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Agua Hedionda Lagoon

Located between Tamarack Avenue and Cannon Road, Agua Hedionda Lagoon allows active use, such as boating, water skiing and wake boarding, personal watercraft use, sailing, windsurfing and fishing. It includes three inter-connected lagoons, which are divided by the I-5 freeway and the railroad bridge.  The lagoon is owned by Cabrillo Power 1 LLC.

The 66 acre outer lagoon, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, provides cooling water for the power plant, shore fishing and is leased to an aquaculture company cultivating shellfish for a wide-ranging market. The 27 acre middle lagoon is home to the North Coast YMCA Aquatic Park. The 295 acre inner lagoon extends approximately 1,800 yards in a southeasterly direction from the Interstate 5 highway bridge.

The inner lagoon may be used for boating. Permitted crafts include jet skis, power boats and passive vessels, like sail boats and kayaks. In order to operate any vessel on the lagoon, visitors and residents must meet certain requirements and purchase either an annual or daily permit.

The inner lagoon has one point for public power vessel launching, the privately owned and operated California Water Sports, located at the northwest end. It features a dock, launch ramp, a water sports equipment rental shop and snack bar. Fees for daily lagoon use permits, boat launching and parking can be paid here. Public access for launching passive vessels is located at the south end of Bayshore Drive. The Bayshore Drive public access is for use of the beach along the shoreline and fishing from shore only.

The Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center offers public programs and outreach activities, such as exhibits, lectures and festivals celebrating the lagoon.

Before visiting the lagoon, be sure to review all rules and regulations.

For more information, visit the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation.

Lagoon dredging update 

Poseidon Water will be dredging the Outer Basin of Agua Hedionda Lagoon to maintain the tidal flow through the Lagoon and replenishing the sand on Carlsbad beaches. Similar operations have taken place several times over the last six decades. The dredging is expected to take place from November 2020 - April 2021. More information is available on the Poseidon Water website and in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Water Quality Improvement Plan

The Carlsbad Watershed Management Areajurisdictions are performing an update of the Water Quality Improvement Plan, which was last updated in May 2018. The current update's focus is within the Agua Hedionda Hydrologic Area, specifically to analyze bacteria data concerning impacts of the beneficial uses (Shellfish Harvesting and Contact Recreation Use) in the Agua Hedionda Lagoon and tributaries.

As part of this process, the CWMA Water Quality Improvement Plan Draft Update 2021 is available for public review and comment and can be downloaded from the CWMA webpage. Written comments can be provided via email to Tim Murphy, senior program manager, Watershed Protection Division at Tim.Murphy@carlsbadca.gov.

Comments are due by 5 p.m. on November 20, 2020. All written comments received will be reviewed and considered for the final plan update, which will be submitted to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board by January 30, 2021.

Other questions can be directed to Kelly Ogawa, Carlsbad Watershed Management Area coordinator at kelly@mogawaeng.com or 619-993-4853.