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Gauge Information

Gauge Description:

Flows between the fish barrier dam and Thermolito return are approximately 600 cfs year round.   This was established by an agreement between Fish & Game and Dept. of Water Resources in 1983.   Higher flows can occur during flood releases or to satisfy water temperature requirements or similar purposes.   

The main flows of the river are bypassed around this section through the Thermolito powerplant via Thermolito Forebay and Afterbay.  Four canals further divert water from the afterbay for irrigation or other purposes.  Some remaining portion of the water is returned to the river channel below Thermolito Afterbay.   Flow information is available  for the river below the afterbay.

A fire at the Thermalito Powerhouse on Thanksgiving 2012, caused substantial damage that will take years to repair.  Because flows can’t be routed through the forebay and afterbay, the river in this section will see much higher flows until the powerhouse is repaired.  Flows have been ranging from 800 cfs to 4000 cfs.

Total Release to Feather River below Thermolito
Feather River at Gridley

There is not an online gauge for flows in the bypassed reach. Flow information can be found via this flow phone number, 530 534-2307.  On the recording you will hear information about lake levels and inflow to the reservoir.  The number you are looking for is the release to the Feather River at Oroville. 
USGS gauge #11407000 does provide historical information for this reach.  This gauge is located directly above the fish barrier dam. 

Thermolito Powerplant: historical flows are also available for some years.  The powerplant appears to be able to handle up to 14,000 cfs and perhaps more. Other sources indicate that up to 17,000 cfs can be diverted. 

Feather River at Lake Oroville USGS schematic shows gauges and diversion on the Feather in this area.

Report - Reports of Feather Fish Barrier Dam to Thermalito Return and related gauges

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.


When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
4y118d03h19m @Feather Fish Barrier Dam to Thermalito Return [CA] Feather RIver in the Oroville Wildlife Area n/a Dave Steindorf
4y118d03h25m @Feather Fish Barrier Dam to Thermalito Return [CA] Beautiful Evening on the Feather n/a Dave Steindorf
4y118d03h29m @Feather Fish Barrier Dam to Thermalito Return [CA] Coming out of the Braids n/a Dave Steindorf
4y118d03h34m @Feather Fish Barrier Dam to Thermalito Return [CA] SUP on the Lower Feather n/a Dave Steindorf
4y118d03h38m @Feather Fish Barrier Dam to Thermalito Return [CA] Feather River below Hwy 162 Bridge n/a Dave Steindorf
4y118d03h42m @Feather Fish Barrier Dam to Thermalito Return [CA] Lower Feather near RIver Reflections CG n/a Dave Steindorf
4y181d09h03m @Feather Fish Barrier Dam to Thermalito Return [CA] Braided Section 0 cfs Dave Steindorf
4y182d02h45m @Feather Fish Barrier Dam to Thermalito Return [CA] Lower Feather River n/a Dave Steindorf