Reclamation Announces Fee Changes at New Melones Lake; Annual Day Use and Boat Launch Passes Now Available

Media Contact: Michelle H. Light, (916) 978-5100

For Release: September 30, 2008

The Bureau of Reclamation announces that fee changes for Phase II of New Melones Lake's "Initial Plan for Phased Implementation of the 2005 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act" (REA) are being implemented on Wednesday, October 1, 2008.  The REA, Public Law 108-774, Title VIII, authorizes Reclamation to issue special recreation use permits and participate in a fee collection/retention program and the Nationwide Federal Interagency Pass Program.  The REA provides Reclamation the opportunity to continue to offer quality recreation services at New Melones Lake as Federal budgets are reduced.  Following are New Melones fees as of October 1, 2008:

  • Day use fee of $6 per day.
  • Boat launching fee of $8 per day (includes the $6 day-use fee).
  • Camper's overflow vehicle/visitor fee of $6 per day (includes the $6 day-use fee).
  • Camping fee of $18 for standard campsites and $14 for walk-in campsites.
  • RV dump station fee of $8 for registered campers and $15 for other users.

As of October 1, 2008, frequent visitors to New Melones may purchase an Annual Day Use Pass or an Annual Boat Launch Pass, which will result in substantial cost savings over a 12-month period.  Funds collected from all pass sales will stay at New Melones Lake to help enhance recreation opportunities for visitors:

  • Annual Day Use Pass is $40 and is valid for 1 year from the date of purchase.
  • Annual Boat Launch Pass is $60 (includes day use) and is valid for 1 year from the date of purchase.

In addition, the Federal Interagency Annual, Senior, and Access passes may now be obtained at New Melones Lake.  These passes are valid for day use at New Melones and other qualifying Federal recreation areas.  For information on the Federal Interagency Pass Program, please visit the website at

  • The Interagency Annual pass is $80 and is valid for 12 months from the month of purchase.
  • The Interagency Senior pass is $10 for individuals aged 62 and older and is valid for the person's lifetime.
  • The Interagency Access pass is a free, lifetime pass for individuals with a permanent disability.
  • Previously issued Golden Age/Golden Access passes will continue to be honored. 

Individuals holding an Interagency Senior or Access pass or a Golden Age/Golden Access pass will receive a 50-percent discount on the purchase of the New Melones Lake Annual Boat Launch pass, as well as a 50-percent discount on expanded amenity fees, to include individual camping, overflow vehicle/camp visitor fee, and RV dump station fees.  Individuals holding any of the three Interagency passes or the Golden Age/Golden Access pass have no need to purchase a day use pass or a New Melones Lake Annual Day Use Pass.

All of the passes listed above may be obtained at the New Melones Visitor Center & Museum, 6850 Studhorse Flat Road, Sonora, CA, 95370, open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Passes are also sold in the New Melones Lake Park Administration Office, located next to the Visitor Center.  Members of the public may also "earn" free Interagency and/or local passes by volunteering at Federal parks. 

For additional information, please contact the New Melones Visitor Center & Museum at 209-536-9543 or visit the New Melones Lake website at

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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:

New Melones Website Link