Lake Oroville Community Update: August 22, 2019


Boaters on the Oroville Dam Spillway Boat Ramp.

Boaters on the Oroville Dam Spillway Boat Ramp. DWR/2019

Spillway Boat Ramp Area Reopening and Labor Day Schedule


DWR and California State Parks recently announced expanded Labor Day Weekend operating hours for the Spillway Boat Ramp Area. The facilities will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Labor Day, September 2. The Spillway Boat Ramp, the largest boat ramp facility at Lake Oroville, currently has 12 boat launch lanes with three loading docks available for use. Once lake levels drop below 820 feet, leaving the upper ramp above the water line, a lower boat ramp with eight boat launch lanes will be available. Hikers, bicyclists and equestrians can enjoy the Potter’s Ravine, North Fork and Dead Cow Ravine trails, which are accessible from the Spillway Boat Ramp facilities. The Day Use Area with picnic tables and restrooms is also open to the public.


As a reminder, the Spillway Boat Ramp area and parking lots are open to the public Friday through Sunday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The area remains closed Monday through Thursday, except for the Labor Day holiday, to accommodate ongoing construction. DWR plans to open the Spillway Boat Ramp seven days a week this fall once major construction activities are completed, although access may be restricted again once construction ramps back up in spring 2020.


For details, visit:

Correction: Aug. 16 Update stated 720 for the lake level when the 12 boat launch lanes can no longer be used. It should have read 820 feet.


Noise Advisory for Visitors to Oroville Dam

Visitors to the Oroville Dam are advised that a testing device emitting occasional loud sounds will be in use until August 28 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Traffic delays over the spillway bridge may occur this weekend for several minutes while testing is taking place. This testing will provide DWR with data for assessments of the main spillway structures. Workers performing the testing will be visible at the site.


Construction Speed Limit Lifted on Oro Dam Boulevard East

Butte County Public Works staff has returned Oro Dam Boulevard East to pre-construction speed limits between Glen Drive and Oro Powerhouse Road. Drivers are advised to be aware of roadway workers and to obey the newly posted speed limits.


Harmful Algal Bloom Update

There are currently no Harmful Algal Bloom advisories for Lake Oroville, the Thermalito Forebay, or the Thermalito Afterbay. If elevated levels of cyanobacteria toxins are found, DWR staff work with California’s Regional Water Quality Control Board and recreation area managers to notify the public and post advisory signs at affected waterbodies.


View the locations where harmful algal blooms have been reported, visit:


Public Access to Top of Dam

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. For safety considerations, the public can only drive across Dam Crest Road in alignment with the operating hours of the Spillway Boat Ramp, which are Friday through Sunday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Dam Crest Road is closed to public vehicle access Monday through Thursday to accommodate ongoing construction, excepting the Labor Day holiday on September 2.


For more information, visit:


Fish Return to the Feather Fish Hatchery

Good news, the Feather Fish Hatchery is now open! The young steelhead fish have been returned to the Feather River Fish Hatchery from the Thermalito Annex Complex in Oroville after routine maintenance and inspections to the facility. The fish ladder and ladder viewing window are anticipated to open on September 15.


Check out the news release for more details, at



Lake Level

The current elevation of Oroville reservoir is 847 feet, and water releases from Hyatt Powerplant are approximately 10,100 cubic feet per second (cfs). Releases to the river from Lake Oroville supplement the natural flows of the Feather River to meet environmental needs, salinity standards, and south of Delta State Water Project exports. Coordinated releases from the federal Central Valley Project and the State Water Project from Lake Oroville help to balance conditions throughout the Sacramento Valley watershed.




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