What's New at the City Reservoir Lakes
There are currently concession services at Murray, 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, 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 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.
Bowfishing is permitted at: El Capitan, Hodges, Otay, San Vicente, and Sutherland on days the reservoirs are normally open for fishing. Bowfishing is restricted to fishing for Carp only, in compliance with California Fish and Wildlife regulations. Bowfishing is NOT permitted at Barrett, Miramar or Murray reservoirs. The following special conditions apply:
Bowfishing tackle must have arrow shaft, point, or both, securely attached by a line to the bow or to a fishing reel; this includes crossbows.
Bowfishing is permitted only by vessel on surface water of approved reservoirs.
Bowfishing is prohibited within 30 meters (100 feet) of any person outside the vessel of the bowhunter.
Bowfishing is prohibited in areas of nesting water birds.
Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult in order to bowfish.
All Carp taken by bow must be removed from the reservoir property. Disposal of Carp into the reservoir, upon the shoreline, or in trash cans is prohibited.
Bowhunters must possess proper daily permits.
Bowhunters must possess a valid California state Fish and Wildlife fishing license.
Any individual out of compliance with these regulations, or exhibiting any unsafe use of bowfishing equipment, is subject to revocation of the permit and ejection from the Reservoir.
Rules and Regulations for Use of Float Tubes and Waders
Waders or hip boots must be worn at all times while wading for the purpose of fishing.
The definition of a "Float Tube" is: a floating device which suspends a single occupant in the water from the seat down and is not propelled by oars, paddles, wind (sail) or motors. You may not use a paddle to assist movement. You may use fins which fasten to your feet or hands.
Waders (or hip boots) must be in sound condition and completely cover the immersed portion of an angler's body so as to prevent sustained, direct body contact with the water. No wetsuits.
Waders must be worn at all times while float tube fishing. Use of float tubes restricted to within 150 feet or less from shore.
A U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device must be readily available at all times while float tube fishing. All float tube anglers must possess a readily available horn or whistle to warn approaching craft.
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 email@example.com.
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 is open to fishing on a Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday schedule. Fishing permits for August will go on sale on the second Tuesday of July at 7:00 p.m. at 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.
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.
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 (May-Oct) one half hour before sunrise to sunset as follows:
Monday: fishing and general boating only, no water contact activities
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: fishing, general boating and water contact (water-skiing, wakeboarding, jetskiing, etc.)
Tuesday and Wednesday: closed
Stand-Up Paddleboards are not permitted at any time.
BOATERS: At the current water level, parking for vehicles with trailers is limited to 85. Once the reservoir reaches its capacity the reservoir property will be shut down to all vessel access until 3:00 pm. At 3:00 pm it will reopen and accommodate all available openings. There is no safe wait line along the entrance road, the nearest available parking for vessels waiting to come back to the reservoir at 3:00 pm is at El Monte County Park ($3.00). Weekends will often reach capacity by 9:00 or 10:00 am. Thursdays and Fridays are generally slower. Please plan accordingly.
BOAT CAPACITY HOTLINE: (619) 668-2770
Maximum speed limit is 35 mph.
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 on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule, 6:00 am to 6: 00 pm. 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. The concession is open on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule, 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
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.
Hodges is open for fishing and boating on a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday schedule from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
Stand-Up Paddleboards are not permitted at any time.
There is NO windsurfing permitted.
Maximum speed limit is 35 mph.
Concession Phone: (760) 432-2023 (only answered when open for business). The concession is open on a Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday schedule, 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
For information on trails please check the San Dieguito River Park website.
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.
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.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Miramar with Rainbow Trout during the winter months.
Miramar's concession is scheduled to re-open June 28 on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule.
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. 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). For permit prices please see Permits & Fees (daily).
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Murray with Rainbow Trout during the winter months.
Murray's concession rents boats Wednesdays through Sundays only.
Murray's concession is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.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. 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 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.
For questions about the project, please call the toll-free project information line at 877-426-2010. or check the San Diego County Water Authority website and click on San Vicente Dam Raise.
Sutherland is open on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule. Private boat launching is permitted on weekends only when the launch ramp is in service.
Sutherland's launch ramp is out of service and they are using the lower lot as a ramp, launching is at your own risk!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
For more information on Turkey Hunting please check the Wild Turkey Federation website.
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.
Waterfowl hunting is allowed at Barrett Reservoir only and the season runs from mid-October through January. Please call the Reservoirs & Recreation Program Office at (619) 668-2050 for more information.
Turkey hunting is allowed at Sutherland 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.
For more information on Turkey hunting in San Diego, please check the Wild Turkey Federation website.
To be added to the email list for the waterfowl or turkey seasons, call (619) 668-2050, or email email@example.com and include an email address and which hunting list you want to be added to. New additions will be accepted in email format only.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com or faxed to (619) 443-7681.
|Date||Club||Location||June 21||SD Bassmasters NT||El Capitan||June 22||El Cajon Ford Night Series||Lower Otay|