Thanks to Lucie Hock of the Monticello Ski Club for putting together this 2020 launch fee information.

Capell Cove also has a $100 annual pass. Oak Shores Day Use Area charges $5 per vehicle and has a $50 annual pass.

Lake Berryessa Boat Launch Fees 2020


Board of Supervisors Update From Supervisor Ryan Gregory (2/14/20)

Lake Berryessa Recreational Development - Staff continues to work diligently with the Bureau of Reclamation to finalize the Managing Partner Agreement (MPA), which would allow the County to take over responsibilities of recreation management at Lake Berryessa for up to seven concession areas for a 55-year term, expected to begin November 2020. Once the MPA is finalized, the County anticipates releasing a Request for Proposal in April/May 2020 for the first three concession areas - Steele Park, Spanish Flat, and Monticello Shores. Stay tuned for more updates along the way!


Reclamation and Napa County Managing Partner Agreement 

Draft Terms

The Managing Partner Agreement (MPA) is for Napa County (County) to take over responsibilities of recreation management at Lake Berryessa for up to 7 concession areas. The term of the MPA is 55 years.

The term of the MPA assumes the County will seek development opportunities beyond basic campgrounds and includes a full array of recreational services including marinas.

Reclamation agreed to provide financial assistance to the County during the early phases of the recreation management while the County brings on partners to develop some of the concession areas.  Reclamation will provide financial assistance for the initial 5 years of the MPA. Financial assistance will be provided under the cost share authorities and requirements of Public Law 89-72 as amended (50% of losses). Reasonable adjustments to the annual financial assistance amounts may be made as mutually agreed. 

The funding levels were determined under the assumption that the County will take management of three sites (Steele, Monticello and Spanish Flat) and make a good faith effort in regards to exercising the option to bring the existing concessionaires at Markley Cove and Pleasure Cove under the MPA.

The funding provided will be in the following order:

Year 1 of the MPA – Reclamation will provide up to $150,000.00 to offset the County’s operating cost of recreation management at Lake Berryessa.

Year 2 of the MPA – Reclamation will provide up to $250,000.00 to offset the County’s operating cost of recreation management at Lake Berryessa.

Year 3 of the MPA – Reclamation will provide up to $250,000.00 to offset the County’s operating cost of recreation management at Lake Berryessa.

Year 4 of the MPA – Reclamation will provide up to $250,000.00 to offset the County’s operating cost of recreation management at Lake Berryessa.

Year 5 of the MPA – Reclamation will provide up to $150,000.00 to offset the County’s operating cost of recreation management at Lake Berryessa.

Effective at the signing of the MPA, Reclamation will provide ½ FTE (Full Time Employee) of a Recreational Planner to provide technical support through the Request for Proposal (RFP), bid selection, and award process to the County team during the first few years of County recreation management at Lake Berryessa. This will be at no cost to the County and will not be deducted from or considered a part of the agreed upon financial assistance.

Reclamation will provide office spaces and utilities to the County team for the first 5 years of the MPA.  Office space will consist of one office, unfurnished.  Utilities will include electrical service, water, wastewater, and telephone line. This will be at no cost to the County and will not be deducted from or considered a part of the agreed upon financial assistance.

Under the MPA, the County will be responsible and  for the following based on the agreed upon date for each site:

Recreation management for up to 7 concession areas, including solicitation of business opportunities, negotiation and execution of contracts, quality assurance monitoring, and, as necessary, corrective actions to bring contractors into compliance.  (Steele Canyon, Monticello Shores, and Spanish Flat will be included November 1, 2020.

Pleasure Cove, and Markley Cove will be included upon County exercising an option on or before November 2030.

Berryessa Point and Putah Canyon will be optional sites if the County decides to include them into their portfolio through a subsequent mutual agreement with Reclamation.

Fire Management – The County will be responsible for the development and implementation of a fire management plan, including any agreements necessary for fire suppression and for fuel management for the areas managed by Napa County under the MPA.

Law Enforcement – The County will be responsible for providing Law Enforcement for the areas managed by the County under the MPA. Reclamation will fund a minimum of one law enforcement officer through an Enhanced Services Agreement for 5 years for enhanced law enforcement services to federally manager areas. The Enhanced Services Agreement will be brought to the Board of Supervisors for approval at the same time as the Managing Partner Agreement.

Hazardous Materials & Waste management – the County will be responsible and for overseeing concessionaire use of hazardous materials and generating hazardous waste including all necessary permitting as well as managing any errors that arise. Reclamation retains responsibility for cleaning up any existing issues.

Water and Waste Water – The County will be responsible for providing potable water and manage waste water, waste water permits, waste water, and water quality violations within areas managed by the County under the MPA.

Timeline – Phasing the concession sites under the MPA by the County.

Phase 1 – (November 1, 2020) The County will take over recreation management responsibility for Steele Canyon, Monticello Shores, and Spanish Flat.

Phase 2 – By or before November 1, 2030, The County will determine whether it will exercise an option to take over the recreation management responsibility for Pleasure Cove and Markley Cove.

Phase 3 – The County may take over the recreation management responsibility for Berryessa Point and Putah Canyon.

Termination - Reclamation will reserve the rights to terminate the MPA in the event of a national emergency, if the County fails to provide appropriate recreation activities or meet its commitments under this agreement or under provisions listed in the MPA.

County shall have the right to terminate for convenience its rights and obligations in connection with any concession areas without a concessionaire upon 90 days’ notice.

Download the original pdf of this document here...


The Latest Issue Of The Lake Berryessa News, February 2020, Has Been Published And Is Available to Download. Click here or on image below.

LBNews Pg 8&1 Feb20


Lake Level Feb2019 Feb2020


No on Measure K, the Boondoggle Tax

$9 MILLION per year!

But no money for Lake Berryessa.

And no compelling need nor recreational benefit for Napa residents.

Picking your pocket a dollar at a time.

Expanding boutique environmentalism.

No measurable impact on climate change.

“Protecting” already well-protected land - from what, for what?

Buying city votes with sales tax-funded local parks.

Boondoggle: work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value; an expensive program that is a waste of money, especially one using public money. Imagine kids in a candy store spending money like drunken sailors.

A burning question to many of us trying to revitalize a battered Lake Berryessa region is why this Boondoggle Tax is being considered at all when one of the most important recreational areas in Napa County, Lake Berryessa, has been so neglected by the County. We’d like to have $9 MILLION a year to help in the revitalization of this major resource! Real recreation for real people with real monetary benefit for Napa County.

Lake Berryessa is only mentioned ONCE in passing in the ordinance itself in Section B.1.b describing “protecting” water quality by buying land. But Lake Berryessa is already the cleanest lake in northern California with no foreseeable water quality threats. Buying watershed lands which can't be developed anyway does not "protect " water quality.

The District now has a budget of about $800,000 in Transient Occupancy Tax from Napa County plus various grants. They have been doing fine with this amount. The RPOSD, with its policy of land grabs and trails-at-any-cost philosophy, has done little of compelling benefit for Napa County residents. They claim they are “preserving” land, but they are actually just buying land that is already nearly unusable in any practical development sense. 

Measure K includes the word “protect” ten times but never tells us what it is “protecting” from. Open space preservation, watershed protection and environmental issues have already been properly addressed in county ordinances which have resulted in Napa county being among the most preserved and protected in the state.

Giving $9 million dollars - $9 MILLION! - a year to this agency would be like, to mix cliches, giving it to kids in a candy shop who would spend money like drunken sailors on mostly pointless acquisitions that hardly anyone could use. Their slick master plan would have you believe Napa County is in grave danger which could only be alleviated by buying more unusable, already protected land. Most rural residents understand this.

But to buy the votes of urban folks they propose giving money to individual Napa cities to create more parks within their borders. This is not the role of a Regional Parks and Open Space District.

To inflate their relevance they actually claim they will have a positive impact on climate change. This is a scientifically silly statement in a state where preserving a few hundred acres of forest land to “sequester carbon dioxide” pales in the face of wildfires that burn tens of thousands of acres of trees a year, releasing their already-sequestered carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As of December 22, 2019, more than 7,860 fires have been recorded according to Cal Fire and the US Forest Service, totaling an estimated of 259,823 acres of burned land. See the article link below from Physics Today which documents the enormity of the problem. Millions of acres of new trees would have to be planted to make a real impact. 

Negative Carbon Dioxide Emissions

$9 MILLION per year! $45 MILLION in 5 years. $90 MILLION in ten years. $135 MILLION in fifteen years. Ridiculous! What could you do with $9 MILLION per year. $9 MILLION stolen from Napa County residents’ wallets. The existing sales tax in Napa County is already 7.75 percent, with the exception of St. Helena, where it is 8.25 percent. For many people, these taxes build up and become a burden. The RPOSD needs to live on its current budget not tax, tax, tax.

The Lake Berryessa News believes the benefits of Measure K are not worth its cost.


Manfree Challenging Pedroza for Lake Berryessa Votes

Pedroza's broad political experience, financial expertise, and support for Lake Berryessa's revitalization vs. Manfree's scientific expertise, land use concerns, and support by slow growth advocates who show no support for Lake Berryessa's future.


The Lake Berryessa News endorses Alfredo Pedroza.

-Pedroza Manfree photo


9375 Steele Canyon


Public Invited To Observe All Phases Of The 

March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election

The Napa County Election Division invites the public, the media, members of the Grand Jury, political party organizations and anyone interested in the election process to observe all aspects of the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election. All processing and counting will take place at the Napa County Election Division 1127 1st St., Ste E, Napa.

“We welcome observers to this fundamental cornerstone of our democratic process,” announced Napa County Registrar of Voters John Tuteur, “Those who wish to observe the election should contact us 24 hours in advance so that we can facilitate the observation process. 

You can call the election office at (707) 253-4322 or toll free (Upvalley and American Canyon) 1-888-494-8356, or send an e-mail to elections@countyofnapa.org. Observers must sign in and receive appropriate identification.

Logic and accuracy testing of the ballot tabulation equipment begins on January 28, 2020, at our central office. Vote-by- mail ballot processing will begin Friday, February 28, 2020 at 8 a.m. and continue Saturday, February 29, 2020, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Counting of ballots processed through Friday, February 28, 2020 will begin 9 a.m. Saturday, February 29, 2020 and continue through Tuesday, March 3, 2020.  

Results from processed vote-by-mail ballots are available shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Counting will resume on Friday March 6, 2020.

The selection process for the risk-limiting audit required under the California Election Code will begin at 10 a.m. on Monday March 2, 2020. The risk-limiting audit will begin on Thursday March 12, 2020 and continue until certification of the election.  

Pursuant to California election law, the Registrar of Voters has 30 days after the election to certify the election results. Observers are also welcome at any of the 9 vote centers.




Policy and Politics Betray the People: 

The Lake Berryessa Saga: 1958 - 2020

 (Introduction from my new book “in progress”, "Policy and Politics Betray the People: The Lake Berryessa Saga: 1958 - 2020”)

The Four Tragedies of the Berryessa Valley: A History of Heartbreak

As I stood with Brian Hackney of KPIX’s Eye on the Bay looking out at the fantastic view of Lake Berryessa from the site of the demolished Steele Park Resort’s Boathouse Restaurant (https://youtu.be/nP9K8Ai0Lkc), I was struck by the many levels of history we were witness to. And much of that history, unfortunately, was filled with heartbreak.

The First Tragedy: The Destruction of Native American Culture

 Formerly known as Talahalusi (Beautiful Land), the Napa Valley is one of California's longest inhabited areas. Archaeological surveys indicate 10,000 years of uninterrupted habitation. "It was a paradise - a cultivated paradise where one only had to reach out their hand to eat. A place rich in beauty, water and food," stated the oral history of Native American Elder Jim Big Bear King.

Native Americans lived peacefully in pole houses, using clamshell beads and magnesite cylinders for money and jewelry. They processed obsidian into shafts, spears and arrowheads, which were used for hunting and export. Acorns, perennial grasses, wild berries, freshwater shellfish, salmon, fowl and game were their diet. These hunter-gatherers lived in a rich environment with a capacity for a dense, socially complex population of 35,000-40,000 people. They established large permanent villages with nearby seasonal resource and task-specific camps.

In 1976 an archaeological survey of lands slated for development for recreational purposes (Oak Shores) resulted in the discovery of a number of prehistoric artifacts along the shoreline of Lake Berryessa. Although the study area (Oakshores Park) is contiguous to Lake Berryessa and appears (at the present time) to be a favorable place for human occupance, prior to the construction of Monticello Dam it was a considerable distance from the principal stream draining the area (Putah Creek).

Spain claimed the land that included California in about 1530.  It stayed in Spanish hands until Mexican independence in 1821 when it became part of Mexico—Alta California as it was called by the Mexicans to distinguish it from Baja California.

After the Spanish and Mexican invasion in 1823, the tribes were nearly decimated by forced marches and smallpox. When forced to relocate to various missions for religious indoctrination, many fled to friendlier territory.

The Second Tragedy: The Destruction of Spanish Culture

Alta California stayed in Mexican hands until an infamous incident in 1846.  John C. Fremont led a group of American adventurers and earlier American immigrants in an uprising to try and free Alta California from Mexican hands.  On 14 June 1846 Fremont and company declared California to be an independent state:  the Bear Flag Republic. What so stains the Bear Flag Republic is the killing by some of Fremont’s men, lead by the famous Kit Carson, of three innocent Mexicans—Jose de los Reyes Berryessa and two of his nephews.

This “republic” only lasted until 7 July 1846.  The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American war and ceded northern Mexico to the U.S.  California, then, became a territory of the U.S.  In 1850 California was admitted to the Union as a state and stayed in the Union during the Civil War.

What, though, of the people of Alta California?  Who were they, where did they come from, and how did they change over time?  Particularly what of the people of Berryessa Valley?

The first people known to reside in the valley were American Indians from the Southern Wintun tribe.  Up until about 1800 members of the Southern Wintun tribe lived in a village in Berryessa Valley named Topai.  Their main diet was acorns which normally grew abundantly.  Unfortunately, no members of the Southern Wintun tribe survive. 

The next known inhabitants of the valley were two Mexican brothers, the Berryessas (Berryessa is a corruption of their actual name—Berelleza).  The Berryessa brothers, Sisto and Jose, received the valley as part of a land grant to them in 1843 from the newly independent Mexican government.  When California became a state in 1850 the Berryessas petitioned to have their land grant recognized by the United States government.

However, by the time Lincoln finalized the Berryessa brothers’ right to the land almost none of the land was still in Berryessa hands.  The Berryessas had sold the vast majority of the land in order to cover their plentiful debts, particularly gambling debts.  It seems that Sisto and Jose were overly fond of Three Card Monte and horse racing.  In 1879, the last Berryessa homesteader, Nicholosa Higuera, wife of Sisto Berryessa, died.  Her husband died the year before in 1878.  Both were buried in the valley.  Sisto’s body, unlike that of many of the other homesteaders, was not recovered when the cemetery in Monticello was relocated to Spanish Flat.  Sisto lies beneath the waters of Lake Berryessa even today.

The Third Tragedy: The Destruction of Rural Culture

The town of Monticello was born the next year, 1867, when B.F. Davis built a blacksmith shop.  It became the center of a prosperous agricultural community and was located somewhat in the middle of the valley, along Putah Creek.  The valley itself was flat and fertile and was considered to have some of the best soil in the country.

Monticello was always a fairly small town, usually two to three hundred residents.  The town at different times had a hotel, a school, two gas pumps, a general store, a community hall, and a bar (a roadside spot called “The Hub”).  McKenzie and Sons store (originally McKenzie and Cook) was a center point for much of the activity in the town.  Albert McKenzie, who ran the store for many years, was the grocery clerk, postmaster, community telephone switchboard operator, notary public, crop insurance man as well as the person to go to for free farming and income tax advice.  He was a man who wore many hats.  Monticello became a popular venue for rodeos, baseball games, and “cow roasts” drawing people from miles around. 

The town enjoyed the distinction of being the first community in the state to have a telephone system installed (around 1905).  In 1896 the famous Monticello Bridge over Putah Creek, was built.  It was considered the grandest stone masonry bridge ever built in California, consisting of three 70 foot spans.  Some claim it was the largest stone bridge in the Western United States.  The Bridge is the only thing that remains of Monticello beneath the waters of Lake Berryessa—everything else was either burnt to the ground or carted off. 

Monticello store demolished
Burning house again1
Burning house again

The Solano County Irrigation District was formed in 1948 to obtain irrigation water from a proposed multiple-purpose Solano Project and included the damming of Berryessa Valley at Devil’s Gate.  Shortly thereafter Bureau of Reclamation included the Solano Project as part of its plan to develop water resources in the Central Valley Basin of California.

In 1953 construction began on Monticello Dam.  The rest of the Solano Project includes a diversion dam on lower Putah Creek (creating Lake Solano) and an open waterway stretching 33 miles named the Putah South Canal.

By 1956 all the trees, homes, barns, and other structures were dismantled, burned, or removed from the valley in preparation for its inundation.  Because the land was condemned, compensation for people’s property was minimal. 

The Dam was completed in 1957 and the former valley, now a reservoir, filled within two years leaving no clues that Monticello and Berryessa Valley were once populated.

The Fourth Tragedy: Destruction of  Lake Berryessa Family Recreation

The Bureau of Reclamation and their supporters destroyed family recreation at Lake Berryessa for a generation of families, children, and friends. Many people ask me about the history of the process that led to the present situation at Lake Berryessa. When I explain what happened most become incredulous and can't believe the government could have done something so stupid. "How could they have gotten away with that?" they exclaim.

Steele Park Restaurant from lake

The goal of my new  book is to provide the history and the context within which such an incredibly destructive course of action took place. The book is dedicated to documenting this final tragedy - and, hopefully, the promised revitalization.


Saturday, Feb. 29., $50 per person

Crab feed 2020


1085 Headlands Dec2019
19 Juniper Dec2019


Berryessa Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)  

“Berryessa CERT is comprised of volunteers who live in the Circle Oaks, Berryessa Highlands, Capell Valley, Spanish Flat and Berryessa Pines communities.” ….Shelly van Rijn, Berryessa CERT Team Leader

CERT latest class

Our first Berryessa CERT training meeting was on CERT go bags. We had received a CERT helmet, CERT vest, work gloves, goggles and training materials from Napa County CERT upon completion of our training. After reviewing the hazards that we may face in our local area, what other items might be useful in our gear bags? We had fun comparing items from all of our gear bags and it was a great way to learn about new things we had never thought of. 

Following is the list that we came up with. I hope all of you find something useful you can apply to your own emergency preparedness kits! Everything on this list would make a great kit to keep in your home or car, ready to grab at a moments notice if a disaster strikes or you've told to evacuate. I know in the last few times I've had to evacuate due to a wildfire, my pre-packed CERT go bag came in handy more than a few times. I've also made a paired down version of this kit for my daughters and it makes me feel better know they have them in their cars.

-CERT Go Bag

 CERT Gear Bag Required Items

Cert Hard Hat & Cert Vest, Safety Goggles, Knee Pads, Leather Work Gloves, Sturdy Closed Toe Shoes, Long Pants, Flashlight, Extra Batteries, N95 Mask, Note Pad, Pen, Pencil, Black Sharpie, Fog (Field Operating Guide), Bottled Water, Utility Shut Off Wrench, Hand Sanitizer, Small Tissue Packs, Whistle, Latex Free Gloves

Suggested Supplemental Items

Helmet Headlamp, Extra Batteries, Caution Tape, Triage Tape (Red, Yellow, Green, Black), Triage Tape Holder (Snap Buckle Dog Collar), 16” Glow Stick, Folding Shovel/Pick Combo, Pocket Knife (4” Or Less), Rain Poncho, Sunglasses, Bandana, First Aid Supplies, Gallon Ziplock Bags, Multi Tool, Duct Tape, Glow Sticks – Red, Yellow, Green With Strings, Emergency Blanket, Wool Blanket, GMRS Radio & Charger/Extra Batteries, Pry Bar, Crescent Wrench, Tarp , Collapsible Water Bottle, Water Purification Tablets Or Filter, Lumber Crayon, Extra Black Sharpie, Zip Ties, Sunscreen, Chapstick With Sunscreen, Lighter, Snacks (Non-Perishable), 4 Large Garbage Bags Rolled Up & Secured With Thick Rubber Bands, Ear Plugs

Nice to Have Extra Items

Reflective Rain Jacket Or Rain Gear, Green Laser Pointer, UV Pen Light, Hand/Face Wipes, Crank Emergency Radio, Nylon Braided Rope, LED Flares, Spanish/English Dictionary, Rechargeable Batteries & Charger, Long Sleeve Shirt, 2 Pairs Of Socks, 2 Pairs Of Extra Underwear, Extra Cell Phone Charging Cord, Cell Phone Charging Stick, Lighter Weight Work Gloves, Deodorant/Toothbrush/Toothpaste, Signal Mirror, Compass, Maps Of The Area, Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern, Travel Hairbrush/Mirror Combo


New Book on Amazon

-Kindle cover

Amazon Kindle - $2.99

I've just released my new book: Conspiracy Theory or Automatic Pilot: The Economic Roots of Environmental Destruction. Available on Amazon in Kindle (above) or Paperback (below).

Classical economics is a mythology. Predatory capitalism is a fundamentalist religion based on this mythology. Environmental destruction and income inequality are results of the practice of this mythical religion. But is the present economic and environmental situation a conscious conspiracy or an unintended consequence of simplistic beliefs supported by basic human greed?

Serfs Up for book

This book provides the basics of classical economic theory and the description of the intended or unintended consequences of predatory capitalism based on this theory. It contrasts these to sustainability principles underpinning modern environmental economic theory and the various movement towards corporate responsibility.

Fishing Financial System

The book is not meant to be an academic or scientific exercise for economists or policy makers. The concepts discussed are easily accessible to thoughtful readers. My objective was to explain to myself the structure of economic influence that is at the heart of environmental degradation (including the welfare of individual human beings). Understanding is the foundation of action.

-Paperback Cover

Amazon Paperback - $7.99


Lake Berryessa issues - 1971

In my research of the history of Lake Berryessa I came upon this interesting publication from 1971 documenting the situation at the lake. It mirrors the same controversy that occurred in the early 2000s. There were people spreading falsehoods about the lake’s water quality then as there were in 2001 and later. 

Lake Berryessa is and always was the cleanest lake in northern California. The mobile homes never caused any pollution of the lake. This statement is not an opinion - it is supported by all the relevant facts and data. At that time the National Park Service was pushing a plan to develop Lake Berryessa to serve 8 million visitors per year at more than 12 public sites all around the lake.    

Download the full four page bulletin here...


Concession Areas

Markley Cove Resort, Pleasure Cove Marina, Steele Canyon Recreation Area, Putah Canyon, and Spanish Flat offer a variety of recreation services, including boat launch ramps, and are great alternatives to Oak Shores and Capell Cove. For information regarding services offered at concession-operated facilities, please call or visit their websites:

Markley Cove- 707-966-2134, www.markleycove.com
Pleasure Cove Marina- 707-966-9600, www.goberryessa.com
Steele Canyon Recreation Area- 707-966-9179, www.goberryessa.com/campground-at-steele-canyon
Spanish Flat Recreation Area- 707-966-0200, www.spanishflatcamping.com
Putah Canyon Recreation Area- 707-966-9051, 

For more information, call the Lake Berryessa Administration office at 707-966-2111, ext. 113 or visit the website at:  http://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/berryessa/index.html    


Lake Berryessa Boat Launch Fees 2020


See my detailed report on how Lake Berryessa and Monticello Dam function at:



Special Release: New combined report for those who want to know almost everything about how Lake Berryessa works!

As Lake Berryessa Flows:

A Combination of Science, Engineering, and Natural Beauty

by Peter Kilkus

The Science and Engineering Elements of a Major Natural Resource

Download Full Report PDF Here...


Welcome to the best map of Lake Berryessa you’ll ever find!

Click on the map to see a larger version.

Click here to download a pdf copy.

1 Lake Map Base 082317


Lake Berryessa Fills and Glory Hole Spills: The Video History

This amazing series of Lake Berryessa News Drone videos by Evan Kilkus documents the 45 foot rise of Lake Berryessa in 2017.



Full lake level history 2015
Lake Levels 2006 to 031217 edited-1
Lake Levels 1990 2017



Berryessa Valley and the Town of Monticello Historical Photos and Videos from before Lake Berryessa covered it.

Berryessa Valley photo

Thanks to Carol Fitzpatrick for creating the Berryessa Valley Exhibit at the Spanish Flat Village Center described in the first video.



Policy and Politics Betray the People 

The Lake Berryessa Saga: 1958 - 2020 (draft)

by Peter Kilkus

(Click to Download the PDF here)


Lake Berryessa Project Primary Document Index

Table Of Contents


Here's an interview I did in 2010, three years after the interview below with Pat Monaghan and just after Pensus had been given the contract for 5 resorts. As we all know Pensus was subsequently kicked out in 2012.        

Here's a 2007 TV interview with Pat Monaghan, cofounder of Task Force 7 at Lake Berryessa, to give you some historical insight. Those of you who remember Pete Lucero will recognize his description of what we called "The Big Lie" - which turned into the "Epic Fail".

How It All Began: The Origins of the “Big Lie”

Lake Berryessa History Timeline: 1958 - 2018

Click here for PDF version

Lake Berryessa News (2010 - 2018): A VERY SLOW MOTION Disaster! 

Click here for PDF version


Some Interesting Past Stories

Bird Goes Over the Glory Hole Waterfall Without A Barrel

Glory Hole: Awesome, Frightening, But Dangerous?

February 2019: 2nd Anniversary of Glory Hole Spilling

My First Fishing Trip on Lake Berryessa

Berryesa Oil Rush 1900 & 1920

Analysis of the Creation of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument - the Dumbest National Monument in the United States

Rattlesnakes: Friend or Enemy – or just a primal fear?


Special Publications (PDF)

As Lake Berryessa Flows:

The Science and Engineering Elements of a Major Natural Resource (Combined Reports)

Combined Report Title Page and Index


As Lake Berryessa Flows: 

A Combination of Science, Engineering, and Natural Beauty 

(Single Report)


As Lake Berryessa Turns!

Temperature and Fishing in a Warm, Monomictic Lake 

(Single Report)  


Seeing Underwater at Lake Berryessa 

(Single Report)


Silly Septic System Standards Harm Rural Napa


The History of the Creation of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument: The Ultimate Political Perversion of the Antiquities Act

By Peter Kilkus (6/20/17)

The Twisted Ten-Year Political Path From a Modest Nature Area Partnership to a Local Blue Ridge Berryessa National Conservation Area to a Large Disjointed Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area to an Incoherent Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.

Is it the “Dumbest National Monument in the United States”? An objective review of the process by which it was created and the final formal designation suggests the answer is YES. I personally support the creation of legitimate national monuments, but this is not that. Being part of the ten year political process that led to its creation convinced me that in many situations the Antiquities Act is being abused. The Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument is a perfect case study of this abuse. 

Read the full report here.


Chef Neiman Marxist French

The Amazing Foods of Chef Neiman Marxist


Winters Express logo

The Winters Express


Peter’s 75th Birthday Video (Hirez, 3m22s, 203MB )

Peter’s 75th Birthday Video (Lorez, 72MB)

Bill Scholer Birthday Band raw (1:37, 101 Mb, Lorez)

Bird video

ACDC Intros mix


Glory Hole Overflows


Hot Tramp 1000 Video

Caymans Dive Video Short - Peter Only (1 minute)

Caymans Dive Video Long - People and Fish Life (7 minutes)

Special Economic Report: Download PDF of this report

pKilkus@gmail.com                       © Peter Kilkus 2018