Brochure of Bethany Reservoir State Recreation Area (SRA) in California. Published by California Department of Parks and Recreation.
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Bethany Reservoir State Recreation Area Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Pelicans and herons migrating along the Pacific Flyway find a quiet resting place at Bethany Reservoir State Recreation Area. California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (925) 447-0426. This publication can be made available in alternate formats. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 654-2249. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Discover the many states of California.™ Bethany Reservoir State Recreation Area N 37.7708˚ W 121.5997˚ 13638 Christensen Road Byron, CA 94514 (925) 447-0426 © 2013 California State Parks (Rev. 2020) T C a li fo rn ia A PARK HISTORY Native Americans Archaeologists believe that more than 7,000 years ago, this area was an oak woodland interspersed with pinyon and juniper trees. Many members of native groups known as the Ssaoam Costanoans and Cholvon Yokuts lived in these hills, using and conserving their rich natural resources. European Arrival Although California had been claimed by Spain in 1542, the first Spanish explorers in Livermore Valley camped here in 1776. Juan Bautista de Anza’s 20-member party of soldiers, mule tenders, servants and a priest THE PARK AND THE AQUEDUCT Snowmelt Bethany Reservoir is jointly managed by runs into three State of California agencies: the Lake Oroville Departments of Water Resources, Fish and Lake Oroville Wildlife, and Parks and Recreation. 0 200 Miles This reservoir is the first stop on the Bethany 444-mile, north-to-south California Aqueduct Reservoir of the State Water Project. Supplying water and San Luis power for California’s agriculture, cities and industry, Reservoir the aqueduct also provides flood control, recreational Water travels 444 miles down opportunities, fishing and wildlife viewing. the California Aqueduct The California Legislature authorized the State Water qu Project in 1951. Construction on the aqueduct began in ed uc t 1963; by 1973, water could flow deep into Southern California. Pyramid Lake Rain and snowmelt from California’s upper Feather River Lake Basin runs into the water storage facility at Lake Oroville. This Perris water is released from the dam in regulated amounts, streaming down the Feather and Sacramento Rivers, through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and into Bethany Reservoir. Through a lengthy, complex system of pumping plants and power stations, that water eventually arrives at the aqueduct’s southern terminus, above Lake Perris in Riverside County. Cost of the operation is borne by 29 Southern California water agencies supplied under contract with the Department of Water Resources. Bethany Reservoir was named and classified a state recreation area in 1973; California State Parks took responsibility for the park’s recreational management in 1974. River Fl o w ucked between rolling hills of annual grasslands and below one of many local windmill farms lies a secluded park known as Bethany Reservoir State Recreation Area. This 608-acre park’s reservoir in northeastern Alameda County provides water recreation and a variety of bass and other fish for anglers to hook. Strong westerly winds sweep the gently rolling hillsides year round, making the reservoir an ideal venue for sailing. Foggy or rainy winter temperatures dip into the 40s. Early spring brings a profusion of hillside poppies. Dry summers hovering in the high 90s segue into cooler autumns. represented several races — all looking for a different life in the New World. By 1820, Spanish soldiers who followed Anza had nearly exterminated the native people, either by violent means or by exposure to fatal diseases such as typhus and smallpox. Surviving descendants of both the Yokuts and the Costanoan (today called Ohlone) tribes labor to preserve their longstanding traditions. Centuries of cattle grazing in the area have resulted in hills awash in non-native grasses. Invasive weeds and thistles grow among these grasses. In spring, such prolific native wildflowers as California poppies, brodaiea, and lupine cover the hills. Introduced trees — an ancient cork oak and some eucalyptus and Aleppo pines — provide shade around the reservoir’s picnic areas. NATURAL HISTORY Geology A chalky marine formation (from 66 to 100 billion years old) interspersed with riverborne sediment deposits combined to form this hilly region. Two seismic faults, the Greenville and the Hayward, run nearly parallel to the Aqueduct. A great deal of earth was introduced, moved and compacted to form five earthen dams that were graded to create the reservoir, so very little native soil or vegetation remains. Flora and Fauna Visitors may spot a gopher snake, rattlesnake, Beechey ground squirrel, or fox (including the threatened San Joaquin kit fox). Coyotes prey on small rodents while Swainson’s and redtailed hawks, northern harriers, loggerhead shrikes or American kestrels seek them from above. Western burrowing owls emerge from holes made by ground squirrels or badgers. Migratory waterfowl using the Pacific flyway stop here to rest and refuel. During their seasonal migrations, freshwater pelicans feed on the water’s surface. Herons, cranes, and two freshwater duck species — mallards and goldeneye — visit semi-annually. RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES Boating — Explore the six miles of shoreline surrounding 160 surface acres of water from your small boat, canoe or kayak. Speed limit is 5 mph. The launch ramp is near the park entrance. Boat access is forbidden near the dams at the northwestern and southeastern ends of the reservoir. Bicycling — Hilly back roads outside park boundaries offer challenging bike climbs. Fishing — A two-lane boat ramp provides easy launch for small fishing or self-propelled boats. A road from the boat ramp to a second picnic area allows some shore fishing access. Anglers may catch five types of bass (spotted, white, smallmouth, largemouth, and striped), crappie, catfish and trout. Persons age 16 and over must carry a valid fishing license. For specific fishing regulations, visit the site at www.dfg.ca.gov. Picnicking — Shaded picnic ramadas are located close to the boat ramp near the park’s entrance. Sailing — Sailboarders or catamarans will find plenty of propulsion on most days, with a mean wind speed above 7 and gusting to 12 mph. ACCESSIBLE FEATURES The upper and lower reservoir’s fishing platforms are accessible, as are the boat ramps, shaded picnic tables and no-flush restrooms. Accessibility is continually improving. For updates, visit the site at http://access.parks.ca.gov. PLEASE REMEMBER • Pay day-use and boat launch fees in the main parking lot. • Speed limit is 5 mph on the reservoir. • Please do not litter on the ground or on the water. • Dogs must be on a six-foot-maximum leash under human control at all times. • All natural and cultural features are protected by law and may not be removed or disturbed. NEARBY STATE PARKS • Caswell Memorial State Park 28000 South Austin Road Ripon 95366 (209) 599-3810 • Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area 18600 W. Corral Hollow Road, Tracy 95376 (925) 447-9027 Legend Bethany Reservoir 20 0 Bruns Rd ct Restricted Boating Area Road Accessible Features Boating Aq ue du Christensen Unpaved/Service Road 100 State Recreation Area 300 Paved Road to 205 and 580 rnia Boat Launch Ca Parking B E T H A N Y R E S E RV O I R S TAT E R E C R E AT I O N A R E A Picnic 200 No Access Area 300 Locked Gate 200 200 200 lifo Fishing Restroom Windsurfing 300 Are a 300 No Acc ess 300 300 Bethany Reservoir 300 300 to Sacramento Stockton 0 200 20 Franks Tract SRA 40 0 0 Manteca 205 580 Livermore 580 0 50 to Oakland Bethany Reservoir SRA 30 Mount Diablo SP Tracy 400 Caswell Memorial SP No Access Area Carnegie SVRA 0 5 10 15 Mi 20 Km Patterson 0.125 0.25 0.5 Miles 0.3 0.6 Kilometers ia 0.15 rn ©2013 California State Parks 0 0 fo to Los Angeles li 3.75 7.5 Ca 0 30 A 0 0 ed uc 50 30 qu 0 t 40 0