What's New at the City Lakes

Updated July 25, 2016

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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, or call  (619) 466-4847.

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, call (619) 465-3474 for recorded information, or contact the City's Reservoirs and Recreation Program office at (619) 668-2050 during regular hours.

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.

No City 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 the Department of Fish and Wildlife 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 (619) 668-2050 (Monday through Friday) or email [email protected]. For concession days and hours of operation, please call (619) 466-4847 or the individual concession numbers listed below.

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, Independence Day, 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.  For Monday or Friday holidays at Water Contact reservoirs, the schedule will follow the closest weekend day; Monday holidays will copy the Sunday schedule and Friday holiday will copy the Saturday schedule.

Barrett Reservoir

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 late October through January.  Tickets are sold at the tune-up in October.  For more information, call the Reservoirs and Recreation Program Office at (619) 668-2050.

El Capitan Reservoir

El Capitan is open on its summer schedule one half hour before sunrise to sunset as follows:

  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday - Fishing, general boating and water contact (water-skiing, wakeboarding, jet skiing, etc.).
  • Mondays and Tuesdays - Fishing and general boating, no water contact activities.

  • Wednesday and Thursday - 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 at (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 Friday through Tuesdays. LAUNCH FEES ARE DIFFERENT AT EL CAPITAN FOR KAYAKS. Each person pays the $8 (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 towing vessels per water contact 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 or 10 a.m. and Fridays are generally slower. Please plan accordingly. Currently there are no restrictions for the launching of personal water craft 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 Reservoir

Hodges is open on a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday schedule from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset and closed on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

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 when the reservoir is open during the regular recreation 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 see Private Boats and Watercraft for current rules and regulations on sailboarding.

Maximum speed limit is 35 mph.

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

Lower Otay Reservoir

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 and boat rentals are available on those days only.  Patrons can use credit cards for boat rentals and permit purchases.  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.  Phone: (619) 397-5212 (phone answered only on days open for fishing).

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

Private boats, float tubes and kayaks are permitted Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Maximum speed limit is 35 mph.

Miramar Reservoir

Miramar's concession is open Thursdays through Sundays during the summer and Friday through Sunday during the fall, winter and spring. The schedule may change without prior notice.

Please call ahead to check concession hours at (858) 527-1722 or (619) 466-4847. Phone not answered on days and hours not open for operation.

Permits on days and times that the concession is closed during regular fishing hours 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 see Permits & 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 Reservoir

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 no later than 6 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 during regular fishing hours 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 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 or no wake.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Murray with rainbow trout during the winter months.

San Vicente Reservoir

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.  There is no estimated opening date at this time; more information will be made available when a date becomes official.

Sutherland Reservoir

Sutherland is currently 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) and all permits are sold in February at the tune-up.

Please call (619) 668-2050 or email [email protected] 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 Reservoir

Upper Otay gates are open on a seasonal schedule from Feb. 1 through Oct. 31 (weather permitting). When gates are closed pedestrian access is still permitted on regularly open fishing days and hours.

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 Feb. 1 through Oct. 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. For more information on Turkey hunting in San Diego, please check the Wild Turkey Federation website.  The tune-up is in February and all permits are sold at that time.

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 [email protected] 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 tournament at a City reservoir, please download the Appropiate Tournament Application Form.  Form should be returned to [email protected] or faxed to (619) 443-7681.

PDF icon Night Tournament Application

File Day Tournament Application
Description: 

Application for Day Tournies

 

Date Club Location
July 30 Bass Club of San Diego Hodges
July 30 San Diego Strokers Hodges
August 6 National Bass Association West El Capitan
August 6 Orange County Bass Club Lower Otay
August 7 Ramona Bass Anglers Lower Otay

 

For additional information you can call (619) 465-3464 for recorded information, or contact the City's Reservoirs and Recreation Program office at (619) 668-2050, or email [email protected]