Lake Cuyamaca Lifts Boat Ban With Opening of New Washdown Station
By Mike Harris
SoCal Bureau Chief
A temporary ban on launching private boats at Lake Cuyamaca in San Diego County was ended this month with the opening of a new washdown station designed to keep Quagga mussels from entering the lake.
“Before a private boat enters the lake, it will have to go to the washdown station where we will wash down the boat with hot, pressurized water to kill any Quagga mussels,” said Willard Lepley, Lake Cuyamaca manager.
“The water pressure is coming out at 300 PSI, and the water temperature will be 140-plus degrees, hot enough to do the job,” he added. “In addition to washing the hull, we’ll flush out the live well and motor.”
The new washdown station was opened July 1.
The process should take no more than 10 or 15 minutes, he said. At the time of this writing, the washdown fee was expected to be $10 per boat.
Lepley said that he expected to offer private boaters who use the washdown process a tag to put on their boat once they’ve come out of the lake to verify the boat is mussel free.
“For someone who wants to launch again, the tag will tell us they’ve been through the washdown process,” he said. “That way, they won’t have to pay the $10 washdown fee again.”
Lepley also said that there have been other improvements made at Lake Cuyamaca, a 110-acre lake in an oak and pine forest set at the 4,600-foot level, nine miles south of the town of Julian. Lake Cuyamaca is next to the 26,000-acre Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.
“In June we completely refurbished all three of our parking lots, which can handle 300 cars,” he said. “Also, our group RV campground is now up and running. It can hold eight RVs, with a four RV minimum. Four are pull-through and four are back-ins, and we can handle up to 46 to 48 feet in length.”
Additionally, there are 19 individual RV camping sites with water and electrical hookups and 14 tent sites. The lake also has a limited number of cabins.
The lake stocks a variety of species, including trout, Florida bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, bluegill and sturgeon. A California Department of Fish & Game stocking of 2,000 pounds of trout is scheduled for July 21.
“The lake makes a great destination for anglers, hikers, or for people who just want to get out and enjoy the mountains,” he said.