Lake Oroville Community Update - November 22, 2019


An aerial overview of Lake Oroville and the reconstructed Lake Oroville main spillway and emergency spillway at the Butte County, California site.

An aerial overview of Lake Oroville and the reconstructed Lake Oroville main spillway and emergency spillway in 2019. DWR/2019

UPDATE: The Lake Oroville Community Updates will be distributed every other week beginning Friday, November 22. Additional information regarding weather and operations will be shared proactively as needed.

DWR Installs New Lighting on Main Spillway

New lighting has been installed on Oroville Dam’s main spillway. Following manufacturer’s instructions, the lights will be activated and remain on for a continuous 72-hour period. It’s anticipated that this period will begin on Monday, December 2. The public’s patience is appreciated as DWR complies with the light’s activation requirements. The lights will then be used intermittently based on operational needs.

California Natural Resources Agency’s Oroville Dam Citizens Advisory Commission Public Meeting

Thank you to everyone who participated in the second Oroville Dam Citizens Advisory Commission meeting, which took place on Wednesday, November 20 in Oroville. A summary and transcript of the meeting will be uploaded to the Oroville Dam Citizens Advisory Commission webpage in the coming weeks. For details about the Commission’s next meeting and for more information about the commission, visit:

Spillway Boat Ramp Area Holiday and Winter Access Hours

The winter access schedule for Lake Oroville’s Spillway Boat Ramp allows the public daily access to the area from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Motorists are urged to turn on headlights and pay attention to pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Walkers, joggers and bicyclists may continue to enjoy daily access on the pedestrian lane on the lakeside of Dam Crest/Oroville Dam Road from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., as well as parking at the Upper Overlook. These access hours for Dam Crest/Oroville Dam Road will remain the same through the winter months.

Current Lake Operations

The elevation of Oroville reservoir is 780 feet and storage is under 2 million acre-feet. Daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between 1,650 cfs to 2,750 cfs over the past week.

Precipitation is expected next week in the Feather River watershed. A change in the weather is in the works starting Monday night into Tuesday with the basin expecting between 0.5 and 1 inch of precipitation on Tuesday, November 26. Freezing elevations will range from 4,000 to 6,500 feet enabling snow to accumulate at higher elevations. Beyond Tuesday, an unsettled pattern sets in with possible systems dropping down from the Gulf of Alaska.

Water releases from Lake Oroville are about 2,100 cfs and will vary throughout the day and week based upon power generation schedules. Water from the reservoir continues to be used locally for rice decomposition and waterfowl habitat and released to meet environmental and flow requirements in the Feather River, as well as downstream in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The scheduled releases to the high flow channel of the Feather River, downstream of the Thermalito Afterbay River Outlet, are 2,450 cfs.