Lake Oroville Community Update: June 26


An aerial view of the Highway 70 bridge crossing over the Lake Oroville Marina, showing Lake Oroville.

An aerial view of the Highway 70 bridge crossing over the Lake Oroville Marina, showing Lake Oroville. DWR/2019

Lake Oroville State Recreation Area Opens Individual and Horse Campgrounds

California Department of Parks and Recreation (CA Parks) announced camping is available at all individual family campsites at the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area (LOSRA), including equestrian campgrounds at Loafer Creek. Floating campsites and group campsites are not currently available to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To make a reservation, visit or call 800-444-7275. For more information about camping, visit


CA Parks encourages visitors to continue to practice physical distancing and avoid congregating with people outside their immediate household. The state now requires face coverings indoors and outdoors when you cannot maintain a safe 6-foot distance from people outside of your immediate household. Additional information regarding public health practices and requirements is available on the LOSRA webpage.


Lake Oroville and the North and South Forebay boat ramps, parking lots, and day use areas are open. The Oroville Dam Spillway Boat Ramp area is open 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. with other Lake Oroville State Recreation Area (LOSRA) boat ramps open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trails and Day Use Areas are open from 8 a.m. to sunset. The Lake Oroville Visitors Center remains closed to protect public health. Information and an interactive map of Lake Oroville recreation facilities is available on the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Lake Oroville Recreation webpage.


Oroville to Celebrate Fourth of July with Fireworks Display

The City of Oroville’s Noon Rotary Club fireworks will begin at approximately 9 p.m. on July Fourth and will be launched from the Oroville Airport. Viewers are encouraged to observe the show from their homes, if possible, or higher locations throughout the City and surrounding area. Participants must abide by physical distancing and face covering requirements to protect public health – especially if unable to maintain a six-foot distance from others not in your household. Information can be found on the Oroville Area Chamber of Commerce website. A Red Flag (severe fire danger) Warning from the National Weather Service for July Fourth will cancel the display.


DWR Water Education Program Educates Youth Online This Summer

Missing Summer Camp? Join DWR virtual Summer Camp starting the week of July 29. As part of the virtual Summer Camp, DWR Staff will be providing fun activities relating to each Water Wednesday’s video, starting with “Home Sweet Home: Where the Native Fish Roam”.


The family-friendly programs are designed for kids 10 to 14 but are appropriate for anyone who would like to learn more about California’s water resources. Each video is available on DWR’s YouTube channel and a listing of all the program’s episodes can be found by clicking the Playlists tab. Activity suggestions and information can be found in the video’s comment section as they are added each week.


‘New’ Trails Around Thermalito Diversion Pool

Trails on the north side of the Thermalito Diversion Pool, previously closed for the Oroville Dam Spillways Reconstruction Project, are open for hikers and bikers. Visitors are now able to travel from Burma Road to the Spillway Boat Ramp area and North Fork Trails. Partnering with CA Parks, DWR has improved and re-aligned trails in the area, both on the north and south sides of the Diversion Pool, including sections of the Brad Freeman Trail. This trail ‘switchbacks’ up a new hill made from rock and dirt left over from the spillways project, providing beautiful views of the Valley, Table Mountain, and the Diversion Pool.


On the south side of the Diversion Pool, DWR constructed a new trail access parking lot west of the Kelly Ridge Power Plant. The graveled parking lot is accessible from Oro Powerhouse Road (off Oro Dam Boulevard East) and provides access to hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities. Boating is not allowed in this upstream area of the Diversion Pool, but boating is allowed on the Diversion Pool further downstream, with access from the Burma Road car-top boat launch off of Cherokee Road. Boating is limited to kayaks, canoes, and other non-gas-powered boats.


Oroville Area Algal Blooms Status

DWR environmental scientists regularly monitor Lake Oroville, the Thermalito North Forebay, and the Thermalito Afterbay for blue-green algae and their toxins. There are currently no Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) 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. To learn more about HABs, visit the Water Board’s website.


Current Lake Operations

The elevation of Oroville’s reservoir is about 802 feet and storage is about 2.22 million acre-feet. Daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between 1,279 cfs (cubic feet per second) to 2,481 cfs over the past week. 

Dry conditions and very warm temperatures continue this weekend and into the week of June 29. The Northern Sierra Basin rainfall totals remains below average for the year, at 63 percent of normal of year.

Recently DWR increased flows through the City of Oroville from 650 cfs to 1,250 cfs for fisheries purposes.  During the week of June 29, flows through the City of Oroville will be reduced from 1,250 cfs to 650 over the course of a couple of days.  As flows are reduced through the City of Oroville, flows from the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet (Outlet) will be increased to 2,650 cfs. The total release to the Feather River’s high flow channel downstream of the Outlet will remain at 3,300 cfs to meet environmental requirements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

All data as of midnight 6/25/20