Can You Boat on Lake Berryessa?

Lake Berryessa is a popular destination for boating enthusiasts in California. Located in Napa County, this large freshwater lake offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy water sports and recreational activities.

However, many visitors are unsure if they can actually boat on Lake Berryessa. In this article, we will explore the rules and regulations regarding boating on Lake Berryessa.

What kind of boats are allowed on Lake Berryessa?

The lake allows a variety of boats, including motorized and non-motorized vessels. Some examples of permitted boats include:

  • Kayaks
  • Canoes
  • Jet skis
  • Sailboats
  • Powerboats

Are there any restrictions on boating?

Yes, there are some restrictions on boating at Lake Berryessa. For example, boats with two-stroke engines are not allowed due to environmental concerns.

Additionally, all watercraft must comply with California state laws and display the appropriate registration numbers. Boats must also follow speed limits and avoid creating excessive noise or wake that can harm other users or wildlife.

Do I need a permit to boat on Lake Berryessa?

No permits are required to boat on Lake Berryessa; however, visitors must pay a day use fee or have an annual pass to access the lake’s facilities, including boat launches and parking areas.

Can I rent a boat at Lake Berryessa?

Yes, visitors can rent boats at various locations around the lake. Rentals include kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), powerboats and houseboats.

What about fishing from my boat?

Fishing is allowed from boats on Lake Berryessa; however, anglers must follow the rules set by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This includes having a valid fishing license, using only legal bait and gear, and following size and bag limits for each species.


In summary, boating is allowed on Lake Berryessa with a variety of boats permitted including motorized and non-motorized vessels. There are some restrictions on boating such as restrictions on two-stroke engines.

Visitors do not need a permit to boat but must pay a day use fee or have an annual pass to use the lake’s facilities. Renting boats is also an option. Anglers can fish from their boats but must follow California state fishing laws.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your sunscreen, life jacket, and hit the water for some fun in the sun at Lake Berryessa!

Photo of author

Michael Allen