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What's New at the City Reservoir Lakes

Updated 8/31/15

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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 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.

When open, there is bait available - shiners, crawdads, night crawlers, mealworms and wax worms. Patrons can use credit cards for boat rentals and other purchases, but permits are cash only.

Concession phones may be out of service in between seasons; see each reservoir for individual schedules.
Concessions general number for schedules and prices: 619-466-4847.
For additional information you can call our recording at 619-465-3474 or you can contact the City's Reservoirs and Recreation Program office at 619-668-2050.

For concession contact information please see the individual reservoir information listed below.

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.

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 Murray and Miramar 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 customercare@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 and picnicking. 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 prior month at 7 p.m. through Ticketmaster. Call (800) 745-3000 or visit the Ticketmaster website. 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 p.m. 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

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, jet skiing, etc.)
  • Mondays - fishing and general boating, no water contact activities.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday - closed

Stand-Up Paddleboards are not permitted at any time.

El Capitan's concession is operated by Rocky Mountain Recreation Co.
Please call ahead to confirm schedule (619-443-4110 or 619-466-4847). The phone is not answered when closed. When open, they rent boats on a first-come basis and there is bait available - shiners, crawdads, night crawlers, mealworms and wax worms. They do not currently sell California State fishing licenses.
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.

Maximum speed limit is 35 mph.

NOTICE: Due to the effects of dropping water levels water-skiing, wakeboarding and all other towable devices 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, wakeskates, kneeboards, ski seats, tubes and all other towable devises. Weekends will often reach capacity by 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. 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
If the day has not been updated that means there is no current wait to get in.

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.

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Hodges

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

Hodges's concession is operated by Rocky Mountain Recreation Co.
Concession Phone: (760) 432-2023 (only answered when open for business). They operate on a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday schedule.

Stand-Up Paddleboards are not permitted at any time.

Sailboarding is allowed during the regular recreation schedule on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Sailboarding recreation at Hodges will reflect several changes since it was last offered in 2008.

Please seePrivate Boats and Watercraftfor current rules and regulations.

Maximum speed limit is 35 mph.

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

Lower Otay

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

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

Saturday and Sunday, August 1-2, there will be no boats permitted on the lake due to the 2015 USA Canoe and Kayak National Championships being held on Lower Otay.

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.

Currently, three (3) of the launch ramp lanes have been closed. There are still three (3) lanes available for use.
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

Miramar's concession is open Thursdays through Sundays during the summer and weekends only during the fall, winter and spring. The 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.

Beginning Monday September 14 through Friday September 18 the perimeter maintenance path will be closed between 6:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day. No access of any type (jogging, walking, biking, driving, etc.) will be permitted during those days and times!

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 seePermits & Fees (daily).

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 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 listed 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.

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

Murray

Murray's concession is open Wednesday's through Sunday's during the fall and winter and seven days a week in the spring and summer, opening at 6:00 a.m.
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 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).
Phone: 619-466-4847 (only answered when open for business).

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). Patrons can use credit cards for boat rentals and permit purchases.

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.

Maximum speed limit is 5 mph.

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

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 2015 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. The launch ramp is still closed due to low water levels.There are no concession services at Sutherland and no rentals.

Turkey hunting is offered on a Wednesday and Saturday schedule for 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-up in February.
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.

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.

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.

Hunting

Waterfowl hunting is allowed at Barrett Reservoir only and the season runs from mid-October through January. Please call 619-668-2050 for more information. You must have a valid hunting license to participate

Turkey hunting is allowed at Sutherland Reservoir only and the spring season runs from the end of March to the beginning of May. All permits are sold at the tune-up in February. 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 customercare@sandiego.gov This will give you more information on fees and regulations and how to request an application form.

All participants at events on weekends held at Miramar Reservoir must park off-site and be shuttled in. Weekend events at Murray Reservoir are limited to 50 parking spaces 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 water event at a City Reservoir, please download our application form (PDF).

Form should be returned to customercare@sandiego.gov or faxed to 619-443-7681.

Date Club Location
Sept. 12 SD Team Series El Capitan
Sept. 13 Road Rangers Bass Club Lower Otay

For additional information, you call the recording at 619-465-3464, contact the City's Reservoirs and Recreation Program office at 619-668-2050 or email customercare@sandiego.gov