Lake Oroville Operations Update: June 14


An aerial overview of Lake Oroville and the reconstructed Lake Oroville main spillway and emergency spillway at the Butte County, California site.

An aerial overview of Lake Oroville and the reconstructed Lake Oroville main spillway and emergency spillway at the Butte County, California site. DWR/2019

Main Spillway

Due to late precipitation and based on inflows, DWR has taken steps to prepare for potential use of the main spillway.

Currently, lake levels are being managed with releases from Hyatt Powerplant.

If DWR determines that it is necessary to utilize the main spillway in addition to Hyatt Powerplant to manage lake levels, DWR will notify the public and media. In early April, DWR utilized the reconstructed main spillway to make additional releases from the Oroville reservoir and the spillway operated as designed.

Lake Levels

Water releases from Hyatt Powerplant are approximately 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). The current elevation of Oroville reservoir is 894 feet.

A full reservoir is a welcome sight after years of drought and low lake levels to accommodate reconstruction. A filled lake provides optimal recreation opportunities and serves as a vital water bank account to help California cope with future drought conditions. It is common for the reservoir to stay relatively full during the summer months in an above average water year. In 2010 – 2011, another very wet year, the reservoir sat an elevation between 898 and 899 feet for the entire month of July.

Ongoing Work on Dam Crest Road

DWR is aiming to reopen public access to the top of dam (Dam Crest Road) this summer. In anticipation of the public opening DWR crews began removing small panels from the dam crest roadside barriers that contain asbestos on Tuesday, June 11. This work is expected to last for two weeks. Crews will wear protective suits and respirators to clean the panels in accordance with state health and safety regulations. DWR will share reporting about this work with Butte County Air Quality Management District and California Air Resources Board.

4th of July Celebration in Oroville

Oroville is always a great place to celebrate Fourth of July.  The event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Oroville and will be held at California State Park’s Thermalito North Forebay recreation area, as well as at the nearby Feather River Recreation and Park District's Nelson Sports Complex. Activities will start at the Sports Complex 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the fireworks display will start 30 minutes after sunset.

DWR has partnered with CALFIRE/Butte County and State Parks to prepare for the event including conducting a Vegetation Management Project to remove dry grass from an area in the North Forebay. The controlled burn conducted on June 10 around the location of the fireworks launch area will prevent the possibility of the fireworks starting a wildfire.

Follow the event’s Facebook page at Lake Oroville Fireworks for the latest information.

For more information, follow us on Twitter or Facebook and read our news releases and DWR updates.


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