Lake Berryessa water level is slowly dropping while water temperature is slowly rising. Level is 1.2 feet below Glory Hole. Water temperature is approaching 80 degrees.

Glory Hole 062219
Water temperature 061819


Pasote Tequila & Berryessa Bass Tournament Results for Sunday, 6/9/19    

Thanks to the 20 Teams that fished the 9th event of the Pasote Tequila & Berryessa Bass Tournaments Circuit that was out of Capell Cove. We had a breezy and cool Blast Off. Everyone was in shorts and freezing! Turtle Rock was 47 degrees at check-in! Bite has been tough lately, but all teams got limits.

 Most teams reported catching their fish in 5 – 25 feet of water. Water temps are up into the mid 70’s to 80’s range with the water clarity still the same with slightly murky tan/green in areas and crystal clear in other areas. Teams reported catching their fish on Top Water, Jigs, Drop Shot, and Reaction Baits. Most teams covered a lot of water and were fishing all over the lake.

First Place went to Adam  Cartwright and Mike Ammenwerth with a sack that weighed 19.85lbs and was anchored with a 5.98lb Kicker for 2nd Place Big Fish! Second Place went to Joe Mariani and Mark Mariani who brought in a sack that weighed 19.59lbs. Third Place went to Steve Alvarado and Mark Peters with a sack that weighed 17.37lbs. With a Fourth Place finish, John Maes and Ryan White weighed in a sack for 16.79lbs and was anchored by a 6.55lb kicker for 1st Place Big Fish. In Fifth Place, Brett Nielson and Mark Eldridge came in with a sack weighing 14.72lbs. In Sixth Place & First out of the Money with a $100 River2Sea Certificate was Gary Okusako and Dave Symmons with 13.07lbs.

Next tournament, The TOC Sunday 9/22/19! Also on Sunday 9/22/19 we will be drawing for 50/50 Raffle! TOC Invtes will be going out soon. Thanks to all the teams for supporting the 2018-2019 Pasote Tequila & Berryessa Bass Tournaments Circuit!

Thanks to our Sponsor’s: Pasote Tequila, P-Line, Venom Energy Drinks, Ficelle’s Bistro, Tomat’s Restaurant, Kasoku Teriyaki & More, Koloa Bass/Zipline/ATV, Dobyns Rods, Battery Systems, Pisani’s Automotive, Trigger Grips, 3Badge.com, Markley Cove, and CE Ranch, Todd’s Custom Rod Art, Hisui, A-Rig-Wrap, Round Table Pizza, Buckhorn Grill, Pro Cure, Bay Tackle, LEBCO, Berryessa Boat Repair, Waipouli Beach Resort, Hanalei Gourmet, and Gone Fishin Marine!

If you bring a currently dated receipt from Gone Fishin Marine or any other sponsor, I will give you free raffle tix! You can also get 10% off purchases if you’re a Berryessa Bass Tournament member! I will have membership cards for you at the next tournament if you didn’t receive one yet! Email or call if you have any questions - (530)794-6085 Thanks for the Support!!! Website should be updated shortly! 

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

LBNews Pg 8&1 Jun19


Sanderson June2019


A Tale of Two Napas: 

Growth of the Napa Valley Highlights Stagnation of the Berryessa Valley

According to the Napa Valley Visitor Profile 2018 study, the Napa Valley has been booming economically for many years. Annual visitor volume has risen to 3.85 million visitors in 2018, up 8.9 percent from 3.5 million two years ago.

Day trip visitors are the single the largest component of Napa Valley's visitor volume, comprising 2.4 million visitors, or 62.3 percent of all visitors. The second largest segment of visitors are persons staying in Napa Valley lodging, at 1.2 million visitors. (See chart below.)

Napa visit econ table

Conversely, a Bureau of Reclamation report in 2005 said that Lake Berryessa once had more than 1.5 million visitors annually, with a maximum of 1.8 million. That compares favorably to the Napa Valley’s 3.85 million. But Lake Berryessa’s visitor numbers dropped to only 408,000 in 2014, after the seven existing resorts were closed in 2009 and millions of dollars of existing infrastructure was unnecessarily demolished.


Visitation statistics in 2005 projected that Lake Berryessa visitation could reach more than 2.4 million by the year 2020. But this was dependent on implementing a major redevelopment (not destruction) of recreation facilities.

Visitation History

On June 21, 2016, (Note: That was three years ago!) the Napa County Board of Supervisors directed staff to enter into negotiations for a Managing Partner Agreement between the County and the Bureau of Reclamation.

On December 6, 2016, the Board of Supervisors entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bureau of Reclamation to gauge the commercial interest in Lake Berryessa and determine if the types and scope of recreation opportunities are of interest to potential developers. Under this MOU, the County, at its own expense and authority, developed a Request for Information/Interest (RFII) in Lake Berryessa concessions.

Also on December 6, 2016 Ragatz Realty was contracted to identify concession opportunities at Lake Berryessa. There was a positive response of nine companies to the RFII and a positive initial report from Ragatz Realty on August 1, 2017. On October 16, 2018, the Board of Supervisors received a report from staff and provided direction on a possible phasing plan.

Now three years later, Napa Valley’s visitors are spending $2.2 BILLION per year supporting 16,000 jobs. The Napa Valley's visitor industry generated $85.08 million in tax revenues for governmental entities in Napa Valley in 2018.

But the County and the Bureau of Reclamation are still trying to reach a managing partner agreement. They remain apart on such issues as how to share future financial risks during the initial phases of the project.

Supervisors Pedroza and Dillon traveled to Washington, D.C. to talk with BOR officials there and heard all the right things. But the Washington office says the county must make sure the regional office is supportive. The regional office says the county needs to talk with the Washington office. “That process is what gives government a bad name,” Pedroza said. “That level of bureaucracy needs to stop.”

Lake Berryessa resort redevelopment would cost the County money, no matter who leads a successful effort. For example, the County provides law enforcement to the lake area at a cost of $1.4 million annually. More lake visitors would mean more call for services, boosting the county cost to an estimated $1.8 million to $2.5 million annually. Then there are expenses the county would incur if it managed resort redevelopment. County officials estimate the cost at $770,000 annually for a concessions manager, concessions planner and administrative support.

But the potential is there. County income from resort redevelopment would include transient occupancy taxes and sales taxes. If the county leads the effort, it would receive franchise fees from concessionaires. The Ragatz report documented the market possibilities. But county officials fear the franchise fees won’t bring in money for two to five years into the redevelopment effort and are concerned about the time lag for the revitalized resorts to bring in money.

Reclamation proposed to share county losses related to resort management for three years, capped at $100,000 annually. It offered a full-time employee to help the county develop a concessions program and office space until the county can establish space at a resort.

They want Reclamation to consider an initial five-year commitment, equal cost sharing of county concession management costs, further discussion on county law enforcement costs, and further discussion on in-kind services.

One key issue has been the time period for resort concession contracts. The county wants to offer 55-year contracts with 10-year extensions, saying this would allow concessionaires building infrastructure time to recoup their investments.

So while a thriving economy exists less than 20 miles away in the Napa Valley, a depressed economy is struggling along in the Berryessa Valley. Thankfully, the Napa County Board of Supervisors remain supportive of a Lake Berryessa revival. The irony is that most of the difficult financial issues being faced at Lake Berryessa are the result of the Bureau of Reclamation’s own past management and policy failures.

But again they refuse to take responsibility for helping repair the damage. As with any bureaucracy, the people most responsible for destroying the Lake Berryessa community have either been promoted or have retired. So who in Reclamation really cares?

The Bureau of Reclamation owes the Lake Berryessa community and Napa County BIG TIME! Three years with no progress is ridiculous. Let's get this done!    

Read full story here...


MSC 2019


A Call To Action: Personally Demand the Return of Big Island Lagoon and Steele Canyon Cove to 5MPH Zones For Family Recreation!

It's time for all friends of Lake Berryessa to be heard after more than ten years of an illegitimate restriction created with no public input and little public support. Please read the Special Report below showing that the Bureau of Reclamation's actions were invalid and are unenforceable. Then let your representatives know how you feel. It's been long enough!

Below is a letter I've sent to Drew Lessard, Reclamation Area Manager, that you can use as a sample. Please write as many letters as you can and forward this email to your family, friends, and others you know who care about Lake Berryessa. 

David Palumbo, Deputy Commissioner
Bureau of Reclamation
1849 C Street NW
Washington DC 20240-0001

fax: 202-513-0319

Ernest Conant, Regional Director
Mid Pacific Regional Office
Federal Office Building
2800 Cottage Way
Sacramento CA 95825-1898

Fax 916-978-5005

Drew Lessard, Area Manager
Central California Area Office
7794 Folsom Dam Road
Folsom CA 95630-1799


Sample Letter:

Dear Mr. Lessard,

There is no such legal designation as a "Non-Motorized Zone" or "Electric Trolling Motors Only" restriction applicable to Lake Berryessa.

In a highly unpopular move with no real public support the Bureau of Reclamation arbitrarily closed Big Island Lagoon, a traditional family boating rest area, to motorized recreation more than ten years ago.

The 2006 Record of Decision itself defined this illegitimate restriction as only temporary until Reclamation adopted the Water and Land Use Recreation Opportunities Spectrum (WALROS) - which it did in 2009. But Reclamation took no action.

The conclusion is that since there was neither public input nor public support for this arbitrary action; there was no statutory authority or other justification for Reclamation's decision; there is no enforcement authority applicable to these arbitrary designations; there was no analysis of need; and the action is in opposition to Reclamation's stated purpose to support and expand recreation at Lake Berryessa, the Bureau of Reclamation should immediately rescind its action and return Big Island Lagoon and Steele Canyon Cove to their long-term 5 MPH status in anticipation of the 2019 recreation season.    



A. Executive Summary: There Is No Such Legal Designation As A "Non-Motorized Zone" Or "Electric Trolling Motors Only" Restriction At Lake Berryessa

In a highly unpopular move with no real public support the Bureau of Reclamation arbitrarily closed Big Island Lagoon, a traditional family boating rest area, to motorized recreation more than ten years ago. This action was taken with no public input, no supporting data, no analysis of need, nor any evaluation of its effects on lake users, violating Reclamation’s own policies and the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

Monitoring of the area for the many years has shown there has been no appreciable use by non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks. This action simply created a wasted recreational resource that had previously been used by thousands of boaters on a regular basis. This area was an historical 5 MPH zone and a heavily-used family recreation gathering spot. It provided a quiet, safe respite from the activity on the main body of the lake.

Hidden on a map in the 2006 Record of Decision are two designations of "non-motorized zone". One is Big Island Lagoon. The other is Steele Park Cove (aka Willi's Cove). The Big Island lagoon entrances now have several buoys stating "Electric Trolling Motor Only" but no signs stating "non-motorized zone". Although warning buoys were placed at Big Island, they were not installed at Steele Park Cove. The “electric trolling motors only” warning can potentially be interpreted to mean that no kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, bass boats, patio boats, or other watercraft will be allowed in the area without a trolling motor attached.

Monitoring of the area for many years has shown there has been no appreciable use by non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards. Statistical reports confirm that there are no safety issues related to the shared use of 5 MPH areas by non-motorized and motorized watercraft.

The 2005 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and 2006 Record of Decision (ROD) noted no safety or environmental issues.

The 2006 ROD also stated that no changes would be made until the Public Forum referenced in this same section was created. Peter Kilkus first raised this issue in a formal recommendation to the Bureau of Reclamation on December 26, 2012. The recommendation was ignored. The subject was never discussed at any of the public forums held after the public process implemented in early 2013 - until it was again brought up by Kilkus at the November 14, 2018 forum meeting. Drew Lessard, Reclamation Area Manager, agreed to review the proposal.

Detailed justification supporting this action is given below. The conclusion is that since there was neither public input nor public support for this arbitrary action; there was no statutory authority or other justification for Reclamation’s decision; there is no enforcement authority applicable to these arbitrary designations; there was no analysis of need; and the action is in opposition to Reclamation’s stated purpose to support and expand recreation at Lake Berryessa, the Bureau of Reclamation should immediately rescind its action and return Big Island Lagoon and Steele Canyon Cove to their long-term 5 MPH status in anticipation of the 2019 recreation season.

See full report here

Download PDF of full report here...

Buoy close circle text


Summer operating hours at Lake Berryessa

Dufer Point Visitor Center
Park rangers will staff the Dufer Point Visitor Center from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Staff will provide answers about visiting the lake, volunteering with our birding program and upcoming events.

Oak Shores Day Use Area
Oak Shores opens daily at 7:30 a.m. all year. In addition, Lake Berryessa employees will extend Oak Shore’s closing hours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reserve Oak Shores shade shelters for $25 at www.recreation.gov. Reservations are not accepted on holiday weekends.

Smittle Creek and Eticuera Day Use Area
Smittle Creek and Eticuera are available for hiking, wildlife watching, picnicking and hand-launching watercraft from sunrise until sunset throughout the year. Park rangers will close the parking lot gates at Smittle Creek at 8 p.m., nightly.

Capell Cove Boat Launch
The Capell Cove Boat Launch opens from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. all year, weather permitting.

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 Glory  Hole Spill Watch 2019



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.




1958 - 2018

by Peter Kilkus


What Happened At Lake Berryessa? The Book! 

(Click to Download the PDF here)

Table Of Contents


Without THE LAKE BERRYESSA NEWS there would be no Lake Berryessa News…and finally there would be no definitive history of what happened at Lake Berryessa. Having participated directly for more than twenty years as an advocate for the lake in the fiasco that was the Bureau of Reclamation’s Visitor Services Plan, its farcical but tragic outcome, and the process of rebuilding, I have very strong views of the causes and results - supported by facts and data which were mostly obfuscated by the proponents of the destruction of the lake’s residential and business community.

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.

The goal of this book is to provide the history and the context within which such an incredibly destructive course of action took place.

The initial timeline shows a condensed history of the process. The next section tells the story through the eyes of Lake Berryessa News articles. With the permission of the Napa Register, a parallel history is presented through contemporaneous editorials, articles, and letters to the editor from the Napa Register.

This book is not a traditional academic exercise in historical exposition. Academic historians define history as presenting facts without expressing any opinion or analysis of the events whereas memories are comprised of emotions that can have a great influence on the perception of an actual event. Critical historians live by the old saying of "there are two sides to every story and then there is the truth."

I’m more interested in the narrative approach to defining this history. Almost two decades have passed since this story began, and Lake Berryessa history has been created with every day of that twenty years.

This book is the raw, as-it-happened, unfiltered picture of what many of us lived through. It is organized chronologically; focused on a single coherent story; primarily descriptive but also analytical; primarily concerned with people but also the abstract circumstances in which they find themselves. To me a big part of the fascination with any history is trying to discover what was going on inside people's heads in the past, and what it was like to live in that past.

The future may finally looking brighter for Lake Berryessa or does it? History continues to unfold.

Peter Kilkus, Lake Beryessa, 2018


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

Lake Berryessa Glory Hole Swallows Senior Center Gambling Bus

Bird Goes Over the Glory Hole Waterfall Without A Barrel

Glory Hole: Awesome, Frightening, But Dangerous?

February 2019: 2nd Anniversary of Glory Hole Spilling

Moskowite Corners: A Landmark in Lake Berryessa History 

Gets A New Owner - Again!

My First Fishing Trip on Lake Berryessa

Silly Septic System Standards Harm Rural Napa

A Fishy Fishing Story at Lake Berryessa

Undercover agents and all…plus a new Fishing Guide Policy from Reclamation

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

Lake Berryessa History: The Summer of Love (1967) versus The Summers of Chaos (1998-1999) 

Lake Berryessa 1998-1999 Rap Concerts

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)


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.


Conspiracy Theory Or Automatic Pilot: The Economic Roots Of Environmental Destruction        

By Peter F. Kilkus 

Download PDF of this report (2 MB)


The Amazing Foods of Chef Neiman Marxist

Chef Neiman Marxist French


Winters Express logo

The Winters Express


Bird video

No on C - Oak Woodlands Initiative

ACDC Intros mix


Glory Hole Overflows

County Berryessa Map Lar

pKilkus@gmail.com                       © Peter Kilkus 2018