Update on Lake Oroville Operations - March 20, 2023


A drone provides an aerial view of the Lake Oroville Main Spillway on March 17, 2023.

A drone provides an aerial view of the Lake Oroville Main Spillway on March 17, 2023.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will begin reducing releases from Lake Oroville to the Feather River this afternoon. Water outflows from the lake will be reduced to 27,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) by 6 p.m., with 16,500 cfs flowing through the low-flow channel within the City of Oroville. These releases are being made in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and downstream water operators for flood control protection to surrounding communities. DWR continues to closely monitor lake inflow levels and will adjust releases accordingly. 


The information below reflects current reservoir level estimates. Forecasts can change quickly and may affect the estimates provided.


  • Current Oroville Reservoir Level: 858 feet elevation
  • Total Releases to the Feather River: 27,500 cfs by 6 p.m. today


Oro Dam Blvd. E. between Rusty Dusty Road and Canyon Drive in Butte County remains closed but will reopen Tuesday. Higher releases from the main spillway cause excessive water spray across the road and reduce driver visibility, requiring a closure for public safety. Motorists may still access Oroville Dam and the State Recreation Area via State Route 162 (Oro Quincy Highway) and Canyon Drive.


The Lake Oroville reservoir is the largest storage facility in the State Water Project and supports environmental and water delivery needs to 27 million Californians and reduces flood risks to downstream communities. DWR continues to monitor lake levels, weather forecasts, and mountain snow levels to optimize operations for flood control, water storage and environmental protection while allowing for carryover storage into next year.