Lake Oroville Update - April 26, 2024


An aerial view of water levels at the Enterprise Bridge located at Lake Oroville in Butte County, California. On this date, the water storage was 3,537,577 acre-feet (AF), 96 percent of the total capacity.

An aerial view of water levels at the Enterprise Bridge located at Lake Oroville in Butte County, California. On this date, the water storage was 3,537,577 acre-feet (AF), 96 percent of the total capacity.

Storage Increasing at Lake Oroville

During the winter and early spring months, flood control releases from Oroville Dam ensure the safety of the City of Oroville and downstream communities by reserving storage space to capture high storm inflows while permitting controlled and coordinated releases from the dam. As the warm, summer months approach and rain and snowstorms driven by atmospheric rivers wane, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) transitions from performing flood control releases at Oroville Dam to capturing as much water in the reservoir as possible, while still meeting water delivery and environmental requirements.


Throughout April, DWR has decreased total releases from Lake Oroville to account for reduced inflows into the reservoir, while optimizing storage for the benefit of water supply, recreation, and fish and wildlife enhancement. DWR coordinates releases closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other water operators and adjusts releases as needed to maintain balance throughout the water system.

The information below reflects current reservoir level estimates. Forecasts can change quickly and may affect the estimates provided.

  • Current Oroville Reservoir Level: 889 feet elevation
  • Current Storage Capacity: 95 percent
  • Total Releases to the Feather River: 4,000 cubic feet per second (cfs)


Total releases to the Feather River amount to 4,000 cfs with 650 cfs being routed down the Low Flow Channel through the City of Oroville. An additional 3,350 cfs is being released from the Thermalito Afterbay River Outlet, located 5 miles downstream from Oroville. Total Feather River releases may be increased over the weekend to meet downstream water quality requirements. DWR continues to assess Feather River releases daily.


Lake Oroville is the largest storage facility in the State Water Project, providing flood protection while supporting environmental and water delivery needs to 27 million Californians. DWR continues to monitor lake levels and mountain snow levels to optimize water storage while meeting environmental requirements and allowing for carryover storage into next year.  


DWR Supports New Well for Berry Creek School Destroyed by Fire

Almost four years ago, the community of Berry Creek was destroyed by the North Complex Fire leaving just a few homes standing and the local elementary school burned to the ground. Thanks to funding provided in 2022 by DWR's Small Community Drought Relief Program, construction is underway to drill a new well and install a water system to support students when they return to school in the future. Learn more about how DWR is helping the Berry Creek community:


Extended Hours for Spillway Day-Use Area

With the approaching summer months and extended daylight hours, the Spillway Boat Ramp and Day Use Area will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. starting Wednesday, May 1. All vehicles and trailers are subject to inspection by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) for security purposes. There are five other boat ramps at Lake Oroville that are open 24 hours a day and do not entail CHP inspections: Bidwell Canyon, Loafer Point, Loafer Creek, Lime Saddle, and Enterprise.


Oroville Recreation Advisory Committee

The Oroville Recreation Advisory Committee (ORAC) will hold a meeting on Friday, May 3 at 10 a.m. at the Southside Oroville Community Center located at 2959 Lower Wyandotte Road, Oroville, CA, 95966.


ORAC was established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review and provide recreation plan recommendations for Oroville Facilities owned by the Department of Water Resources (DWR). The 13-member committee is made up of representatives from state and local government, recreation groups, and business and community organizations.


Feather Fiesta Days

For more than 70 years, Feather Fiesta Days has been Oroville’s premier hometown celebration. This year, festivities will be held Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5 with a large variety of activities. Get the party started on Friday with the Gold Rush Car Show, Kiwanis Kiddies Day Parade, and Feather River Recreation & Park District's Concert in the Park. Then head to downtown Oroville on Saturday for a pancake breakfast, Feather Fiesta Days Parade, craft fair, and vendor and food booths.


Stop by DWR’s booth in downtown Oroville between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday. We’ll be sharing information about Lake Oroville recreation areas and have a fun drawing activity. Decorate our banner with sayings or drawings that represent what you love about the Feather River. We’ll be displaying your beautiful banner artwork at the Lake Oroville Visitor Center for the next few weeks.


Learn more about scheduled Feather Fiesta Days activities at


Oroville Recreation

DWR, State Parks, and CDFW maintain over 92 miles of trails in the Oroville area. An interactive map of recreation facilities, including open trails and their permitted uses (hike, bike, horse, multi), is available on DWR’s Lake Oroville Recreation webpage. A paper trail map is available at various locations, including most entrance kiosks and the Lake Oroville Visitor Center.


Staffed by knowledgeable guides, the Visitor Center features interpretive displays on Oroville Dam, area geology, wildlife and habitat, hydroelectric power, and cultural and historical artifacts. View videos in the theater about the construction of Oroville Dam, walk or hike along nearby trails, and visit the 47-foot-tall observation tower that provides unsurpassed panoramic views of surrounding areas. Free guided tours for school and community groups are available by reservation. Parking and admission to the Visitor Center are free.


Lake Oroville is one of the State Water Project’s premier recreational destinations and one of California’s best fishing spots. The lake provides both warm-water and cold-water fisheries and is a popular destination for bass tournaments. Below the Oroville Dam, the Thermalito Afterbay and the Feather River offer additional excellent fishing opportunities. The marinas at Bidwell Canyon and Lime Saddle are open daily and provide a variety of services including a convenience store, gas, and boat rentals.


Upstream migrating fish totals through the Feather River Fish Monitoring Station between Jan. 1 and April 20 are:  

  • Spring-run Chinook salmon: 474
  • Fall-run Chinook salmon: 42
  • Steelhead: 799
  • Due to higher flows in the low-flow channel of the Feather River between Feb. 26 and March 18, some fish swam over the monitoring station and were not counted in upstream migration totals.


Current Lake Operations

Lake Oroville is at 889 feet elevation and storage is approximately 3.37 million acre-feet (MAF), which is 95 percent of its total capacity and 125 percent of the historical average.


Feather River flows are at 650 cfs through the City of Oroville with 3,350 cfs being released from the Thermalito Afterbay River Outlet (Outlet) for a total Feather River release of 4,000 cfs downstream. Total Feather River releases may be increased over the weekend to meet downstream water quality requirements. DWR continues to assess Feather River releases daily.


Visitors to Oroville Dam may also notice minor amounts of water flowing from drains built into the emergency spillway, which is normal and expected with the emergency spillway design. The dam and emergency spillway continue to operate as intended.


The public can track precipitation, snow, reservoir levels, and more at the California Data Exchange Center. The Lake Oroville gage station is identified as “ORO.”


All data as of midnight 4/25/2024.




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