This small lake produces big fish in big numbers. Bass over 15 lbs. are very common, almost caught weekly at times. The lake has received more pressure in recent years as word of the bass fishing has gotten out. Due to heavy stocking of rainbow trout in the winter, which happens to be a favorite meal for largemouth, the bass get fat quick. Rainbow trout are stocked weekly during the winter, channel catfish are stocked weekly during the summer. Senior discounts are attractive, making this a favorite location of anglers over 55.
Lake Poway is nestled in the foothills surrounding the eastern side of the City of Poway in San Diego's North County. Less than 10 miles south of Escondido and 20 miles northeast of Downtown, the lake is centrally located in the county for easy access to most. From Interstate 15 take Rancho Bernardo Road exit, travel east 4 miles to Lake Poway Road, turn left and follow to park entrance.
The dam at Poway is one of the counties most recently built, in one of San Diego's younger outlying cities. Up until the 1950's, water was scarce in the area and the population was made up mostly of farmers acclimated to lack of water and dry conditions. A newly formed water district began shipping in water to better serve the community and a dam was finally built in 1972 to provide a reliable water source. With ample water in place, the community began to grow and the city finally incorporated towards the end of 1980. The city takes great pride in Lake Poway and have developed it into a quality fishing and recreation area.
The Lake Poway Recreation Area is loaded with activities. There is a 900-square foot pavilion picnic area for large groups complete with barbecues, tables, restrooms and kitchen. For smaller picnics there are gazebos complete with tables and barbecues, a park area with tables and barbecues, a softball field, and volleyball court. There is a full service snack bar complete with bait and tackle that sits elevated above the lake overlooking the boat dock and dam in the distance. For campers there are eight campsites with picnic tables, an amphitheater, restrooms, and horse corrals at the bottom of the dam. Note: The campground is inaccessible by vehicle, so campers must walk in one mile on a moderately difficult trail. Surrounding the lake are miles of trails leading to quiet wilderness areas high above the city of Poway. For more information and reservations call (858) 668-4580.
Hours, Fees & Boating Information
The lake is open for fishing Wednesday through Sunday, sunrise to sunset year-round. Night fishing is available on select nights during the summer. Rental rowboats, motorboats, sailboats and paddle boats are available from concession. Private boats are not permitted at the lake. Float tubes are currently not allowed due to the Quagga mussel situation.
- All boats must be returned to the boat dock for picking up and dropping off passengers.
- No beaching of boats!
- Boats must be kept 100 feet from shoreline and other boats at all times!
- If boat is unattended rental is forfeited!
- No Catch and Release for trout.
- Swimming is not permitted.
- Private boats are not allowed on the lake!
- Speed limit within the park is 10 mph!!
- Animals are not allowed within 100 feet of the water.
- RESTRICTED AREA - lake and shoreline around the dam are off limits!
**During night fishing -- lights, gas or electric, are required of ALL boats.
For recorded information call Lake Poway at (858) 668-4770.
Questions can also be answered by the concessioner Wednesday through Sunday at 858-486-1234
The Ranger station number is 858-668-4772