Published in Lakes

San Vicente Reservoir

    San Vicente Reservoir

    Additional Info

    • Managed by: City of San Diego
    • Facilities: Snack Bar, Restrooms, Portable Toilets, Boat Ramp, Picnic Tables, Fishing Dock(s)
    • Float tubes: Allowed
    • State license: Required
    • Fish species: Black crappie, Blue catfish, Bluegill, Carp, Channel catfish, Largemouth bass, Rainbow trout, Redear sunfish

    San Vicente is one of the larger lakes in the county providing lots of shoreline and deep water access. The lake responsible for producing the last two California State Record Blue Catfish, first a 101 lb Blue caught in 2001, and in 2008 a 113 pound giant Blue Catfish. There is a natural island in the middle of the lake that provides prime fishing territory and an attractive view from all around.

    San Vicente is a prime bass lake that regularly hosts fishing tournaments from local and regional organizations. While it doesn't typically produce the size of fish that the smaller reservoirs do, it was consistently the best bass fishery in the county.

    Trout are stocked during the winter which provides fun for anglers and growth pills for the bass to gorge on. Trout fishing is somewhat sporadic however and actually the least popular. This lake is an incubator for 3 lb. Bluegill, Redear Sunfish, and Largemouth bass with a large percentage over 10 lbs.

    San Vicente is NOW CLOSED for the Dam Raise project. For information on the San Vicente Dam Raise visit


    Located 25 miles northeast of San Diego in the rural foothills of Lakeside. From Escondido, take 15 south to Scripps Poway Parkway going east which ends at Highway 67. Turn right on 67, continue to Vigilante Road and make a left turn. Make another left on Moreno Avenue and follow signs to the entrance. From San Diego take 8 east to Highway 67. Go north on 67 to Vigilante Road, turn right, then turn left on Moreno Avenue. From the entrance it’s about one mile to the concession/launch area.


    The dam was completed in 1943 forming a 1,069 surface acre reservoir with 14 miles of shoreline and a depth of up to 190 ft. San Vicente was closed to fishing and recreation in the summer of 2008 for the "San Vicente Dam Raise" by the San Diego County Water Authority. Originally standing 220 feet tall, and storing 90,000 acre-feet of water water, the dam will be increased another 117 feet to hold another 152,000 acre-feet of water.

    A new marina is also part of the project, which will be completed immediately following the completion of the dam raise project.

    Hours, Fees, and Boating Information

    The lake will re-open sometime between 2014 and 2017, when the water level reaches the new launch ramp.

    Facilities & Recreation Information

    This park is better suited for water activities than it is from shore, however there is a picnic area with barbeques and a beautiful view of the lake for a nice day by the water. It is the most popular reservoir for water skiing and wake boarding, but jet-skis are not allowed.

    Special Regulations

    Glass containers are not allowed in the park. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and at least 50 feet away from the water. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on boats (rented or private)

    Reservoir Closure Information Links

    Last modified on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 12:21

    San Vicente Fish Reports