LAKESIDE (CNS) - Closed for eight years because of a dam-raising project, the San Vicente Reservoir is scheduled to reopen to the public Thursday.
The city of San Diego-owned body of water in the East County will be available for boating and fishing. The marina will include a six-lane boat ramp, concessions stand to rent boats and supplies, parking lot for more than 300 vehicles and a picnic area.
"This is an exciting day for anglers, water sport enthusiasts, boaters and San Diego families," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.
"This new marina and recreational area will help a new generation enjoy all the reservoir has to offer," Faulconer said. "But it is important to remember that this reservoir is about more than recreation -- it is a critical source for our region's water supply."
The San Diego County Water Authority raised the dam by 117 feet -- to 337 feet high. The project was completed two years ago, and it took a couple of years to raise the water level.
The capacity of the reservoir is now double what it used to be, which could serve as a buffer against future droughts.
"Combined, these enhancements to the region's water storage system will help protect our quality of life during future droughts and water supply emergencies, and provide operational flexibility to meet daily demands," said Halla Razak, the city's Public Utilities Department director.
Permits for boaters at the reservoir will be limited, and can be purchased online via Ticketmaster.
Boat launch permits cost $7, not including Ticketmaster fees. The mayor's office said permits for opening weekend are sold out.