Lake Oroville Community Update - May 8, 2020


An aerial view of Enterprise Bridge along Lumpkin Road.

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

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 public health emergency 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 and Upper Feather River Lakes Closures Update

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the recreation facilities associated with the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area (LOSRA) have been closed, as well as the Lake Oroville Visitors Center and public access to the Feather River Fish Hatchery.


The State’s transition to Stage 2 of Governor Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 Re-Opening Plan is underway. DWR is closely monitoring developments with our partners - California Department of Parks and Recreation (CA Parks), which administers LOSRA facilities, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), which administers the Oroville Wildlife Area and the Feather River Fish Hatchery. The public is encouraged to check the current status of DWR facilities by visiting the CA Parks website “Flatten the Curve at State Parks”. Information regarding CDFW-administered areas, including the Thermalito Afterbay, can be found at or by calling (916) 358-2900.


The U.S. Forest Service closed all developed recreation sites indefinitely including boat launch facilities and campgrounds at the State Water Project facilities of Frenchman Lake, Lake Davis, and Antelope Lake in Plumas County. For information on Forest Service facilities, find your national forest at


C.A.S.T. Event at Lake Oroville Canceled

The “Catch A Special Thrill” or C.A.S.T. event scheduled for June 13 has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. The C.A.S.T program expands recreation opportunities for children with special needs and their families by providing them an opportunity to join an experienced boater for a fishing experience on Lake Oroville and other State Water Project Facilities. The event is hosted by California Department of Water Resources (DWR), with support from state Departments of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), and Fish and Wildlife (DFW), and the “Catch A Special Thrill” for Kids Foundation.


Online Water Education Program Goes Live on DWR YouTube Channel

Join us for Water Wednesdays at 1 p.m. on DWR’s YouTube channel. These family-friendly programs are designed for kids 10-14 but are appropriate for anyone who would like to learn more about California’s water resources. The first five programs will be about Delta wildlife including fish, plankton, birds, reptiles, and invasive species. Interested participants can pre-register through Zoom which will allow posting of questions to that week’s speaker.


Visit the DWR Events webpage at to join Wednesday’s chat. Information will also be posted on DWR’s social media pages at @CA_DWR (Twitter) and @CADWR (Facebook). The May 6 episode of Water Wednesdays is available on the DWR Updates page or on DWR’s YouTube channel.


Current Lake Operations

The elevation of Oroville’s reservoir is about 823 feet and storage is about 2.46 million acre-feet. Daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between 3,217 cfs (cubic feet per second) to 4,144 cfs over the past week. 

Dry conditions will persist through the weekend.  Beginning the week of May 11, there is about 0.5 to 1 inch of forecasted precipitation in the Feather River watershed with dry conditions thereafter.  Currently in the Northern Sierra Basin rainfall is below average, at 57 percent of normal, and snowpack is also below average, measuring 16 percent of normal for this time of year. Flows through the City of Oroville are about 650 cfs and the flows are about 900 cfs below the Thermalito River Outlet. Total releases to the Feather River are at 1,550 cfs and will be assessed throughout the week for potential changes to meet downstream Bay-Delta needs. 


All data as of midnight 5/7/20