Reminder: Drone operations restricted over two California dams

Media Contact: Erin Curtis, 916-978-5100

For Release: March 01, 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As the outdoor recreation season arrives, the Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region reminds visitors that unauthorized drone operations are restricted around California’s Folsom and Shasta dams.

Last October, the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of the Interior agreed to prohibit public drone (or unmanned aerial system) flights within 1,000 feet of both sides of the dams and below an altitude of 400 feet.

This is the first time the FAA has placed airspace restrictions for drones over DOI landmarks. The FAA has placed similar airspace restrictions over military bases.

Reclamation already prohibits operating model aircraft from its lands except in designated areas established by an authorized official. Operators who violate the airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

The FAA and DOI also have approved no-fly zones over five other Reclamation dams: Hoover Dam, which borders Nevada and Arizona, Glen Canyon Dam in northern Arizona, Grand Coulee Dam in Washington, and the Mid-Pacific Region’s Shasta and Folsom dams.

For more on unmanned aerial system guidelines, please visit

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.