The Lake Berryessa News

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

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Lake Berryessa is 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 65% capacity and is at the same level as it was this time last year.

Lake Level Update: 5/18/15:

The elevation of the spillway (Glory Hole) at Monticello Dam is 440 feet msl. The water is now 31.39 feet below the top of the spillway at 408.61 feet - down 5.9 inches since last week. Rainfall of 1.01 inches last week brought total rainfall to 19.56 inches at Monticello Dam since 7/1/14.

Four Lake Berryessa residents have rescued the Spanish Flat Recreation Area resort just in time for the Memorial Day holiday.

The Bureau of Reclamation announced two months ago that Forever Resorts would no longer operate Spanish Flat, and that the resort would be closed this summer. Craig Morton, Marcia Ritz, Jerry Rehmke and Wesley Plunkett decided they just couldn’t let that stand.

They quickly formed Spanish Flat Partners, LLC, signed a short-term contract with the bureau and are the new operators of Spanish Flat Recreation Area on federal land.

“If all our work comes out to breaking even, we’ve still made it to where the lake is surviving,” Morton said. “It’s looking more and more like a ghost town out there and the few businesses up there are starving.”

Lake Berryessa is amid a slow-motion recreation transition designed by the bureau to renovate the seven lakeside resorts. But there have been multi-year delays. Only two resorts are at full strength, two are closed and three – including Spanish Flat – exist in stripped-down versions.

The Spanish Flat of old, with its marina and mobile homes, was leveled by the Bureau of Reclamation several years ago as part of its Lake Berryessa transformation. Today’s Spanish Flat offers tent and RV camping and day uses such as picnicking, swimming, fishing and hiking. It is located on a spit of land projecting into the lake.

Ritz runs Spanish Flat Country Store & Deli near to the resort. Having Spanish Flat resort open means more people coming into her store to buy sandwiches, drinks, bait and other items.

“It’s going to make all the difference in the world,” Ritz said. “It’s going to help keep the west side of the lake alive.”

The other partners come from various backgrounds. Morton runs a pest control company, Rehmke is a painting contractor and Plunkett’s parents founded the original Spanish Flat resort several decades ago.

“We’ve all been in business, different types of business, ” Ritz said. “All of us have been around this lake for many, many years.”

The partners think they can be more successful with Spanish Flat than Forever Resorts, which also tried to run the resort on a temporary basis pending its ultimate redevelopment.

“We’ve been here a long time and we love it,” Rehmke said. “We’re the local people. That’s a plus. We know what we want and what people want when they come in and camp.”

The contract calls for the Bureau of Reclamation to receive a 1 percent franchise fee on gross profits, said Peggi Brooks of the agency.

It’s unusual but not unprecedented for residents to step up and run a resort in danger of closing on bureau-managed land, she said. A man also recently did so at New Melones Lake in the Sierra Nevada foothills, she said.

“It’s working out very well. He’s been very successful,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Reclamation is preparing to launch a new search to find long-term concessionaire operators for five of the seven Lake Berryessa resorts. Brooks said a prospectus could be ready for release in June.

That means if Spanish Flat Partners, LLC, wants to run the resort for the long haul, it would have to be one of the bidders.

But that’s a matter for another day. For now, the four partners have a resort they’ve had to ready for operation at lightning speed.

“It’s a holiday weekend,” Morton said. “We’ve got to get people in.”
Spanish Flat resort is located at 4290 Knoxville Road. For information on staying there, call (510) 501-3979.

Lake Berryessa is 30 square miles of water and 160 miles of curving, snaking shoreline amid the hills of eastern Napa County. Officials say the massive reservoir is 63 percent full despite the drought.

Bureau of Reclamation Press Release:

Reclamation has signed a short-term concession contract with a new operator, Spanish Flat Partners, LLC, to operate the Spanish Flat Recreation Area at Lake Berryessa starting this Memorial Day weekend and through the summer. Recreation opportunities at Spanish Flat will include RV and tent camping and day use, including picnicking, swimming, fishing and hiking.

Over the past year, Reclamation installed new amenities at Spanish Flat, including potable water, an RV dump station and concrete vault restrooms. Other amenities include new picnic tables and fire rings in all day use areas and at campsites. Spanish Flat Recreation Area is located on the west side of Lake Berryessa at 4290 Knoxville Road, Napa, CA 94558.

Spanish Flat Partners, LLC, was recently formed by community members in collaboration with Reclamation’s Lake Berryessa Field Office. All parties are committed to providing quality customer service and outdoor recreation opportunities to the public. Spanish Flat Partners, LLC, will operate this scenic recreation area under an interim contract until a new long-term concession contract can be awarded.

In addition, 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, www.markleycoveresort.com

Pleasure Cove Marina: 707-966-9600, www.goberryessa.com

Steele Canyon Recreation Area: 707-966-9179, www.goberryessa.com

Putah Canyon Recreation Area: 707-966-9051, www.royalelkparkmanagement.com

Spanish Flat Recreation Area: 510-501-3979.

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 www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/berryessa/index.html.

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Hours of Operation for Reclamation Facilities at Lake Berryessa for 2015

For those who are looking for summer recreation, Lake Berryessa in Napa County is a great choice. It’s open for business with full services expected throughout the summer, including boating, skiing, swimming, fishing, hiking, picnicking, biking and camping – and it is also full of wildlife and natural beauty.Lake Berryessa has plenty of water for water-related recreation, and concession-operated facilities offer camping, marina services, lodging and boat rentals. Visitors should call one of the concessions (listed below) to make their camping, lodging or boat rental reservations.

Dufer Point Visitor Center
April 1 through May 17: Open Saturday and Sunday, Noon - 3 p.m.
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
Open every day, 4 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Other boat launch ramps are open at Markley Cove Marina, Pleasure Cove Marina, Steele Canyon Recreation Area and Putah Canyon Recreation Area.

Oak Shores Day Use Area
April 1 - 30: Open 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
May 1 through Sept. 15: Open 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
During April, the Oak Shores Day Use Area will be available for public use 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closing time will move to 8 p.m. on May 1 to correspond to the longer daylight hours.

Smittle Creek Day Use Area
April 1 - 30: Open 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
May 1 through Sept. 15: Open 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
During April, the Smittle Creek Day Use Area will be available for public use from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closing time will move to 8 p.m. on May 1 to correspond to the longer daylight hours.
Eticuera Day Use Area and Olive Orchard Day Use Area
Open dawn to dusk.

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Lake Beryessa Property For Sale

By Amber Payne

amberp@terrafirmaglobalpartners.com
800-681-1361 ext. 6
707-235-1124

http://www.terrafirmaglobalpartners.com/agent/amber-payne/

www.426Woodhaven.com 

www.1085Headlands.com

www.514Neptune.com

www.LakeBerryessaLots.com

www.1040Blueridge.com

www.10AcreParcel.com

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World Environment Day

Sunday, June 7, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Meet near Markley Cove Resort, past Monticello Dam

Join Reclamation Park Rangers and the Lake Berryessa Watershed Partnership for a fun lakeshore clean up event. Volunteers will walk trails and shoreline helping to clean up trash and debris at the south end of the lake. This is a great opportunity to earn volunteer hours while spending the afternoon in a beautiful outdoor setting! Food and drinks will be provided. To participate, please contact Ranger Todd Eggert at 707-966-2111, ext. 113 or reggert@usbr.gov. Pre-registration is required for lunch.

Lake Beryessa Visitor Center Displays and Exhibits

May 16 through September 14: Weekends 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Weekdays Noon - 2 p.m.

The Lake Berryessa Visitor Center offers displays and exhibits on the history of Lake Berryessa, 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.

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The Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce has released its 2015 Directory

Click here for the online version...

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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.

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Lake Berryessa Photos: Rainbows and Glory Holes

Quadcopter Shot from the Berryessa Highlands, December 4, 2014 by Evan Kilkus

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Welcome to the Legendary Napa Valley!

Aerial Video by Evan Kilkus

NapaEvan@Yahoo.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7up1qiuwN4

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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.

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The Lake Berryessa News Archives (2005 - 2012)

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Peter Kilkus, Owner/Editor
1515 Headlands Drive
Napa, CA 94558
pkilkus@gmail.com, 415-307-6906
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Last Update on May23, 2015

Copyright © 2015

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Berryessa Boat, Jet Ski, & RV Repair

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