Temporary boat ramp at Lake Oroville reopens to the public

California

OROVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — Lake Oroville’s temporary boat ramp at the spillway reopened to the general public Wednesday. 

Some people FOX40 spoke with were surprised by the decision as lake levels remain low, but they were also thankful at least one boat ramp has reopened. 

“I just seen it online. They said it was open,” said regular visitor and fisherman Robert. “I figured I come down here and see what it looks like.” 

This is the first time a boat ramp has reopened at Lake Oroville. It was closed on Aug. 6 due to unsafe conditions due to low water levels. 

“Lake Oroville got a quarter of an inch of rain. I really don’t even see the difference, how can you tell the difference in a quarter of an inch? It’s open so we can’t complain no more,” Robert said.

Currently, levels remain near 630 feet, which is more than 100 feet less than this time last year. And it’s more than 160 feet less than two years ago. 

The low water levels forced the hydroelectric power plant to be taken offline a few months ago, and the state just closed out its second-driest water year on record. Statewide reservoir storage had hit 60% of average at the end of September, with Lake Oroville setting a new record low. 

But with one temporary boat ramp reopening, regulars like Robert hope it’s a sign of things turning around. 

“Definitely be prepared, four-wheel drive. It’s really muddy. I will definitely take it, and I hope and pray they keep it open,” Robert said. 

It’s also what the Department of Water resources is stressing: Bring a four-wheel drive vehicle and take it slow.

Yes, Oroville Dam’s temporary boat ramp at the Spillway Boat Ramp area re-opened to the public today, daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The ramp has been closed since August 6 due to unsafe conditions from low water levels.
This auxiliary ramp is gravel on dirt which becomes slippery when wet, especially during times of heavy usage. To maintain the integrity of the ramp, drivers are encouraged to avoid tire spin by placing vehicles in 4-wheel drive mode and accelerating slowly when exiting the ramp, with or without a loaded trailer. As weather conditions and lake levels change, the fitness of the ramp for continued use will be regularly assessed.

Andy Bambauer, Recreation and Land Use Manager, Oroville Field Division, Department of Water Resources

The water agency said they will continue to evaluate if the ramp should stay open as weather and water conditions change. 

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