The city of San Diego reopened three of its reservoirs for public recreation, with the Miramar and Murray reservoirs opening Friday, followed by the Lower Otay Reservoir on Saturday.
With new protocols in place, the three reservoirs will be open during regular business hours for walking, jogging, cycling, fishing and boating. Normal fishing and boating fees will apply.
Recreational users are asked to observe COVID-19 preventative measures, including mandates for facial coverings and physical distancing. More information is available on the city's website.
Under the new protocols:
- restrooms will be cleaned every two hours;
- parking lot capacity will be reduced by 50% to maintain physical
- distancing; and compliance with public health orders, including facial coverings
- and physical distancing, will be monitored with an "education-first" focus.
Eager boaters were awake dark and early before sunrise to secure their admission into Lake Murray on Friday. The first in line was Tony Santiago, who told NBC 7 he arrived at 3:30 a.m. because he was so excited.
"It was hard to sleep, I'm not going to lie," he said.
Santiago said that although he is happy he can finally return to the water, he is disappointed the reservoirs weren't open sooner.
"Everything else is open. Talk about social distancing," he said. "This is probably the one sport I can come out here by myself and fish”
A man named Vincent D., who likes near Lake Murray, agreed with Santiago that the reopening was a long time coming.
"I just counted the days," Vincent said. "Wrote letters to the city, emails, this and that, hoping we could open the lake.”
Four other city reservoirs -- El Capitan, Hodges, San Vicente and Upper Otay -- are being evaluated for potential reopening at a future date. Barrett and Sutherland reservoirs are slated to remain closed all year.