Public urges reopening of more East County lakes, reservoirs

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SAN DIEGO – While San Diego beaches and golf courses have reopened for recreation, some lakes in East County remain closed.

Lake Murray is one of three lakes in the county currently open for recreation, but there are four others managed by the city of San Diego and people want access to those as well.

“I’m here to plead with the city council and the county supervisors to open our lakes,” said Gene Estabrook of East County Bait and Tackle.

Former state senator, Joel Anderson, who is running to represent district 2 on the county board of supervisors, started a petition to reopen El Capitan Reservoir, San Vicente Reservoir, Lake Barret and Lake Sutherland.

“I understand the county board of supervisors thinks this is a city problem, the problem isn’t really just in the city it’s in the county. Seventy percent of the people that come to the lakes that are closed are utilized by county citizens,” said John Blake, president of the California Recreational Freedom Alliance.

The city says the only available resources are being used to run the three lakes currently open and sent an additional statement from a spokesperson for Mayor Faulconer reading:

“The mayor knows how important water recreation is to families, which is why he is actively working with stakeholders, the city council and the county to ensure a safe and responsible reopening of all lakes and reservoirs under the care of the City of San Diego.”

Wildlife enthusiasts say hunting, fishing and water sport industries are suffering as a result of the prolonged closures in East County.

“I was down 35% at the start of May. Thankfully, I have some loyal customers. Even though there was no place to fish, we still had some people come in so we’re staying afloat,” said Estabrook.

Anderson started a petition to open up the lakes and reservoirs and it has garnered more than 1,200 signatures in the last week.

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