Santa Margarita River

Location and Directions:

37340 De Luz Road
Fallbrook, CA 92028
use MapQuest


     The Santa Margarita River is located in south-western Riverside Co., near the town of Fallbrook. Most of the land surrounding the river is either privately owned, or part of the Camp Pendelton Marine base, where it flows into the ocean. Public access is allowed approx. 10 miles north of Fallbrook, off of De Luz Rd. From Fallbrook, take De Luz Rd. north to the split at Sandia Creek Dr. Parking is allowed on the north side of De Luz Road immediately west of the intersection of De Luz Road and Sandia Creek Drive, at what appears to be an old corral.


Other lakes and rivers in the area:
San Luis Rey Creek
Doane Pond
Wohlford Lake
Dixon Lake


Fishing Info:

    Due to the discovery of steelhead, an endangered fish in So. Cal. waters, the DFG no longer stocks this river with rainbow trout. The fear is that the planter rainbows will inter-breed with the native steelhead, disrupting the gene pool. However, there are wild rainbow and brown trout in this river, along with the native steelhead, which is very rarely sighted. Be sure to visit the CDFW web site for complete regulations before heading out.



Comments and Tips:

    We only know of one steelhead sighting in this river, made back in 2003 in the lower section near the ocean. Environmentalists spent a lot of money and effort to restore the steelhead habitat here but the reality is that there are no more breeding steelhead in So Cal. This fish was likely born up north and just got lost.


     If you know something about this area or have some photos that you'd like to share, please E-mail and I'll post it here!


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