Lake Oroville forced to open gravel boat ramp

OROVILLE, Calif. - Lake Oroville water levels continue to drop due to the extreme drought, and have reached such a level that officials have been forced to close all paved boat launches and install a gravel one as a sort of last resort.

The Department of Water Resources recently announced the closure of Bidwell Marina, and on Friday opened the gravel boat launch at the Spillway near the dam.

The gravel ramp requires four wheel drive vehicle to launch a boat.

Raymond Sperry, who's lived in Oroville all of his life, visited the new ramp to see what he'll be up against when he comes out to fish Saturday.

"I was checking to see if I can get a boat in in the morning. Yeah, and I'm hoping I can," Sperry said with a laugh. "Usually, the other marina--on the other side--you can get in but they got that shut down too. So this is it right here."

In all his years, Sperrry said the situation at the lake is as bad as he's ever seen.

"This is crazy. I've never seen it like this."

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