Lake Oroville Community Update - March 27, 2020


An aerial view of Enterprise Bridge along Lumpkin Road.

An aerial view of the Enterprise Bridge at Lake Oroville. DWR/2019

OFD Work Continues

Oroville Field Division staff continue to carry out essential duties including operations of Oroville Dam and affiliated power plants, maintenance and monitoring activities. Following guidance from Governor 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 kill viruses, including COVID-19. Additionally, tap water is cheaper, easily accessible and doesn't contribute to plastics pollution.


Closures Update – revised 3/30

As of Sunday, March 29, State Parks has closed all vehicle access and parking lots at the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area (LOSRA), including boat launch areas at Lake Oroville, to protect public health and the safety of visitors, volunteers and staff of California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) and the Department of Water Resources (DWR).


The Lake Oroville Visitors Center and LOSRA campgrounds remain closed. Hiking, biking and equestrian trails remain open at this time. Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing and maintain at least six feet between individuals. Restrooms also remain open, and visitors are advised to take soap for hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers when water is not available. The Feather River Fish Hatchery also remains closed to the public.


State Parks and DWR continue to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation closely and will follow guidance provided by the Governor’s Office and public health officials. Find current information on State Parks closures or restrictions at “Flatten the Curve at State Parks”. Public access information is also available by contacting DWR at, calling DWR at (916) 653-5791 or the LOSRA headquarters at (530) 538-2200.



Upper Feather River Lakes Recreational Closures

The U.S. Forest Service has closed all recreation sites, including boat launch facilities and campgrounds at Frenchman Lake, Lake Davis and Antelope Lake in Plumas County from March 26 to April 30 to protect the health and safety of employees and members of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak, in accordance with guidance from federal and state authorities. Public access to developed areas, excepting trailheads, is now prohibited at these State Water Project facilities.


CAL FIRE – Butte County Continues Vegetation Management Project

CAL FIRE continues burning brush piles at the south end of Loafer Creek as part of their Vegetation Management Program which aims to reduce wildfire risk, improve public safety and enhance forest health around Lake Oroville. DWR’s Fuel Load Management Plan (FLMP) contractors also thinned overstocked trees and vegetation increasing CAL FIRE’s target area to approximately 20 acres. CAL FIRE activities will take place seven days a week as weather allows. 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 nearly 808 feet and storage is about 2.28 million acre-feet. Daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between 2,390 cfs (cubic feet per second) to 2,883 cfs over the past week.  A chance of light precipitation is forecasted over the weekend with dry and warmer conditions beginning the week of March 30. 

Currently, in the Northern Sierra Basin, rainfall is below average, at 56 percent of normal, and snowpack is also below average, measuring 54 percent of normal for this time of year.

Releases to the Feather River are at 1,750 cfs to conserve storage. The current release is to meet environmental requirements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. At this rate, there is about 800 cfs flowing through the City of Oroville and about 950 cfs being released from the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet.


All data as of midnight 3/26/20