Reclamation Announces a Change in Public Use of the Waterway Around Lake Berryessa's Big Island

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: February 15, 2008

The Bureau of Reclamation announces that Lake Berryessa will implement a change in public use of the waterway between the Smittle Creek Day Use Area, the Oak Shores Day Use Area, and Big Island. 

The area is presently a 5-mile-per-hour (mph) boating zone used for swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, and both motorized and non-motorized boating.  Use will change from a gasoline-powered motorized zone to an electric-trolling motor-only zone with the existing 5 mph limit.  Only electric-trolling motors and/or vessels without motors will be permitted.  Reclamation will designate the change-of-use area by placing a series of signs on buoys identifying the non-gasoline motorized zone.  

This change in public use will be implemented the last week of February 2008 and will continue indefinitely.  It is consistent with the Record of Decision for Future Recreation Use and Operations of Lake Berryessa issued in June 2006, Section III. 6, Land and Water Use Classification.  This change will reduce the impacts of noise on visitors and wildlife, provide the opportunity for a more primitive recreation experience, enhance public safety, and help protect the areas natural resources.  River otters, coyote, deer, and bald eagles are known to inhabit the area.

An area map is available at  Maps may be requested by faxing 707-966-0409 or by mailing your request to:  Bureau of Reclamation, Lake Berryessa Visitor Center, 5520 Knoxville Road, Napa, CA  94558.  For additional information, please contact Ms. Janet Rogers, Park Manager, Lake Berryessa Field Office, at 707-966-2111 or e-mail

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Area Map