Kumeyaay Lake is located in Mission Trails Regional Park. The Kumeyaay people were the first people to make extensive use of this land and the surrounding area. Their village was called Senyaweche and sadly, a large part of it is now a golf course and tract homes.
The Kumeyaay who lived here are believed to have been part of the forced-labor which occurred during the mission period and were the ones who constructed the Old Mission Dam. They lived in Senyaweche until around 1910 when the land was purchased by European ranchers. Some of the Kumeyaay stuck around even after their removal as helping hands on the ranches and farms.
The land became a sand and gravel mining operation until the 1970’s where it was then turned into the camping and fishing facility we see today. Through rehabilitation, the area began growing willows along the shore, attracting the federally endangered Bell’s vireo.
Plants include the yellow Hooker’s evening primrose, the pink California wild rose, whitish-pink California buckwheat, a golden prickly pear, the white blooming yerba mansa, yellow dandelions and mustard, and pink thistles. Also look for curly dock, white-blooming ceanothus and jimsonweed, horehound, and tree tobacco.