Lake Oroville Community Update - November 1, 2019


An aerial view of the Highway 70 bridge crossing over the Lake Oroville Marina, showing Lake Oroville.

Aerial view of Lake Oroville. DWR/2019

Spillway Boat Ramp Area Holiday and Winter Access Hours

Weekend Spillway Boat Ramp area access Friday through Sunday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. will be extended through the Veteran’s Day holiday Monday, November 11. On Tuesday, November 12, the new winter access schedule will begin, providing daily access to the Spillway Boat Ramp area from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to accommodate the Nov. 3 transition from Daylight Savings Time. The Spillway Boat Ramp Area will remain closed Monday through Thursday, Nov. 4-7 to allow final construction activities to be completed.

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. These access hours for the Dam Crest Road will remain the same through the winter months. For safety considerations, the public can only drive across Dam Crest Road within the operating hours of the Spillway Boat Ramp, which are Friday through Sunday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. including the Veteran’s Day holiday on November 11 and change to daily access 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on November 12. As daylight hours grow less, motorists are urged to turn on headlights and pay attention to pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Spillway Construction Site Office Trailers to Remain at Upper Overlook        

The recent relocation of construction office trailers to a portion of the Upper Overlook parking lot has been extended. DWR is locating construction office trailers on DWR property at Oroville Dam’s Upper Overlook parking lot in an effort to provide staff with office accommodations in proximity to ongoing and future DWR projects, including the Oroville Dam Spillways Reconstruction project and future site rehabilitation activities, Lake Oroville recreation improvement projects and other area projects.

DWR Biologist Count Salmon Returning to the Feather River

DWR biologists wading or boating up and down the Feather River between the Fish Hatchery and the East Gridley Bridge will be visible over the next few months as they perform their annual estimate of Chinook Salmon returning to the river to spawn. The annual estimate, along with the other information collected on the survey, is vital for understanding the health of the Feather River salmon fishery and for understanding the health of the CA ocean fishery as well. Estimates of the number of salmon spawning in the Feather River are added to other spawning populations in the Central Valley to inform ocean harvest managers about the overall health of the Sacramento Valley Fall-run Chinook Salmon population.

DWR’s Feather River Program conducts many other types of fisheries research and monitoring throughout the year in the lower Feather River. The Program’s work provides understanding about the biology and life-history of Chinook Salmon and other listed species in the Feather River, helping DWR to operate Oroville Dam and associated facilities in a manner that will insure healthy fish populations for the long-term.

Current Lake Operations

The elevation of Oroville reservoir is 786 feet and storage is 2.04 million acre-feet. There is no rainfall in the 5-day forecast for the Feather River watershed and daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between 1,100 cfs to 2,200 cfs over the past week. Water releases from Lake Oroville are approximately 4,850 cfs and will vary throughout the week based upon power generation schedules. Water from the lake is being 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 releases to the high flow channel of the Feather River, downstream of the Thermalito Afterbay River Outlet, are 2,490 cfs.