Los Angeles

After 3 Years of Closure, Irvine Lake Is Set to Reopen

When the lake reopens on Aug. 17, parking will be $5, there will be no fishing license required and no boats are allowed on the actual water.

From the egrets who call this home to the bass and catfish below the surface, the nature that is Irvine Lake will soon reopen to the public.

The 750 acres of land had been donated to the county by Irvine Company. It has been off limits since 2016, when the county could not reach a compromise with two water districts that retain the rights to the water.

Supervisor Don Wagner said it took a village and a grand jury report to end the stalemate and get all who were involved to agree that there should be public access, for now.

But the opening does come with restrictions.

"We don't yet have the opportunity to put boats out there but we are working on it." said Wagner. "What they will have the right to do is shoreline fishing, hiking, bird watching, apparently there are a ton of birds and hiking trails that people can access," said Wagner.

When the lake reopens on Aug. 17, parking will be $5 and there will be no fishing license required. It's important to note though that there will be no boats allowed on the actual water.

Residents are already anxiously awaiting the opening.

"I mean, I've fished a lot of other lakes but Irvine is convenient, it's nice," said Eric Miller.

Irvine Lake was originally built as a reservoir in the 1930s and remains the largest freshwater in Orange County. Officials estimate they will spend $1.5 million to get the parking lot ready, open a tackle shop on site and hire staff.

The first year of the Irvine Lake opening will be a trial run to see how many people actually want to come back to the lake.

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