The Lake Berryessa News

Your Information Gateway to Lake Berryessa and our Napa Back Roads!


Good News for Spanish Flat Recreation Area -

Boat Launching Approved!

Per the BOR:

"Please know we have completed environmental and operational review of the proposal to allow watercraft launching at Spanish Flat Recreation Area. We anticipate operations and related facilities to be ready for launching on August 28, 2015."


Reclamation Extends the Bid Period for the Prospectus for Concession Development and Operation at Lake Berryess:

Proposals will now be accepted until Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015.

The Bureau of Reclamation has extended the bid period for the business opportunity (Prospectus) for recreation development and operation at five concession areas located at Lake Berryessa, which is posted on the Federal Business Opportunity website at

The Concession Prospectus provides business opportunities for the development of new long-term commercial recreation services and support facilities at five Recreation Areas at Lake Berryessa.

This extension of the bid period changes the date and time that proposals are due to 4 p.m. Pacific Time on Sept. 15, 2015. As part of this extension, Reclamation is providing written answers to questions received regarding the Prospectus.


Lake Berryessa is Still a Great Choice for Summer Recreation

Lake Berryessa is open for launching and boating!

It is one of the few California lakes that has not been seriously affected by the drought. The lake is at about 50% capacity and is about 5 feet lower than at this time last year. Unfortunately, the Bureau of Reclamation had to shut down the Capell Free Launch Ramp due to low water.

Boaters will still be able to launch at Steele Canyon Recreation Area, Putah Canyon Recreation Area, Pleasure Cove Marina, and Markley Cove Resort.

Lake Level Update: 8/24/15

The elevation of the spillway (Glory Hole) at Monticello Dam is 440 feet msl. The water is now 40.06 feet below the top of the spillway at 399.94 feet - down another 6.8 inches since last week. This date last year the lake was at 404.59 feet. The Capell Launch Ramp is closed to boats but still open for parking and kayak launching.


For additional information, please contact Peggi Brooks, Chief, Recreation Resources Division, Central California Area Office, at 916-989-7128 (TTY 800-877-8339),, or fax 916-989-7208.


Reclamation Announces Park Events and Ranger Interpretive Programs at Lake Berryessa

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central California Area Office announces summer and fall 2015 park events and Park Ranger interpretive programs at Lake Berryessa in Napa County, Calif. All activities will be held rain or shine and are free of charge. Some programs have group size limitations, so please contact the Park Ranger office regarding availability. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather and bring water and sunscreen for daytime activities. Children are welcome, but those under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Paddle with a Park Ranger!

Sunday, Sept. 13: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Foxtail Flat, Oak Shores Day Use Area

Experience the beauty of Lake Berryessa from a unique perspective during Ranger-led paddling tours. Join a Park Ranger for fun 2-3 hour paddling trips, exploring various locations around the lake. Watch for bald eagles, ospreys, otters and other wildlife as the Ranger introduces you to the natural and human history of the lake.

These outings are open to experienced swimmers with a kayak or canoe. Coast Guard-approved life jackets will be available. Participants should bring their boat, life jackets, paddles, sunscreen, hat, water and a lunch/snack. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. Kayaks may be available for participant use if requested. For more information or directions, please contact Victoria Payan at 707-966-2111 ext. 113 or

California Coastal Clean Up Day

Saturday, Sept. 19, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Pope Creek Bridge and Markley Turnouts (other locations may be announced prior to the event)

Join Reclamation, Solano Resource Conservation District and partners for this annual lake and shoreline clean-up event. Volunteers will clean up the shoreline of Lake Berryessa as part of the state-wide clean up event. To volunteer, please contact Phillip Collins at 707-966-2111 ext. 111 or

Catch a Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) for Kids Foundation, Kids’ Fishing Event

Saturday, Sept. 12, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pleasure Cove Marina

Reclamation, in partnership with Pleasure Cove Marina, is hosting the C.A.S.T. for Kids event that provides children with disabilities or disadvantages the opportunity to experience the sport of fishing. Kids will be partnered with fishermen for a morning out on beautiful Lake Berryessa. Reclamation is looking for boaters, volunteers and children interested in participating in this great event. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering or participating, please contact Phillip Collins at 707-966-2111 ext. 111 or

National Public Lands Day / Every Kid in a Park! (E.K.I.P.)

Friday, Oct. 2, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oak Shores Day Use Area

Come join us for National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest volunteer event for public lands. More than 170,000 Americans will volunteer their time this year helping to restore and conserve their favorite places. This year’s event will also be a kick off to E.K.I.P., an initiative to get every 4th grader to visit our nation’s federal lands within the next year!

Help restore Lake Berryessa’s native landscape at this restoration event at Oak Shores Day Use Area. Volunteers of all ages will plant native trees, distribute mulch and create a grove of trees for future generations to enjoy while visiting our park. From 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., 4th graders will attempt to catch one of the many species of fish that thrive at Lake Berryessa. Fishing poles will be provided. If you are interested in volunteering or attending, please contact Jennifer Onufer at 707-966-2111 ext.112 or


Lake Berryessa offers recreation opportunities at its other sites:

Reclamation-Operated Facilities: The Capell Cove Boat Launch, Dufer Point Visitor Center, expansive Oak Shores Day Use Area, Smittle Creek Trail and several other day use areas around the lake are all open for the summer recreation season. Come fish for bluegill, bass, trout and salmon. Barbecue with family or friends at one of the many picnic areas. Walk the many miles of beach, or hike the Smittle Creek Trail.

Concession Operations in addition to Spanish Flat, Markley Cove Resort, Pleasure Cove Marina, Steele Canyon Recreation Area and Putah Canyon Recreation Area are open and offer a variety of recreation services, including camping, boat rentals, cabin rentals, boat launching and more. For specific information, please call the concession operators or visit their websites:

Markley Cove: 707-966-2134,

Pleasure Cove Marina: 707-966-9600,

Steele Canyon Recreation Area: 707-966-9179,

Putah Canyon Recreation Area: 707-966-9051,

Spanish Flat Recreation Area: 707-966-0200

Other Recreation There are many other recreation opportunities at and around Lake Berryessa. For questions, please contact the Lake Berryessa Field Office at 707-966-2111 ext. 0 or visit the lake’s website for directions, hours of operation and other information at


Hours of Operation for Reclamation Facilities at Lake Berryessa for 2015

Dufer Point Visitor Center
May 18 through Sept. 1: Open weekends and holidays, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Weekdays, Noon - 2 p.m.; Closed Wednesdays

The Dufer Point Visitor Center offers displays and exhibits on the history of Lake Berryessa and the Monticello Valley and the construction of the Solano Project. It also houses an exhibit of local wildlife (stuffed and mounted) showing the common and not-so-common animals found around the lake. Park Rangers are available to answer questions about natural resources, recreational opportunities, wildlife and the area’s history. Brochures, maps, trail guides and other educational information are available free of charge. Contact the Park Rangers at 707-966-2111 ext. 113 for information about park events, hikes, kayak tours and educational programs.

Capell Cove Boat Launch Ramp
Closed for boat launching. Open for parking and kayak launching.

Other boat launch ramps are open at Markley Cove Marina, Pleasure Cove Marina, Steele Canyon Recreation Area, Spanish Flat Recreation Area, and Putah Canyon Recreation Area.

Oak Shores Day Use Area
May 1 through Sept. 15: Open 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Smittle Creek Day Use Area
May 1 through Sept. 15: Open 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Open dawn to dusk.


The Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce has released its 2015 Directory

Click here for the online version...


Download a copy here or pick one up at a local Lake Berryessa business.

Click here to download a Directory (23 MB)

Click here to download a Chamber membership application.


Carol Fitzpatrick has developed a great new Facebook for the Berryessa Valley History Exhibit at the Spanish Flat Village Center with some interesting photos and personal stories about the Berryessa Valley and Town of Monticello before the Monticello Dam was built in 1958.



The Lake Berryessa News Archives (2005 - 2012)


Peter Kilkus, Owner/Editor
1515 Headlands Drive
Napa, CA 94558, 415-307-6906

Last Update on August 29, 2015

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