Santee Lakes

Santee Lakes is a small set of 7 man-made reservoirs in Santee, CA about 17 miles northeast of downtown San Diego. Lakes 1 through 5 are open to the public, while lakes 6 and 7 are open for those camping at the lake.

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  • Rainbow trout are stocked heavily in the winter months, and channel catfish are stocked equally heavily the rest of the year.

    The trout season at Santee Lakes is unlike any other – monster trout are stocked into these very small and shallow reservoirs, giving anglers a very real shot at the biggest trout of their life. They also filter in tagged fish (both catfish and trout) that are worth prizes throughout the season.

    Additionally, largemouth bass fishing can be good at times, particularly in the spring. Plastic worms fished on a carolina rig or drop shot are solid producers, as are jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, and even topwater in the summer. Bass are strictly catch and release.

    The lakes are the centerpiece of a well kept urban park that includes a very nice campground (both RV and tent camping), waterfront cabins, playgrounds, volleyball courts, a water “sprayground”, boat and bike rentals, picnic areas, horseshoe pits, clean restrooms, and much more. Santee Lakes is more of a resort than a park, with the lakes the central focus.

    An impressive general store located at lake 5 is stocked as good or better than any mini mart you’re accustomed to visiting in town. They even offer a lakefront grill on weekends during lunch hours with hot dogs and hamburgers.

    Lakes 3 and 4 feature fishing piers, one of which on lake 4 is handicap accessible.


    Santee Lakes is located at 9310 Fanita Parkway in Santee, CA.

    Santee Lakes map

    Hours, Fees and Boating

    Santee Lakes is open daily with variable hours. See the recent Santee Lakes fish reports for the most current schedule.

    Daily fishing permits, and a park entry vehicle fee are required, see our “Lake Permits and Fees” page for updated information on fees. California Sport Fishing Licenses are not required to fish at Santee Lakes.

    Rental boats (paddle boats) are available on lake 5, as are canoes and kayaks. Private boats, private kayaks and canoes are not allowed. Float tubes are permitted on lake 1 only, and require a waiver be signed ahead of time. Anglers under the age of 18 must have a signed waiver from their parents.

    Santee Lakes Fishing Records

    Blue Catfish39.25 
    Largemouth Bass13.5  
    Rainbow Trout16.5625 

    Recent and Future Fish Plants

    DateSpeciesSourceWeight (lbs)Notes
    11/7/15Rainbow TroutJess Ranch2500Tagged and trophy trout included
    11/20/15Rainbow TroutJess Ranch800
    12/4/15Rainbow TroutJess Ranch800
    12/18/15Rainbow TroutJess Ranch800
    12/24/15Rainbow TroutJess Ranch800
    1/1/16Rainbow TroutJess Ranch800
    1/15/16Rainbow TroutJess Ranch2000
    1/29/16Rainbow TroutJess Ranch800
    2/12/16Rainbow TroutJess Ranch800
    2/26/16Rainbow TroutJess Ranch800
    3/11/16Rainbow TroutJess Ranch800

    Santee Lakes News