Irvine Lake is open again for public enjoyment

by TOM BERG

Irvine Lake is once again open for the public to enjoy.

Access to the 750-acre lake was temporarily closed in 2016. But collaboration among local public agencies, led by Orange County Supervisor (and former Irvine Mayor) Don Wagner, has reopened Orange County’s largest lake.

The lake dates back to 1931, when Irvine Company built the Santiago Dam to ensure a steady supply of water for The Irvine Ranch. A few years later, it was stocked with fish, and in 1941, it was opened to the public for recreational use.

The lake is part of The Irvine Ranch’s 57,500 acres of permanently preserved open space – land the Irvine Company dedicated for public use and enjoyment.

“It’s so beautiful here with the hills and trees all around us,” Chris Verduzco said, as he fished with his son on a recent Saturday. “And it’s right in our backyard!”