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.

It was the second largest annual increase in the history of the lake.

It was also the second highest level the lake has reached in its 58 year history.

The lake has only spilled into Glory Hole 26 times in those 58 years. Also the rainfall total (46.7 inches as of 4/14/17) is the highest in 20 years.

The first video shows how low the lake was 2 years ago. You should watch it before the others to get some perspective on the amazing rise of the lake in 2017.



April 14, 2017: Spring Comes to a Full Lake Berryessa

The lake is still overflowing, the campgrounds are all waterfront, the "spots" are ready for people, and even the unique Iris's are ready to bloom. So join us on this Beautiful Spring Day around Lake Berryessa, and plan your vacation soon as campgrounds are selling out for this summer already!


Valley Internet color

The Lake Berryessa News salutes one of our main advertisers, Valley Internet. Their reliable high speed internet service is the best in our rural area, and their customer service is top notch.

Lake Berryessa News production, from the print edition to our web site to our Facebook page to our email newsletter, depends on our Valley Internet connection in the Berryessa Highlands.



Lake Level Status: 4/17/17

Due to the light rain during the last week (0.66”) the lake level has remained at 440.7 feet - 8.4 inches above Glory Hole. The lake has been spilling into Glory Hole for 60 days.

Rainfall total has risen to 46.97 inches, officially the highest annual rainfall in 20 years with more to come! The Sierra rainfall chart shows that we are heading for a record rainfall up there. I don't have any local Berryessa data before 1997.

Lake Level chart 041717
Historical Rain Sierra to 2017


Special April 1st Holiday Edition 

If It’s in The Lake Berryessa News It Must Be True!


there would be no Lake Berryessa news.


Glory Hole Declared a National Infrastructure Treasure

Lake Berryessa’s Glory Hole Spillway rose to international prominence in early 2017 due to detailed reporting and drone videos by the Lake Berryessa News. Millions of people around the country and the world followed Lake Berryessa’s filling and Glory Hole’s spilling, a phenomenon which hadn’t been seen for more than a decade. The lake rose more than 45 feet in four months, the second largest annual rise in the lake’s history. This brought the level to 443.6 feet msl (above mean sea level) - the second highest level in the lake’s history.

These events brought Lake Berryessa to the attention of the National Infrastructure Treasures Society (NITS) which annually nominates a major example of United States infrastructure to be added to the list of engineering marvels of benefit to society.

The design wisdom of the Bureau of Reclamation incorporated in the construction of Monticello Dam and its Morning Glory Spillway stood out this rainy year, especially in comparison to the spillway failures at the Lake Oroville dam.

The NIT pickers at NITS were aided in their deliberations by engineering consultants Bohre & Ringge Design, experts at picking NITs. After the selection of Glory Hole as 2017 winning NIT, Bohre-Ringge President, Eima Bohre, commended his partner Knowse Ringge and the entire Bohre-Ringge staff on their NIT picking success.

Both President Donald Trump and Governor Jerry Brown, in an inspirational show of bipartisan cooperation, will be on hand for the Glory Hole dedication scheduled for April 1, 2017. The photo below is an artist’s conception of the event.

Glory Hole dedication1


Glory Hole to be Lowered to Attract More Tourists

The alteration to the Glory Hole depicted in this Bill Scholer cartoon is part of the latest plan for enhancing the tourist draw for Lake Berryessa. As part of the Renaissance Lake Berryessa project, the rim of the Glory Hole (aka Morning Glory Spillway) would be lowered several feet so that the lake would overflow more often. 

This would enhance the Glory Hole as a tourist attraction to the benefit of the local economy. Glory Hole has only spilled 26 times in Lake Berryessa's 58 year history

This year’s excitement as Lake Berryessa filled and Glory Hole spilled, brought many new visitors and created noticeable additional business activity in the Lake Berryessa region and the City of Winters.

Much of this activity was due to the constant excitement created by Lake Berryessa News reporting, especially the Lake Berryessa News Drone videos which received literally millions of views on YouTube and was reported around the world. Our video was picked up by the National Geographic and that post is now at more than 13,500,000 views!

Glory-Hole Lowering2017


Should April 1 Now Become a National Holiday?

St. Stupid’s Day and the Dumbing Down of America

Although April 1st is usually referred to as April Fools Day, the date has also become a holy day for some churches such as the Church of the Last Laugh in San Francisco. Each year on April 1 they sponsor a St. Stupid’s Day Parade. St. Stupid is the patron saint of religion, politics, and the Internet. He and his followers are responsible for the dumbing down of America by the methodical destruction and purposeful elimination of the means by which a society educates and enlightens itself. 

Although April Fools Day celebrates sly wit and twisted humor, it also inadvertently highlights the serious lack of scientific and mathematical knowledge of the American public, as well as a complete lack of the ability to think analytically on the part of many. This issue of the Lake Berryessa News includes several stories I hope you enjoy and which only you can decide if true.


Share the lake day edited-2


REI adventure kitten


Alligators in Lake Berryessa?

Speaking of adventures at the lake, Allie the Lake Berryessa Alligator, apparently first seen many years ago at Steele Park, seems to have returned. 

At that time rumor had it that someone had released a pet alligator at an unnamed resort during the April Fool’s Day holiday prior to 2012. Strangely - or simply coincidentally - all sightings of Allie seem to have occurred on April 1.

Allie Apr1 Steele Park

There had been a couple of unverified sightings by resort guests and a claim by someone that something alligator-like attacked his dog along the shore of the Steele Park marina. Fish and Game was notified. Several people took their boats out in search of the creature.

In 2012 I had received an alligator sighting photo at Jumping Rock from a local resident. When I posted it on my Lake Berryessa News Facebook page, I recieved more than 5,000 hits and 150 comments.

Allie Jumpin Rock

This sighting of Allie, the Lake Berryessa Alligator, also seen several years previously at Steele Park, convinced some residents that they now had a serious tourist attraction to kick-start our local economy which had been devastated by the closure and demolition of most of the resorts in 2008-2009.

The Lake Berryessa News investigative team verified that someone saw something, but no one confirmed an anything. More likely the original culprit was a large catfish. No dog was actually attacked, but a woman walking a dog saw a large shadow in the water. The next day an 18 pound catfish was caught in the same area!

Alligator sightings stopped for several years as the lake level continued to drop. Allie may have been enjoying her perch on the side of a dry Glory Hole. 

Allie at dry Glory Hole edited-1

However, the rapid rise of the lake this year seems to have encouraged her to come out of hiding.

Allie Glory Hole 2017

The Lake Berryessa News cannot confirm the validity of this set of photos, but based on the “alternative facts” approach of modern fake news, we cannot deny their authenticity either.

Pelicans Geese Cows Allie edited-2



Full lake level history 2015


April 1, 2017 Print Edition (Full PDF Version)

LBNews Pg 12&1 Apr17



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.



Lake Berryessa History 2010

The Bureau of Reclamation has destroyed family recreation at Lake Berryessa for a generation of children. 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.    

How Could the Government Have Done Something So Stupid?

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.

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".


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The Winters Express


pkilkus@gmail.com                       © Peter Kilkus 2016