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East County News Service

Boats, float tubes, canoes and kayaks are once again allowed after rains raised water levels

April 5, 2017 (Lake Morena) – For the first time in years, the boat launch at Lake Morena County Park is now open—and the county encourages you to gather up your fishing rods and bait for a day of fishing and fun.

The County owns the park around the lake. But the lake itself is a reservoir owned by the city of San Diego, which over objections from the county and residents opted to drain the reservoir down to minimal levels during the drought to supply drinking water for San Diego residents.  Dry weather further lowered levels to only about 2.5% of capacity as of last fall.

The winter rains have raised the level to 9.2%. While still not as high as in its heyday, the water level is safe for the boat launch to be reopened.  Boats, as well as personal watercraft, fishing float tubes, canoes and kayaks were allowed back in the reservoir on April 1. Motorboats are also available to rent for daily fishing and sightseeing activities.

“Reopening the boat launch is a big deal for us and for local fishermen. People can now enjoy the lake from their own boats,” said Supervising Park Ranger James Stowers. “We encourage everyone to visit the lake this spring, and to participate in activities like fishing lessons and animal encounters.”

The boat-launch fee is $8. View other rates and related information on the park page.

All boats must undergo a quagga mussel inspection prior to launch. Quagga mussels are an invasive species that upset the natural ecosystem of a body of water. Check the Boat Launch Information on the park’s webpage for inspection details.

You can also see what’s “biting” in a weekly fishing report.

As a reminder, swimming is prohibited at Lake Morena because it is a working reservoir.

Lake Morena is a camping and fishing park located in the East County community of Campo, southwest of the Laguna Mountains. The park features characteristics of desert, coastal and mountain habitats. A reservoir is in the middle of 3,250-acre park surrounded by oak woods, shrubs and grasslands and a variety of wildlife.

You can stay the day or spend the night. Lake Morena County Park has 86 tent and RV camping sites, along with 10 cabins. The park has 8 miles of trails that meander through the property including a new TRACK Trail for kids, which turns ordinary hiking into a scavenger hunt with prizes. Other amenities include a playground, artifacts exhibit with live animals, and pavilion. Parking is $3 per vehicle for non-campers.

For more information, call the park at (619) 579-4101, or make a camping reservation online.