Lake Oroville Community Update: August 16, 2019


Aerial view of Bidwell Bar Bridge.

Aerial view of Bidwell Bar Bridge at Lake Oroville. DWR/2019

Spillway Boat Ramp Area Reopening and Labor Day Schedule

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Spillway Boat Ramp area reopening weekend. Additionally, DWR and CA Parks announced today the opening of the Spillway Boat Ramp area from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Labor Day, September 2. The Spillway Boat Ramp is the largest boat ramp facility at Lake Oroville. Twelve boat launch lanes with three loading docks are currently available at the facility. Once lake levels drop below 720 feet, leaving the upper ramp above the water line, a lower boat ramp with eight boat launch lanes will be available. Hikers, bicyclists and equestrians are also now able to enjoy the Potter’s Ravine, North Fork and Dead Cow Ravine trails. The Day Use Area with picnic tables and restrooms is also open to the public.

As a reminder, the Spillway Boat Ramp area and parking lots will be open to the public Friday through Sunday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The area will remain closed Monday through Thursday, except for the Labor Day holiday, to accommodate ongoing construction. DWR plans to open the Spillway Boat Ramp seven days a week this fall once major construction activities are completed, although access may be restricted again once construction ramps back up in spring 2020.

For details, visit:

Noise Advisory for Visitors to Oroville Dam

Visitors to the Oroville Dam are advised that a testing device emitting occasional loud bangs will be in use August 19 – 28 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. This Performance Based Testing will provide DWR with data for assessments of the main spillway structures. Workers performing the testing will be visible at the site.

Construction Speed Limit Lifted on Oro Dam Boulevard East

Butte County Public Works staff will be working with Oroville Field Division to return Oro Dam Boulevard East to pre-construction speed limits between Glen Drive and Oro Powerhouse Road. Crews will be present on the roadway Monday, August 19 replacing the traffic signage. Drivers are advised to be aware of roadway workers and to obey the newly posted speed limits.

Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Update

There are currently no Harmful Algal Bloom advisories for Lake Oroville, the Thermalito Forebay, or the Thermalito Afterbay. If elevated levels of cyanobacteria toxins are found, DWR staff work with California’s Regional Water Quality Control Board and recreation area managers to notify the public and post advisory signs at affected waterbodies.

Public Access to Top of Dam

Walkers, joggers and bicyclists continue to enjoy daily access to the pedestrian lane on the lakeside of Dam Crest Road from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. as well as parking at the Upper Overlook. For safety considerations, the public can only drive across Dam Crest Road in alignment with the operating hours of the Spillway Boat Ramp - Friday through Sunday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Dam Crest Road is closed to public vehicle access Monday through Thursday to accommodate ongoing construction, excepting the Labor Day holiday September 2.

For more information, visit:

Fish Return to the Feather Fish Hatchery

Good news, the Feather Fish Hatchery is now open! The young steelhead fish have been returned to the Feather River Fish Hatchery from the Thermalito Annex Complex in Oroville after routine maintenance and inspections to the facility. The fish ladder and ladder viewing window are anticipated to open on September 15.

Check out the news release for more details, at

Lake Level

The current elevation of Oroville reservoir is 854 feet, and water releases from Hyatt Powerplant are approximately 8,850 cubic feet per second (cfs). Releases to the river from Lake Oroville supplement the natural flows of the Feather River to meet environmental needs, salinity standards, and south of Delta State Water Project exports. Coordinated releases from the federal Central Valley Project and the State Water Project from Lake Oroville help to balance conditions throughout the Sacramento Valley watershed.