Published in Lakes

Diamond Valley Lake

    Diamond Valley Lake

    Additional Info

    • Managed by: Metropolitan Water District
    • Surface acres: 4500
    • Float tubes: Not allowed
    • State license: Required
    • Fish species: Black crappie, Blue catfish, Bluegill, Channel catfish, Largemouth bass, Rainbow trout, Redear sunfish, Smallmouth bass, Striped bass

    Diamond Valley is Southern California's newest, and largest reservoir. Diamond Valley is arguably the premier fishery in all of Southern California for many species of fish including largemouth bass, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and striped bass. The bass fishing is normally very good, especially for largemouth bass and rainbow trout.

    Many believe Diamond Valley may be the odds-on favorite to produce the next World Record largemouth. While there are always several ways to catch a good bag of largemouth at Diamond Valley, one of the most consistent producers is drop shotting off deep points using the "Morning Dawn" colored Roboworm with a drop shot rig. A solid population of Smallmouth Bass is thriving in Diamond Valley, making it probably your best bet to target Smallmouth Bass year-round in Southern California.

    But Diamond Valley might be known best for its striped bass fishing. Large striped bass have become more and more common, and growing to very healthy sizes. The striped bass enjoy an endless supply of panfish, trout, shad and even bass and can be caught on large topwater baits and swimbaits. Striped bass exceeding 30 pounds have been caught. 

    The trout fishing at Diamond Valley is also fantastic. Generally the fish caught here are among the hardest fighting, healthiest rainbow trout in the region. Fish in the 6-10 pound class are common, hold over trout feast year-round on the lakes abundant shad population. The cool deep water available allows the trout to survive the warm summer months of Southern California. Brown trout are also stocked on occasion. 

    Location / Directions

    Diamond Valley Lake is located in Hemet, approximately 85 miles north east of downtown San Diego. To get to the lake, take the 15 North to the 215 North. Exit Newport Road and go east. Newport Road turns into Domenigoni Parkway, continue straight until Searl Parkway, turn right and follow to the lake's marina.


    This giant reservoir was built between two mountains with the construction of its three mammoth sized dams. They began to fill the lake in 1999, and finished in 2002. The large East and West dams stretch over 1 mile in length each, seperated by over 4 and a half miles of water. Because of its immense depth (260 feet at full pool), Diamond Valley holds more water than the Colorado River's Lake Havasu (260 billion gallons vs. 201 billion gallons).

    The lake was practically groomed to be a world-class fishery. The Department of Fish and Game began stocking the original "pond" with the best largemouth bass specimens they could find, many coming from Lake Hodges. The growth rates of the fish at Diamond Valley are unparalelled by any other lake in Southern California. The lake opened to fishing and boating in October of 2003, and has quickly become the premier bass and trout reservoir in Southern California.

    Hours, Fees & Boating Information

    Diamond Valley is open 7 days a week for shore fishing, boat launching, and boat rentals. All private boats must pass an inspection by the Metropolitan Water District prior to launching for the first time. The MWD has fairly strict requirements as far as what boat engines are permitted on the lake. For a full outline of boat requirements please visit Boat Requirements.

    There is a 25 mph speed limit that is strictly enforced by the local Sheriff. Boats operating with 200 feet of the shoreline, and within marina areas must adhere a 5 mph speed limit.

    The lake closes daily 1 hour prior to sunset, and all vehicles need to be out of the parking lot prior to it getting dark.

    Urban Parks operates a well-stocked concession stand that sells refreshments and a decent supply of fishing equipment. The marina features an impressive rental facility, with Triton aluminum bass boats available as well as a fleet of pontoon boats.

    Special Regulations

    • There are strict boating regulations at the lake, please see the link above for all boat requirements. No dogs are allowed at the lake. Shorefishing is allowed in designated areas only, which amass to about a mile and a half of accessible shorefishing. Live bait is not allowed at Diamond Valley, excluding nightcrawlers and red worms. No float tubes are allowed. No BBQs are allowed. Bikes are not allowed.

    Last modified on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 16:01