Lake Oroville Community Update - February 7, 2020


Aerial view of Lake Oroville

Aerial view of Lake Oroville. DWR/2019

CAL FIRE – Butte County Begins Vegetation Management Project

CAL FIRE has started burning brush piles at the south end of Loafer Creek as part of their Vegetation Management Program to reduce wildfire risk, improve public safety and enhance forest health around Lake Oroville. Approximately eight acres were targeted as part of DWR’s Fuel Load Management Plan (FLMP) to thin overstocked trees and vegetation that increase the intensity of wildfires. FLMP projects occur within the Oroville Facilities Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project boundary and FLMP projects are developed in coordination with federal, state and local fire and resources management agencies. The pile burning will take place on weekdays throughout the spring.

Oroville Recreation Advisory Committee Holds First 2020 Meeting

The Oroville Recreation Advisory Committee (ORAC) met on Friday, February 7, at the Southside Oroville Community Center on 2959 Lower Wyandotte Road in Oroville. ORAC was established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review and provide recommendations regarding DWR’s recreation plan for the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. The 13-member committee is made up of representatives from state and local government, sports and recreation groups, and business and community organizations. The next meeting will be held May 1, 2020 and the public is invited to attend.

Dry Weather Helps Loafer Point Boat Ramp Project

The recent dry weather has allowed DWR’s contractor K.W. Emerson, Inc. to make rapid progress in constructing the new three-lane boat ramp at Loafer Point. The lower 300 feet of the 60-foot wide boat ramp is in place. Rising lake levels are not anticipated to impact the construction though the lowest 20 feet of the boat ramp is already underwater. The $5 million Loafer Point Boat Ramp Facility Stage One project includes construction of a 92-stall parking area with lighting, a new restroom facility, three new boat launch lanes to an elevation of 800 feet and one boarding float lane. The project is anticipated to be completed by August 2020. A project to construct a second stage parking lot and boat ramp, for launching at lower water levels, is also being planned. The Loafer Point day use area is currently closed to the public due to construction activities However, all other Loafer Creek Recreation areas remain open.

California Natural Resources Agency to Host Third Oroville Dam Citizens Advisory Commission Public Meeting

The California Natural Resources Agency is hosting its third Oroville Dam Citizens Advisory Commission public meeting on Friday, February 21, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. to Noon. This public meeting forum will include presentations and public comment at the Southside Oroville Community Center, 2959 Lower Wyandotte Road, Oroville, CA 95966, in the community center’s Multipurpose Room. At this meeting the Commission will be joined by a representative from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to discuss USACE’s role in flood control, the water control manual for Oroville Dam, and the water control manual update process. The meeting agenda and additional information about the Commission can be found here.

Current Lake Operations

The elevation of Oroville’s reservoir is about 803 feet and storage is 2.30 million acre-feet. Daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between approximately 3,400 cfs (cubic feet per second) to 4,090 cfs over the past week.


Dry conditions are forecasted this weekend and into the week of February 10. Currently, in the Northern Sierra Basin, rainfall is below average, at 60 percent of normal, and snowpack is also below average, measuring 68 percent of normal for this time of year.


Water is being released from Lake Oroville at a rate of about 1,500 to 2,000 cfs on a daily basis. Total releases to the Feather River are 1,750 cfs, with about 800 cfs flowing through the City of Oroville and 950 cfs being released from the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet to meet Feather River flow and environmental requirements in the Sacramento-San Juaquin Delta.

All data as of midnight 2/6/20