Miramar, Murray Reservoirs reopen Friday, Otay Reservoir opens Saturday

Posted at 4:49 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 19:49:56-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Three reservoirs run by the City of San Diego will reopen for recreation this weekend, city leaders said. Murray and Miramar Reservoirs will be open Friday. Otay Reservoir will reopen on Saturday.

Their long wait is finally over.

"[I'm] so happy that they opened the lake so that we can get out and see nature," Mary Titone said about her return to Murray Reservoir.

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"I've been waiting for two and a half months for this to open up," Glenn Santella said at Miramar Reservoir.

Friday, the City of San Diego opened Miramar and Murray Reservoirs for walking, cycling, fishing, and boating. Restrooms will be cleaned every two hours, and car and boat parking will be at 50% capacity to comply with physical distancing rules. Saturday, Otay Reservoir will join the open list.

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Avid freshwater fisherman Chip Gilbert says he too is happy about the soft opening. He says it is great for people who use the shoreline. But for watermen, it is still an extremely limited opening.

"Miramar has, I think, eight parking spots for boats, and Lake Murray has, I believe 12 or 15 parking spots. So if you take those at a 50% capacity for boating, you're really only letting 12 boats to get in," Gilbert said.

Weeks ago, Gilbert started a petition to reopen the lakes and got three thousand signatures. His reasoning- the city opened the beaches and bays at the end of April, but reservoirs remained closed.

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"Us as the inland people who use freshwater reservoirs, we were sitting in the dark," Gilbert said.

But now, many people are soaking up the sun and ready to tell the world about it.

"I'm going to post some pictures of the lake that I took because I'm just so happy," Titone said.

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Gilbert hopes the city opens up more reservoirs with larger boating capacities, so the ones that are open now don't get inundated.

"It just makes a lot more sense moving forward, to open the rest of our reservoirs and free up the crowd that's going to Otay so that everyone can go out," Gilbert said.

El Capitan, Hodges, San Vicente, and Upper Otay Reservoirs are being evaluated now for a future reopening date. Lake Barrett and Sutherland will remain closed all year.