Special Publications


 (Final Lake Berryessa Ragatz Report)


Ragatz Summary and Recommendations


Napa County Request for Information & Interest for Lake Berryessa Concessions


Water and Land Use Recreation Opportunities Spectrum (WALROS) Policy 


Original Pensus Bid 2007 (Redacted) (61MB PDF)


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


Full Report Table of Contents 

1. As Lake Berryessa Flows: A Combination of Science, Engineering, and Natural Beauty (PDF)

Lake Berryessa is almost a living creature. It breathes in and out, grows and shrinks. But it breathes water not air. Actually it is always breathing out a bit through evaporation and outflows through Monticello Dam all year. All of these processes define its hydrological cycle. (Web Version)

·       California Droughts are Common

·       Measuring Levels and Rainfall

·       But Can Lake Berryessa Flood (Over the Dam)?

·       Can Monticello Dam Break? 

·       Monticello Dam Failure Simulation 

·       Lake Level vs Acre-Feet of Storage

·       Lake Berryessa Hits Full Capacity, But 51,708 Acre-Feet Are Missing!

·       Monticello Dam: Tear it down and build it bigger?

·       Rainfall Impacts

·       Putah Creek Flows: Water In, Water Out, But From Where?

·       Power Generation at Monticello Dam

·       Predicting the Future

2. As Lake Berryessa Turns! Temperature and Fishing in a Warm, Monomictic Lake (PDF)

The phenomenon called “turnover” is well-known to anglers, but not so much to other lake visitors. Some people think that Lake Berryessa turns in both spring and fall. But scientific data shows that the lake only turns once per year - in the fall. (Web version)

3. The Ins and Outs & Ups and Downs of Lake Berryessa (PDF)

Most of us have heard of the rule of thumb that Lake Berryessa rises 1foot for every 1 inch of rain. As with most rules of thumb, this is not accurate. Lake level rise depends on many variables like the actual lake level when itnrains and how saturated is the ground. (Web Version)

4. Seeing Underwater at Lake Berryessa (PDF)

In the Spring of 2007 the Solano County Water Agency (SCWA) performed a survey of the underwaterlandscape of Lake Berryessa. They wanted to accurately determine the capacity of the lake using the latest technology. (Web version)

5. Could Monticello Dam Fail? (By Margaret Burns, Davis Enterprise, September 5, 2014)

This thought was probably running through the minds of everyone close to the dam following the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Napa on Aug. 24, 2014. The simple answer is yes, because anything is possible. But is it probable? Not very.


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.

1 BSM detailed map to use





Download a PDF of the full report here (2 MB)



pKilkus@gmail.com                       © Peter Kilkus 2021