Lake Perris Fishing, Size, Depth, And More

Lake Perris Pier at Sunset
M. Cline/Shutterstock.com

Written by Chanel Coetzee

Published: September 26, 2023

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Lake Perris is a fantastic destination just 65 miles south of Los Angeles. Visitors can enjoy numerous activities at his lake, like boating, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, biking, and swimming. In addition, this lake is surrounded by mountains, offering breathtaking views of the landscape. This article will discuss Lake Perris fishing, size, depth, and more.

Lake Perris Location

Lake Perris, also known as Perris Reservoir, lies about 65 miles south of Los Angeles and 75 miles north of San Diego in Riverside County. This lake sits on Lake Perris Drive near the Hamlet Lakeview Hot Springs and the Olive Grove neighborhood.

        Lake Perris Pier at Sunset

Lake Perris, also known as Perris Reservoir, lies about 65 miles south of Los Angeles and 75 miles north of San Diego in Riverside County.


Image: M. Cline, Shutterstock

History

Lake Perris officially opened to the public in 1973 as part of the State Park System. It played an essential role in the growth and incorporation of Monero Valley. When the park initially opened, it had numerous amenities, including a water slide. However, the slide was closed a few years ago because it had fallen into disrepair. When visiting Lake Perris, guests can explore the Ya’i Heki’ Regional Indian Museum, which details the history of the State Water Project and focuses on the history and culture of the native Americans who used to occupy the land surrounding the lake. The Ya’i Heki’ Regional Indian Museum is open on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Lake Perris State Recreation Area, California

Lake Perris officially opened to the public in 1973 as part of the State Park System. It played an essential role in the growth and incorporation of Monero Valley.


Image: DebsG, Shutterstock

Size and Depth

This lake is three miles long and around two miles across. In addition, it has 10 miles of accessible shoreline. Furthermore, Lake Perris has a maximum depth of 100 feet, making it ideal for pontoons, speedboats, non-powered boats, and jet skis. The park surrounding the lake covers 8,800 acres and is aptly named Lake Perris State Recreation Area. While beautiful and serene, this lake can become very crowded during the warmer months. It also supports numerous species of wildlife, including birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

The Marina at Lake Perris State Park in Moreno Valley, California - one of the most popular lakes in Southern California.

Lake Perris has a maximum depth of 100 feet, making it ideal for pontoons, speedboats, non-powered boats, and jet skis. The park surrounding the lake covers 8,800 acres and is aptly named Lake Perris State Recreation Area.


Image: Jim Feliciano, Shutterstock

Water Level

While the average water level of Lake Perris is roughly around 78,000 acre-ft, the water levels are currently lower at 77,151 acre-ft. The maximum recorded level was documented on January 12th, 2005, when the water level reached 127,644 acre-ft. However, the lowest recorded water level was observed on February 24th, 2015, as it only measured 43,240 acre-ft.

This photograph was taken on the Perry Lake Hiking Trail.

While the average water level of Lake Perris is roughly around 78,000 acre-ft, the water levels are currently lower at 77,151 acre-ft.


Image: Fat man hikes, Shutterstock

Fishing

Lake Perris is famous for its popular game fish species, including:

  • Bullhead
  • Black Crappie
  • Florida largemouth bass
  • Channel catfish
  • Alabama spotted bass
  • Bluegill
  • Green sunfish
  • Redear sunfish
  • Carp
  • Rainbow trout

This lake is especially popular for its rainbow trout, which the California Department of Fish and Game restocks throughout the winter months. But summer is not always the best time for fishing on this lake. For example, the lake’s trout usually bite better during winter.

The best live bait to use on this lake includes:

  • Crickets
  • Amphibians
  • Crustaceans
  • Fish eggs
  • Dead ocean fish
  • Crayfish purchased from the bait shop only
  • Treated and processed foods
  • Mollusks
  • Worms
  • Lures
  • Processed foods like cheese baits and salmon eggs

However, please note that using salamanders as bait is illegal. Natural bait includes crayfish, threadfin shad, and tiny shrimp.

Another reason why Lake Perris is so popular for fishing is the cover it provides the fish, like weed beds, citrus tree branches, rocky habitats, reefs made of old tires, marshy areas, sunken boats, and old tree branches. There is a free fishing pier at Sail Cove, near parking lots one and two. However, this area can get extremely crowded. However, the most popular bank fishing occurs at parking lots 11 and 12.

Lake Perris Fishing and Boating Regulations

  • Any persons fishing over the age of 16 require a valid California State Fishing License.
  • Admission fees are $10 per vehicle and $10 per vessel.
  • A person aged 40 or younger must operate a boat with a California Boating Card.
  • Launch reservations are necessary during peak season in the summer. While the lake can accommodate over 200 boats, it reaches full capacity in the morning during peak season.
  • Boating is allowed at Lake Perris from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • There are many “no wake zones” on Lake Perris, which the State Parks Police and Game Wardens strictly enforce.
  • Visitors are only allowed to consume alcohol in designated areas
  • Dogs are not allowed on the sand and unpaved trails, which means that the Bernasconi Beach area and Allesandro Island are off-limits to dogs. However, they are allowed on boats, with the rule that they may not come into contact with the lake’s water.
Lake Perris State Recreation Area at sunset

Another reason why Lake Perris is so popular for fishing is the cover it provides the fish, like weed beds, citrus tree branches, rocky habitats, reefs made of old tires, marshy areas, sunken boats, and old tree branches.


Image: BDLane, Shutterstock

Weather

This lake sees an average of 11 inches of rain, 272 days of sunshine, and one inch of snow per year. Summer temperatures reach a high of 99 degrees Fahrenheit, while winters dip below 40 degrees. As a result, the best times to visit Lake Perris are during April, October, and November, when the temperatures are the most comfortable.

View at Lake Perris from up the hill (hiking trail)

This lake sees an average of 11 inches of rain, 272 days of sunshine, and one inch of snow per year. Summer temperatures reach a high of 99 degrees Fahrenheit, while winters dip below 40 degrees.


Image: PawO, Shutterstock

Boating and Other Activities

While there is a lot to do and see at Lake Perris, the surrounding communities of Riverside County also offer attractions like bars, restaurants, fishing, camping, boating, hunting, swimming, and hiking.

Boating Lake Perris

Boaters often venture to Alessandro Island, which has grills, picnic tables, restrooms, and shade ramadas. Furthermore, there are two designated swimming areas at Perris and Mereno Beach. In addition, guests scuba dive at the west end of Perris Beach. So, if you want to treat the family, reserve a spot as they don’t stay empty for long.

Lake Perris boat lake

Boaters often venture to Alessandro Island, which has grills, picnic tables, restrooms, and shade ramadas. Furthermore, there are two designated swimming areas at Perris and Mereno Beach.


Image: Alexis Torson, Shutterstock

Camping at Lake Perris

Lake Perris offers an array of camping options, like tent, RV, and horse campsites between Perris Beach and Moreno Beach. Both locations have designated swim beaches, grills, tables, launch ramps, peninsulas, and a pier. The tent campgrounds are primitive, with no hook-ups. The RV campgrounds have hook-up sites, with water and gray water hook-ups. However, there are no black-water sewer hook-ups. Every site has a fire ring with a grill and picnic table. Lastly, the equestrian campsites are primitive, with fire pits, a corral, and a picnic table. But drinking water and restrooms are available.

Trails at Perris Reservoir

There are several trails at Lake Perris State Recreation Area, including a nine-mile hiking, biking, and equestrian trail.

Hunting Perris Reservoir

Visitors can hunt at Lake Perris’s Upland Game Hunting Area. However, no pistols or rifles are permitted. Guest are allowed to hunt for coots, waterfowl, moorhens, and snipe.

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About the Author

Chanel Coetzee is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily focusing on big cats, dogs, and travel. Chanel has been writing and researching about animals for over 10 years. She has also worked closely with big cats like lions, cheetahs, leopards, and tigers at a rescue and rehabilitation center in South Africa since 2009. As a resident of Cape Town, South Africa, Chanel enjoys beach walks with her Stafford bull terrier and traveling off the beaten path.

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