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Lake Berryessa Statistics 5/17/24

The lake level has dropped another few inches to 439.37 feet, almost 8 inches below Glory Hole.

Lake output is increasing as the agricultural season begins in earnest.

The season total rainfall at Monticello Dam is now at 28.14 inches.
The Gamble Gauge shows the lake capacity dropped slightly to 99.2%.
The water temperature at the dam has risen to 75 degrees from the surface to 10 feet down, 60 degrees at 40 feet, and 53 degrees at 70 feet and below.


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Lake Berryessa’s ‘Glory Hole’ sets record for highest water levels without a spill in its history, according to water agency. The funnel-like spillway has overflowed 27 times in the 67 years since it was completed.
Water teetered on the cusp of Lake Berryessa’s famous funnel-like spillway — dubbed the “Glory Hole” — for nearly a month between March and April, setting a record for the closest the Napa County reservoir has ever been to the edge of the spillway without spilling, according to local officials.
Yet, photos and videos posted online this season appear to show water cascading down the hole.
The Bureau of Reclamation, which built the lake’s Monticello Dam in 1957, shared a video last month on social media showing water sliding down the spillway. “She’s full,” the agency wrote in a post on X.
Even so, Peter Kilkus, editor and owner of the Lake Berryessa News and author of “Lake Berryessa Technical Manual,” said Wednesday via email there has been nothing resembling a real spill or flow.
Jay Cuetara, supervising water resources engineer for the Solano County Water Agency, which manages the reservoir’s output, agreed. He said in an email to The Press Democrat on Thursday that “there has been a lot of confusion on the spill status of Lake Berryessa this season.”
“It did not officially spill this year,” he said.
The source of confusion, Cuetara said, came from the way the agency shared its lake elevation data with the public.
“One of the problems we encountered this year was that we post the instantaneous 15-minute values on our web page rather than averaged values,” Cuetara wrote.
The agency uses averaged data for spill calculations to account for spikes resulting from wind, waves, or boat wakes.
According to Cuetara, the highest hourly average elevation for the lake this spring was 439.94 feet, recorded April 3. At 439.95 feet, the lake is spilling at 1 cfs (cubic feet per second), at 439.96 feet it is spilling 2 cfs, and at 440 feet it is spilling 10 cfs.
“The lake remained within 1 inch, or less, from spilling for almost a month,” Cuetara said, adding that there were several times when the instantaneous lake level spiked above 439.94 feet on the water agency’s web page.
“This proximity to full pool, and the fact that the lake was so close to spill level for so long, meant that any wind, waves, or boat wakes that lapped over the edge of the spillway made it appear to be spilling,” he said.
The water agency will be changing its web page to show hourly averaged data next year to avoid confusion, Cuetara said.
Monitoring data from the water agency shows the lake levels sitting at 439.9 feet on April 16, the date the Bureau shared its video of water sliding down the spillway.
“Dozens of photos and videos have been posted this year showing purported spills and flows over the lip,” Kilkus said in his email. “It's a bit of an optical illusion, like water sheeting down a glass window after hosing it down.”
The spillway, officially called the “Morning Glory Spillway” because its look resembles the flower of the same name, channels overflowing water 200 feet straight down near Monticello Dam and into Putah Creek on the other side.
It has overflowed 27 times in the 67 years since it was completed, according to Kilkus. The last spill was in February 2019.


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Under the Influence

The effect of pH(D) on wine quality
by Peter Kilkus

I started my scientific career in high school pouring sulfuric acid into lead car batteries (See 0 pH on the scale below). I was fascinated by where the holes in my jeans would appear after my mother washed clothes. But my mother was not thrilled. That was my first real experience understanding the concept of pH in chemistry. In college I majored in Chemistry first, but then I switched to Physics because it didn't smell so bad and wouldn't burn holes in my jeans.
I was reminded of those days by a recent article in Napa Valley Features:

"The unseen influence of pH on wine quality" by Dan Berger

Dan wrote, "Yet at a more basic level wine is essentially a complex chemical mixture. Before sealing the bottle, winemakers, many of whom are well-versed in chemistry, meticulously analyze it. They examine aciditypotassium levelsbrettanomyces presence and other technical aspects. Total acidity is another important factor, with a range of 5.5 to 7.0 grams per liter (g/L) being ideal for most wines in my experience. For young red wines to harmonize well with food, their acidity should be closer to 6.0 g/L, with a pH around 3.7."

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I commented: "Nice article. As a scientist myself I enjoy you tickling my old chemistry button. You could have titled your article "The unseen influence of pH(D) on wine quality."
I'm not much of a wine expert, but I do have a trick that "offends" my friends, Jim & Susan, who own Rustridge Ranch & Winery. It's my soon-to-be-patented "sugar cube wine adjuster". I'm not a fan of dry wines so I keep a box of sugar cubes close at hand. If my bottle of wine is not sweet enough, I simply place a sugar cube on the mouth of the bottle. The cube size is just large enough to fit on top without falling in. Next, I place a few drops of water on the sugar cube to saturate it. Then I watch as the sugar cube slowly dissolves and crumbles into the bottle - actually a very satisfying and calming process to watch!
One commenter on my comment said, "And Peter Kilkus’ cool sugar cube idea is fascinating."
So, I decided to expand on my process with a photo tutorial for people to be able to do this trick without hurting themselves. You're welcome.

First my "Wine Improvement Pyramid" to
judge the correct number of cubes to use.

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And then the meditative process begins!

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Bureau of Reclamation announces Lake Berryessa hours

The Bureau of Reclamation announces new operating hours at Lake Berryessa for the summer beginning May 5.
Dufer Point Visitor Center
The Dufer Point Visitor Center will be open noon to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
Oak Shores Day Use Area
The north end of Oak Shores will reopen for day use from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays only. South Oak Shore will be open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Oak Shores Day Use Area offers six large group shade shelters at Acorn Beach, Foxtail Flat, and Coyote Beach. Group shelters can be reserved for groups of up to 50 for $25, per shelter per day, at For more information, or to organize a larger event, contact the Lake Berryessa Park Ranger Office at 707-966-2111, ext. 113.
Smittle Creek and Eticuera Day Use Areas
Smittle Creek and Eticuera Day Use Areas will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for wildlife watching, picnicking and hand launching watercraft. The Smittle Creek Trail is open and can be accessed from two trailheads: the Smittle Creek Day Use Area, available throughout the year, and the Coyote Knolls parking lot in Oak Shores during the summer.
Capell Cove Boat Launch
The Capell Cove Boat Launch is open from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily throughout the year. 



Spring 2017 at Lake Berryessa, It's A Beautiful Day - Lake
Berryessa News Drone Report

Extended cut:

Camping and Marina info FYI...
Steele Canyon Campground:
Pleasure Cove Marina:
Spanish Flat Recreation Area:
Putah Canyon Rec Area:
Markley Cove:
Lake Berryessa Boat & Jet Ski


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Lake Berryessa: 


office:707-235-1124, fax:888-864-4133,, dre#:01302244

1070 Westridge Drive
APN# 019-492-010- .21+ Acre
Offered at $75,000
Flat then downslope


259 Sugarloaf Drive
APN#'s 019-322-004  - .37+- Acre
Offered at $75,000
Spanish Flat Woodlands
1013 Arroyo Lindo Court
APN# 019-441-004 - .22+ Acre
Offered at $84,000
Mostly flat then upslope.
1268 Steele Canyon Road
APN# 019- 432-001 - .21+ Acre
Offered at $70,000
Flat Space with hill at back
Live Oak Lane #21
APN# 019-331-008 - .47+ Acre
Offered at $54,000
Extra Large Lot
814 Bahia Vista Court
APN# 019-452-004 .32 +Acre
Offered at $49,000
Mostly Flat Then Downslope
1102 Arroyo Grande Drive
APN# 019-461-025-000 - .32+ Acre
Offered at $27,999
Flat then upslope - open space 2 sides
817 Bahia Vista Court
APN# 019-451-012 - .28+ Acre
0ffered at $37,500
Flat with downslope, canyon views
1121 Steele Canyon Road
APN# 019-442-004 - .31+ Acre
Offered at $25,000
Flat then downslope
272 Sugarloaf Drive
APN# 019-321-008 - .25+- Acre
Offered at $42,000
Downslope Lot
1103 Westridge Drive
APN# 019-491-011 - .29+- Acre
Offered at $37,500
Flat Then Downslope Lot


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Stacks Image 335 is the all-in-one rural water monitoring and automation platform that sends real-time data
from your water system to your smartphone and aids in fire preparedness.

With, you can:

- Remotely monitor tanks, wells, ponds, and water meters.

- Get notified if you have a leak

- Seamlessly share water tank level information with fire agencies in case of a fire emergency

Get and get peace of mind about your water system.To get started, scan the code above or email at


If you want to compare weather activity around the lake, go to the following real-time weather stations around the lake. It would be nice to have some web cams.

Local Lake Berryessa Weather Stations (Weather Underground Network)

Lake Berryessa News Headquarters (Above the Berryessa Highlands)
Temperature gauge is non-operational, but all other measurements are accurate. The interesting thing about our location is the high south wind levels at the top of our hill compared to the lower level Berryessa Highlands stations.

Berryessa Highlands (Somewhere in the Berryessa Highlands) Berryessa Highlands - KCANAPA20
Skiers Cove (Below the Berryessa Highlands) Skier Cove - KCANAPA228
East Side Road (Across from Big Island) East Side Road, Lake Berryessa - KCALAKEB2
Spanish Flat (Near the Spanish Flat Recreation Area) Roger - KCASPANI1


New Lake Berryessa Map Updated 1/28/24

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This Book Is Fun To Read!

Thanks to all of you who have bought my new book. I hope you like it. If you have a minute could you please go to the Amazon page for my book, scroll down to the Customer Review section and give it some stars and a good review. I would appreciate it since 5 stars and a good review really help sales.

Although it is not a real moneymaker for me, I would like to sell as many copies as I can so that I don't have to keep answering the same questions over and over on my Lake Berryessa News Facebook page (, the Lake Berryessa Facebook group ( and other emails. Thanks.


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Policy and Politics Betray the People: The Lake Berryessa Saga: 1958 - 2020

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The KPIX Eye on the Bay interview below is one I did in 2010 and a relevant introduction to the substance of the book. 
I did it after Pensus had been given the contract for 5 resorts. As we all know Pensus was subsequently kicked out in 2012.

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Lake Berryessa Data Sources

There are many sources of Lake Berryessa water and weather conditions available. The Solano County Water Agency site is good for real-time graphs of level, capacity, and water temperature. The California Data Exchange Center has data going back decades for level, capacity, capacity change, dam outflow, dam inflow, and rainfall. Anyone can research their own data and create custom charts. This is the source of many of the charts on the Lake Berryessa News website.

An upgraded wildfire alert camera system will be keeping watch on Napa County day and night and notifying Cal Fire crews of potential fires. Twenty cameras will be part of a system that will use artificial intelligence and other technologies to identify fire and smoke. If they detect something, an alert will sound in the Cal Fire emergency command center near St. Helena.

Cal Fire has made a large investment into the ALERTCalifornia system, partnering with UC San Diego. There are 1,000 cameras across the state and Napa County is one of the test models.
Cameras can see 60 miles during the day, and this can increase to 120 miles on clear nights, with the changes in the air. The system can differentiate among smoke, clouds and dust. A link to this camera system and other relevant weather data is available on the Lake Berryessa News website at:

This website was created by Doug Kunst. It is an amazing resource for Lake Berryessa fire cameras and weather. His business website is

Lake Berryessa Fire Alert Cameras


 Real-Time Lake Level, Lake Capacity, Water Temperature
Solano County Water Agency
Lake Detailed Historical Data
California Data Exchange Center
Research historical data and create custom plots
Lake Berryessa Code: BER
Local Weather Stations (Weather Underground Network)
Berryessa Highlands (Somewhere in the Berryessa Highlands)
Berryessa Highlands - KCANAPA20
Skiers Cove (Below the Berryessa Highlands)
Skier Cove - KCANAPA228
East Side Road (Across from Big Island)
East Side Road, Lake Berryessa - KCALAKEB2
Spanish Flat (Near the Spanish Flat Recreation Area)