A Beautiful Day on Lake Berryessa (with the Sheriff)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

by Peter Kilkus

The sun was bright, the air was warm, the lake was relatively flat, the boat was smooth and powerful, the ride was a delight. I’m sure that this is an experience enjoyed by many Lake Berryessa lovers over the years. But this was not a pleasure trip. I was riding along with Sergeant Jon Thompson, head of the Marine Patrol Division of the Napa County Sheriff’s Office and another deputy on a high speed run to the Putah Canyon Recreation Area launch ramp. They had just received a report of a possible domestic violence incident.

The reason I was on this ride stemmed from an expansion of the No Wake Zone in Neither Cove. (See next story.) I remember when I first saw that name on a map many years ago. The Steele Canyon Recreation Area launch ramp is on the south end, and the Spanish Flat Recreation Area launch ramp is on the north end. The cove namers decided they couldn’t designate the cove after “either” of those locations so they decided to call it “Neither” Cove. The Capell launch ramp is in the middle (west side) a short way up Capell Creek. This makes three launch ramps leading to a single narrow outlet to the main body of the lake.

Those of you who have been there will remember the high traffic levels on a busy day as boaters and jet skiers raced through the cove on the way out to the lake. Now that the water is more than 25 feet down the cove is even narrower and obstructions are coming out of the water on the west side. The lake will soon be at the 414 foot level. Once the lake reaches the 403 foot level the Bureau of Reclamation will close the Capell launch ramp as it has done in previous drought years. The closure will probably occur earlier this year (July?) since rainfall to date is the lowest in 24 years.

The Sheriff’s  Department is responsibly planning for the future and this no wake zone decision is part of that plan. As Sergeant Thomson pointed out, the number of people buying new boats due to the pandemic is skyrocketing. There are waiting lists for new boat availability and it is difficult to find used boats. Folsom Lake is going dry as is Lake Sonoma. 

Thus, the number of new, inexperienced boaters coming to Lake Berryessa will be higher than ever, putting additional launching pressure on Steele Canyon and Spanish Flat, as well as the other launch ramps. And if you are 40 years old or younger make sure you get and carry your California Boater Card or you won’t be allowed to drive your boat on Lake Berryessa.

Sergeant Thompson explained that the Marine Patrol’s objective is safety through education. The goal is not to write tickets, but they will if there is serious boater misconduct.

So with apologies to Gilligan’s Island how was my 3-hour tour?

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from Steele Canyon’s ramp
Aboard this very cool ship.

The mate was a mighty deputy,
The Sergeant brave and sure.
The Lake Berryessa News set sail that day
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour.

Enough singing - what actually happened? (Spoiler Alert: We all made it back safely.)

When I arrived at the Steele Canyon launch ramp I noticed a boat out in the middle of the cove doing white wake acrobatics. They apparently were ignorant of or ignoring the new No Wake zone. There was no notice of the new no wake zone at the launch ramp. As I watched the Sheriff’s boat coming to pick me up, it stopped and confronted the subject boat. After a few minutes both boats moved to the shoreline. 

About fifteen minutes later the Sheriff’s boat finally came to pick me up. Sergeant Thompson explained that they had just made a DUI stop and that one of the passengers had injured his arm. We motored back to the subject boat, hooked it up to our boat, and towed it back to the Capell launch ramp (which only took a few minutes). In the interim the Capell Valley Volunteer Fire Department and local CalFire resources had been notified and were waiting for us at the ramp to attend to the injured person and pull the boat out of the water. We stayed around long enough to see that all was under control and left the scene.

At the same time the Sheriff received a call about a possible domestic violence incident at the Putah Canyon Recreation Area launch ramp which led to our high speed trip to the north end of the lake. When we arrived we found a young woman curled up at the end of one of the launch ramp loading docks. Sergeant Thompson attempted to revive her, but she was apparently too inebriated to respond. 

A few minutes later a Sheriff’s SUV and the same CalFire truck we had just left at the Capell launch arrived and the EMT personnel began checking the woman’s vital signs. Finally she was carried off the ramp up to the shade of the CalFire truck crying and screaming as if in pain. After several more minutes an ambulance arrived and she was transferred.

I had been asked to remain in the Sheriff’s boat, ostensibly to protect it from pirate attack, but the activity I witnessed was very impressive. About eight dedicated, trained professionals going about their duties in a calm efficient manner to assist a person in need. I didn't take any photos that day, although a picture of the Sheriffs, CalFire EMTs, ambulance personnel and their vehicles responding to a young lady in distress at the Putah Canyon launch ramp would have been a story in itself.

And remember, all this action took place within a three hour period (3PM - 6PM) on a Wednesday afternoon with almost no boats out on the lake. Imagine a busy Saturday. It was a privilege to ride with the Marine Patrol. More stories to come.


New No Wake Zone - No Big Deal

Will this become the new wind protected area for families previously provided by the Big Island Lagoon or will it replace the Pope Cfreek Bridge party cove? Time will tell, 

New No Wake Zone 050121
New No Wake Zone Times corrected


Additional travel times from old wake zone buoy lines to the new single buoy line.

Steele Canyon added distance to new buoy line = 3,000 feet

Spanish Flat added distance to new buoy line = 2,000 feet

Capell Launch to new buoy line = 5,000 feet

5MPH = 440 feet per minute

Additional time for the trip:

Spanish Flat = 2,000/440 = 4.5 minutes

Steele Canyon = 3,000/440 = 6.8 minutes

Capell Launch = 5,000/440 = 11.4 minutes

Aboe is a diagram of the new zones and an estimate as to how much additional time is needed to reach the open lake at 5MPH from the old zones. Some people go less than 5MPH. But none of the new travel times seem to be very onerous.

5MPH = No Wake. No Wake= 5MPH.

In doing my research on laws and ordinances applicable to Lake Berryessa I discovered something I had not known. Most of us thought there was some small difference between a "No Wake" zone and a "5MPH" zone. By law, there is not. See Napa County ordinance below.

"No Wake" wins. So don't try to go faster than 5MPH even if your sleek hull creates no wake. The speed limit wins. And watch out if your funky old boat is going less than 5MPH and creates a wake. You're guilty!

How slow can you go? How big a ripple behind you can be defined as a "wake"? How can anyone even define what "No Wake" legally means? Just be patient, relax, go slow. You'll get there eventually.

Napa County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 12.08 - Berryessa Lake And Park Area.

12.08.040 - Boats and other vessels—Operation restrictions.

C. No person shall operate a motorboat or other vessel at a speed in excess of five miles per hour in any area marked with a buoy bearing the words "5 miles per hour" OR bearing the words "No Wake."



Protect Lake Berryessa from the Bureautocracy of Reclamation

 A turning point in Lake Berryessa history is soon to come as the Napa County RFP bid evaluation process moves closer to choosing a successful bidder for each of the three resorts: Steele Canyon Recreation Area, Spanish Flat Recreation Area, and Monticello Shores recreation Area. There are hints that strong bids from large recreation companies are under evaluation.

The proposals from the evaluation committee will presented to the Board of Supervisor in public session before final contract negotiations begin in earnest in May. My concern is with the Bureautocracy of Reclamation. Clearly, the Managing Partner Agreement was intended to remove Reclamation from the process of directly managing the new resorts.

Although the chosen concessioners must be “approved” by Reclamation, Reclamation does not have veto power over Napa County’s choices. Reclamation cannot question or contest the County’s basic decision. Per the Managing Partner Agreement Reclamation is acting in an advisory role to see that any plans are consistent with the 2006 Record of Decision.

Per the MPA: “Recreation facilities will be developed, operated and maintained on a schedule determined by Napa County. Resources will be protected, and visitor services shall be provided in accordance with the 2006 VSP ROD, Napa County’s Concession Area Plan, and other applicable standards for the Concession Areas.”

An autocracy is a government controlled by one person (autocrat) or agency (bureautocracy) with absolute power. As unlimited power doesn't usually bring out the best in people, autocracies, including bureautocracies, are often inhumane - without compassion for misery or suffering. I would never accuse the Bureautocracy of Reclamation of a Customer Service or Quality Assurance attitude - more of a Dilbertian ethic.

I recommend that a simple process be put in place to monitor the Bureautocracy of Reclamation and its potential attempts to undermine the County concession development goals. I propose this process become completely transparent. Thus any communication (email, memo, report...) between Napa County and the Bureau of Reclamation regarding this process, except the most confidential, must be made available to the public so we may understand the requirement details.

Although the County is required to submit specific MPA-defined requests to the BOR “for its review and approval, Reclamation shall not unreasonably delay or withhold such approval.” For example, there should be a maximum 15 day turnaround for any requests from Napa County to Reclamation.

So why should I/we worry? Because of history. Spanish philosopher George Santayana is credited with the aphorism, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We must not forget the history of how Lake Berryessa got into the present predicament. That’s why I wrote my book, Policy and Politics Betray the People: The Lake Berryessa Saga: 1958 - 2020 (available on Amazon).

One of my unanswered questions has always been why, when they worked so hard to install Pensus as the concessioner for all the lake resorts in 2010, did Reclamation immediately begin to harass them over their proposed development plans. Was it the inherent bureautocracy element -  bureaucratic ego, a belief that a federal government agency is more important to our small piece of the country than the local county officials, or just the perverse joy of exerting power behind the cloak of policy? (See next story.)

How would the past apply today? Reclamation could claim they have the right to approve the County’s choice of concessioner. They do not have that right per the MPA. They could request documents, memos, and reports from the County to which they (Reclamation) also have no right per the MPA as a form of harassment. More damaging would be unnecessarily delaying approval of County planning requests - a tactic they used against Pensus and documented in my book

Some excerpts from the MPA:

Reclamation hereby transfers to Napa County and Napa County hereby accepts Management of the Concession Area as defined in this agreement for the benefit of the public pursuant to this Agreement.

“Concessionaire” or “Concession Contractor” is the entity that Napa County enters into an agreement for the operation of a Concession within the Concession Areas for the purpose of providing visitor services.

“Concession Area Plan” means the plans created by Napa County that apply to the specific Concession Areas, and consistent with Napa County’s Planning Standards.


Evan ad


Lake Berryessa Sticker Sale

Many of you have already received the new Lake Berryessa sticker as a gift for your donation to our 20 for 21 program. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of them around the area.

I’d like to make these 4 1/2” by 3” stickers available to anyone who wishes to show their support for the revitalization of Lake Berryessa. They are priced at my cost plus first class postage (postage included in the price) - available in increments of 5.

$1 each

5 for $4

10 for $8

15 for $12

20 for $16

25 for $20

Please send cash or a check made out to Peter Kilkus and mail it with your address to Peter Kilkus, 1515 Headlands Drive, Napa, CA 94558. You can also use Paypal or Venmo if it is more convenient.

LBSticker Final 031321 transparent


Lake Level and Temperature, 5/10/21

It's been an unusually windy Spring, but temperatures are rising and the lake level is dropping. The level is 414.4 feet - 24.6 feet below Glory Hole - down 2.6 feet since April 1st. About 10 more feet down and the Capell Launch ramp will be closed (403 feet) for the duration.

Lake Temps 050921

Capell Launch Ramp Closure History

Capell Launch Ramp 022016

March 04, 2019

The Bureau of Reclamation  has temporarily closed the Capell Cove launch ramp at Lake Berryessa today, March 4, due to high lake levels (441 feet). The launch ramp may close and reopen whenever the conditions are unsafe for the boating public.

August 04, 2016

The Bureau of Reclamation, Central California Area Office, will temporarily close the Capell Cove Launch Ramp at Lake Berryessa effective Monday, Aug. 8, 2016 (403 feet), due to drought conditions and receding water levels. The launch ramp will be re-opened when lake levels rise.

March 20, 2016

The Bureau of Reclamation reopened the Capell Cove Launch Ramp at Lake Berryessa on Friday, March 18 (404 feet). Reclamation closed the ramp on July 20, 2015 (403 feet), when drought conditions and receding water levels caused it to become unusable. Lake levels have now risen to the point where the launch ramp can be re-opened.

July 14,2015

The Capell Cove Launch Ramp at Lake Berryessa will be closed by the Bureau of Reclamation starting the week of July 20, 2015 (404 feet). Drought conditions and receding water levels are causing the Capell Cove Launch Ramp to become unusable.

April 05, 2006

The Bureau of Reclamation has closed the Government-operated free boat launch ramp and parking lot at Capell Cove, Lake Berryessa Federal Recreation Area. The closure began on April 3, 2006 (443 feet), due to flooding and debris at the ramp. To maintain visitor safety, when flood waters rise above 442' elevation, the ramp is closed to the public. The closure will remain in effect until waters recede and the ramp is cleared of debris.


Berryessa Highlands 2021 Wildfire Season 

$60,000 Defensible Space Project

The 2020 fire season was worse than anyone could imagine.  Six out of control wildfires encircled Lake Berryessa.  It looked like a wildfire apocalypse.  Despite the devastation, sadness, and torture that transpired in 2020, the Berryessa Highlands Fire Safe Council (BHFSC) turned the page into 2021, with a push to get back to living at beautiful Lake Berryessa the only way they know how.  By helping the neighborhood get more ready than ever for the next fire season.

Above the HIghlands

Berryessa Highlands Drone Shot

Utilizing a $60,000 grant from California Fire Safe Council, the BHFSC brought in a work crew for 30 days and detailed 30 acres of shaded fuel break.  The work was focused in 3 areas of vacant private property around homes along the West and North areas of the neighborhood.  The effort resulted in the cutting, piling, and burning off about 100 truckloads of brush in over 225 burn piles. The work stretched along Steele Canyon Road from the beginning of the neighborhood to the end, reinforcing the community’s evacuation route, while also preparing for fires starting along the shores of Lake Berryessa. 

Clear & Burn

“Homeowners are responsible for their first 100’, and we get to use the grant money to help increase that defensible space zone, to help the homes in the immediate area, and help protect the entire community”, stated Volunteer Project Coordinator Evan Kilkus at a recent meeting.  “It is an amazing thing to be able to manage hundreds of acres around the neighborhood, clean them up, and make them more wildfire resistant.”

Additionally, a Community Wildfire Preparedness Meeting was held with 25 neighbors in attendance. The goal of this community outreach was to ask all homeowners to “please remove their overgrown landscaping vegetation from around their home”.  From where the meeting was held near the top of Rimrock Road, residents saw vacant lots where homes once stood, and they saw over a dozen homes still standing, thanks to defensible space and firefighting efforts.  “Defensible space works”, stated Kilkus.  “You just have to do it!”

The BHFSC has been organizing defensible space project work like this since 2011, overseeing over 300 days of work just a little at a time, and improving hundreds of acres of land around the neighborhood.  The fire breaks and defensible space made it possible for firefighters and residents to put up a fight and save the as many homes as they could in the neighborhood in 2020.  

To continue these efforts in the future, a large effort has been made by Napa Communities Firewise Foundation and Napa County Fire/CAL Fire to identify more projects around the county, and fund them. The Napa County Board of Supervisors has committed to fund $6,000,000 for the first years worth of work, which will include projects around Circle Oaks, the Berryessa Estates, and the Berryessa Highlands.


Marty Rental Ad 2021


Things You Would Love To Say Out Loud At Work

How about never? Is never good for you?

I see you have set aside this special time to publicly humiliate yourself.

I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.

Ahhh, I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again.

I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.

You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.

I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don’t give a damn.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.

Thanks! We’re all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.

The fact that no one understands you does not mean you are an artist.

Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.

What am I? Flypaper for freaks?

I’m not being rude. You’re just insignificant.

It’s a thankless job, but I’ve got a lot of karma to burn off.

Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

I started out with nothing and still have most of it left.

Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.

I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter.

Chaos, panic and disorder. My work here is finally done.


Napa County Firewise Foundation: 5-Year Fuel Reduction Plan:

Year One ($5,400,000)

1. Angwin: roadside fuel reduction work. ($1 million) Clearing vegetation along roadsides for enhanced safety of evacuees and the ingress of first responders is one of CAL FIRE’s top priorities for vegetation management. The LNU Lightning Complex and Glass fire were both deemed natural disaster areas. With expedited CEQA analysis, NCFF could start work of fuels treatments. Napa Firewise has mapped these qualified roadways to begin obtaining landowner approval for work once funding is obtained. This project will be started from April to June 30, 2021.

2. Subdivision fuel break in the Circle Oaks community ($1 million) Circle Oaks experienced two near-miss fires in both 2017 and 2020. The fuel loading surrounding the subdivision and interior lands between the homes has not burned and treatments are desperately needed. This includes a large perimeter fuel break encompassing the Circle Oaks community. This project will be started from April to June 30, 2021.

3. Environmental studies ($400K) Fuel reduction projects are required to undergo large amounts of environment studies prior to work, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), being one major component. The CAL FIRE Vegetation Treatment Programmatic EIR (Cal VTP EIR) streamlines analysis will be used, but even with this product, studies are conducted by private industry firm’s at large costs. NCFF would use leverage the Cal VTP EIR to facilitate CEQA review. This project will be started from April to June 30, 2021.

4. Angwin subdivision fuel breaks in the Linda FallsTerrace and Rancho Lajoita ($1 million) These two fuel breaks would provide greater opportunities for fire suppression on the South West slopes of Angwin. Any established wildland fire in these geographical areas will amount to catastrophic damage of the Angwin community.

5. Angwin subdivision fuel break along Pacific Union College Forest ridgeline ($1 million) The Pacific Union college owns 1,366 acres of forested land on the South Eastern side of Angwin. This rural town was narrowly spared during the 2020 Napa wildfires and is home to nearly 4,000 residents. Napa Firewise, Napa County Fire and CAL FIRE have identified this ridgeline fuel break project as a crucial defense mechanism in protecting Angwin from future wildland fires.

6. Subdivision fuel break in the Berryessa Highlands community ($850k) Berryessa Highlands was heavily impacted during the 2020 Lightning Complex and this region consists of steep slopes and grassy oak woodlands. The rapid fuel growth of annual grasses will present similar problems during fire season 2021. A subdivision fuel break is needed for the entire perimeter of Berryessa Highlands. With expedited CEQA analysis, NCFF would construct strategic fuel breaks to support fire suppression.


Banning Louise


Gone But Not Forgotten: Global Supertanker Grounded and Up For Sale

The awesome spectacle of a Jumbo Jet riding through the Lake Berryessa valleys at low-level, before dumping more than 17,000 gallons of bright red retardant over a blazing Lake Berryessa forest could be consigned to history as of now. 

Supertanker 2017 copy

The unique Boeing 747 Supertanker has been grounded, for the time being at least, after the investment group that owns the single aircraft decided to cease operations. This is extremely disappointing as the aircraft has been configured and tuned with a new digital drop system and other upgrades to make it more safe and efficient. The news comes following the worst wildfire season in California’s history with the most acres ever burned. The Supertanker was used 119 times in 2020 just in California alone. 

After investing tens of millions into upgrading the Global SuperTanker and its technology, the revenue coming mostly from contracts with the U.S. government and California did not produce enough profit for the company to continue the funding the tanker. The investment firm is open to potential investors who want to continue using the SuperTanker for wildfire response, but if freight companies present a more attractive offer, the firm will sell it to them.



Pope Valley Repair 2020


Valley Internet color light logo


Boat Repair 2021 draft


Pridmore Bros


Rattlesnakes: Friend Or Enemy Or Just A Primal Fear?

And finally my annual rattlesnake warning article. I won't include the whole article here but you can read it at: https://www.lakeberryessanews.com/past-stories/rattlesnakes-friend-or.html

First a weed-whacking tip: Many folks have already started weed-whacking to protect their homes in preparation for fire season. A Berryessa Highlands neighbor has already uncovered three big rattlers this way. He pointed out that you can kill the rattler by turning your weed whacker perpendicular to the ground and chop off the snake’s head. However, he cautioned not to drop the weed-whacker flat onto the snake as that will just cause the snake to be wound around the whacker head and be a be a mess to clean up!

The snake pictured below is typical of the Berryessa Highlands - and everywhere else at Lake Berryessa.

-Evan's Rattlesnake 061317
-fail-man-snake (1)


The definitive book about what happened at Lake Berryessa!

Policy and Politics Betray the People:

The Lake Berryessa Saga, 1958-2020

This KPIX Eye on the Bay interview I did in 2010 is 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. 

Peter & Brian Eye



Berryessa Book Cover

The book is available on Amazon as a Kindle version and a paperback version.


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.

This book is a historical anthology, a raw, as-it-happened, unfiltered picture of what many of us lived through. The goal is to provide the history and the context within which such an incredibly destructive course of action took place. It is dedicated to documenting this tragedy, this final betrayal of Lake Berryessa by the federal government - and, hopefully, the promised revitalization by Napa County.

Table of Contents 

The Kindle version has color photos and live links to videos and to pdf copies of all the primary documents used as resources for the book.

The paperback version is in black and white. For space rasons the paperback does not include the ection on the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. That section is available on the Lake Berryessa News website at:

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

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. 


The Lake Berryessa Fire One Month Later… 

What just happened, WHY, and Where do we go from here?

By Evan Kilkus

Volunteer Project Coordinator, Berryessa Highlands Fire Safe Council (BHFSC)

Read full article here…


LNU Lightning Complex Fire Coverage

News and Video Links


Special Reports



 (Final Lake Berryessa Ragatz Report)


Ragatz Report Summary and Recommendations


Napa County Request for Information & Interest

 for Lake Berryessa Concessions

Managing Partner Agreement (MPA) between Napa County and the Bureau of Reclamation

Lake Berryessa Interview with Peter Kilkus 

on KVON Radio with Larry Kramer


Economics Book on Amazon

-Kindle cover

Amazon Kindle - $2.99

The last few months and years have brought economic issues to the forefront of our lives. They have also shown us how little most Americans understand about basic economics. One of the primary myths that has been debunked by the COVID 19 crisis is that the stock market plays some part in the basic economy. Other simple economic principles that most people don’t understand are explained in my book.

The Stock Market Is Not The Economy, Stupid!

Where Does Money Really Come From?

What is Interest and Why Do We Deserve It?

My previous book on Economics is still available on Kindle. Learn the basic facts for yourself!


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.

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.

Book Cover


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...


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.




Some Interesting Past Stories


Best of April Fool's Stories (2009 - 2021)

Full April Fool's Issues (2009 to 2021)


A Beautiful Day on Lake Berryessa (with the Sheriff)

Scuba Diving the Putah Creek Stone Bridge

Lake Berryessa Waterspout 2017

Grass-Fed People to Replace Grass-Fed Beef

Triploid Trout Getting Bigger and Smarter in Lake Berryessa

Becoming REALLY Green to Help Our Planet

University of Lake Berryessa Promotes Global Food Security: 

Meat Grapes &  Steak Potatoes


January 16, 2020 - KVON Radio Interview

Larry Kamer talks w/ author Peter Kilkus, about the many aspects of the Lake Berryessa Saga

Download the interview here...

The Stock Market IS NOT the Economy, Stupid!

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

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

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


Glory Hole Overflows: February, 2017 (ACDC version)

Bird Down Glory Hole (video)

ACDC Intros mix


Hot Tramp 1000 Video of the World’s Largest Rock and Roll Band

Evan fights fire

pKilkus@gmail.com                       © Peter Kilkus 2020