Unleashed Dog Bites Kayaker and Other Issues at Agua Hedionda Lagoon

The city is taking proactive steps to make sure the lagoon is safer this Labor Day weekend after incidents such as improper use of the slalom course have occurred.

Aquatics manager Carl Pope said recent incidents like an unleashed dog biting a kayaker and the improper use of the slalom course at Agua Hendiona Lagoon, have made it clear that more needs to be done by the city and police. "These incidents wouldn't have happened if people had followed the current California laws, and state and city codes, which are in place to ensure the public's safety," he said. 

Pope said the 's community service patrol, which enforces the lagoon's rules and regulations, is making more frequent patrols to educate users as well as to cite those in violation. In addition, he said new brochures that highlight important safety information will be available throughout the lagoon at privately owned and operated businesses, like and the Carlsbad Sup Club, as well as at two locations on Bay Shore Drive. "We want to make it as easy as possible for people to learn how to use the lagoon safely," Pope said. Pope said the most important rules and regulations, which are highlighted in the brochure, are: 

  • Lagoon access - The lagoon has one access point for power vessel launching, which is California Water Sports. In addition, public access for launching non-motorized vessels is located at the south end of Bayshore Drive. Access is open from sunrise to sunset daily.
  • Leashed dogs welcome - Dogs must be leashed and controlled at all times.
  • Protected habitat - People and dogs are prohibited from entering a restricted wildlife habitat, located on the northeast end of the lagoon.
  • Water ski slalom course - When daylight saving time is in effect (April-October), the course may be used in two directions between the hours of sunrise and 10 a.m. daily. After 10 a.m., the course will be closed and unlawful to use. When Pacific Standard Time is in effect, the time restriction no longer applies.
  • Lagoon use permit - To operate any vessel on the lagoon, you must meet certain requirements and purchase a permit. Annual permits and daily passive and power vessel permits are issued by the City of Carlsbad at the (3401 Monroe St.), and daily permits are also available at California Water Sports.
  • Licenses for vendors - Vendors need to have all vessels permitted. If conducting any commercial activity, vendors also, at a minimum, need to obtain a City of Carlsbad business license. 

In addition to the City of Carlsbad's efforts, Pope said the public can also help make the lagoon a safer place by reporting any violations or problems to the non-emergency number of the City of Carlsbad Police Department at 760-931-2197. 


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