OROVILLE — California when it rains: water cooler talk.
Both Lake Oroville and Lake Shasta reported near-full capacity Monday with plenty of snow in the northern mountains anticipated to melt.
Shasta Lake reached 1,063 feet elevation on May 1 with four feet of capacity remaining and Lake Oroville reached 890 feet on May 13 with 10 feet left of capacity — each holding steady since.
Lake Oroville is at 96% capacity and is expected to be filled into the spring.
Boats are parked at the end of Bidwell Canyon Marina and, in the distance on the water of Lake Oroville on Monday, May 15, 2023 in Oroville, California. (Jennie Blevins/Mercury-Register)
Oroville last reached capacity in 2017 and in the last 30 years reached capacity in 2017, 2012, 2011, 2006, 2005, 2003, 1998, 1996 and 1993, according to an email from DWR Information Officer Jason Ince.
Shasta Recreation Company General Manager Shyann Almazan said all boat ramps are open at Shasta Lake including Antler’s Boat Ramp, Bailey Cove, Centimudi, Hirz Bay, Jones Valley and Packers Valley.
All campgrounds are open at the lake including disperse areas — campgrounds located on the shoreline with restrooms and trash service.
Almazan said a popular choice is Gregory Beach Disperse Area, visible on the left side of Interstate 5 southbound.
“The lake is so full right now that there’s not very much shoreline and the trees,” Almazan said. “As the summer goes on, the lake is going to go down so there will be more shoreline as the lake falls.”
Water flows down the Oroville Dam spillway Monday, May 15, 2023 in Oroville, California. (Jennie Blevins/Mercury-Register)
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Almazan said the lake is anticipated to stay full through the summer, and in July and August more shoreline will appear.
At Lake Oroville, the Spillway Boat Ramp and Day Use Area is open 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. with all vehicles and trailers to be inspected by the California Highway Patrol.
Boat Ramps that are open 24 hours and do not entail CHP inspections at include Bidwell Canyon, Loafer Point, Loafer Creek, Lime Saddle and Enterprise. All of the car top boat launches are open except for Dark Canyon, according to the State Parks website.