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Waterfowl Hunting at Barrett Reservoir

Young hunter displaying waterfowl caught at reservoir lake

Reservations and Fees

Reservations for waterfowl hunting at Barrett Reservoir are sold in advance via a lottery draw method in October. PDF icon Additional information and details about the lottery draw  are posted online each September. Lottery draw is in-person only. Reservations are issued only to persons 16 years of age or older, and in possession of a current state of California Hunting License. Thereafter, reservations may be made by calling the City of San Diego's Reservoirs and Recreation Program office at 619-668-2050 at least 24 hours beforehand.

Lottery method is by numbered poker chips. Numbered poker chips are placed in a large container and everyone present draws one chip. Once everyone has a chip, hunters line up by the order of the number on their chip. Everyone going through the first time is limited in the number of dates they can select; this limit varies by season and the number of blinds available. Once everyone has gone through once, everyone is permitted to go through a second time (same order) and purchase as many dates as they wish.

The fee for each reservation is $70 and covers the cost of the hunting area rental rowboat and up to 2 hunters. Hunters are encouraged to bring outboard motors up to 20 horsepower. Rental motors are also available for $45 on the day of the hunt. Hunting trespass permits are $30 each for adults and $15 each for children 8 to 15 years of age. Hunters must obtain a state license before they'll be allowed to hunt on City property.

If you are attempting to walk-on without a permit you need to report to the gate no later than 2.5 hours before sunrise, and only cash and checks will be accepted. A walk-on is showing up at the scheduled meeting time (two and half hours before sunrise) without a pre-paid permit and hoping for a no-show or that the day did not sell out. Most weekdays have available openings for this option.

No refund for confirmed reservations will be made under any circumstances. For further information, call 619-668-2050 or email lakes@sandiego.gov.

All additional information will be available only on the day of the lottery such as maps, reservation forms and time sheets. Staff will be available 30 minutes prior to the draw to answer questions.

Rules and Regulations

Reservation holders must report to the Barrett Reservoir gate on Lyons Valley Road at least two and a half hours before sunrise as staff leaves the gate to go to the reservoir at exactly two hours before sunrise. Legal shooting begins one-half hour before sunrise. After 9 a.m., hunters may engage in boat hunting but will not be permitted within 100 yards of other hunters or the boat dock. All hunters must return to the dock by 11:30 a.m. and be off the premises by noon.

Barrett Reservoir is divided into hunting areas, i.e. a section of shoreline numerically identified with shoreline limits indicated by numbered sign posts. The location of each area is selected on the basis of safety and hunting efficiency.

Each individual reservation entitles the holder (and up to two guests) to the use of one hunting area. No more than one hunting area per day will be assigned to an individual. The specific hunting area assigned per hunter or hunting group is determined only on the morning of the hunt by lottery system. Within each hunting area, there may be some amount of natural shoreline brush and cover which can be fashioned into a blind by the hunting group. Hunters may bring a portable blind and install it within their hunting area.

Dogs will be allowed for retrieval of downed waterfowl. Dogs must have a current, valid license and be kept on a leash while in the dock and parking lot areas.

Hunting is limited exclusively to waterfowl game species (ducks, geese and coots/gallinules) and common snipe. Hunting of any other bird or mammal, whether a game or non-game species, is not permitted. Target shooting, fishing and fishing tackle are prohibited.

All rules pertaining to the City of San Diego, as well as state and federal hunting regulations, must be observed.

Season dates and bag limits are established annually by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife within framework established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For all questions regarding seasons, rules, regulations and hunting areas, please see the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.