Lake Oroville Photos Reflecting More Drought Concern For California Waters

Northern California’s Lake Oroville will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve fished there multiple times now, including a memorable trip with good friend Manny Saldana, a guide who tragically passed away in 2019. Oroville has endured plenty of setbacks among the drought and the dam breach that threatened residents downstream along the Feather River.

But now with the state back in drought crisis mode, the lake once again is looking dangerously low. Here’s more from the San Jose Mercury News:

New drone photos of Lake Oroville, California’s second-largest reservoir, bring home the stark reality of the state’s worsening drought.

The images, taken by photographer Justin Sullivan on Tuesday, show the massive lake in Butte County just 42% full. That’s only half of its historic average for this date. …

But after two dry winters in a row, there isn’t much water to transport. Last month, the state Department of Water Resources announced that it expects to deliver just 5 percent of requested supplies this year. The final allocation will be announced in May.

“We are now facing the reality that it will be a second dry year for California and that is having a significant impact on our water supply,” said Karla Nemeth, director of the state Department of Water Resources, at the time.

Here’s a tweet from Sullivan that really amplifies how dramatic the change to the lake level has been: