Free Lake Pass to Kick Off Boating Season

Saturday, April 4 is opening day at the Lake!

Post Date:04/03/2009 10:15 AM

The City of Lake Elsinore celebrates opening day with free passes to regional water sport, recreational haven...

LAKE ELSINORE, CA — Water lovers can save money and enjoy the region’s premier water sport destination Saturday, April 4 as Lake Elsinore kicks off the start of boating season with free passes.

A day pass normally is $10, but boaters can get in without it for just one day.

The lake, which offers the region’s only high-speed zone, is Southern California’s largest freshwater lake with seven boat launches. The 3,200-acre lake is nestled in the Ortega Mountains in Riverside County and is a popular destination for visitors with all types of boats, including speed and fishing. The area also is frequented by Jet Skiers, kayakers, sunbathers and picnickers.

“We hope Southern Californians take advantage of this great offer and spend their weekend enjoying this gem of a lake,” Pat Kilroy, Lake and Aquatic Resources Director for the City of Lake Elsinore. “Lake Elsinore has something for everyone from the water sport extremist to the laidback angler.’

Fishing at the lake is better than ever thanks to aggressive efforts by the City of Lake Elsinore and the Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watersheds Authority (LESJWA) to stabilize the fish population. Local anglers now regularly catch largemouth bass, white crappie, black crappie, bluegill, channel catfish and other fish.

Fishing is allowed by boat or from designated public fishing beaches and is not allowed at city launch ramps and docks. Anglers can clean fish in designated areas and not on the water or shoreline. Anyone 16 years and older must have a valid California State fishing license.

“Lake Elsinore has really grown into a favorite getaway spot,” Kilroy said. “We’re constantly hearing from people about how enjoyable the fishing experience here is and what great bass they’re catching.” 

Safety is always a priority for the city, and visitors are encouraged to abide by safety regulations. Life jackets are mandatory for all riders younger then 11 and boaters should always read the Lake Use Regulations before launch. City officials suggest boaters make sure they have all the appropriate safety equipment on board (PDF 46KB) before launching, including life jackets, a fire extinguisher and distress signal devices.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Lake Patrol will be out on opening day and is responsible for boating safety regulations on Lake Elsinore.

Boaters also need to be vigilant about not bringing invasive quagga or zebra mussels into the lake. Transferring a boat from infested waters to Lake Elsinore puts the lake and its users at risk of ruined boat motors and clogged pipes. Boaters are asked to inspect their watercraft carefully and make sure it’s thoroughly dry before bringing it to Lake Elsinore.

All boaters are required to have a Lake Use Pass (PDF 401KB) which can be picked at all boat launch facilities for free Saturday. All other fees, such as launching, may apply and vary by facility. There are no fueling sites at the launch facilities, so boaters need to fill their tanks before arrival.

Lake Elsinore is easily accessed from Interstate 15 in Riverside County, a 75-mile drive from San Diego and just 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Guests can enjoy the lake from sunrise to sunset at any one the beaches along the lake’s of 2 ½ miles stretch. To find out more visit,

LESJWA is a joint powers authority entrusted with $15 million in state and local funds to improve water quality and wildlife habitats, in Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake and the surrounding San Jacinto watershed. For more information about LESJWA, please visit

April 3, 2009 Pat Kilroy
Mark Norton
B: 951-354-4221
C: 951-538-5254

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