Lake Oroville Community Update - April 10, 2020


An aerial view of Bidwell Bar Bridge at Lake Oroville.

An aerial view of Bidwell Bar Bridge at Lake Oroville. DWR/2018

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 situation 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 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 has the Lake Oroville Visitors Center and public access to the Feather River Fish Hatchery.

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.


Upper Feather River Lakes Recreation Closures

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Forest Service has closed all developed recreation sites indefinitely to protect the health and safety of employees and members of the public, in accordance with guidance from federal and state authorities. This includes  boat launch facilities and campgrounds at Frenchman Lake, Lake Davis, and Antelope Lake in Plumas County. Public access to developed areas, except trailheads, is now prohibited at these State Water Project facilities. For information on other Forest Service facilities, find your national forest at


Community Event Postponed

The Oroville Feather Fiesta Days Planning Committee has postponed the May 9, 2020 Feather River Fiesta Days event due to the ongoing public health emergency. The Committee is considering holding the event this summer if community gatherings are permitted at that time. Information can be found on the Feather Fiesta Days Facebook page @FeatherFiestaDays.


CAL FIRE – Butte County/DWR Loafer Creek Work Nearly Completed

CAL FIRE and DWR work to reduce wildfire risk, improve public safety, and enhance forest health around Lake Oroville through the CAL FIRE Vegetation Management Program and DWR’s Fuel Load Management Plan (FLMP). CAL FIRE/DWR work at Loafer Creek is scheduled to conclude the week of April 13. DWR contractors have removed hazardous fuels, including overstocked trees and underbrush, from approximately 20 acres at the south end of Loafer Creek where CAL FIRE crews will soon complete their burning of the brush piles. Smoke from the burn piles may be visible by area residents and motorists on State Route 162 near the Forbestown Road area.


Current Lake Operations

The elevation of Oroville’s reservoir is about 814 feet and storage is about 2.35 million acre-feet. Daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between 5,025 cfs (cubic feet per second) to 5,816 cfs over the past week. 

Dry conditions are forecasted this weekend and into the week of April 13. Currently, in the Northern Sierra Basin, rainfall is below average, at 60 percent of normal, and snowpack is also below average, measuring 67 percent of normal for this time of year.

On Friday, the total releases to the Feather River were reduced from 1,750 to 1,550 cfs for storage conservation. There is about 250 cfs being released from the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet and 1,300 cfs through the City of Oroville, which was increased on April 3 for fisheries purposes.   

All data as of midnight 4/9/20