Frequently Asked Questions
There's so much to know about Lake Oroville, we figure you've got some questions. Here are the answers to the most frequent questions we answer. If your question is not in here or if you need more of an answer, please feel free to contact us.
Where is Lake Oroville?
Lake Oroville is the foothills just east of the city of Oroville. It is 25 miles south of Chico, 70 miles north of Sacramento, 140 miles west of Reno and 150 miles northeast of San Francisco.

How big is Lake Oroville?
Lake Oroville is the second-largest reservoir in California. It has 167 miles of shoreline and more than 15,500 surface acres. The lake is 690 feet deep and within its depths are 3.5 million acre-feet of water.

How big is the Oroville Dam?
At 770 feet, the Oroville Dam is the tallest dam in the United States. Built from 1962-1967, its crest is more than one mile long and it was made with more than 80 million cubic yards of earthen materials. It took more than five years to build Lake Oroville. 
What is the dam made of?
The Oroville Dam is an earthen dam that has a concrete core block and an impervious clay center that is covered in rock, sand and gravel.

How much power does the dam produce?
The Oroville Dam's Hyatt Power Plant has six power generation units and the Thermalito Power Plant contains four. Together, they can generate more than 2.8 billion kW-hours of power annually. To put that into perspective, a single generating unit in the Hyatt Power Plant can produce about 3.4 million kilowatt-hours in 24 hours, enough to light nearly 200,000 single-family homes for those same 24 hours.

Are four-stroke boats and jet-skis allowed on Lake Oroville?
Yes. There are no motor restrictions on Lake Oroville at this time.
What kind of fish are in Lake Oroville?
Lake Oroville contains salmon, trout, bass (small and large mouth, spotted, Florida strain black, and red eye), catfish, sturgeon, mackinaw, crappie and blue gill.

Can you have dogs at Lake Oroville?
Yes, but they must remain on a leash at all times and clean up after them. Dog owners are responsible for their pets.

Can you rent boats at Lake Oroville?
Yes. Bidwell Marina and the Lake Oroville Marina both rent all sizes of ski boats, fishing boats, pontoon boats, house boats, party barges, jet skis, and more.
How warm is the water?
During the summer, surface temperatures at Lake Oroville range from 70-78 degrees.

What are floating campsites?
Floating campsites are two-story platforms anchored in secluded coves along the shore of Lake Oroville. They are group sites that can accommodate up to 15 people. They are equipped with a restroom, picnic table, lockable storage closet, gas BBQ (gas provided), sink basin, counter top, food storage areas, safety railing, and docking for up to three boats. They are a very unique way to enjoy Lake Oroville. For more information, click here.

Are there full hookups for RVs?
Yes, the Lime Saddle and Bidwell Canyon campgrounds both offer complete hookups for RV campers. The Loafer Creek campgrounds welcome RVs and trailers but do not have full hookups. Loafer Creek does, however, have a dump station.

If you have a question that was not answered here, please e-mail us at