The Lake Berryessa News

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



Horoscopes?br> ?br> Aries (3/21-4/19):
People and places from your past will come rushing back this week, thanks to a sudden hemorrhage of the temporal lobe.
?br> Taurus (4/20 - 5/20):
Your disdain for authority will be full display this week when you pick a fight with a handsome set of leather-bound encyclopedias.

  ?br> Gemini (5/21 - 6/20):?br>  Mosquitoes are usually attracted to body heat and perspiration, though in your case, it's the giant mosquito costume.
?br> Cancer (6/21-7/22):?br> Be sure to choose your words carefully this week as you've only got about seven of them left.
?br> Leo (7/23-8/22):
 You will make medical history this week as the first person to recover from smallpox only to die from a never-before-seen strain of enormouspox.
 Virgo (8/23-9/22):?br> When you were a child, you spoke as a child, you understood as a child, and you thought as a child; so no real changes, then.
?br> Libra (9/23-10/22):
Your belief that all life's problems can be solved with a heart-to-heart talk and a good night's sleep will be severely tested this week when you're introduced to mathematics.
?br> Scorpio (10/23-11/21):?br>  This is a good week to start new projects, as long as they don't take more than four days and won't depress the people who find your body.
?br> Sagittarius?11/22-12/21):
This week you'll show everyone that you can be stunningly sexy at 50, which is deeply troubling as you were 27 last week.  
?br> Capricorn (12/22-1/19):?br> You'll finally come to understand your own heart and mind, and by extension, exactly what everyone has been laughing at all these years.?br> ?br> Aquarius (1/20-2/18):
You will definitely be remembered by all people for all time, a fact that should make you feel much more shame and disappointment than it may seem.
?br> Pisces (2/19-3/20):?br>   Love may mean different things to different people, but it's surprising how many definitions include heavy investment in real estate.


Glory Hole Photo Album




Management of Lake Berryessa: Bureau of Reclamation or Bureau of Land Management?
Should We Jump Off the Train Before It Gets to the Station?
polo lacoste soldes lacoste pas cher polo lacoste pas cher polo lacosteBy Peter Kilkus ?

During the past three decades, many local residents and businesses, including me and the Lake Berryessa News, have proposed that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) take over management of Lake Berryessa. Due to the Bureau of ReclamationÕs (BOR) questionable job of managing the lake resorts, people thought that the polo lacoste pas cher BLM, which has public recreation as one of its objectives, might do a better job. ?

The economic and social disaster caused by the BOR in its mismanagement of the Bid Prospectus and the subsequent Pensus contract fiasco has given new impetus to this proposal. Congressman Mike Thompson has introduced a bill to do just that. Ironically, it was Congressman Thompson who, more than ten years ago and despite more than 10,000 signatures to the contrary, was instrumental in working behind the scenes to support the BOR in the actions which brought about ghost lake we see now. ?

HR 4166: Lake Berryessa Recreation Enhancement Act of 2014 ( ?

IÕve read the bill, as should anyone who claims to support the revival of the Lake Berryessa community. I am concerned that it is not what itÕs proponents claim it to be. There is the same type of ambivalent language in it as is in ThompsonÕs bill to create a Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area (NCA). Some concerned local residents think this new bill has the additional ulterior motive of making it easier to create the NCA if the BLM is already in charge of Lake Berryessa. ?

Despite the noble purpose expressed in the new bill, ?

"(1) to provide diverse, high quality recreational facilities and services on the water and land surrounding Lake Berryessa;" ?

the language itself appears to allow the Secretary of the Interior to throw out the present Record of Decision which is guiding the BORÕs process of creating a new Bid Prospectus with subsequent concession contracts. ?

?1) DEVELOPMENT?OF?PLAN.—The Secretary may develop a management plan under paragraph (1)?/span> ?

(A) as a new document; (emphasis added) or ?

(B)?by adopting the recreational use plan (adopted by the Bureau of Reclamation on June 2, 2006. Record of Decision, Future Recreation Use and Operations of Lake Berryessa)? ?

Why are those two statements not reversed and modified to make it mandatory that the Record of Decision is the official plan which must be implemented first? ?

Before anyone decides to support Thompson's new bill, they should ask several questions.

Since most of the BOR managers who were responsible for the previous problems are no longer with Reclamation, and the present management has shown that it understands the causes of the previous disaster, and the present management has shown good faith and modest results during the last year, why change now?

Although previous BOR managers, such as Pete Lucero and Mike Finnegan, were required to implement questionable BOR policies, they are gone. The present Lake Berryessa Manager, Jeff Laird, has had significant experience with concession-managed amenities. He has been the Lake Berryessa Manager for more than a year and has gained the respect of the local community. He comes to Lake Berryessa after years as the Resource Manager at ReclamationÕs New Melones Lake where he worked to provide high-quality visitor services. Jeff was Supervisory Park Ranger and Concessions Specialist, directing the recreation management program and administering the marina concession contract.?

The other BOR senior managers in the present Lake Berryessa chain of command, Drew Lessard and Pablo Arroyave, for example, during meetings of the Lake Berryessa Community Forum, have stated that they understand what went wrong with the previous process and are determined to do it right this time. Since the Bid Prospectus planning process is well underway and is actually being done right this time, in the opinion of knowledgeable observers, why change now? ?

What real-life examples of BLM recreational facilities run by concessionaires with marinas, modern camping, lodging, restaurants, and other recreational amenities exist? I've searched the Department of Interior database and have found none. I know and respect the California BLM managers. BLM manages many lakes with launching and camping, but apparently none with the types of facilities that most people want at Lake Berryeyessa. ?

Since the BOR and the BLM are both part of the Department of the Interior, what would actually be different about the present planning process after this management change?

The same consultants would be used. The same laws and regulations must be followed. Just because everyone is upset that the time frame for completion of the new concession contracts is so long (Summer, 2016) doesnÕt mean that a management change would speed anything up.

In several recent meetings with the Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce BOR management has stated that they are making every effort to shorten the planning process. What exactly can BLM do better at this time?

For those of you who have been around Lake Berryessa for many years, you may recall that BLM was offered the opportunity to take over management of the lake back in 2001. Of course, at that time the process of writing the new Visitor Services Plan, aimed at eliminating the mobile homes at the resorts and replacing the owners of those resorts, was just beginning. BLM had no interest in taking on such a complex and controversial responsibility. The State Director of the BLM, Mike Pool, responded in part in a letter to the BOR: ?

"MAR 22, 2001: We also believe that the current efforts towards completion of VSP efforts should be finalized prior to any change in management structure...We have also discussed this issue with Representative Mike Thompson and he has informed us he concurs with this approach."

On a cautionary note, the usual exclusionist suspects have already begun floating the idea that some of the resorts should not be reopened at all, reopened with limited amenities, or reopened for day use only. The self-fulfilling prophecy logic is that not enough people will come back to the lake since not many people are coming to the lake now. This is the same type of insidious propaganda that these groups and individuals used to help cause the present problems in the first place.

Although not an easy task, re-introducing such a beautiful family destination to the millions of people with nearby access to it is a matter for positive and imaginative marketing efforts. Several marketing plans have been developed over the years, including creating closer relationships with the rest of Napa CountyÕs hospitality industry. I, the Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce, and others found that the Napa Valley business community was very receptive to including Lake Berryessa in their visitor outreach programs. Some of these plans were actually being implemented until the abortive Pensus contract disaster sidelined all of our efforts. The plans still exist and are simply awaiting competent new concessioners to implement them.

Once again, ask yourself, why should we jump off a train that seems to be on track this time before it gets to the station? ShouldnÕt the BOR be allowed to complete the new bid/contract process creating a revitalized Lake Berryessa recreation destination of value to the public and to the local community?

Then we can discuss the potential benefits of a management change from the BOR to the BLM. There is no compelling reason to rush into this, but several substantial concerns that should be answered first.


Lake Level Update: 3/31/14

The elevation of the spillway (Glory Hole) at Monticello Dam is 440 feet msl. The water is now 24.92 feet below the top of the spillway at 415.08 feet.

The lake has risen only 0.92 inches on 0.93 inches of rain this last week because the ground was so dry. Usually the lake rises 7 inches per inch of rainfall when the ground is saturated.

Lake Berryessa has had 11.46 inches of rainfall since 7/1/13.



Fishing With Sid at Lake Berryessa
By Sid Silberberg

(Editor’s Noted: Everyone knows that dedicated anglers are obsessed and have a crazy streak, but from knowing Sid and Albert personally, I can assure you that they are a couple of the top “crazies? Not sure about Danielle and Ben. I, on the other hand, prefer warm water and sandy beaches.)

What a difference a week makes!! I took out Danielle and Ben at noon hoping to get a couple of hours of fishing in before the weather changed. Water temperature was 55 to 58 degrees ?as was the air. Getting to the vineyards was easy because the whitecaps pushed in that direction!

When we got to the first barbed wire fence I stopped in twenty feet of water but before I could let my electric motor down we were in seven feet so. I had to go deeper and let my motor down. The wind kept pushing me towards shore it was a battle to keep the boat in the strike zone.

I kept this up for a while till I decided it was to hard to control the boat, but Danielle got a hit as we were ready to leave. She played the fish for about five minutes and ended up bringing in her largest fish of the day. It was a nice bass weighing in at 4.5 lbs using a senko worm weightless texas rig and "Procure" crawdad scent.

We headed back as the wind picked up and the clouds were gathering. We made it in before the rain?/p>

My buddy Albert fished from shore and landed a 2+ lb bass using a Carolina rig with brass and glass with a black creature,, 650-583-3333.

Tips: my go to for bigger fish is the vineyards it works and worth the distance and time.


Reclamation Announces Hours of Operation for Recreation Facilities at Lake Berryessa

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central California Area Office announces the hours of polo lacoste pas cher operation for recreation facilities at Lake Berryessa for 2014:

Dufer Point Visitor Center
May 18 through September 1: Weekends and Holidays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Weekdays Noon-2 p.m.; closed Wednesdays

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. Contact the Park Rangers at 707-966-2111 ext. 113 for information about park events, hikes, kayak tours and educational programs.

Oak Shores Day Use Area
April 1 to April 30: Open 7 a.m., Close 7 p.m.
May 1 to September 15: Open 7 a.m., Close 8 p.m.

On April 1, the seasonal closure of the northern portions of Oak Shores Day Use Area will come to an end, and the entire day use area will be available for public use from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closing hours will move to 8 p.m. on May 1 to correspond to the longer daylight hours.

Smittle Creek Day Use Area
lunettes soleil ray ban ray ban wayfarer lunettes ray ban pas cher ray ban pas cher polo lacoste lacoste pas cher polo lacoste pas cher April 1 to April 30: Open 7 a.m., Close 7 p.m.
May 1 to September 15: Open 7 a.m., Close 8 p.m.

Smittle Creek Day Use Area will be available for public use from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting on April 1. Closing hours will move to 8 p.m. on May 1 to correspond to the longer daylight hours.
Other developed day use areas and dispersed access points at Lake Berryessa are open from dawn to dusk.


Markley Cove Resort, Pleasure Cove Marina, Steele Canyon Recreation Area, Spanish Flat Recreation Area and Putah Canyon Recreation Area continue to be open and offer a variety of recreation services. For information regarding operations and services offered at concession-operated facilities, 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,

Spanish Flat Recreation Area: 707-966-9192,

Putah Canyon Recreation Area: 707-966-9051,
For questions, please contact the Lake Berryessa Field Office at 707-966-2111 ext. 0.

Please visit the Lake Berryessa website at for additional information.


Reclamation Announces Spring 2014 Park Events and Ranger Interpretive Programs

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central California Area Office announces spring 2014 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.

Spring Nature Hikes
Saturday, April 12; and Saturday, May 3; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meet at Smittle Creek Day Use Parking Lot
Join a Park Ranger for a leisurely hike on the Smittle Creek Trail along the western shoreline of the lake. Enjoy wildflowers and get some fresh air and exercise while learning about the natural and human history of the area on an easy-to-moderate 2.6 mile, one-way guided hike. The trail travels through a shaded Blue Oak woodland, affording hikers scenic views and peaceful surroundings. Meet at the south end of the Smittle Creek Day Use Area parking lot, off of Berryessa-Knoxville Road. Vehicles can be shuttled for those wanting to hike one way. Hikers may stay with the Ranger for the entire 3-hour hike or leave early if they choose. Bring a lunch to enjoy at the lake. For details and directions, please contact Mike McGraw at 707-966-2111, ext. 112 or

Berryessa Spring Bird Species Inventory
Sunday, May 4, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meet at Monticello Dam Overlook
Get a little exercise, learn some local history and tally Berryessa’s bird species all at the same time! Join Park Ranger and bird enthusiast Todd Eggert and visit Lake Berryessa’s three dominant vegetation communities ?oak woodland, chaparral and grasslands ?to inventory the resident and migrant bird species. Participants will caravan or carpool the length of the lake, stopping for short walks. Experienced and beginning birders are welcome, with Ranger Todd assisting novices on the finer points of bird identification. For directions and to RSVP, please contact Todd Eggert at 707-966-2111 ext. 113 or

World Environment Day
Sunday, June 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meet near Markley Cove Resort, past Monticello Dam
Join Reclamation 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 Jason Jordan at 707-966-2111, ext. 143 or Pre-registration is required for lunch.

Paddle With A Park Ranger
Experience Lake Berryessa from a unique perspective during these Ranger-led paddling tours. Each tour offers a different experience as participants launch from various areas around the lake. Events occur rain or shine, but high winds could cause an event to be cancelled. Paddling outings are open to experienced swimmers with a kayak, canoe or other non-motorized boat. Coast Guard-approved life jackets will be available, but boats are not available for rent. Participants should bring their boat, life jacket, paddle, sunscreen, hat, water, clothing layers depending on the weather and a lunch/snack. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. Changes to locations and times may occur because of fluctuating water levels.

For details, directions and to RSVP, please contact Victoria Payan at 707-966-2111 ext. 113 or
Listed below are the four spring 2014 paddling tours along with date/time and specific meeting location.
?Island Exploration - Saturday, March 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meet at Foxtail Flat in Oak Shores. Trailers are not permitted inside the park.
?Easter Sunday Expedition - Sunday, April 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meet at the Pope Creek Bridge. There is a short, somewhat steep path to the put-in.
?Capell Cove Cruise - Saturday, May 17, 9 a.m. to Noon.
Meet at the Capell Cove Public Boat Launch.
?Full Moon Friday - Friday, June 13, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Meet at the western launch ramp at Putah Canyon Recreation Area. A working flashlight and a whistle are required for each participant.

Lake Berryessa also offers the following programs and activities:

Lake Berryessa Water Education Program
Available by Appointment
Oak Shores Day Use Area

The Lake Berryessa Water Education Program is an interdisciplinary learning experience for students in grades 4-6. The program integrates the natural resources of Lake Berryessa with California curriculum standards. Classes join a Park Ranger at the lake to learn about the importance of water in their lives. In addition to the onsite learning experience, a teacher packet is available with logistical information and pre- and post-site activities. Berryessa Rangers are available to conduct pre-field trip classroom visits. For more details on this free program, please contact Mike McGraw at 707-966-2111, ext. 112 or

Displays and Exhibits
Starting on May 18: Weekends 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Weekdays Noon-2 p.m., closed Wednesdays
Lake Berryessa Visitor Center

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.

Interpretive programs and events at Lake Berryessa tie into President Barack Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative ( which seeks to empower Americans to share in the responsibility to conserve, restore and provide better access to our lands and waters and leave a healthy and vibrant outdoor legacy for generations to come. Ranger-led hikes and activities also support the Department of the Interior’s Let’s Move Outside initiative ( which encourages children and their families to enjoy outdoor activities that abound in every city, town and community. And where better for the public to appreciate and enjoy the great outdoors than at a Reclamation facility like Lake Berryessa?

If you would like to participate in a program and need accommodation, please contact the Lake Berryessa Park Ranger Office at 707-966-2111 ext. 113 at least 14 days in advance.
Please visit the Lake Berryessa website at for additional information.



WASHINGTON D.C. ?U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) introduced the Lake Berryessa Recreation Enhancement Act (H.R. 4166), legislation that would transfer the management of Lake Berryessa from the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

“The management status quo at Lake Berryessa needs to change,” said Thompson. “Lake Berryessa is an important part of our county and we’ve waited too long for BOR to effectively execute its redevelopment plan. New management is needed, and a redevelopment plan that works for the lake, families and businesses needs to be implemented. We need to pass this bill and begin working with both BLM and BOR on a smooth management transfer, and with BLM on a successful redevelopment plan.?br>
“Transferring the management of Lake Berryessa from BOR to BLM is the right thing to do for the lake, the families who live there and the businesses that depend on it,?said Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon. “I thank Congressman Thompson for introducing this legislation and look forward to working with him to make sure the management transition is both quick and smooth.??br>
Recreation along the 165 miles of shoreline and 2000 acres of wildlife areas have been managed by BOR since the lake was formed after Monticello Dam was built in 1957. However, BOR has failed to provide and manage adequate concessions at Lake Berryessa in recent years. Currently, only one of the seven concessions has a permanent operator and four are operated under interim contracts, providing only boat launching and camping without hook-ups, showers or running water. The two remaining concession locations are closed. The lack of concessions has caused tourism to drop and has hurt the local economy.

BLM manages 264 million acres of public lands across the United States, and has extensive experience managing outdoor activities on public lands ?including camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, wildlife viewing, and more. BLM management of the Lake Berryessa Recreation area would help ensure better management and enhanced recreational opportunities for visitors to the lake.

Specifically the Lake Berryessa Recreation Enhancement Act would:

• ? Transfer administrative jurisdiction over the Lake Berryessa Recreation Area from the Bureau of Reclamation to the Bureau of Land Management;

• ? Direct the Department of the Interior to develop a comprehensive management plan ; and

• ? Allow the Bureau of Reclamation to continue to administer the Monticello Dam and other facilities related to the Dam

The Lake Berryessa Recreation Enhancement Act has been referred to House Committee on Natural Resources.


31st Annual DAM Lake Berryessa Swim

Experience a classic! DAM's Annual Lake Berryessa Swim is one of the longest running open water swim events in America. Begun in 1981 as a friendly lake swim, this event now attracts more than 500 swimmers each year to the Oak Shores campground on the shores of Lake Berryessa.


The Berryessa Valley History Exhibit Now Has A Web Site

Carol Fitzpatrick has developed a great new web site 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)


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

Last Updated on March 31, 2014

Copyright ?2014


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