Lake Oroville Community Update: January 3


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.

New Recreation Improvement Project Begins at Lake Oroville's Loafer Point

The first of two projects to improve recreation and public access at Lake Oroville’s Loafer Creek State Recreation Area began last week at Loafer Point near the Loafer Creek Day Use Area. The $5 million Loafer Point Boat Ramp Facility Stage One project will include construction of a 92-stall parking area with lighting, a new restroom facility, three new boat launch lanes and one boarding float lane. The boat launch lanes will provide access to Lake Oroville at lake elevations of 900 feet to 800 feet. 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.

For public safety, the Day Use Area at Loafer Creek will be closed until approximately mid-April, depending on weather. The public is advised to be aware of construction equipment and activities and abide by all restricted-area signage.

Donate Your Christmas Tree for Lake Oroville Fish Habitat

The Oroville Boy Scouts Troop 29 will be collecting Christmas trees this Saturday, January 4, at 1426 Safford Street in Oroville. The trees will be recycled into prime habitat for fish and other wildlife at Lake Oroville and the Thermalito Afterbay through a partnership between DWR, area Boy Scouts troops, Recology and the California Conservation Corps. The Chico Boy Scouts Troop 2 will begin their collection on January 11. All trees must have all ornaments removed and flocked trees are not able to be accepted. DWR’s over 25 years of work with local groups to construct fish habitat structures at Lake Oroville is one of the longest continuously running fish habitat improvement programs in the State of California.

New Traffic Calming Devices Installed at Spillway Boat Ramp Access Road

Motorists returning to Lake Oroville’s Spillway Boat Ramp area will notice the temporary rubber traffic calming devices, or speed bumps, near the security kiosks have been replaced. The new, permanent speed bumps will maintain traffic safety while providing improved travel, particularly for visitors towing boats or trailers. Motorists are encouraged to be alert and abide by all speed limit restrictions.

Oroville Field Division Continues Controlled Burns in Lake Oroville Cove

Oroville Field Division (OFD) maintenance crews are currently conducting controlled burning in a remote cove on the Feather River’s South Fork arm of Lake Oroville. Throughout the year, OFD crews collect logs, branches and other floating debris carried into Lake Oroville from the three forks of the Feather River to the remote cove. After the first rains of the season, crews gather the logs into small piles for burning. The public is advised to use caution if visiting the area. These controlled burns will continue until all of the debris is removed.

DWR Installation of New Lighting on Main Spillway to Occur in 2020

Following manufacturer’s instructions, new lighting installed on Oroville Dam’s main spillway will remain on for a continuous 72-hour period as part of activation testing. It’s anticipated this testing period will take place in mid-January. The public’s patience is appreciated as DWR complies with the lights’ activation requirements. After testing is complete, the lights will then be used intermittently based on operational needs.

Current Lake Operations

The elevation of Oroville reservoir is about 790 feet and storage is just over 2 million acre-feet. Daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between approximately 3,732 cfs (cubic feet per second) to 4,140 cfs over the past week.

Extremely light amounts of rain and snow are forecasted through the weekend and chances of additional light amounts of rain and snow during the week of Jan. 6 are also possible.

Water is being released from Lake Oroville at a rate of about 2,500 cfs. Water from the reservoir is being used locally for rice stubble decomposition and to support waterfowl habitat and is also being used to meet Feather River flow and environmental requirements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Releases to the Feather River were decreased from 2,300 cfs to 2,000 cfs last week for conservation of storage, with 800 cfs flowing through the City of Oroville and 1,200 cfs being released from the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet.

*all reservoir data as of midnight 1/2/20


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