New-look Lake Sutherland reopens for fishing March 3rd

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  • Lake Sutherland will reopen for the 2017 fishing season on Friday, March 3rd, with an additional 40 vertical feet of water in the reservoir compared to when it closed at the end of September last year.

    Thanks to the recent storms, Sutherland’s boat ramp will be available again for private boat launching this season – it has been out of water since the end of the 2012 season, when Sutherland’s water level dropped below the minimum 70′ mark required for the single-lane, low water ramp to be in service.

    As of this morning’s gauge reading, Sutherland is up to 100.34′ and is still rising with the creeks flowing into the reservoir from the watershed to the east and northeast of the lake. That puts it about 40′ higher than it was at the end of September. The launch ramp, which was out of water last year by almost 10 vertical feet, is now going to be sitting in roughly 30′ of water!

    Photo from the city of San Diego showing Sutherland at its current water level in March, 2017

    Photo by local angler John Paruleski of Sutherland on January 29th, after the lake came up about 25′ from storms in late January

    The lake will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from now through September. But boaters will have to wait an extra day to launch at Sutherland this year, as the city of San Diego will continue their normal schedule of allowing boat launching only on Saturdays and Sundays. Fridays will continue to be reserved for shore anglers, float tubers, and car-topper boats and kayaks only.

    All boats will be subject to a mandatory quagga mussel inspection by lake staff prior to launching. Boats must be clean of visible debris, and completely dry at inspection, otherwise they’ll not be allowed to launch. See the city’s inspection procedures for more information.

    There are no concession services available at Sutherland, and no boat rentals available.

    As for the fishing to be expected, Sutherland typically enjoys very good early-season action for the opening weekend for bass and crappie. With so much new water, fish will be spread out and could present a challenge locating. Typically, senkos fished tight to the bank can produce good bass action for the opener.

    For more information on the fishing, read up on last season’s Lake Sutherland fish reports and also browse our user submitted fishing reports from Sutherland (must be a subscribed member of our forums to view).

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