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CalFIRE firefighting helicopter flies over Loveland Reservoir. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Loveland Reservoir Serves As Vital Resource in Fighting Recent Wildfire

Earlier this week, a fire broke out near Sweetwater Authority’s (Authority) Loveland Reservoir in Alpine, California. Authority staff swiftly responded to assist emergency services with access and logistics in their effort to fight the wind-driven fire, which burned approximately 18 acres before being contained.

Loveland Reservoir, an important drinking water resource for Authority customers, served as a vital asset in providing water to firefighters during a recent wildfire response. Approximately 32,000 gallons of water were lifted from the near-full reservoir by San Diego Gas & Electric and San Diego Sheriff helicopters to aid with fire suppression.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFIRE) water trucks also used the reservoir property’s on-site fire hydrant for their fire-fighting efforts.

During the incident, the reservoir property was used as a staging area and incident command center.

“This shared effort between Sweetwater Authority and emergency services demonstrates the importance of community partnership in times of crisis,” said Board Chair Paulina Martinez-Perez. “We greatly appreciate the dedication and bravery of first responders and are proud to have been able to assist them during this incident.”

Loveland Reservoir is once again open for recreational activities. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Loveland Reservoir is once again open for recreational activities. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

During the incident, the Authority temporarily closed its Loveland Recreation Program to protect the safety of those in the area. The program has since reopened to normal hours. View more information at www.sweetwater.org/recreation.

 

Loveland Reservoir Trail Money Eyed For Bridge, Parking Lot, Fish Stocking, More Water

Sweetwater Authority officials and Loveland lake users are discussing what to do with a $750,000 state grant the agency has received for trail improvements. In the first workshop this month, which a late change of venue from Alpine to Chula Vista didn’t prevent a large crowd from attending, ideas flew about not only maintaining trails — but water levels. While the funding is earmarked for trails and their access, for many Loveland visitors (in East County, just south of Alpine), trails are for getting to fishing spots.

This Endangered Toad is Experiencing a Resurgence Thanks to Storms Like Hilary and a San Diego Water District

An endangered toad in San Diego’s East County is having a bit of a resurgence thanks to a couple of storms like Hilary and a large hole in the bottom of a dam.

“This is perfect habitat for the arroyo toad,” said Sweetwater Authority Biologist Pete Famolaro while standing in a Sweetwater River watershed near the Loveland Reservoir.

Loveland Reservoir Expected to Spill Early Next Week Due to Tropical Storm, Flooding in Area Likely

Chula Vista, Calif. – Due to expected heavy rainfall from tropical storm Hilary, Sweetwater Authority expects unplanned water releases, or spills, from Loveland Reservoir in Alpine, California may occur early next week. These potential unplanned water releases, together with expected abundant storm runoff, could cause flooding in areas downstream. Residents in the Sweetwater River flood-plain asked to prepare in order to reduce possibility of damage to property.

(Editor’s note: The Sweetwater Authority is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the San Diego County region.) 

Loveland Reservoir Expected to Spill Early Next Week Due to Tropical Storm, Flooding in Area Likely

Residents in the Sweetwater River flood-plain asked to prepare in order to reduce possibility of damage to property

Chula Vista, Calif. – Due to expected heavy rainfall from tropical storm Hilary, Sweetwater Authority expects unplanned water releases, or spills, from Loveland Reservoir in Alpine, California may occur early next week. These potential unplanned water releases, together with expected abundant storm runoff, could cause flooding in areas downstream.

Loveland Reservoir May Be Weeks Away From Partial Reopening

A group of East County residents made the trip to the South Bay Wednesday evening to fight for the reopening of Loveland Reservoir. It’s a topic they’ve been raising concern about for several months now.

East County Residents Continue to Question Loveland Reservoir Closure

East County residents are still searching for answers after the Loveland Reservoir was drained and then closed to public access. They haven’t been told when or if they’ll be able to use the area for recreation again.

In Heated Alpine Meeting, Sweetwater Officials Pledge to Restore Some Damage, Reopen Loveland Reservoir—but Won’t Rule Out Future Extreme Draining

A crowd of more than angry residents turned out at the Alpine Community Planning Group hearing on March 23, where Sweetwater Water Authority officials addressed concerns over damage at Loveland Reservoir after SWA drained it to dead pool status. Audience members and planning group members peppered SWA officials with questions in the at times contentious session.

Sweetwater Reservoir Open to Free Fishing on Sundays in 2023

The Sweetwater Reservoir now offers “Free Fishing Sundays” through the Sweetwater Authority’s Reservoir Recreation Program. Free access weekly on Sundays will continue through the end of 2023.

The Sweetwater Reservoir will offer free fishing on Sundays throughout 2023. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Sweetwater Reservoir Open to Free Fishing on Sundays in 2023  

The Sweetwater Reservoir now offers “Free Fishing Sundays” through the Sweetwater Authority’s Reservoir Recreation Program. Free access weekly on Sundays will continue through the end of 2023.

Located at the eastern edge of Bonita, Sweetwater Reservoir’s Recreation Program is easily accessible to the water agency’s customers. The program offers outdoor activities including 2.5 miles of shoreline fishing, and a riding and hiking trail operated by the County of San Diego.

Beginning March 1, program hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The entrance is at 3203 Summit Meadow Road in Bonita. A valid California Department of Fish and Wildlife Fishing License is required. Regular fishing fees are still in effect on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays.

New program, free access

The new program extends this opportunity due to the recent closure of Loveland Reservoir to recreational use.

“We recognize that the recent closure of Loveland Reservoir has impacted recreation access,” said Authority Board Chair Hector Martinez. “We hope that by offering free access to the program on Sundays, customers and local residents will come out and enjoy these outdoor recreational activities located right here in our own community.”

A California Fishing License is required, and the Authority has established rules to ensure the protection of the water supply and sensitive habitats surrounding its reservoirs. For more information on current hours, fees, and safety, visit www.sweetwater.org/fishing.

San Diego County lakes prized for freshwater fishing

A happy angler shows off his catch at the Sweetwater Reservoir. Photo: Fishbrain.com Free fishing

A happy angler shows off his catch at the Sweetwater Reservoir. Photo: Fishbrain.com

San Diego County’s freshwater fishing in area reservoirs and lakes managed by the region’s water agencies attracts experts and beginners alike. Eighteen of the County’s 24 reservoirs allow fishing, including the 960-acre Sweetwater Reservoir.

According to FishedThat.com, Sweetwater Reservoir is rated among San Diego County’s top three freshwater fishing locations. Fish available in the reservoir include carp, largemouth bass, bluegill, red-eared sunfish, channel catfish, and crappie.

Fifth-grade students in the Sweetwater service area were also provided free fishing passes for the year through their schools.

Primarily a local water supply for the Sweetwater Authority’s 200,000 customers in National City, Chula Vista, and Bonita, the agency has created recreational opportunities at the reservoir including fishing programs and a riding and hiking trail, operated by the County of San Diego.

(Editor’s note: The Sweetwater Authority is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the San Diego County region.)