DWR and California State Parks Offer Free Day Use and Boat Launching at Oroville SRA on Select Days This Summer


Lake Oroville boating

Boaters at Lake Oroville. DWR/2017

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and California State Parks today announced free day use and boat launching at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area on select days each month this summer. Fees for these activities will be waived to all visitors on the following days: May 17-18, June 7-8, July 5-6, August 2-3 and September 6-7.

The construction underway to repair and rebuild Lake Oroville’s spillways has affected access to recreation facilities near the Lake Oroville spillways. To promote the available expanse of outdoor activities and encourage visitation between May and September, DWR and California State Parks created a free-access program for all visitors to the region on specific days.

“The month of May kicks off the busy recreation season at Lake Oroville and we look forward to offering free access on select days to encourage more visitors to the area,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “We’re committed to public safety while the construction in Oroville continues and we are equally focused on making sure visitors continue to enjoy the beauty of Lake Oroville.”

The 30,000-acre Lake Oroville State Recreation Area offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including camping, picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, sail and power boating, water-skiing, fishing, swimming, boat-in camping, floating campsites and horse camping. 

“Lake Oroville is one of the gems of California’s state park system,” said California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat. “The state recreation area has something to offer to everyone with the wide variety of activities available, and allows families to connect with the outdoors. We hope the awareness created from this free access program invites people to seek the amazing opportunities available at Lake Oroville.”


DWR has created a Lake Oroville recreation webpage to inform the public of the changes in recreation access due to the Lake Oroville spillways project. The new webpage provides up-to-date information on all recreation area amenities, including parking options, shuttle services, boat ramps accessibility, boat rentals, trail access and campgrounds.


Visitors are encouraged to recreate safely and responsibly at Lake Oroville. Below are some tips:


  • Check the weather and bring appropriate clothing to fit the season. Summers at Lake Oroville are warm to extremely warm.
  • Obey park rules, such as parking in designated areas and not entering closed areas.
  • Wear a life jacket when recreating in or near a water.
  • Actively supervise children at all times, especially around the water.
  • When hiking, make sure you have plenty of water and snacks. Stay on designated trails.
  • View wildlife from a distance. Never feed or touch wildlife.


DWR will reimburse California State Parks for revenue that would have been collected as well as any incremental operating costs associated with the free-access days.




Erin Mellon, Assistant Director, Department of Water Resources, Public Affairs
(916) 704-5529  erin.mellon@water.ca.gov
Gloria Sandoval, California State Parks


Department of Water Resources


For more information, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, read our news releases or visit our Oroville Spillway Incident webpage.


California State Parks

Provides 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. Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov.

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