BY BLAKE WARREN
Repairs expected to begin within the next week or two
ESCONDIDO – Despite a very strong start to the spring season with lots of larger-model bass into the double digits being caught along with a rock-solid early crappie bite, Hodges Reservoir will unfortunately be shutting its gates to public recreation within the next couple weeks due to an infrastructure enhancement program aimed at making what are being called critical and long-needed improvements to the popular North County lake’s dam.
According to an official City of San Diego press release that was released just last week, “During a recent inspection, the city identified areas in the dam that require repair and need be sealed. To access these areas, the water level of the reservoir needs to be lowered by approximately 18 feet from its current level to an elevation of 275 feet. The reservoir may need to be lowered below 275 feet if additional areas needing repair are identified during the project. The repair project is expected to continue for an estimated five months.”
“It’s been over a century since Hodges’ dam was constructed and we are making significant investments to maintain this asset,” said Alia Khouri, Deputy Chief Operating Officer. “Projects like this one are crucial for the city’s aging infrastructure system in order to maintain the safe and efficient delivery of city services.”
As a result of the upcoming repairs, Hodges will be closed to both boating and fishing – including float tubes and kayaks – for the foreseeable future as repairs get underway this month.
“It really is heartbreaking,” said Hodges tackle shop manager Laina Ruiz. “Especially so after such a great start to the season, too.”
True enough, no fewer than five largemouth going 10 pounds or better have already been checked in since the late February opener at the reservoir, and there’s also been no shortage of quality 4- to 8-pound bass being lipped at the lake. With the estimated five-month time table for repairs, it is unknown as of press time whether Hodges will re-open again in 2022, as it has traditionally been closed for the season from around Halloween until mid/late-February. Look for more news on this situation in future issues of WON as it becomes available.