Lake Oroville Community Update - April 24, 2020


A view of Lake Oroville as a rain storm rolls in.

View of Lake Oroville. DWR/2019

Oroville Field Division Work Continues

Oroville Field Division (OFD) staff continue to carry out essential duties including operations of Oroville Dam and affiliated power plants, facility maintenance, and monitoring activities. Following guidance from Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health, OFD has made several changes in response to the dynamic public health emergency including social distancing, telework, and increased sanitary precautions for staff.

 Please remember that California's water treatment process removes and kills viruses, including COVID-19. Additionally, tap water is cheaper, easily accessible, and doesn't contribute to plastics pollution.


Oroville and Upper Feather River Lakes Closures Update

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the recreation facilities associated with the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area have been closed, as well as the Lake Oroville Visitors Center and public access to the Feather River Fish Hatchery.

The U.S. Forest Service closed all developed recreation sites indefinitely including boat launch facilities and campgrounds at the State Water Project facilities of Frenchman Lake, Lake Davis, and Antelope Lake in Plumas County. For information on Forest Service facilities, find your national forest at Information regarding the status of California Department of Parks and Recreation facilities can be found at “Flatten the Curve at State Parks”. Information regarding the Oroville Wildlife Area, including the Thermalito Afterbay, can be found at or by calling (916) 358-2900.


DWR Continues Brush Clearing Work

DWR continues to implement the Fuel Load Management Plan (FLMP), which aims to reduce wildfire risk, improve public safety, and enhance forest health around Lake Oroville. Crews continues to remove hazardous fuels, including overstocked trees and underbrush, from approximately 9.5 acres at project sites near the Nelson Bar Car-top Boat Launch and along Oroville Dam Boulevard East near the Hyatt Powerplant.

Current Lake Operations

The elevation of Oroville’s reservoir is about 822 feet and storage is about 2.46 million acre-feet. Daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between 4,869 cfs (cubic feet per second) to 5,400 cfs over the past week. 

Dry and warming conditions are forecasted through the weekend and into the week of April 27. Currently in the Northern Sierra Basin rainfall is below average, at 58 percent of normal, and snowpack is also below average, measuring 48 percent of normal for this time of year. Flows through the City of Oroville are about 650 cfs and about 900 cfs below the Thermalito River Outlet. Total releases to the Feather River are at 1,550 cfs.