Lake Berryessa Begins To Open Up

The following is courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation:

day use area
Lake Berryessa’s Oak Shores Day Use Area. (Bureau of Reclamation)

Beginning May 16, Lake Berryessa will reopen access to its boat launches located at Markley Cove, Pleasure Cove, Steele Canyon, Spanish Flat and Putah Canyon Recreation Areas. Boaters will be required to have boats inspected for invasive species before launching.

Beginning May 18, Lake Berryessa will reopen access for camping limited only to its self-contained RV only camping located at Pleasure Cove, Steele Canyon, Spanish Flat, and Putah Canyon Recreation Areas. 

Beginning, May 19 Lake Berryessa will reopen access to Capell Cove Boat Launch. Boaters will be required to have boats inspected for invasive species before launching. 

Since the health and safety of the public and our employees continues to be our number one priority, the following facilities and activities remain closed until further notice:

  • Oak Shores Day Use Area
  • Smittle Creek Day Use Area
  • Administrative Office and Visitor Center
  • Tent camping and lodging

Reclamation will continue to inform the public of the status of operations at Lake Berryessa via our web page and news releases.

Reclamation day use and boat launching fee changes at Lake Berryessa will go towards helping improve Lake Berryessa’s local facilities, provide increased visitor services, and protect natural resources.

Lake Berryessa fees effective Aug. 12, 2019:

  • Oak Shores Day Use Areas: $5 per vehicle ($50 annual fee)
  • Capell Cove boat launch: $10 per launch ($100 annual fee)
  • Shade shelter: $25 per shelter
  • … You may purchase boat launch and annual passes at the Visitor Center, and annual passes online from Interior.

America the Beautiful-The National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Passes will be accepted with the following pass options:

  • All interagency Senior and Access Passes will be accepted for 50% off day use and discounted boat launching fees.
  • The Federal Interagency Annual Pass will cover the day use fees.
  • Annual Pass ($80.00 – anyone 16 years and older can purchase)
  • Lifetime Senior Pass ($80.00 – valid for the lifetime of the pass owner; must be 62+ older, U.S. citizen, or a permanent resident)
  • Annual Senior Pass ($20 – valid for one year from month of purchase; must be 62+ older, U.S. citizen, or a permanent resident)
  • Access Pass (free for lifetime with documentation of permanent disability, U.S. citizens and permanent residents)
  • Volunteer Pass (earned with 250+ hours of volunteer service in public lands)

Obtain passes at the Lake Berryessa Administration office, call for more information at 707-966-2111, ext. 113 (TTY 800-877-8339). Reserve shade shelters through the Recreation One Stop at or call 1-877-444-6777.

About the Lake

Lake Berryessa is the reservoir for the Solano Project which is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and operated under a cooperative agreement by the Solano County Water Agency/Solano Irrigation District. The project provides flood control protection to the city of Winters and other downstream communities, as well as high-quality water supply for irrigation and the cities of Vacaville, Suisun City, Vallejo, and Fairfield.

At capacity, Lake Berryessa stores 1.6 million acre feet of water and is one of the largest bodies of fresh water in California. The lake is 23 miles long, 3 miles wide, with 165 miles of shoreline. Reclamation and the Blue Ridge Berryessa Partnership jointly manage a 2,000-acre wildlife area along the east side of the lake.

Nestled between Blue Ridge and Cedar Roughs, east of the Napa Valley, Lake Berryessa offers year-round recreation opportunities. Berryessa’s water reaches temperatures of up to 75 degrees in the summer, making it an ideal place for water sports. Anglers enjoy fishing for both cold and warm water species, such as rainbow trout, bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill.

Lake Berryessa provides many opportunities to experience a variety of wildlife and plant exploration activities. The grassy hills dotted with oak and manzanita provide excellent opportunities to view eagles, hawks, songbirds, wild turkeys, and deer. Hiking, bird watching, photography, and picnicking are all popular activities year-round.