Jet skier on a lake

El Capitan Reservoir Boating

El Capitan Reservoir draws all kinds of boaters, from pleasure cruisers to jet skis, from kayaks to fishing boats.

Because El Capitan Reservoir is a drinking water supply, body contact with the water is limited. Water skiing and similar sports are only permitted on specified days during the summer. Swimming and stand-up paddleboards are not allowed.

Recorded Information Message: (619) 465-3474 (465-FISH)

Days Open: Thursday - Monday, closed on Tuesday and Wednesday
Thursday - Sunday open for general boating and water skiing, etc. (During winter water skiing, etc., are only permitted on Sundays.)
Monday open for fishing and general boating, no water contact activities, e.g. water skiing
Concession and Rentals open Friday - Sunday, 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.

Fees (cash only):

Entrance:   $8 per persons age 16 and older, $2.50 for 8 to 15 years. Children 7 and under are free.
Boat Launch Fee:   $7 (kayaks free)
Water Contact Fees:   $10 for ages 16 and older, $5 for youths ages 8-15. (This fee is for those using personal watercraft, waterskiing, or similar activities.)

Lake Water Level

At full capacity, El Capitan Reservoir is 197 feet deep.
Check the current lake level at City of San Diego Reservoir Water Levels

El Capitan Marina & Boat Rentals

Located at the end of El Monte Road
(619) 443-4110,   Rocky Mountain Recreation


El Capitan Marina Boat Rentals
Boat Seats 2 Hours Each Added Hour Half Day Full Day
First come, first served. $60 deposit on fishing boats, $30 on rowboats. Credit cards accepted for boat rentals.
Fishing Boat with motor 4 $35 $10 $75
Rowboat 4 $15 $30


2016 New Rules Due to Low Water

Notice from the City of San Diego: "Due to the effects of dropping water levels water-skiing, wakeboarding and all other towable devices will be limited to 25 vessels per day. Once the 25 vessel capacity is reached, there will be no permits sold for water contact towing. Towable devices include traditional water skis, training water skis, air chairs, wakeboards, wakeskates, kneeboards, ski seats, tubes and all other towable devises. Weekends will often reach capacity by 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays are generally slower. Please plan accordingly. Currently there are no restrictions for the launching of personal water craft (PWC) or vessels not engaged in water contact activities that involve towing."
Boat capacity hotline: (619) 668-2770


Avoid Spread of Quagga Mussels

Boaters at El Capitan Reservoir are asked to help avoid the spread of quagga mussels and the potential closure of the reservoir by doing the following:

Any vessel traveling from one freshwater body to another should be thoroughly dry, inside and out. It is best for boats to remain dry and out of the water for at least five days before going to another water body.

Boating and Waterskiing Rules

1Boats are either classified as fishing or water contact, there are no mixed boats. If a boat is towing even one person, it is classified as a water contact boat and everyone on board must pay the water contact fees.

Marine Services

Livesay Marine
1250 Pioneer Way, El Cajon, CA
(619) 447-0399

Sunset Marine, Inc
772 Broadway, El Cajon, CA
(619) 593-4006

Sunset Marine, Inc.

Sailor John's Marine
1160 Pioneer Way, El Cajon, CA
(619) 334-7701

JP Marine
10046 Maine Ave., Lakeside, CA
(619) 443-3320

Horizon Marine
1743 31st St., San Diego, CA
(619) 702-8500

West Marine
1250 Rosecrans St., San Diego, CA
(619) 225-8844

West Marine


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