Upper Otay Lake was established in 1959 and is the smallest of San Diego’s reservoirs with only 20 surface acres when full. The reservoir is an active hatchery and breeding ground for the Florida-strain largemouth bass. It is one of two reservoirs in San Diego County that has a catch-and-release only fishing program.
Upper Otay does not have any barbecues or picnic tables. Visitors can bring self contained gas barbecues for use in designated areas only. Ground fires, glass containers and camping are not allowed at the park.
The gates to Upper Otay Reservoir are open on a seasonal schedule from February 1 through October 31 (weather permitting). Pedestrian access is allowed for fishing on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday on a year-round basis.
|Adult Fishing Permit||$8.00|
|Youth Fishing Permit||$2.50|
|Senior Fishing Permit||$4.00|
|Boat Launch Permit||$7.00|
|Advance Boat Launch Permit||$7.00|
|Advance Fishing Permit||$8.00|
|Prices are subject to change at anytime.|
Upper Otay is open for fishing one half-hour before sunrise to sunset Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The lake offers fishing for Florida-strain largemouth bass, bluegill and bullhead on a catch and releasebasis, with barbless artificial lures only for all species of fish. You must be have a California State Fishing license if you are 16 years of age or older.
There is no concession services at Upper Otay. Daily permits may be purchased at the Iron Ranger pay station (exact change required) .
Private boats are not allowed and rental boats are not available. Float tubes and shore fishing are permitted. The use of float tubes is restricted to within 150 feet or less from shore. Float tubers must follow standard regulations which include waterproof waders, 144 sq. in. orange for visibility, horn or whistle and spare floatation device. Any float tube that uses oars or has a motor must purchase a private boat use permit.
For information on trails please check the San Dieguito River Park’s web site at sdrp.org
From Interstate 805, take Telegraph Canyon Road exit east, and continue past Wueste Road (Telegraph Canyon then becomes Otay Lakes Road). Make a left turn at the Upper Otay Reservoir sign.