Lake Hennessey

Hannessey Lake Kayaking

Lake Hennessey Kayak, Canoe, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information

Area Map #138   Miles of Shoreline: N/A Lake Surface Acres: 860 Elevation: 331’ Address: Highway 128 Sage Canyon Road Rutherford, CA 94559     Ph: 707 226-7455

Paddle Notes: Lake Hennessey offers a peaceful retreat for kayak enthusiasts. It is surrounded by an abundance of striking scenic views and rolling foothills. Outdoor lovers will savor the amazing paddling opportunities at this superb paddling retreat. If you enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors, you'll enjoy hiking throughout the rolling hills surrounding Lake Hennessey.

There’s something here for outdoor enthusiastic of every kind – those who want to get their hands dirty in the tackle box, and those who want to relax with their binoculars for world-class birding. Due to the 10 m.p.h. boat seed limit, the lake is quiet – perfect for kayaking and casting out a line. This area is packed with opportunities for an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities.

Hennessey Lake Kayak FishingPhoto Credit Lyrinda Snyderman

Kayak Fishing: Anglers must obtain a an annual or daily fishing and boating permit from the Lake Hennessey caretaker. During the winter and spring, rainbow trout provide excellent fishing opportunities for kayak anglers. The Department of Fish and Game stocks approximately 6,000 pounds of rainbows in the lake every year from November through April. Black Crappie fishing has declined, but anglers can still catch decent-sized fish using minnows and small jigs at night near brush and structure.

Other pan fish found in Lake Hennessey include bluegill, redear and green sunfish. Species found in the lake include rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel and white catfish, bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie, and brown and yellow bullhead. A fishing permit must be paid for persons 16 years or older. Daily fee must be submitted in the drop box at the boat launch.

Wind & Weather Conditions: The comfortable weather conditions throughout the year provide kayaking opportunities year-round. The daytime high air temperatures average in the mid-80s in the summer, in the low 70s in the spring and fall and in the mid-50s in the winter.

The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 83 degrees while the coldest month of the year is December with an average minimum temperature of 57 degrees.  The annual average precipitation at Lake Hennessey is 26 Inches.  The wettest month of the year is January with an average rainfall of 5 Inches.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 57 62 65 71 75 81 83 82 82 76 64 57
Low 39 42 43 45 49 53 55 55 53 49 43 39

Terrain: Lake Hennessey is a man-made lake in the hills east of St. Helena. It is surrounded by the pastoral scenery of vineyards mixed with oak and white pine forests that makes the "Wine Country" of Napa County famous throughout the world. Lake Hennessey features picnic areas, so be sure to pack a lunch to enjoy after. When it comes to birding in the area, keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles, osprey, woodpeckers, and loons.       Hennessy Lake Canoeing

Photo Credit Lyrinda Snyderman

Open: Lake Hennessey is open seven days a week year-round. Boats are allowed on the lake one hour before sunrise and need to be removed from the lake by one hour after sunset. Vessels are limited to outboard motors of 10 horse power or less. Lake hours are one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Launching and retrieving water craft permitted only during hours posted at the boat launch.

Fees: There is a fee to camp, to launch and a boating permit fee. Daily fee must be submitted in the drop box at the Lake Hennessey boat launch.

Lake Facilities: There is an abundance of shore fishing access, a launch ramp, restrooms, and picnic tables. Inflatable kayaks or rubber rafts must be the minimum 8’ in length. Windsurfers, sailboats without cockpits, water and jet skiing are not allowed. Swimming, wading, or water contact sports are not allowed. This facility has a group picnic shelter and a playground. Drinking water is provided, and there is a grocery store within a short driving distance.

Lake Directions: The lake is located five miles east of St. Helena. From Oakville, off of SR-29 head north. Turn right onto SR-128 (Rutherford Road), Drive two-point-eight miles. Turn right onto Silverado Trails South. Drive 174 yards. Veer right onto Sage Canyon Road. Drive 1.9 miles to the launch. Map

Lake Hennessey Kayaking


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