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FishQ: Who operates the Fishing Facility?
Sweetwater Authority, a public agency that provides drinking water for 186,900 residents of Chula Vista, National City and Bonita, owns and operates Sweetwater Reservoir and the Fishing Facility. California’s Department of Fish and Game will inspect the facility to assure anglers have fishing licenses and follow state rules and regulations.

Q: Where else can I learn about Sweetwater Reservoir?
A: There is an information line, 619.409.6777, and there is information on the Sweetwater Authority website, To learn more about Sweetwater Authority, you can also call 619.420.1413.

Q: When can I fish at Sweetwater Reservoir?
A: Sweetwater Reservoir fishing is open Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and is closed for major holidays (New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Hours are as follows:

  • 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. from October through February
  • 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from March through September

Q: Why allow fishing on a drinking water reservoir?
A: When residents voted for public ownership of the water system in the 1970s, voters asked for public fishing. Sweetwater Authority's Governing Board, in seeking a balance between human and environmental needs, supports the fishing program as a service to the entire region.

Q: Why has this project taken more than 20 years to complete?
A: Shortly after acquiring the water system in 1977, Sweetwater Authority's Governing
Board realized it would be unfair if water customers paid for fishing facilities they might never use. The Board sought outside funding, which was first obtained in 2000. When funds were available, the Board approved a project designed to come within that budget. Most of the remaining project time has been dedicated to planning and regulatory reviews, which assured the project would best protect water quality and the environment.

Q: Will the fishing program be expanded?
A: Probably not. Because water from Sweetwater Reservoir is treated at the Perdue Plant near the shoreline, it is unlikely that California’s Department of Health Services would ever approve boats or potential body contact activities such as canoeing, kayaking, swimming, water skiing, wading, or float tubes.

Q: Will I ever be able to fish on the north shore of the reservoir?
A: No. The water stored in Sweetwater Reservoir and the wildlife that live there must be carefully protected. Fishing area limits are posted on the south shore.

Q: What type of concessions will be available at the site?
A: None. Visitors must bring their own food, drink, bait and tackle, including drinking water. Portable restrooms and trashcans are provided. Don’t forget sun screen!

Q: Will the lake be stocked with trout and other fish species?
A: There are no plans to stock the lake. We expect healthy populations of bass, catfish,
bullhead, bluegill, perch, rock bass, and carp. Catch and release practices are preferred to avoid over-fishing.

Q: Are boats allowed?
A: No. Motor boats could create problems with fuel contamination or non-native plant or animal species. Non-motorized watercraft might cause body contact.

Q: Will float tubes or waders be allowed?
A: No. They could lead to contamination through human contact with the water.

Q: What other recreation is allowed?
A: Trails are provided for walks, photography, and bird watching. Bicycles, horses and pets are allowed on other designated trails (outside of the fishing facility).

Q: Is camping allowed?
A: No. There is no overnight parking and no camping at the Facility. Camping is available at the County’s Sweetwater Summit Park, west of the Facility. the address is 3218 Summit Meadow Road, Bonita, CA 91902. The information number is 858-694-3049.

Q: How many people are allowed to fish each day?
A: There are 155 parking spaces at the Facility. If the lot is full, visitors may pay a day use fee to park at Sweetwater Summit Campground and hike in. Caretakers are authorized to refuse further admissions as needed.

Q: Is bowfishing allowed?
A: No. The Governing Board has decided against this form of fishing.

Last updated: 8/27/2013 8:41:37 AM