See this year’s winning photos of Lake Jennings

See this year’s winning photos of Lake Jennings

Helix Water District is proud to announce the winners of the 2022 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest, with this year’s first place in the adult category going to photographer John Wozny of El Cajon for his image titled “Casting a Sunset.”

Now in its 11th year, the contest drew 47 entries from throughout San Diego County. This year’s entries highlighted the unique beauty of camping, fishing, hiking, spotting wildlife and enjoying the view at Lake Jennings. The contest was open for photos taken between March 1 and May 31, 2022. The following photographers took top honors:

Adult Category:

First Place – John Wozny; “Casting a Sunset”

Second Place – Crystian Baird; “No Shoes, No Problem”

Third Place – John Wozny; “The Eagle has Landed”

Youth Category:

First Place – Lucas Sides; “Lunch”

Second Place – Lucas Sides; “A Day at the Lake”

Third Place – Lydia McQuiddy; “Blue Sky Day”

The district honored the winning photographers at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 15, during its board meeting. The winning photos are also available on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/helixwater

1st Place, Adult

John Wozny
“Casting a Sunset”

2nd Place, Adult

Crystian Baird
“No Shoes, No Problem”

3rd Place, Adult

John Wozny
“The Eagle has Landed”

1st Place, Youth

Lucas Sides
“Lunch”

2nd Place, Youth

Lucas Sides
“A Day at the Lake”

3rd Place, Youth

Lydia McQuiddy
“Blue Sky Day”

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Spring into these two contests

Spring into these two contests

Helix Water District’s WaterSmart landscape contest and Lake Jennings spring photo contest are open and actively seeking entries. If you enjoy the beautiful blooms of spring, green vegetation and perfect weather, then right now is a great time to enter for a chance to win prizes.

Through these two contests, Helix Water shares the beauty of Lake Jennings and water-efficient lifestyles with the 277,000 people we serve. Your contest entry can inspire others and make lasting changes for our community. We encourage you to enter in one or both contests this year.

WaterSmart Landscape Contest

Entries Due: Friday, May 13

The annual WaterSmart landscape contest recognizes Helix customers for their beautiful, colorful and water-efficient landscapes. We would love to hear your story and help inspire others. This year’s contest winner will receive a $250 grand prize to the nursery of their choice.

 

To enter, simply take a few photos of your water-efficient landscaping, share why you installed your landscaping, the types of plants you have and some of the benefits you see. For more information and to enter, visit the contest website at landscapecontest.com or contact us at 619-667-6226.

Backyard garden patio with patio chairs and shrubs
Winner of Helix's 2020 WaterSmart Landscape Contest

Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest

Entries Due: Tuesday, May 31

The Lake Jennings spring photo contest shares the beauty of our reservoir with the local community. Contest participants can get a free day pass to access, explore and photograph the scenic reservoir located in Lakeside. The contest is open to photos taken at Lake Jennings between March 1 and May 31, 2022.

 

This year’s contest theme is Life at the Lake. Photos can capture any aspect of the lake including camping, fishing, lake vistas, wildlife and wildflowers. The district will award prizes in two divisions, adult and youth. First place winners in each division will receive $150, second place winners will receive $100 and third place winners will receive $50.

For a complete set of contest rules and how to visit Lake Jennings, visit lakejennings.org/photo-contest.

Shows lake with sun setting over hillside and green grasses

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Helix Launches 2022 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest

Helix Launches 2022 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest

Helix Water District has launched its 11th annual Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest to share the beauty of its reservoir with the local community. The contest is open to photos taken at Lake Jennings between March 1 and May 31, 2022.

Contest participants can get a free day-pass to access, explore and photograph the scenic reservoir located in Lakeside. The 2022 contest theme is Life at the Lake. Photos can capture any aspect of the lake including recreation, fishing, lake vistas, wildlife and wildflowers.

The district will award monetary prizes in two divisions, adult and youth. First place winners in each division will receive $150, second place winners will receive $100 and third place winners will receive $50. Awards will be presented at a public board meeting in June.

Judging will be performed by a panel of Helix Water District staff. It will be based on this year’s theme, visual appeal, technical quality and creativity.

Participants must submit entries digitally to [email protected] by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31. There is a limit of three photo submissions per photographer, and photos may not contain watermarks. The complete set of rules and entry and model release forms are available at http://www.lakejennings.org/photo-contest/.

“We encourage photographers of all skill levels to visit Lake Jennings and enter in the 2022 Spring Photo Contest,” said Lake Recreation Manager Kira Haley. “Lake Jennings offers visitors plenty of beautiful things to photograph like its scenic views, clear water, numerous trails, fishing and plenty of wildlife. It is also very accessible too, we are only 20 minutes from downtown.”

Photographers planning their visit should check the Lake Jennings website for up-to-date information on hours and access at lakejennings.org.

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Helix Launches 2022 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest

3 ways to experience Lake Jennings right now

Lake Jennings is our drinking water reservoir and sits tucked into serene hillsides above Lakeside, CA. At 344 acres, the lake boasts scenic views, lots of wildlife and some of the best fishing in San Diego County. Lake Jennings is an excellent place to camp, hike and fish; but most of all, it’s a great place to explore, relax and get away. Here are three ways for you to see and experience Lake Jennings

What we are recommending:

 

1.   Book a campsite

The campground has scenic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Bring a tent or your RV – we have 35 full-hookup sites, 17 partial-hookup sites and 39 non-hookup tent sites. Need a place to sleep? Reserve one of our five tipi sites that sleep up to 6 people. Book your stay with us at lakejennings.org.

Use our campground amenities

We take pride in our campground with well-kept, clean restrooms and hot showers. We also have plenty of activities available for kids and adults, including ladder golf, horseshoe, bocce ball, life-sized Jenga, cornhole and tetherball. Firewood, ice and propane are available for purchase at the campground entrance station.

What to eat

Our campsites include fire rings so you can build a campfire, roast hot dogs and marshmallows and make s’mores. Don’t feel like cooking? Lake Jennings is close enough to town that you can order food through your favorite delivery app.

Two little grils walking down walkway with expansive lake in background
Person hold s'more in front of campfire at Lake Jennings campground.
Person hold s'more in front of campfire at Lake Jennings campground.

2.   Explore by boat

Come enjoy a weekend away from it all, boating on scenic Lake Jennings with hidden cove picnic spots. Rent a paddleboat or rowboat and embark on an adventure. Lake Jennings is open to boating Friday through Sunday and most holidays.

Launch your own

Our new boat dock makes launching your boat easy. There is plenty of space to launch, dock and park, so you can get out and relax on the water. The lake is open to fishing and boating Friday through Sunday from 6 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Rent one of ours

We have motorboats, rowboats, paddleboats and kayaks available for rental. Our motorboats are  specially made, 16-foot Carolina Skiffs, equipped with a four or six horsepower motor. These boats are stable and comfortable for fishing and exploring the lake. We also have paddleboats that seat up to four people and single-person kayaks available for rental.

For a list of hours and prices, visit lakejennings.org/see-and-do/boating/.

Two men fishing from a driftboat in a cove at Lake Jennings.
Sister and younger brother in front seat of fishing skiff on Lake Jennings.
Man kayaking and fishing in rental kayak at Lake Jennings.

3.   Explore by foot

See the wildlife

Lake Jennings connects to San Diego’s backcountry making it a great place to see our native flora and fauna and very scenic views. The lake attracts hundreds of bird species, including bald eagles. We also get numerous mammals like deer, coyotes and bobcats.

Hike our trails

We have three main trails for you to explore and dozens of smaller trails around the lake. Check out the Flume Trail with access to the Flume bench, which provides breathtaking views of El Monte Valley and follows the path of a historic wooden water flume. You can walk 5.3 miles around the lake on the Lake Loop Trail from Friday through Sunday. Pack a camera, too. There will be plenty of scenery and wildlife to see along the way.

Fish from the shore

With miles of fishable shoreline, you will have plenty of places to cast out and catch the big one. Check with the bait and tackle shop staff to see what is biting and where. Shore fishing is open Friday through Sunday and available on the campground side of the lake every day.

Plan your visit

Come experience Lake Jennings today. It’s a refreshing place that feels miles away even though it’s close to home. For reservations, hours, hiking maps, and more information, please visitlakejennings.org.

Lake Jennings on a sunny morning.

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Catch our Trout Opener This Friday

Catch our Trout Opener This Friday

Many of us are enjoying the cooler weather and enjoying the outdoors without the heat. To local anglers, cooler weather means trout season.

On Friday, November 19, we’re launching Trout Season at Lake Jennings.

We are kicking the season off by stocking the lake with 2,000 pounds of trout. We’ll continue to stock 1,500 to 2,000 pounds of trout biweekly for a season total of 20,000 pounds. This year’s stock will be coming from Wright’s Rainbows in Idaho. Follow our link to see our complete stocking schedule.

Trout are hearty, delicious freshwater fish that many anglers enjoy – and there are many great ways to catch them at Lake Jennings.  You can fish from shore, get out into deeper water on our fishing dock, or rent kayaks or a 16-foot skiff with an outboard motor and explore the lake. Our rental boats are on a first-come, first-served basis. You can launch your own boat, too.

Lake Jennings is more than just a great fishing spot. The lake is also where Helix stores imported water from the Colorado River and Northern California, and local water from Lake Cuyamaca and El Capitan Reservoir. The water is on its way to our water treatment plant and east county homes. 

We also stocked our bait shop for trout season and do a fishing report, so you know where the fish are biting and what they’re biting.

This Week’s Fishing Report:

The report this week is that people are still catching catfish from the shoreline in Hermit and Siesta coves and near the old boat launch. Nightcrawlers and mackerel were doing the trick. Fishers off the t-dock were catching bass and panfish. Mealworms and nightcrawlers worked for the bluegill. 

The recommendation for the trout arriving this weekend is mini jigs. This all-purpose lure catches trout, bass, crappie and bluegill. For Lake Jennings, a typical setup for trout is 4 pound test with a 1/16 ounce jig. If you have trouble casting such a light jig, attach a bobber 5-6 feet above the jig. Popular jig colors for trout season are pink, orange and chartreuse.

You should also consider spending the weekend at the lake. To reserve a campsite (tent or RV) go to lakejennings.org or call 619-390-1623.

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Take a 360-degree virtual tour of east county’s future water supply

Take a 360-degree virtual tour of east county’s future water supply

We are excited to share a new, 360-degree virtual reality video tour of the East County Advanced Water Purification Program, which will create a new, local, sustainable and drought-proof water supply.

Take the 360-degree virtual tour – you’ll be greeted by the program’s Big Deal animated mascot and then immersed into a guided tour of the program’s water facilities. Look all around by simply moving your computer mouse or phone to anywhere in the video.

If you have a virtual reality headset for your cell phone, take the tour one-step further by “stepping into” the video! Virtual tour locations include the Ray Stoyer Water Recycling Facility, the East County AWP Demonstration Facility and Lake Jennings. Community groups, schools and scouts can view the video using program-provided virtual reality googles beginning in October – simply reach out to program representatives to schedule.

Scheduled to be complete in 2025, the East County AWP is a partnership between Helix Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the City of El Cajon and the County of San Diego that will produce up to 30 percent of east county’s drinking water supply. The East County AWP will use four advanced water purification steps to produce water that is safe and near-distilled in quality. After the advanced water purification process, the purified water will be blended with water in Lake Jennings and treated again at the R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant before being distributed as drinking water.

To watch the 360-degree virtual reality video and learn more about the program, check it out via your desktop or the YouTube app to experience all features.

 

 Take the 360-degree virtual tour of ECAWP

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Enter the Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest

Enter the Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest

Do you love the great outdoors? Do you have a digital SLR or cellphone camera?  If so, come out and compete in this year’s Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest.

The contest is open to photos taken at Lake Jennings between March 1 and May 31, 2021. Contest participants can get a free day pass to explore and photograph the scenic reservoir located in Lakeside.

This year’s contest theme is Life at the Lake. Photos can capture any aspect of the lake including camping, fishing, lake vistas, wildlife and wildflowers.

The district will award prizes in two divisions, adult and youth. First place winners in each division will receive $150, second place winners will receive $100 and third place winners will receive $50. Awards will be presented at a public board meeting in June.

Judging will be performed by a panel of Helix Water District staff and will be based on this year’s theme, visual appeal, technical quality and creativity.

This year, current health orders limit visitor and photographer access to the larger, recreational side of the reservoir.  At this time only registered campers may access the lake’s campground. Check the Lake Jennings website for up to date information and safety guidelines at lakejennings.org.

Entries must be submitted digitally to [email protected] by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 31. There is a limit of three photo submissions per photographer, and photos may not contain watermarks. The complete set of rules and entry and model release forms are available below and on Lake Jennings’s website.

2021 Lake Jennings Photo Contest Rules

2021 Lake Jennings Photo Contest Entry Form

 

Image shows owl dropping out of Eucalyptus tree at Lake Jennings, with wings and talons spread. The image was Kurt Scherbaum's entry in Helix's 2019 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest.
Photo: Kurt Scherbaum, second place winner in the 2019 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest’s adult category
Image shows woman sitting on fishing dock in a cove at Lake Jennings.. The image was Frances Schnall's entry in Helix's 2019 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest.
Photo: Frances Schnall, third place winner in the 2019 Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest’s adult category

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Lake Jennings Voted Best Place to Go

Lake Jennings Voted Best Place to Go

Thank you, East County. And congratulations to everyone who makes Lake Jennings such an award-winning destination.

Lake Jennings was voted a “Best Place to Go” in the East County Californian’s 2020 Best of East County Readers Poll. The weekly newspaper announced results yesterday after three months of balloting to identify East County’s favorite people, places and things.

The lake was voted the winner in nine categories:

Gold Star Winner

  • Best Park
  • Best Place to Walk/Jog
  • Best Place to Walk Your Dog
  • Best Place for a First Date
  • Best Teen Hangout
  • Prettiest Part of East County
  • Best Thing About Living in East County

 Silver Star Winner

  • Best Camping
  • Best Fishing

 “I am really pleased to see that Lake Jennings has become the place to go for working out and hanging out,” said Helix Board President Joel Scalzitti. “The board, the district and the staff at Lake Jennings are committed to providing a top notch destination.”

“We certainly expect to receive high ratings every year,” said Helix’s Division 1 Director Dan McMillan, who chaired the board’s park, land, lakes and garden committee in 2020. “The East County  Californian’s Readers Poll tells me we’re focusing on the right things and making a difference, even during a pandemic.”

Lake Jennings is open for fishing, boating, picnics and fitness every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Winter is trout season,” said Haley. “We’re stocking the lake with 3,000 pounds of rainbow trout each month. You can fish from shore, rent a boat or kayak, or launch your own boat.”

If you want to go camping, you’ll have to wait. To comply with the stay at home order in California, the lake is not accepting new camping reservations for arrival dates before March 1st.

Visit www.lakejennings.org to sign up for the weekly newsletter on happenings at the lake, and follow the lake on facebook.com.

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Helix launches virtual school programs

Helix launches virtual school programs

Third and fifth grade teachers in the Helix Water District service area can now enroll their classes in one of Helix’s virtual school programs. 

We have a hands-on activity for third graders and a virtual tour of our R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant for fifth graders. Each one-hour program meets next-generation science standards and STEAM curriculum requirements.

Our third-grade program, “Dams, Lakes and Rivers,”  offers a live presentation for third graders to learn about natural water supplies and storage reservoirs, including Lake Jennings, the district’s reservoir and recreational area located in Lakeside. We provide classes with materials so students can be engineers and build a functional dam.

We transitioned our fifth-grade treatment plant tour to a live, virtual tour. We will take students virtually through the R.M Levy Water Treatment Plant and go step-by-step through our drinking water treatment process. Students will see the plant inside and out, learn the process and hear from actual experts at the plant about what it takes to supply clean drinking water to our faucets each day.

“Our interactive virtual school programs introduce students to our water resources, infrastructure and water quality,” said Helix Water District’s Director of Administrative Service Jennifer Bryant. “We designed our programs with the students in mind, and made them engaging, informative and fun.”

Teachers can book a virtual activity by contacting our Education Assistant, Francine Thompson, at 619-667-6264 or [email protected]

About Helix Water District

Helix Water District is a not-for-profit local government agency that provides water treatment and distribution for 277,000 people in the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove, the community of Spring Valley and areas of Lakeside — east of downtown San Diego. Helix also provides treated water to neighboring Padre Dam, Otay and Lakeside water districts.

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