The Lake Berryessa News

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

The Lake Berryessa News will once again begin accepting paid advertising at reasonable rates. Your ad will appear regularly in the Lake Berryessa email newsletter (biweekly), on the Lake Berryessa News web site, and on the Lake Berryessa News Facebook page.

Contact Peter Kilkus at for details.


Glory Hole Photo Album


Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Map


Breaking News: The results are in for the response to the Bid Prospectus for five Lake Berryessa resorts.

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Reclamation, per their formal policy, will not release the names of the bidders nor which of the resorts were named in the bids. Their public statement is that:

"Several qualified bids were received. The bid packages have been sent to the members of the evaluation team for thorough review. Evaluation team members will meet on October 12 to review the bid packages as a group. More information will be available after that meeting."

The Bid Prospectus for Markley Cove Resort is expected to be released in early 2016.


Free Flu Vaccine Clinic - Lake Berryessa

Monday, October 12, 2015 - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Berryessa Senior Center - 4380 Spanish Flat Loop Road

Free Flu Vaccine from Napa County Public Health. Anyone age 3 years and older. Shot and spray available

For a full flu vaccine clinic schedule visit:


Lake Level Update: 10/5/15:

The elevation of the spillway (Glory Hole) at Monticello Dam is 440 feet msl. The water is now 42.76 feet below the top of the spillway at 397.24 feet - down 4.1 inches since last week. This date last year the lake was at 401.96 feet.

Rainfall was officially 0.62 inches at Monticello Dam last week. This brings the season total since July 1 to 0.70 inches. This date last year we had had 0.41 inches.

When the lake is this far down the level goes up about a foot for every inch of rain after the first 3 inches saturate the ground for runoff. When it is at the -20 foot level it only goes up 7 inches per inch of rain. Right now that means we need about 70 inches of rain to fill the lake.

Normal rainfall is about 25 inches per year. The last super El Nino year (97-98) we had just over 46 inches. We had 41 inches in 05-06 - the last time the lake was a full. We had 38 inches in 2010-2011.

For 15 days in July and August, the Wragg fire incinerated nearly everything in its wake, consuming the 576 acres that comprise the UC Davis Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve and torching a total of 8,000 acres near Lake Berryessa.

As the area begins to recover, local nature enthusiasts and university researchers alike eagerly wait for the the reserve to reopen. Yet for now, they are left only with bold-red words warning “CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE” on the reserve’s website. 


Lions and Bears and Hogs, Oh My!

A nature photographer rancher friend on the northeast side of Lake Berryessa. Has an automatic game camera set up on his ranch.

He says, "Most would not believe bear and lion are proliferating in the Berryessa Valley, but, rest assured, their populations are on the increase: feral hogs too!! Look out recreationists!"

This may add some excitement to the Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce's future Berryessa Peak Challenge Hike!


Reclamation Announces Margaret David Bailey as New Park Manager at Lake Berryessa

The Bureau of Reclamation welcomes Margaret David Bailey as the new Park Manager for Lake Berryessa in Napa County. In this position, Bailey will assist the Area Manager of the Mid-Pacific Region’s Central California Area Office, Drew Lessard, in managing public recreation, natural resources, visitor services and concession management at Lake Berryessa.

Lessard stated, “I’m very pleased to welcome Margaret to the Mid-Pacific Region. She is exceptionally qualified for this position, with 26 years of supervisory experience and proficiency in managing public lands. Margaret will be a tremendous asset to the Region and Lake Berryessa.” 
Bailey earned a Master of Science in Forest Management from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, in 1991.

She began her career as a National Environmental Policy Act Coordinator in 1990 with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in Alsea, Oregon. She joins Reclamation from her former position as District Ranger with the USFS, Fremont-Winema National Forest, in Klamath Falls, Oregon. In that position, she managed the Klamath Ranger District, consisting of approximately 200,000 acres and resources ranging from developed recreation to vegetation-management projects in northern spotted owl habitat.

Most recently, Bailey served as the Nevada State Liaison, USFS, in Sparks, Nevada. She and her husband, Bruce, have two grown sons. The family enjoys the outdoors, camping, bicycling, kayaking and traveling.


The Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Election Is Coming This Month!

If you wish to nominate someone for a position on the Board, please do so by emailing Craig Morton at

You may also self-nominate if you wish to be considered for the Board.

Nominees must be members in good standing of the Chamber.

Present Board members are: Craig Morton, President, Rockie Pridmore, Vice-President, Jerry Rehmke, Secretary/Treasurer, Tom Gomez, Peter Kilkus, Bob Lee, Paul Quarneri, Marcia Ritz


First Annual Berryessa Highlands Fall Picnic

Saturday, October 17, 2015, 1 PM to 5 PM

WHERE: Steele Canyon Recreation Area Sites 70-75 North Campgrounds 
WHY: Get to know your Highlands neighbors/make new friends and connections 
WHO: Berryessa Highlands Residents. Proof of residency will be checked at the gate.


Please RSVP to:

1 PM: Potluck; 2 PM: Treasure Hunt and Games; 3 PM: 50/50 Raffle for families of Highlands residents who are victims of the Valley fire.

Bring everything you need to go on a picnic with your family (beverages, cups, plates, cutlery, charcoal if you are BBQing, chairs, pop up shades, etc.) and an item that will feed 20 people to share at the Potluck. Appetizers; Cheese and Crackers; Bread and Butter; Salads ( Green, Fruit, Cole Slaw, Pasta, Potato); Entrees (Vegetable, Chicken, Beef, Pork, Casserole), Dessert

We are having a 50/50 Raffle to raise funds for immediate families of Highlands residents who are victims of the Valley Fire. Please bring money for Raffle tickets and let us know if anyone in your immediate family is a victim of the Valley fire.

Everyone attending picnic please respond to this post to stating: name, # attending, ages of children, picnic activity you would like to help coordinate, what you are bringing to the Potluck.

Sorry, no pets.

Thank you. We look forward to seeing you at the picnic.

Cynthia and Bill Marshall


Lake Berryessa Recreation Opportunities

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


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 October 6, 2015

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