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May 24 Oroville Operations Update:
Lake Level--> Oroville’s current reservoir elevation is 891 feet. Total releases into the Feather River are 8,984 cubic feet per second (cfs). DWR is targeting high lake levels through spring, consulting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on operations and the National Weather Service and NASA to monitor weather forecasts and snowpack. DWR uses this data to adjust operations in real time. The Feather River watershed experienced peak snowmelt runoff during the last week of April and the remaining snowpack is limited to higher elevations.
Main Spillway--> DWR continues to safely manage lake levels through releases from Hyatt Powerplant to meet operational requirements. Currently, there’s no need to use the main spillway. Last week’s storm system was a weak atmospheric river with colder temperatures. While the storm delivered a significant amount of precipitation for this time of year, it did not produce the type of run-off that a warm storm can cause. Over the next week, we will see a transition from the cooler wetter weather to warmer drier conditions. DWR may need to use the main spillway again this spring to manage inflows from snowmelt or late spring precipitation and will notify the public and media if this is necessary.
Ongoing Construction --> Work on the emergency spillway is nearing completion. Crews are currently coating the new concrete buttress cap with a rust inhibitor and installing stairs throughout the splashpad to provide worker access for future monitoring needs. Repaving operations are ongoing on Oroville Dam Crest Road, the Spillway Boat Launch facility, and other nearby roads. Paving construction vehicles will continue to use Hyatt Access Road through Wednesday, May 29. DWR apologizes for any inconvenience and will notify the public when there are any changes to this information. Thank you for your continued patience.
We hope you have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!
And, the fishing at Lake Oroville is great right now. Not unusual for a pair of anglers to catch 100 in a day. There will be some dinks in the lot, but a lot of solid 14-16" fish too. They are fat and strong. The recent cold snap slowed things down for reaction and topwater, but small plastics in the top 15 feet of water will get bites all over the lake. I even caught a 4 pound kamikaze king salmon while reeling up my Ned rig on Friday. Would be a great time to take kids out.
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