An angler casts a line, hoping for a nibble. Nearby, hikers and equestrians enjoy a morning walk along the water. Overhead, dozens of bird species, some of which are endangered, travel home to their nests made safe by protected areas around the reservoir. This idyllic scene is just another Saturday morning near Sweetwater Reservoir in Spring Valley, CA.
Sweetwater Reservoir and its surrounding areas are owned and maintained by Sweetwater Authority (Authority), a public water agency serving 200,000 residents of National City, Chula Vista and Bonita. Primarily a local water supply for those customers, the Authority has also created recreational opportunities at the reservoir, including its own fishing program and a riding and hiking trail operated by the County of San Diego through a license from the Authority.
Farther east near Alpine, CA, the Authority offers recreationists another opportunity to get outdoors at Loveland Reservoir. Established through a unique partnership between the Authority and the USDA Forest Service, the Loveland Reservoir fishing program provides anglers access to a portion of the reservoir’s shoreline.
Both fishing programs and the trail at Sweetwater Reservoir are designed to protect public health and the drinking water supply while benefiting the community.
“At Sweetwater Authority, part of our mission is finding the balance between human and environmental needs,” said Authority Board Chair Hector Martinez. “The recreation opportunities at our two reservoirs are a great example of how we achieve that balance. We can share these beautiful resources with the community while continuing to protect the local drinking water supply for our customers.”
A California Fishing License is required to fish at both reservoirs, and the Authority has established rules to ensure the protection of the water supply and sensitive habitats surrounding its reservoirs. For more information on current hours, fees, and COVID-19 safety, visit www.sweetwater.org/fishing.
“The Board and I are proud to offer these recreation programs,” said Martinez. “We encourage the community to take advantage of these opportunities to get outside and enjoy the beauty of our water and the environment.”