BY MIKE STEVENS
ESCONDIDO – Lake Hodges officially closed for the season when the drawdown of the lake began at noon on Thursday, May 19. The closure was made in order to facilitate the infrastructure enhancement program aimed at making what are being called critical and long-needed improvements to the popular North County lake’s dam.
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
According to an official City of San Diego press release, “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.”
Other estimates suggested the lake could be drawn down 20 to 30 feet, and with the estimated five-month timetable for repairs, it’s very likely the lake will not reopen this season. It has traditionally been closed for the season from around Halloween until mid/late-February.
Fishing has been outstanding at Lake Hodges since it opened in early spring, and anglers continued to find excellent fishing right up until the closure. As for why work is being done now rather than later in the season and including the lake’s regular closure months, city officials told WON it’s to avoid the rainy season.
San Diego averages about 10.31 inches of rain per year.