Lake Oroville Community Update: Sept 13


An aerial overview of the Lake Oroville spillway boat ramp and parking lot east of the emergency spillway at the Butte County, California site.
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Spillway Office Trailers to Temporarily Relocate to Upper Overlook          

As construction winds down at the Oroville Dam Spillways Reconstruction Project, four construction office trailers will be temporarily relocated during September and early October to the Upper Overlook parking lot. The offices are expected to remain in the parking lot for two months or more. Public parking at the Overlook will not be impacted.

Oroville’s Salmon Festival to Celebrate its 25th Anniversary

Each year the Oroville Salmon Festival celebrates the return of salmon to the Feather River. This year marks the event’s 25th anniversary in historic downtown Oroville and the Feather River Fish Hatchery. Always held on the last Saturday in September, the September 28 event will include a full outdoor sports expo to promote the Oroville area’s recreation opportunities. DWR staff will lead tours of the Hatchery’s spawning operations, which enable millions of Chinook salmon to be returned to the river every spring. Those wanting to see the salmon in their natural habitat can sign up for “Float with the Salmon” raft trips down the Feather River. DWR biologists accompanying each raft will offer “on-the-water” education about the salmonid life cycle and river habitat. Kid’s activities, food, music, street fair and informational booths, including a health fair sponsored by Oroville Hospital, are certain to make this anniversary event one to remember.

For details, visit:

Spillway Boat Ramp Area Operating Hours

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 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 when site rehabilitation work begins in spring 2020.

The Spillway Boat Ramp is the largest boat ramp facility at Lake Oroville. As lake levels have continued to drop, boat boarding floats at the Spillway Boat Ramp were moved this week to the lower, eight-lane boat ramp. Parking is also available near the ramps.  Additionally, 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 area. The day-use area with picnic tables and restrooms is also open to the public.

For details, visit:

Harmful Algal Bloom Update

If elevated levels of cyanobacteria toxins are found, DWR staff will work with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and recreation area managers to notify the public and post advisory signs at affected waterbodies. Pet owners are encouraged to protect their animals by only choosing clear water without discoloration or surface scum, foam or algal mats for water play.

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

Public Access on Dam Crest Road

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.

For more information, visit:

Lake Level

The current elevation of Oroville reservoir is 822 feet, and water releases from Hyatt Powerplant are approximately 10,600 cubic feet per second (cfs). Releases to the river, as well as to local agriculture, 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. Releases for local agriculture are currently dropping as farmers prepare their rice fields for harvest. 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.