For Immediate Release: 12/30/2022

Public Advised of Hazardous Current at Lake Natoma - Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Richard Preston LeMay, Folsom Sector Superintendent
(916) 988-0205

Increased water releases from Folsom and Nimbus Dams may result in extreme hazardous conditions for outdoor enthusiasts

California State Parks urges visitors to exercise extreme caution while enjoying Lake Natoma, a subunit of Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, over the next several days. Significant water releases are expected from both Folsom and Nimbus Dams as the next storms approach the Sacramento area. As releases at Folsom Dam increase, water levels may raise rapidly resulting in strong currents that are unsafe for recreational activities on or around the lake shore. The strong currents may also prompt park officials to close parts of the lake starting Friday, December 30, and continuing until the water and currents recede.

“Whether at Lake Natoma or any other public outdoor space, Californians are advised to plan for their outing during this rainy season, as some parks may have partial closures to protect public safety,” said California State Parks Park Superintendent Richard Preston-LeMay. “Play it safe – prior to leaving home, check the status of the park you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place and exercise extreme caution if you intend to recreate in the outdoors.”

The following restrictions will be put into effect at Lake Natoma as water releases increase from Folsom Dam:  

  1. No person shall launch or operate any boat, vessel, or other passenger carrying flotation device on that portion of Lake Natoma between Alder Creek and Nimbus Dam when the flow volume is 20,000 cubic feet per second, and above, as measured at Folsom Dam by the Bureau of Reclamation.  
  2. As above, the entire surface of Lake Natoma shall be closed when the flow volume reaches 35,000 cubic feet per second.
  3. Additional park closures may occur if flows increase above 35,000 cubic feet per second.

For the latest information on park operations, please visit  or call (916) 988-0205. The main office for the state recreation area is located at 7755 Folsom-Auburn Road in Folsom. 

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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.