Buena Vista Lagoon Ecological Reserve


The Buena Vista Lagoon Ecological Reserve is 206 acres of coastal freshwater lagoon habitat. Flora includes widgeon grass, pondweed, and arrow grass. Birds include cormorants, grebes, passerine birds, terns, ducks, and geese. Mammals include raccoon, skunk, and opossum, as well as vole and western harvest mouse.

In 1939, a county ordinance was approved that prohibits the discharge of firearms within the areas adjacent to the lagoon. This in effect made the lagoon a bird sanctuary. Buena Vista Lagoon was acquired to preserve, protect and maintain coastal wetland habitat and associated wildlife species. The property was designated as an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission in 1968.

For more information, call the South Coast Region San Diego office at (858) 467-4201.

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing Restrooms  Hiking Trails Information Kiosk or Visitor Center Either Guided or Self-guided Interpretive Nature Tours Disabled Access - call for details fishing

This ecological reserve is adjacent to or shares marine habitat with a Marine Protected Area (MPA). For the public use regulations for MPAs, see Section 632, Title 14, CCR

Activities: wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing

NOTE: Visitors are responsible for knowing and complying with all regulations pertaining to the use of Department lands.

Refer to the Public Uses on State and Federal Lands section of the Waterfowl, Upland Game, and Public Use Regulations (PDF) booklet for both statewide and property-specific regulations.

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You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

Map of Buena Vista Lagoon ER - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


South Coast Region (Region 5)

San Diego County

within the cities of Carlsbad and Oceanside, approximately 36 miles north of San Diego

Directions: Hwy 5. Exit Vista Way west. Left on Pacific Coast Highway to visitors center just south of Eaton Street.

CDFW Lands Viewer