Barrett Dam was completed by the City of San Diego in 1922, creating Barrett Reservoir. Located at the confluence of Cottonwood and Pine Valley creeks, Barrett Reservoir is in a remote area approximately 35 miles east of San Diego. Located behind locked gates in a remote area of San Diego County and closed for many years, access has been offered on a limited basis by reservation only since 1994. Barrett Reservoir has a water storage capacity of 34,805.5 acre feet. Water levels are monitored weekly.
The reservoir is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. There are no concession facilities at Barrett, and no drinking water available. Patrons must bring all lures, food, water, etc., with them. No glass containers are allowed. No motor homes are permitted due to limited parking and low overhead on the entrance road. Pets are not allowed. Due to the fact that the entrance road passes through private property, all parties must be escorted on and off the premises.
The fishing season is May through September. Ticketmaster (800-745-3000) handles all reservations for Barrett fishing. Reservations are available one month at a time, always beginning on the second Tuesday of the month before at 7 p.m. Reservations are $80, plus Ticketmaster's normal fees. Ticket purchases must be made no later than 2:00 pm the business day prior (Tuesdays and Fridays). One reservation is good for up to four people and includes a boat and motor. Plus each person must purchase a daily fishing permit at Barrett for $20 per person (cash only) and those anglers 16 years of age or older must have a California state fishing license. Fishing licenses are not available at Barrett.
There is a limit of one reservation per household (same address or computer) on the first day reservations go on sale. After the first day if there are any reservations remaining, then patrons can purchase as many reservations as they want. Ticketmaster will sell one-half the reservations per day on its web site and one-half at the call-in center. Photo ID of the reservation holder will be required at the Barrett, and all parties on that reservation must enter at the same time.
Fishing is offered on a catch and release (zero kill) basis, with barbless artificial lures only for all species of fish. These regulations were designed primarily to protect the last significant population of northern-strain largemouth black bass in the area. In virtually all other waters in Southern California, these fish have been replaced by the Florida-strain version of largemouth black bass. Other species include bluegill, bullheads, and both white and black crappie. Threadfin shad and silverside minnows are the primary forage fish. No motorized private boats are allowed at Barrett. See the 2014 Barrett Reservoir Fishing Information & Rules for more information. Fish catch information is updated weekly.
Float tubes, canoes, and kayaks are permitted, but a reservation is still required. Rental boats are 14 feet long and come with 8.0 horsepower motors. Patrons can bring their own motor, maximum size 25 horsepower. Maximum capacity is four people.
Barrett is open for waterfowl hunting on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the season established for the Southern California Zone. Hunting reservations are generally distributed the first Saturday in October, beginning at 7:30 a.m., located just south of the San Vicente Dam, at the San Vicente Yard, 12375 Moreno Ave., in Lakeside, Calif. To be added to the City waterfowl hunting email list, please send a current email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barrett Junction Road is closed. From Interstate 8, take the Japatul Valley Road exit and turn right, turn left on Lyons Valley Road, and travel 6 miles to gate. From state Route 94, turn left on Honey Springs Road, turn right on Lyons Valley Road, and travel 1.7 miles to the reservoir gate.