News Release Archive

Visit Lake Berryessa This Summer

Media Contact: Russell Grimes, 916-978-5100, 03/17/2017 14:45

For Release: March 17, 2017

Kayakers at Lake Berryessa
Kayakers at Lake Berryessa
NAPA, Calif. – Winter rains have brought Lake Berryessa to its maximum water storage capacity for the first time since 2006. With the rise in water level, it is expected to be a busy summer at the lake, and Reclamation staff want to offer some suggestions for a successful and safe summer season.

Reclamation Facilities are Open

The Dufer Point Visitor Center is open from 12-3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays until April 1. On April 1, we will add weekday hours from 12-3 p.m. and expand weekend hours to 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Through September 2017, visitors have the opportunity to explore the Wild about Wetlands exhibit on loan from the Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

On April 1, Oak Shores Day Use Area, will extend its hours of operation from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the north end of Oak Shores will be open to day use.

The Capell Cove Boat Launch is now open for launching from 4 a.m.-10 p.m., is free of charge, and is anticipated to be open all summer.

Make Your Reservations

Oak Shores Day Use Area offers six large group shade shelters at Acorn Beach, Foxtail Flat and Coyote Beach. Group shelters are very popular and can be reserved for groups of up to 50. Reservations are $25 per shelter per day and can be made at No entrance fee is charged for Oak Shores. For more information, or to organize a larger event, please contact the Lake Berryessa Park Ranger Office at 707-966-2111 ext. 113.

Markley Cove Resort, Pleasure Cove Marina, Steele Canyon Recreation Area, Putah Canyon Recreation Area, and Spanish Flat Recreation Area continue to offer a variety of recreation services including camping and boat launching. For information regarding operations and services at concession-operated facilities or to make reservations, please call the

Locals expect to see a busy summer season, and many visitors have already made reservations for camping and day use sites around the lake, with some camping locations already close to full for Memorial Day weekend! Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead this summer as the campgrounds will be busy. Summer weekdays are usually less crowded and are a good option for those looking to camp.

Plan for a Safe Visit

For those boating this year, be on the lookout for hazards, both floating and submerged. All Coast Guard and State of California rules for navigation and boat operation apply and are strictly enforced by the Napa County Sheriff’s Office. For more information on preparing for a successful day on the water, read the Department of Boating and Waterways ABCs of California Boating which can be found at .

There’s never been a better time for a swim at Lake Berryessa but please remember:

  • Never swim alone
  • No lifeguards are present at Lake Berryessa
  • Children should always wear life jackets and be supervised near water
  • The lake bottom is uneven and features sudden drop-offs
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that up to 70 percent of adult and adolescent water recreation deaths are alcohol related. Sun exposure and heat compound to intensify alcohol’s effect on balance, coordination and judgement, so please use caution this summer. For more details: .

Park Rangers at Oak Shores Day Use Area operate a life jacket loaner program that lends both children and adult-sized life jackets for the day. Contact any staff member of the Day Use Area to take advantage of this free safety program.

Campfires are only permitted within campfire rings in established campgrounds. Personal charcoal barbecue grills are not allowed anywhere at Lake Berryessa. Those wishing to barbecue with charcoal must use the grills provided in established campgrounds and Day Use Areas. For more information on safely using campfires and barbecues this year, please visit: .

Join the Fun

Reclamation is looking for motivated individuals to join our team of employees and volunteers who keep Lake Berryessa running throughout the year. Look for our job and volunteer announcements throughout the year and

If you would like more information on any topic described, please contact the Lake Berryessa Field Office at 707-966-2111 ext. 113.

Please visit the Lake Berryessa website at for additional information.

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The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR; Facebook @bureau.of.reclamation; LinkedIn @Bureau of Reclamation; Instagram @bureau_of_reclamation; and YouTube @reclamation.