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Along with the rest of California's lakes and reservoirs, Lake Jennings is currently closed to fishing. Photo: Lake Jennings

Reservoirs, Lakes Remain Closed to Fishing Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Although San Diego County’s lakes and reservoirs remain closed to fishing and other recreational activities for safety reasons due to the coronavirus pandemic, staff and volunteers continue to work. Crews are maintaining facilities, providing security, and sharing photos of wildlife and native blooms enjoying the arrival of spring.

Popular overnight campsites remain open at Santee Lakes, operated by the Padre Dam Municipal Water District. Photo: Padre Dam MWD

Popular overnight campsites remain open at Santee Lakes, operated by the Padre Dam Municipal Water District. Photo: Padre Dam Municipal Water District

Popular overnight campsites remain open at Santee Lakes, owned and operated by the Padre Dam Municipal Water District.

“Camper well-being is important to us and Santee Lakes didn’t want to displace people,” said Melissa McChesney, Padre Dam communications manager. She said that includes long-term campers who spent winter at the lake.

“It is important to note that Santee Lakes is not promoting recreation at this time, and the day use section of the park is closed,” said McChesney. “The park is able to provide a safe alternative to any RVers currently on the road in California because we have full electric, water, sewer and WiFi at each site. Santee Lakes is currently only taking reservations for self-contained RVs.”

Campers can reserve space for a maximum of six months. McChesney said campers should still shelter in place and practice physical distancing at the 300 campsites and 10 cabins.

At Santee Lakes, campers can also enjoy spring birdwatching. Two hundred and thirty different bird species have been spotted at the lake.

Nature takes flight at Lake Jennings

Two of the three resident bald eagles at Lake Jennings. Photo: Lake Jennings

At Lake Jennings, Recreation Manager Kira Haley says eight volunteers continue to live and work from their campground homes in recreational vehicles and campers. She said their days remain “pretty typical” even though they see more wildlife and not people.

“Our volunteers handle emerging maintenance, take calls from the public, and provide security,” said Haley. “They’re happy to be there, not having interaction with people during this time.”

Although new camping reservations are closed, Haley said campers currently at the Lake Jennings campgrounds were allowed to finish their stay. She said only one person, from out of state, will be the only camper at the entire park through the end of April.

A wood duck and her ducklings swimming across Santee Lakes. Photo: Santee Lakes/Facebook

Haley and her volunteers are sharing photos of the active wildlife and plant growth on social media. Currently, there are three bald eagles at the lake.

On the Lake Jennings Facebook page, Haley noted with a photo of a bald eagle in flight, “Lake Jennings Social Distancing: Always keep an eagle’s wingspan between you and others.” According to National Geographic, a bald eagle’s typical wingspan measures from six to eight feet – the recommended social distancing minimum.

According to National Geographic, a bald eagle’s typical wingspan measures from six to eight feet – the recommended social distancing minimum. Photo: Lake Jennings/Facebook

City of San Diego lakes and reservoirs closed until further notice

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Paddleboarders will have to wait to get on Lake Hodges. The City of San Diego has closed all reservoirs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: City of San Diego

The City of San Diego’s reservoirs and lakes are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The city closed the reservoirs to the public on March 18 to protect the public and minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The nine water supply storage reservoirs are operated by the City’s Public Utilities Department.

Heavy Rain, Mountain Snow in Forecast for San Diego Region on Thursday

Heavy rain will fall at times in San Diego County Thursday evening and snow is likely in the mountains, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter weather advisory will be in effect until noon Thursday in the county mountains above 5,000 feet. Weather service officials warned residents to use caution while driving because roads could be slippery and visibility could be limited because of falling snow.

As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, 5 inches of snow had fallen on Palomar Mountain. Palomar Mountain is expected to get up to 3 more inches of snow by late Friday morning, while Mount Laguna could get between 6-7 inches and Julian could get trace amounts of snow, meteorologist Miguel Miller said. Snow levels will be around 4,900 feet Thursday morning, then rise to 5,500 feet by this afternoon and remain there through Friday morning.

A flash flood watch is in effect throughout the county until Friday afternoon.

One Way to Potentially Track Covid-19? Sewage Surveillance

How many people have been infected with the new coronavirus? A group of Bay Area researchers aims to find out—by tracking what’s in the local wastewater.

Lawmakers Urge Governor Newsom to Reconsider Incidental Take Permit

Several Congressional leaders sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom expressing disappointment in the decision to issue an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for long-term operations of the State Water Project.  The six Members of Congress who represent a large portion of California noted that the ITP will have a detrimental impact on cooperative efforts to govern California waterways.

Record-Setting Storm to Continue Crawl Over California into Friday

A nearly stationary storm will be slow to wring out all of its moisture over central and Southern California into the end of the week.

Opinion: Essential or Not, All Construction Requires Enhanced Safety Protocols

Across the United States, communities are working diligently to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. From healthcare to food distribution and other essential services, all industries are assessing ways to keep their workforce healthy and safe while meeting the needs of our nation during this time of crisis.

California State Water Board Approves Key Permits for KRRC Dam Removal

The State Water Board on Tuesday, April 7 issued key documents that move the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) significantly closer to removing four dams and re-opening 360 miles of the Klamath River and its tributaries to imperiled salmon, according to a news release.

Cal Water Responds to Concerns During COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to concerns the California Water Service has seen about the safety of tap water as well as scammers targeting utility providers’ customers through phone, mail and email for personal information or to demand payment for their bills, released the following things residents should know.

Opinion: From the Pumps to Courtrooms, Trump’s Water Boost is Making Waves

How radical are our state leaders and environmentalists in regards to California water? Very.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Dale Drozd, an Obama appointee, denied a temporary restraining order on Delta pumping sought by a cavalry of usual suspects.

Snow Day? No Way. Coronavirus Restrictions Bar Outdoor Play After Storm Blankets Mountains

Residents in the Southern California mountains awoke to a blanket of fresh snowfall on Wednesday, but thanks to restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, a would-be snow day was quashed by health officials.