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Reservoirs and Lakes

Murray Reservoir

NOTICE:  Due to state required water quality testing, the boat launch and shoreline fishing will be unavailable at Murray reservoir until early August. Boat rentals and recreation activities around the reservoir, such as bicycling and hiking, will continue as normal. Learn more.

Murray Reservoir

In coordination with the State Division of Safety of Dams, the water level at Murray Dam has been restricted to 90 feet. Following the Fourth of July fireworks show that occurs over Murray Reservoir, the State Division of Drinking Water requires the City to conduct water quality testing before using any of the water in Murray for drinking water. During this testing period, water from El Capitan or San Vicente reservoirs will be sent to the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant to supply residents with drinking water. As a part of the normal operations of the treatment plant, filter backflows will increase the reservoir level between 3 to 6 inches daily​ during this period. To ensure that the water level does not exceed the 90-foot limit during this testing period when the water from Murray is not being used, the water level is being preemptively lowered to 80 feet, ahead of the Fourth of July fireworks. Between 80 and 86 feet, the private boat launch ramp is unavailable. Additionally, shoreline access to the water will be unavailable due to unsafe, muddy conditions. We anticipate the water level will return to 86 feet in early August.

Hours of Operation

Murray Reservoir is closed on the second Tuesday of each month. More info about the closure

Open daily - sunrise to sunset

Holiday Schedule:

OPEN -Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day

CLOSED - Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day


Water Activities, including:

  • Boats
  • Canoes
  • Kayaks
  • Float Tubes

Water Fountains



Leashed Dogs

Picnic Tables

Barbecue Areas
Gas barbecues are allowed in designated areas

No Smoking

No Stand-Up Paddleboards

No Swimming

No Wading

No Dogs Allowed on Boats

No Water Fountains

No Camping

No Ground Fires

No Alcoholic Beverages

No Glass Containers

No Littering

No Fish Cleaning Stations



What you'll find here...


Largemouth Bass on white background
Largemouth Bass

Bluegill Sunfish on white background

Bullhead Catfish on white background

Crappie on white background

Trout on white background

Carp on white background

Permits and Fees

A valid California Fishing License is required for anglers 16 years of age or older. California Department of Fish and Wildlife Freshwater Sport regulations and City regulations are strictly enforced.


Adults$11 per person
Youth (ages 8 to 15)
Children 7 and under are free.
$4 per person
Seniors (age 65 and older)$6 per person

Private Boating and Watercraft, including:

  • Kayaks and Canoes

$11 per boat/craft

$6 per craft

Boat and Kayak Rental Fees


Concession facilitates may or may not be available. See Rocky Mountain Concession's website for its operating schedule.

About Murray Reservoir

Murray Reservoir Dam was constructed in 1918 by the Cuyamaca Water Co. The City of San Diego took over the operation of the reservoir in 1950 from the Helix Water District, and the City purchased the reservoir from Helix 10 years later. Murray Reservoir is located in the eastern part of the City, north of Interstate 8 and Lake Murray Boulevard, on the border with the City of La Mesa. When full, the reservoir has 171.1 surface acres, a maximum water depth of 95 feet and 3.2 shoreline miles. Murray Reservoir has a water storage capacity of 4,684.2-acre feet.

  • photo of Murray Reservoir

Photo courtesy of