New Melones Lake activities for summer 2017

Media Contact: Erin Curtis, 916-978-5100

For Release: July 14, 2017

SONORA, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation announces its 2017 summer interpretive program and activity schedule for New Melones Lake, located in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. All program presentations, unless otherwise noted, will take place at the Amphitheater in the Glory Hole Recreation Area. Programs are free of charge, suitable for all ages and do not require reservations. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Wildlife Wonders of New Melones!
Saturday, July 15, 8 p.m.
Join a Park Ranger and explore the lives of some of the many critters that call New Melones home. Learn about their behaviors, habitats and how we can coexist peacefully with them. Arts and crafts begin at 7:30 p.m. and a presentation at 8 p.m.

Mussel Mayhem!
Saturday, July 22, 8 p.m.
What are Quagga and Zebra mussels? Learn about one of the greatest threats to California lakes and water systems. Find out why you should “never move a mussel.”

An Evening with Bees
Saturday, July 29, 8 p.m.
New Melones Lake Visitor Center
Discover what’s “abuzz” with park ranger and bee aficionado Sam. Learn the life history of arguably nature’s most beneficial insect, the honey bee. Also, become familiar with some of the bees’ close relatives also living in our region. The program begins at the New Melones Lake Visitor Center at 7 p.m. Join us and “bee” a part of the evening’s festivities! For additional information about the program, please leave a message for Ranger Sam Masquelier at 209-536-9094 ext. 233 or email

There’s Gold and Water in Them Thar Hills!
Saturday, August 5, 8 p.m.
Join Park Rangers Geoff and Devin and discover how gold and water has shaped the history of the Mother lode. Explore the lives of early California miners and the towns they lived in, including Melones, now submerged beneath New Melones Lake. Learn about California’s “liquid gold” and how it has shaped the landscape and livelihood of our region.

Meteor Shower!
Saturday, August 12, 8 p.m.
The Perseid Meteor Shower is an astronomical highlight every August. Join park rangers and discover what the night sky has to offer. Telescopes will be on hand for viewing. Before nightfall, learn about outdoor safety and how best to be prepared when visiting our public lands. Safety presentation starts at 7:30 p.m.

Nocturnal Happenings
Saturday, August 19, 8 p.m.
Join our park rangers and discover what travels by “dark feet and dark wings.” Learn about bats, owls and other nocturnal critters that call New Melones home, and experience the nighttime world using all your senses. The program will include a walk, an activity or two and a story.

Solar Eclipse
Monday, August 21, 9 a.m.
Tuttletown Recreation Area
Eagle Point Picnic Area
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks the sun, revealing the sun’s radiant outer atmosphere known as the corona. Enjoy this rare lifetime event at New Melones Lake. Rangers will be available providing information and guidance on how to safely view the phenomenon. For additional information please contact Park Ranger Diana Popkins at 209-536-9094 ext. 218 or

Outlaws of the Mother Lode
Saturday, August 26, 7:30 p.m.
Join Park Ranger Josh and hear the stories and tall tales of the desperate desperados that ran afoul of the law in the Mother Lode, including Black Bart and Joaquin Murrieta. You can leave your spurs at home, but be sure to bring your enthusiasm for the rich history of the area!

Calaveras Community Band
Saturday, September 2, 6:30 p.m.
Come celebrate the end of the summer with us! The Calaveras Community Band will be playing all your favorites until the sun goes down. Get up and dance, clap, and sing or just sit back and enjoy the music. Bring the family and enjoy one last summer night! Music begins at 6:30 p.m.

As a reminder for boaters, invasive Quagga and Zebra mussels pose one of the greatest single threats to New Melones Lake; diminishing water quality, disrupting ecosystems, impeding dam operations, and impacting water recreation - especially boating and fishing. Throughout the United States, lakes and rivers have forever been altered by creatures worthy of science fiction. No invasive mussels are currently present in New Melones. Keeping the lake mussels free is a challenge we all share as a community. During the summer, park rangers will be meeting with fishermen and recreational boaters inside the Tuttletown and Glory Hole Recreation Areas, helping to “spread the message and not the mussel.” For additional information contact Natural Resource Biologist Sam Sosa at 209-536-9094 ext 221 or

If you would like to participate in a program, need accommodation, or have any questions please contact Park Ranger Mike McGraw at 209-536-9094, ext. 233, or email

The New Melones Visitor Center and Museum is managed by Reclamation’s Central California Area Office. Hours of operation are daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information on activities, directions, pet restrictions or other questions, please call 209-536-9543 (TTY 800-877-8339) or visit the website at .

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