeboards, Wake Skates, Kneeboards, Ski Seats, Tubes and all other towable devises. Weekends will often reach capacity by 9:00 or 10:00 am. Thursdays and Fridays are generally slower. Please plan accordingly. Currently there are no restrictions for the launching of personal water craft (PWC) or vessels not engaged in water contact activities that involve towing.

BOAT CAPACITY HOTLINE: 619-668-2770

All persons (age 8 and older) entering reservoir property are required to pay daily use fees, including launch and per person fees, see Permits & Fees (daily).

Boats are either classified as fishing or water contact, there are no mixed boats. If a boat is towing even one person, it is classified as a water contact boat and everyone on board must pay the water contact fees.

El Capitan's concession is operated by Rocky Mountain Recreation Co. and is currently open Thursdays through Mondays. When open they rent boats on a first come basis, no reservations. They do not currently sell California State fishing licenses. There is bait available - shiners, crawdads, nightcrawlers, meal worms and wax worms. Patrons can use credit cards for boat rentals and other purchases but permits are cash only.

Concession Phone: (619) 443-4110. Phone answered only during business hours and may be out of service in between seasons.

Kayaks: Kayaks are permitted Thursday through Mondays. LAUNCH FEES ARE DIFFERENT AT EL CAPITAN FOR KAYAKS. Each person pays the $8.00 (adult) or $2.50 (youth) user fee, but there is no additional fee for launching the kayak.

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Hodges

Hodges is open on a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday schedule from one half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Stand-Up Paddleboards are not permitted at any time.

Boardsailing is allowed during the regular recreation schedule on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Boardsailing recreation at Hodges will reflect several changes since it was last offered in 2008 please see Private Boats and Watercraft for current rules and regulations.

Maximum speed limit is 35 mph.

Concession Phone: (760) 432-2023 (only answered when open for business). Open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

For information on trails please check the San Dieguito River Park website.

Lower Otay

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Lower Otay with Rainbow Trout during the winter months.

Lower Otay's concession is open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Patrons can use credit cards for boat rentals and permit purchases. Phone: (619) 397-5212 (phone answered only on days open for fishing).

The concession may close early or not open at all if attendance levels are low, if possible please call ahead of time to check the concession's status.

Due to the low water level three (3) of the launch ramp lanes have been closed, there are still three (3) lanes available for use.

Lower Otay is open for fishing and general boating on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday only, from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Boat rentals are available on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Private boats, float tubes, and kayaks are permitted Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Maximum speed limit is 35 mph.

Miramar

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Miramar with Rainbow Trout during the winter months.

Miramar's concession is currently open Wednesdays through Sundays; schedule may change without prior notice please call ahead to check at 858-527-1722. Phone not answered on days and hours not open for operation.

Miramar is open to fishing and private boats, kayaks and float tubes seven days a week from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The gates are open from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time and 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. when Daylight Savings Time is not in effect. The picnic area, and perimeter road are open seven days a week, however, vehicles are only allowed on the road Saturday through Tuesday (please see holiday exceptions above).

Patrons can walk completely around the lake, a distance of 4.92 miles. Gates to the dam close at the same time as the main gates/parking lot.

Permits on days and times that the concession is closed must be purchased from the iron ranger pay stations or the electronic pay station (please bring exact change for the iron ranger) located in front of the concession stand. For permit prices please see Permits & Fees (daily).

Murray

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Murray with Rainbow Trout during the winter months.

Murray's concession is open Wednesday's through Sunday's during the winter and seven days a week in the summer, opening at 6:00 a.m. Patrons can use credit cards for boat rentals and permit purchases.

Phone: (619) 466-4847 (only answered when open for business).

The electronic pay station at Lake Murray Reservoir is out of order and patrons will have to use the iron ranger envelopes on days or times that the concession is closed. Please bring exact change for purchase of permits. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause patrons.

Murray is open for shore fishing and private boats, kayaks and float tubes seven days a week from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The gates are open from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time and 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. when Daylight Savings Time is not in effect. The picnic area and perimeter road are open seven days a week (please see holiday exceptions above).

Maximum speed limit is 5 mph.

Permits on days and times that the concession is closed must be purchased from the iron ranger pay stations around the reservoir (please bring exact change for the iron ranger). For permit prices please see Permits & Fees (daily).

San Vicente

San Vicente is currently closed to all public access and recreation for construction on the San Diego County Water Authority's San Vicente Dam Raise Project.

It is expected to be closed for an extended period and reopen between 2014 and 2017. There is no estimated opening date at this time.

For questions about the project, please call the toll-free project information line at 877-682-2017 ext. 700 or check the San Diego County Water Authority website and click on San Vicente Dam Raise.

Sutherland

Sutherland is open on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule for shore fishing only as the launch ramp is currently CLOSED. Float Tubes and carry-ons are permitted. Sutherland's last fishing day for this season will be September 28, 2014.

There are no concession services at Sutherland and no rentals.

Turkey hunting is offered on a Monday, Wednesday and Saturday schedule for the fall season (November) and the spring season (end of March to beginning of May). Please call (619) 668-2050 or email water@sandiego.gov with "Turkey Hunting" in the subject heading for more information. If emailing or calling to be added to the list, please note that this list is email only. All reservations are sold at the tune-ups in February and October.

For more information on Turkey Hunting please check the Wild Turkey Federation website.

Upper Otay

Upper Otay gates are open on a seasonal schedule from February 1 through October 31 (weather permitting). When gates are closed pedestrian access is still permitted on regularly open fishing days.

Upper Otay is open for fishing on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday only from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Patrons can purchase permits from the Iron Ranger pay station (please bring exact change). Upper Otay is a catch and release only fishery. Bait is not permitted, only artificial lures with barbless hooks. Boats are not permitted on Upper Otay, only shore fishing, waders and float tubes.

After a large rain the road to Upper Otay may be closed due to muddy, unsafe driving conditions. Upper Otay gates are open on a seasonal schedule from February 1 through October 31 (weather permitting). Pedestrian access is allowed for fishing on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday on a year round basis.

Hunting

Waterfowl hunting is allowed at Barrett Reservoir only and the season runs from mid-October through January.

Turkey hunting is allowed at Sutherland Reservoir only and the spring season runs from the end of March to the beginning of May. The fall season is mid-November to the end of November. All permits are sold at the tune-ups in February and October. For more information on Turkey hunting in San Diego, please check the Wild Turkey Federation website.

For more information about hunting at City Reservoirs, please visit our Waterfowl and Turkey Hunting webpage.

Boat Reservations

Concessions are not taking reservations for boats. All boats are available on a first come basis. See individual reservoir information above for concession days and hours of operation and phone numbers to call for availability.

Special Events

For more details on special events at the City Reservoirs, or if you would like to have an event at one of the City Reservoirs, please call (619) 668-2050 or email water@sandiego.gov for more information on fees and regulations and to request an application form. All participants at events on weekends held at Miramar Reservoir must park off site and be shuttled in. At Murray Reservoir for weekend events there is a limit of 50 parking spaces for event parking in the new lot just outside the main gate, anything more than that must arrange for off site parking.

Club Bass Fishing Tournaments

To hold a night tournament, a tournament on a closed day, or any other type of on-water event at a City Reservoir, please download our application form (PDF).

Form should be returned to water@sandiego.gov or faxed to (619) 443-7681.

Date Club Location
Sept 12 SD Bassmasters NT El Capitan
Sept 13 North County Bass Lower Otay
Sept 13 El Cajon Ford NT El Capitan
Sept 20 El Cajon Ford El Capitan
Sept 20 Bass Club San Diego Hodges
Sept 20 San Diego Strokers Lower Otay