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After 1-year closure, Lake Hodges reopens for recreation

By Madison Weil,


ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) — Just in time for summer, Lake Hodges is finally open again for recreation. The lake had been closed for a year due to an ongoing dam repair project.

The lake was already busy on Wednesday, with boaters and fishermen eager to return to their favorite spot.

“I’ve been fishing this lake since I was 20… My grandfather fished this lake. My dad loved this lake,” said Barry Benson.

Benson says he and his friend caught 27 fish on opening day.

The city says people can now fish, kayak, float, rent fishing boats, hike and mountain bike in the area.

“We’re really excited that recreation and fishing is now open again as of [Wednesday],” said Drew Kleis, Assistant Director, Water Delivery Branch, Public Utilities Dept. City of San Diego. “It really is a gem for San Diego. Not only for recreation, but also for water supply and to help with flood risk reduction downstream."

The city says the dam repair project, which was originally expected to take only a few months, ended up taking a year because of defects that were found and cracks in the concrete. The record rainy season also slowed down their progress.

RELATED: More problems discovered with Lake Hodges Dam, delaying lake's reopening and ballooning repair cost

All in all, the project will cost about $14 million. According to the city, 50% of the cost comes from the San Diego County Water Authority, 25% from the City of San Diego, and 25% split evenly between the Santa Fe Irrigation District and the San Dieguito Water District.

You can learn more about Lake Hodges and its operation here.

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