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Sweetwater Reservoir Now Open on Fridays for Public Use

The Sweetwater Authority has added another day for the public to enjoy activities at the Sweetwater Reservoir in Spring Valley. Previously open Saturdays through Mondays, the Authority expanded operations to include Fridays to give residents more opportunities to get outside and experience nature this summer.

Starting Friday, July 2,  Sweetwater Reservoir will be open so that San Diego County residents can enjoy fishing, hiking, biking and bird watching.

Sweetwater Reservoir-Sweetwater Authority-Expanded days

Sweetwater Reservoir Now Open on Fridays for Public Use

The Sweetwater Authority has added another day for the public to enjoy activities at the Sweetwater Reservoir in Spring Valley. Previously open Saturdays through Mondays, the Authority expanded operations to include Fridays to give residents more opportunities to get outside and experience nature this summer.

Starting Friday, July 2,  Sweetwater Reservoir will be open so that San Diego County residents can enjoy fishing, hiking, biking and bird watching. The reservoir hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Shoreline Fishing Program

The addtional day also means another day for the Sweetwater Authority Shoreline Fishing Program.

“Our Fishing Program provides cost-effective, fun and educational recreational opportunities for San Diego County residents of all ages,” said Sweetwater Authority Board Chair Hector Martinez. “We’re pleased to expand this program to include Fridays and welcome residents to enjoy the beauty of our water and the environment this Independence Day weekend.”

In addition to the Sweetwater Reservoir, shoreline fishing is also available at the Authority’s Loveland Reservoir near Alpine.

Both lakes host a healthy population of bass, catfish, bullhead, bluegill, perch, rock bass and more. Catch and release is encouraged to avoid overfishing, and anglers must comply with California Fish and Game regulations.

Sweetwater Reservoir

The Sweetwater Reservoir provides shoreline fishing along a 2.5-mile stretch on the south side of the reservoir. Access is via San Miguel Road in Bonita near Sweetwater Summit Park.

Hours of Operation: 
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays
7 am to 5 pm, March – September
7 am to 4 pm, October – February

Daily Fees:  
$5 per adult
$2 per child under 16 (must be with an adult)
$3 per car for non-fishing visitors

Loveland Reservoir-Fishing-Sweetwater Authority

Shoreline fishing is available at Loveland Reservoir near Alpine. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Loveland Reservoir

The Loveland Reservoir provides fishing along a five-mile portion of the shoreline. Access is via the Interstate 8 East to Tavern Road/Alpine off-ramp.

Hours of Operation: 
Open Daily
6 am to 6 pm, March – September
6 am to 5 pm, October – February

Daily Fees:
There are no fees to access Loveland Reservoir.

A California State Fishing License is required at both reservoirs for those 16 and older, and adult supervision is required for children under the age of 16.

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

Sweetwater Authority Reservoirs Provide Safe Public Recreation

One year into the coronavirus pandemic, San Diego County’s reservoirs and lakes have provided welcome opportunities for safe, accessible outdoor family recreation.

After shutting down in March 2020, facilities began to slowly reopen through the summer months by carefully implementing safety guidelines, including increased sanitation, social distancing, and restricted attendance to allow San Diegans to resume their favorite hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and bird watching activities.

Hooded mergansers glide across Sweetwater Reservoir. Photo: Sweetwater Authority Reservoirs

Sweetwater Authority Reservoirs Provide Safe Public Recreation 

One year into the coronavirus pandemic, San Diego County’s reservoirs and lakes have provided welcome opportunities for safe, accessible outdoor family recreation.

After shutting down in March 2020, facilities began to slowly reopen through the summer months by carefully implementing safety guidelines, including increased sanitation, social distancing, and restricted attendance to allow San Diegans to resume their favorite hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and bird watching activities.

Sweetwater Authority owns and maintains two popular recreation spots in San Diego County, Sweetwater Reservoir near Spring Valley and Loveland Reservoir, near Alpine.

Primarily a local water supply for Sweetwater Authority’s 200,000 customers in National City, Chula Vista, and Bonita, the agency has created recreational opportunities at the reservoirs. Fishing programs are offered at both reservoirs and a riding and hiking trail at Sweetwater Reservoir is operated by the County of San Diego.

Sweetwater is one of several regional water agencies that offer recreational opportunities at reservoirs and lakes. Helix Water District operates Lake Jennings, a hot spot for trout fishing. The City of San Diego also provides boat rentals and paddle-boarding at several of its reservoirs.

Safety first to protect the public 

Sweetwater Authority owns and maintains two popular recreation spots in San Diego County, Sweetwater Reservoir (above) near Spring Valley, California, and Loveland Reservoir, further east near Alpine, California. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Sweetwater Authority owns and maintains two popular recreation spots in San Diego County, Sweetwater Reservoir (above) near Spring Valley and Loveland Reservoir near Alpine. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Both fishing programs and the trail at Sweetwater Reservoir are designed to protect public health and the drinking water supply while benefiting the community.

“At Sweetwater Authority, part of our mission is finding the balance between human and environmental needs,” said Sweetwater Authority Board Chair Hector Martinez. “The recreation opportunities at our two reservoirs are a great example of how we achieve that balance. We can share these beautiful resources with the community while continuing to protect the local drinking water supply for our customers.”

A California Fishing License is required to fish at both reservoirs, and there are rules in place to ensure the protection of the water supply and sensitive habitats surrounding its reservoirs. For more information on current hours, fees, and COVID-19 safety, go to: www.sweetwater.org/fishing.

“The Board and I are proud to offer these recreation programs,” said Martinez. “We encourage the community to take advantage of these opportunities to get outside and enjoy the beauty of our water and the environment.”

Sweetwater Authority Offers Community Safe Outdoor Recreation Opportunities at Two Local Reservoirs

An angler casts a line, hoping for a nibble. Nearby, hikers and equestrians enjoy a morning walk along the water. Overhead, dozens of bird species, some of which are endangered, travel home to their nests made safe by protected areas around the reservoir. This idyllic scene is just another Saturday morning near Sweetwater Reservoir in Spring Valley, Calif.

Sweetwater Dam was constructed through the efforts of the Kimball Brothers, and spurred development of National City and Chula Vista. Photo: SDCWA Archives

1895: Sweetwater Dam Spurs South Bay Growth

As early as 1853, farmers in the San Diego region started making the transition from dry land farming and ranching to irrigated agriculture, specifically lucrative citrus crops. With the prospect of large profits looking, farmers scrambled to develop local water supplies for irrigation.

A pair of enterprising brothers stepped up to fill the need for water in the back country. They organized the Kimball Brothers Water Company. In 1869, it bought the rights to the Sweetwater River and then built a reservoir with a 90-foot high dam and distribution pipes. Their water supply spurred the development of National City and Chula Vista.

The Water Authority is in the final stages of the Lake Murray to Sweetwater Reservoir Pipeline 3 Relining Project, including the restoration of roadways to pre-construction condition. La Mesa Relining Project

La Mesa Relining Project on Pace for Completion in June

Major construction activities have concluded at a pipeline relining project in La Mesa and Spring Valley, and the entire project is on track for completion by the end of June.

The Lake Murray to Sweetwater Reservoir Pipeline 3 Relining Project rehabilitated 4.3 miles of 66- and 69-inch diameter pipes, extending the pipeline’s service life by several decades and helping ensure continued water system reliability.

The timely success of the project underscores the value of collaboration by the Water Authority’s project team; public agency stakeholders such as the city of La Mesa and Helix Water District; and the contractor, L.H. Woods & Sons, Inc.

Construction began in September 2017. The bulk of the work was performed underground, through portals, which allow easy access to the pipe. This process is about half the cost of a conventional pipeline replacement project and is less disruptive to the environment and surrounding communities.

Project part of larger Water Authority effort

The 4.3-mile project is part of a larger effort by the Water Authority to rehabilitate 82 miles of its pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe installed between the early 1960s and 80s throughout the county. This type of pipe has been found to be less reliable than previously thought. In response, the Water Authority launched the Pipeline Relining Program to reinforce these pipes with steel liners, increasing their service life by 75 years or more.

With the last of the new steel liners installed, welded, grouted and lined with cement mortar, the remaining work includes site restoration – such as re-paving and re-striping roadways – and demobilizing.

With the completion of the Lake Murray to Sweetwater project, the Water Authority has rehabilitated more than half of its pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe.